Kitchen Drawers Open By Themselves – What To Do?

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One of the most frustrating parts of every kitchen is when things don't operate like they are intended to. A lot of time this happens with kitchen appliances and tools, but it can also happen in unexpected places. Like when a cabinet or other kitchen fixture doesn't work correctly. A very common example of this is when kitchen drawers open on their own or won't stay closed. We have looked into all of the causes for this issue and how to fix them so that you can deal with this inconvenience as quickly as possible!

The main reason why kitchen drawers open by themselves is usually because of a problem with the drawer's hardware. Another reason might be that there is a problem with the cabinetry that the drawer is installed into. One last cause might be that the contents of the drawer are causing a weight imbalance. Here are the most common causes and steps to fix each of them: 

  1. The hardware needs to be cleaned
    • Clean all of the hardware
  2. There is a missing part
    • Inspect the hardware on the drawer for missing parts
  3. The hardware needs to be replaced
    • Check the slides and tracks for dents, damage, or improper installation
  4. The cabinetry is not level
    • Use a level
    • Make the easiest adjustment possible
  5. The weight in the drawer is imbalanced
    • Check the contents of the drawer

As frustrating and possibly dangerous as this issue can be, it's usually easy to resolve. Since there are only a few actual parts to check for a problem diagnosing the issue should be quick. Before you start going through the steps above, you should have more information so that you can resolve the issue as efficiently as possible. Keep reading below for an in-depth guide!

Drawers open in modern white wooden kitchen, Kitchen Drawers Open By Themselves - What To Do?

Why Does My Kitchen Drawer Keep Opening?

Like with any problem, there can be several different causes. Hopefully, the reason that your kitchen drawer keeps opening is because of one of the simpler causes. The most common cause on the list is that there is a problem with the drawer's hardware.

Close up shot of cutlery drawer

How To Fix A Kitchen Drawer That Opens By Itself

Since the causes of this problem vary, so do the solutions. To fix a kitchen drawer that opens by itself you first have to identify why it's doing that. Let's look at how to fix that in detail along with fixing some other possible causes!

1. The Hardware Needs To Be Cleaned

Arguably the easiest cause of this issue to deal with is dirt. Grime and debris easily settle into cracks and crevices like the ones surrounding your drawers. When the hardware on the drawers gets too dirty or crumbs get stuck in it, it can cause an obstruction and a problem.

The easiest way to check if this is the issue is to take a flashlight and look at the tracks in the housing and check the slides on the drawer.

Clean All Of The Hardware

The process of cleaning the drawer's hardware is pretty straightforward. Whether it's causing the drawer to open or not, cleaning the hardware is a good idea either way. It can fix a problem and prevent one from happening in the future.

To clean the hardware, simply use a clean cloth, dish soap, and some warm water. Wipe down the hardware as best as possible. You can also use a toothbrush or something like it instead of a cloth. Cleaners may also help to break down any grime if it is really thick or tough to wipe away.

2. There Is A Missing Part

Another reason why the drawers' tracks and slides might not be functioning correctly is because of a missing part. A common example of this is losing a screw. Loss of a wheel or ball bearing is also possible depending on the type of hardware that is installed on your drawers. Regardless of what part is missing, this can cause your drawers to open on their own.

Inspect the hardware on the drawer for missing parts

The easiest way to see if this is the issue is to inspect the tracks and slides. Remove the drawer from the housing so that you can see all parts of the hardware. Use a flashlight if necessary to clearly check if all of the screws and wheels or bearings are still in place.

If there is a missing part or screw, then you may be able to easily replace it. If the missing part is more invasive, like a ball bearing, it may be simpler to just replace the hardware.

To shop for replacement screws on Amazon, click here.

3. The Hardware Needs To Be Replaced

If there is a problem with the drawer's hardware that's more than the above reasons, then you may have to simply replace it. There are several different kinds of tracks and slides and they can be made out of different materials. Some break more easily than others. Cheap plastic hardware often comes with drawers and kits when you purchase them. For the longest-lasting hardware, you should purchase metal ones with ball bearings.

Check the slides and tracks for dents, damage, or improper installation

Once again, remove the drawer from the cabinet housing to check for this issue. You might see bent or broken pieces. Since drawers are often open and closed roughly, it is common for the tracks and slides to become worn and damaged.

If you see this, then the simplest fix will be to replace the hardware. Install the new hardware using the instructions that come with it. Installation can differ depending on the type that you purchase. Here is a great video to show how to fix this issue!

Click here to start shopping for kitchen drawer hardware on Amazon.

4. The Cabinetry Is Not Level

If this is your issue, then there is a bigger problem than your drawers opening by themselves. Uneven cabinetry is usually a result of incorrect installation or uneven floors. Depending on the specific situation it may, or may not, be easy to fix.

Use a level

The easiest way to see if this is the issue is to use a level. Place it on top of the cabinet that the drawer is in. Make sure to pay close attention to the level to see if the bubble is directly in the center.

Make the easiest adjustment possible

If the cabinet is uneven, then there are a couple of things you can try to fix your drawer issue. Cabinets that aren't fixed to the floor can be lifted and you can place something under it to make it level. If it is fixed to the floor or the floor itself is uneven, then you have to change the angle of the drawer. Remove the drawer and uninstall the tracks from the house. Use the level to reinstall them at an angle that will make your drawer even.

Click here to shop for cabinet levelers on Amazon.

5. The Weight In The Drawer Is Imbalanced

The simplest, but most unlikely, cause for the issue is the contents of the drawer. It's easy to get into the habit of just tossing things into your kitchen drawers. We all have some drawers that have so much stuff in them that we don't even know what's in there anymore.

Check the contents of the drawer

To see if this is the problem, simply empty the drawer. Once everything is out of it, you can check to see if it's level or just watch to see if the problem continues. If it works properly while empty, then the contents are to blame. Move some of the stuff to a different place or at least make sure that the heaviest things are not in the front of the drawer.

Do Soft Close Drawers Wear Out?

Soft-close drawers are meant to last. As long as they are installed and used properly, they should not wear out for a long time. However, it is possible to make them wear out sooner.

Putting more weight in the drawer than the soft-close slides are rated for will wear them out. Also, trying to force the slides to close faster or move against their design will speed up the process of wearing them out. Everything wears out eventually, but the better you take care of them the longer that will take!

Do Magnetic Locks Work On Drawers?

As long as they are installed properly, magnetic latches can be a great way to fix your drawer opening issue. Once you identify and fix the problem, you may want to take an extra measure to stop it from happening again. These magnets help to keep the drawers closed and still allow you to open them easily.

Click here to shop for magnetic drawer latches on Amazon.

How Do You Add A Magnet To A Drawer?

There are a few different kinds of magnetic latches. There are child-proofing locks to simple magnets that just help the drawer stay closed.

To attach the simple magnets, you have to screw two separate parts into the drawer. One piece is a simple metal rectangle that attaches to the inside of the front of the drawer. The other piece is the magnet the attaches just underneath the wood where the drawer meets the cabinet. When the drawer is closed, the metal piece should line up with the magnet and help to keep it shut.

Finishing Up

There are a few different reasons why your kitchen drawers might open by themselves. Most of the causes have to do with a malfunction of the hardware. It might also be because the entire cabinet that the drawer is in is uneven. Having too many heavy things in the front of the drawer can also cause this issue. Thankfully, the fix for each is fairly simple and can easily be done on your own. If you want to add an extra measure to keep those drawers shut, you can even add some magnetic latches to them!

To learn more about your kitchen cabinets, click on the links below:

How Tall Are Kitchen Cabinets? [3 Types Examined]

Are Kitchen Cabinets Considered Furniture or Fixtures?

How Far Should Oven Stick Out from Cabinets?

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