Fixing a Drawer That Keeps Opening (2024)

Quck answer

Drawer creep is a common issue where a drawer slowly opens on its own over time. To correct this problem, follow these steps:

1. Remove the drawer completely from its housing.

2. Examine the drawer slides for any signs of wear or damage. If necessary, replace them with new ones.

3. Clean the slides thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that may be causing the drawer to stick or slide open.

4. Apply a lubricant, such as silicone spray or wax, to the slides to reduce friction and allow for smooth movement.

5. Reinstall the drawer and test it to ensure it no longer creeps open on its own.

By following these steps, you can effectively correct the issue of drawer creep and ensure that your drawers stay securely closed.

Whether it’s in the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom, a drawer that keeps opening by itself can be irritating and inconvenient. It can snag your clothes and cause small items to fall out without you noticing. The problem is caused by an imbalance, but it can be corrected.

Examine the Drawer

If the drawer is overloaded at the front, it may be pushing it open. Rearranging the contents, like placing a utensil holder in the center of a kitchen drawer, can help distribute the weight more evenly. For file drawers, move some of the heavier books and files to the back. However, if the drawer still opens by itself even when empty, there are other solutions.

Check the Cabinet or Floor

The cabinet or floor may be uneven, causing the drawer to open. Placing a level on the top of the cabinet can indicate if it’s tilted. Use wooden or plastic shims to adjust the front feet of the cabinet until the bubble is centered. If shimming is not an option, adjust the drawer glides and tracks.

Adjust the Drawer Glides

Drawer glides are attached to the drawer and cabinet with screws. If the drawer is loose, remove it and place a torpedo level on the glide. If it’s loose, move it up or down until the bubble is centered, then tighten the screws. If the screws are not loose, but the bubble is off-center, loosen them, adjust the glide, and retighten the screws. Repeat for the other glide.

Ensure the Tracks are Level

Wear a headlamp to see inside the cabinet and set the level on the tracks. If they’re not level, loosen the screws, adjust the track until the bubble is centered, and retighten the screws. Repeat for the other track.

To fix a loose center track, check if it has become detached from the cabinet facing and tighten the screws. If adjusting the tracks or glides doesn’t work, DC Drawers recommends replacing them altogether. If the drawer or cabinet is made of particleboard and the screws have caused large holes, remove the affected glide or track and fill the holes with epoxy putty before reinstalling and ensuring it is level. The problem should then be solved.


1. What is drawer creep and why does it occur?

Drawer creep is a common issue that occurs when the drawers of a cabinet or a piece of furniture start moving out of alignment over time. This can happen due to various reasons, such as loose screws, worn-out tracks, or excessive weight placed on the drawers. As a result, the drawers may slide open on their own or become difficult to close properly.

2. How can I fix drawer creep?

To fix drawer creep, start by removing all the items from the affected drawer. Then, inspect the tracks and screws to identify any loose or damaged components. Tighten any loose screws or replace them if necessary. If the tracks are worn out, consider replacing them with new ones. Additionally, check if there is any excessive weight causing the creep and remove or redistribute the items accordingly. Finally, test the drawer by sliding it open and closed to ensure it is aligned properly.

3. Are there any preventive measures to avoid drawer creep in the future?

Absolutely! To prevent drawer creep, you can take a few preventive measures. Firstly, avoid placing excessive weight on the drawers as it can cause strain on the tracks and screws. Additionally, periodically inspect the screws and tracks to ensure they are tight and in good condition. If you notice any signs of looseness or damage, address them promptly to avoid further issues. Lastly, consider using drawer liners or felt pads to reduce friction between the drawer and the cabinet, which can help prevent misalignment over time.

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Fixing a Drawer That Keeps Opening (2024)
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