How Much Weight Can A Refrigerator Shelf Hold?

Figuring out how to utilize the storage in a kitchen can be tricky sometimes. Do you want to fill your fridge with as much as possible but don't know if its shelves can handle the weight? Well, we've done plenty of digging and have the answers here for you. Let's check this out.

The shelves in a refrigerator should hold up to 50 pounds on average. Of course, that estimate applies to full-sized shelving within your fridge, as half shelves will be able to hold closer to 25 pounds. That said, it's a good idea to check your appliance's weight capability before loading it up, so each refrigerator may be slightly different.

As we begin, we will cover all things refrigerators and discuss how much weight one's shelving can hold. Whether you have a Whirlpool, GE, Maytag, or any other brand fridge, we're here to offer some help. With that said, let's dive right into this post!

A fridge door with food inside, How Much Weight Can A Refrigerator Shelf Hold?

Are The Shelves In A Refrigerator Sturdy?

Generally, the shelves inside a refrigerator are very sturdy. Considering the average fridge is tested for 35 pounds per square foot, you can expect to store quite a bit of food inside of yours.

On top of that, most refrigerator shelves are durable tempered glass, which won't easily crack or break under normal amounts of pressure. Of course, storing items that weigh more than a refrigerator's tested weight can result in damage to your appliance, so try to be mindful of that.

An open refrigerator

Is Refrigerator Glass Tempered?

Yes! Refrigerator glass will most commonly have a tempered design. As we said, this helps keep your fridge's shelves from cracking or breaking, which can be a lifesaver if you have heavy items to store.

However, tempered glass isn't indestructible, so it is possible to damage it if you aren't careful.

How Much Weight Can You Put In A Refrigerator Door?

A refrigerator door can usually hold about 40-55 pounds, depending on its design. Of course, this will vary, but we generally don't recommend storing heavy items in your appliance's door.

Ideally, a fridge door should be for drinks and smaller jars/cans, although overpacking it with these items can still cause problems. Again, too much weight anywhere in your refrigerator will cause damage to it, so moderation and good spacing are essential.

What Should You Not Put In A Refrigerator Door?

You want to avoid storing milk, eggs, meat/poultry, fruits and vegetables, and even cheese in a refrigerator door. Besides being heavy, some of these items can be highly temperature-sensitive, which won't be good if you open the fridge often.

That said, dairy and perishable goods of any kind shouldn't be on the fridge door but instead on a shelf or in a chilled drawer, so keep that in mind.

Can A Refrigerator Door Warp?

Food, vegetables and beverage in refrigerator

Yes, a refrigerator door can warp. This usually happens because of improper food storage or a lack of upkeep, but it isn't very common.

You can avoid running into warping by keeping heavy items off your refrigerator door and instead on a shelf, so that's our recommendation. It's also a good idea to regularly check the hinges on your refrigerator doors to ensure they are tight.

Why Are My Refrigerator Doors Uneven?

For those with double door appliances, don't be alarmed if your fridge's doors are slightly uneven. Depending on the amount of food you store on each side, this can cause slightly different door heights and shouldn't be anything to worry about.

With that said, it is possible to repair uneven doors by adjusting their bottom alignment screw, so this isn't permanent.

What Happens If I Put Too Much On A Shelf In The Fridge?

If you put too many/too heavy of items on the shelves in a fridge, expect cracked or broken glass. Like we covered earlier, tempered glass can only hold so much weight before it becomes damaged, which is why following recommended storage protocol is so important.

You might also notice your refrigerator's shelves come out of place if you put too much on them, which can cause a huge mess. So if you're worried about having too many items on a shelf, try moving things around to distribute their weight better.

Can You Repair A Cracked Fridge Shelf?

Yes, as long as a refrigerator shelf's crack is surface, you can try and repair it. Generally, glue or silicone putty will be your best bet, but these aren't always a permanent solution.

That said, if the shelf in your refrigerator cracks into multiple pieces, this is when you want to get it replaced through its manufacturer.

Can You Put Too Much Stuff In A Fridge?

Refrigerator full with healthy food

Although you can never have enough food, putting too much of it inside a refrigerator is possible. Most times, overfilling a fridge can lead to issues with cooling and even break its motor altogether.

You only want to store items in the fridge that need to be in there, meaning non-perishables can be stored in the pantry or a cabinet. It's also a good idea to keep super heavy items on the lower shelves in your fridge to prevent damage.

How Do You Load Food Into A Fridge?

Typically, you want to load the food into your fridge in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle. According to High Speed Training, a good way to organize a refrigerator is to:

  • Keep ready-to-eat foods on the top and middle shelves.
  • Load raw meat and fish into the bottom shelf or drawer.
  • Utilize your salad and fruit/vegetable drawers.

Of course, this is simply a suggestion based on everyday eating and cooking, so if you prefer to organize your fridge differently, that is completely fine.

Where Is The Coldest Part Of The Fridge?

When it comes to the coldest part of a refrigerator, this will usually be the lower shelves inside your appliance. As we explained above, you want to store meat and fish at the bottom of your fridge because it will keep them the coldest.

With that said, heat rises inside a refrigerator, so expect slightly warmer temperatures the higher you load items for storage.

What Should You Store In Refrigerator Drawers?

In general, you want to keep salad, fruits, and vegetables inside the drawers of a fridge. Doing this will open up space on the shelves inside your appliance and keep your food from getting too hot or cold.

You can also adjust the humidity settings for the drawers in most fridges, which is perfect for keeping your greens, fruits, and veggies as fresh as possible. Again, you don't necessarily need to follow this suggestion, but it will keep the food in your fridge edible for longer.

How Do You Clean Refrigerator Shelves?

Inside of clean and empty refrigerator with shelves

The best way to clean the shelves inside a fridge is to spray them with a water and vinegar solution and then give them a good wipe down. You can also try using Windex or Clorox, although vinegar tends to leave tempered glass the cleanest/most streak-free.

You might also want to remove the shelving from your fridge while cleaning, although this isn't necessarily required.

Can Refrigerator Shelves Go Into The Dishwasher?

Depending on who makes your appliance, you may be able to clean your refrigerator's shelves in the dishwasher. Generally, you want to load the shelves into the top rack of your machine to prevent warping or heat damage.

For example, Maytag allows their fridge shelves to go into the dishwasher but recommends letting them reach room temperature before running a cycle. The same goes for GE refrigerator shelving, so this should be safe most of the time.

How Much Weight Can You Put On Top Of The Fridge?

If you want to try storing extra, non-perishable goods on top of your fridge, try to keep them under 60 pounds. Generally, a refrigerator will hold between 50-60 pounds on top, so this is perfect for drink cans or large bottles.

That said, you want to make sure you don't overdo it with the above fridge storage because this can add extra pressure to your appliance, so be careful.

To Wrap It All Up

Whether you love a packed fridge or prefer to keep it minimal, it can be tricky to figure out how much weight a shelf can hold. From what we found, the shelves in a fridge should hold about 50 pounds or 35 pounds per square foot.

The shelves in a refrigerator will also be tempered glass, meaning they are durable and not as prone to cracking or breaking. That said, you want to try and distribute weight evenly throughout your appliance to prevent shelf and door damage, so keep that in mind.

Regardless, try to store heavier items towards the bottom of your fridge, and don't be afraid to utilize the drawers inside your appliance.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related refrigerator posts below!

How To Adjust The Temperature On A Danby Refrigerator

Whirlpool Refrigerator Not Making Ice - What Could Be Wrong?

Do Whirlpool Refrigerators Have Water Filters? [And When To Replace Them]

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