Opening a Stuck Drawer

Have a drawer that doesn't open and close smoothly? Remove the drawer and clean the wooden rails that support the drawer. Clean off any dust or dirt with a damp rag. Then, rub with a candle stub (over the wood rails) a thin layer of wax. The wax will help the drawer to glide smoothly once its back in place. Now you have a drawer that will glide in and out smoothly!

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By dorothy wedenoja from New Creek, WV

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January 1, 2006

If you have a sticky drawer that doesn't want to open right, just take a white candle and drag over the gliders to make it slide in and out easier...

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January 31, 2014

I have an old oak banker's desk with one stuck drawer on the bottom left, any suggestions?

The desk is in excellent shape, just this drawer will not open. I have tried everything I can think of.

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By Emmy

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February 1, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Run a knife blade around the top sides and bottom to check for a latch. Sometimes they are well hidden. If you can turn the desk over you may see a latch or lock. Take the other drawers out to try and find a pinch point if you have not found a latch or lock.

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February 1, 20140 found this helpful
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I posted before if there is a drawer on top take it out to see if there is something holding the bottom drawer in. then use the file to sand it down then use wax ton the runners or bottom of the drawer it might be that the runners need to be fixed.

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February 3, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Some desks used a latch for security. Opening another, specific drawer will release the latch, allowing you to open the bottom drawer.

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March 24, 2013

I would like some advice on how to unstick two drawers in a chimney cabinet (a built in cabinet of drawers, next to a chimney). The drawers do "not" have knobs, although they have holes where knobs once resided! There is not access to them from the top or bottom. Any advice? I would love to know if there is anything in them and if possible, use them for storage once I get them open. Thank you.

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By sasvermont

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

If you can find a long screw that fits the hole you can screw it in and pull. However you might not get an even pull. You can get two small screws, screw then in one on each side and use them as handles to pull out the drawer. If the edges of the drawer have been painted over they might be stuck. Take a small knife and go around the edges to cut the paint. Since you will have made two holes with the two small screws, use wood puddy to fill them in.

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Have you tried sticking the hook end of a metal close hanger or an ice pick in the holes and then kinda pulling at an angle to open the drawers? I'd work with the top drawer first and then you'd have access to the second drawer.

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Use a long nail or awl to put in the holes; ones that fit fairly snugly and that you can still remove later. then try pulling them open. Have you considered removing knobs from other cupboards or drawers temporarily and putting them in the holes?

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Because of their location near a chimney, the drawers may be warped. Make sure the paint I see on them hasn't sealed them shut. If so, use a putty knife to go around the edges a couple of times, prying slightly as you go.

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March 26, 20131 found this helpful

Get an old fashioned bottle cap opener,useful for
opening coke or beer bottles,place the hook of the
opener under the drawer (hook up)gently pry along several places it will open do the lower drawer first . Never be without these openers great for opening vacuem sealed jars to Go for it

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Try using the top of a wire hanger threaded into the holes for the knobs. You should be able to put one in each hole and, at the same time, pull it opened.

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Get an old fashioned "molly bolt" from the hardware store - small enough diameter to feed through the hole, and long enough so you can unfold the "wings" inside the drawer. Then grab the "head" with pliers or vise grips and wiggle and pull... Good luck! Maybe there will be something FUN or valuable in the drawers?

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March 27, 20130 found this helpful

If none of the other ideas work, how about trying a plunger to pull the drawer? You'd probably have to put it right in the middle. Good luck!

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October 6, 2019

I have a very hard to open stuck drawer in my kitchen. I tried everything, but nothing seems to work. Any suggestions would help me.

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October 6, 20190 found this helpful

Work a putty knife between the door and the frame. This will enable you to remove the item that is making the drawer stuck.

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Complete instructions are here www.hunker.com/.../how-to-get-any-drawer-unstuck

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October 7, 20190 found this helpful

Try a little W-D 40 to loosen the track!

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October 7, 20190 found this helpful

So is it stuck because of paint, or swelling, or is something jammed.

If it is a jam, I found if I can get to the underside of the drawer, and push up on it slightly while someone else gently pulls on it, I can shimmy the drawer open.

If it is paint (I once lived in an apartment where they painted the drawers and cabinets instead of putting up new). In the summer since there was no air conditioning and the kitchen got full sun, the drawers and cabinets got all sticky and tacky and everything stuck. For one drawer I had to take a nail file worked it into the metal groove to unstick the mess.

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Yes it chipped off the paint, but since it didn't cause cosmetic damage and it gave me a working drawer, I did not lose my security deposit.

If it is swelling, try putting a fan or a hair dryer on cool into the space to shrink the wood. This is the worst because wood swells and contracts with heat and humidity and you may just want to not use the drawer once you get it open if this is your problem (or shave the drawer down a little).

Hope you one of these methods is helpful.

Post back with an update.

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October 8, 20190 found this helpful

This could be a problem with the rollers or the track. I had one drawer that I basically has to go under the drawer and remove the screws that held the track bar in place in order to get the drawer out. It was easy to remove these screws and once I did the draw was able to move again. You can replace them with little to no effort. I would suggest removing the track bar and replacing them.

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April 26, 2020

The desk is a very old French provincial style. I took the drawers out to move it and when putting them back, one didn't go in correctly. Now it doesn't budge when I pull. There is nothing blocking from inside contents. I can jiggle it up and down, but it does not pull out at all. Any suggestions out there I would be grateful.

Thanks and be safe!

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I have a chest of drawers and the drawers do not come out all the way. There is something stuck behind a drawer and I'm unable to reach back far enough to get it out.
Any suggestions?

By ilovesophie from Laurel, MT

Answers

August 16, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes I have been able to use something like a screw driver or the blade of a knife, sometimes use the handle of a long spoon and reach in to jiggle the jammed item loose. I usually manage to get the item worked loose.

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August 16, 20100 found this helpful

Try using a wooden ruler and see if you can move whatever is making the drawer stick out of the way, so you can easily open it.

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August 19, 20100 found this helpful

Empty the drawer then try. If that doesn't work, empty all the drawers and turn the chest on its side or upside down. Whatever it is should fall out. There is one last hope if those don't work. See if the back will come off the chest. That will do it for sure.

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October 3, 2016

The top right desk drawer won't open. It looks like something is holding it from the back.

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January 31, 20170 found this helpful

This usually happens if something is sticking up and preventing the drawer from closing. IF you can stick a ruler inside and smooth down whatever is stuck, usually you can get it open again.

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February 5, 20170 found this helpful

A wire coat hanger can help you push down what is in the way if the drawer opening.

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October 20, 2012

There is too much food in the bottom drawer and it's stuck and will not pull out. Any suggestions?

By Birney

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October 21, 20120 found this helpful

Take the drawer above it out and remove the excess food. Then you can pull the bottom drawer out.

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August 16, 2010

I have a very old (over 100yrs) antique mahogany sideboard. Something has jammed inside one of the drawers and it won't open.

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