How to Fix Soft Close Drawer? (4 Tips to Add Friction!)

One minute you're innocently reaching for a spoon, and the next thing you know, chaos ensues! You may be wondering, "How so?"

Well, soft-closing drawers are one of the most convenient features in any kitchen out there. The soft-close mechanism is designed to ensure that the drawer glides open and closes slowly and smoothly.

However, what happens when it’s no longer functioning? Unfortunately, you’ll be left with a drawer that flies open and slams shut every time, leaving you with a mess to clean up if you dare forget!

So, how to fix soft close drawer?

Fortunately for you, it’s pretty simple—you just have to read on to know how to do it right!

How to Fix a Soft-Closing Drawer

Soft-closing drawers aren’t just for show. They’re also a good way to protect your kitchen from the wear and tear of heavy drawers slamming shut.

However, what do you do if that soft-closing drawer just isn't working? You can't let your kitchen go to pot because of one stubborn drawer!

Luckily, you can fix a soft-closing drawer relatively easily! Here's what you need to do:

1. Take Out the Drawer Completely

The easiest way to check what’s wrong with your drawer is to remove it from the guides (or runners) and inspect them thoroughly.

This may seem like a lot of work, but if you want to be sure your drawers are working properly, it’s worth the effort.

So, here are the steps to take:

  • Open the drawer and take out all of the contents
  • Pull the drawer until you can see the guides in the back
  • Check the guides to see if they’re secured with a clip or a locking lever
  • If there’s a lever, push it while pulling out the drawer
  • If there’s a clip, simply remove it
  • Next, pull the drawer off the guides completely while holding onto it

Now, let's solve the problem!

2. Take a Look at the Soft-Close Mechanism

After you remove the drawer, set it aside and inspect the guides in the cabinet itself.

In the back of those guides, there’s the soft-closing mechanism that gently closes your drawer without allowing it to slam it shut.

This instrument consists of two parts. The first part is the one that engages the drawer’s sliders and pulls it back softly. The second part is a spring and piston that allow the mechanism to function.

If something is wrong with this nifty mechanism, the drawer won’t open or close properly.

There are several reasons why this could happen, but it’s usually due to an obstruction or a broken part.

However, if the drawer is simply gliding along and not locking into place at all, then you may have a failed soft-closing mechanism.

The problem here is that the plastic piece that’s supposed to connect to the drawer’s metal slider won’t engage.

So, all you’ll need to do is:

  • Unscrew the guides from the cabinets
  • Look for the soft-close mechanism at the end of the guide
  • Set it down and grab a screwdriver
  • Push on the plastic part until it’s moving its spot again

Before putting it back, try sliding the guide on the drawer's slides. If the plastic piece latches, then you can put everything back into place.

Of course, if you notice something missing or broken, you’ll need to replace it immediately. For instance, check the piston and screws in there that may be rusted or broken.

In addition, if your recoil spring is worn out or damaged from wear and tear, you should replace it with a new one.

3. Return the Drawer to Its Place

The last step is to slide the drawer back into its slot. However, you’ll need to make sure nothing gets in the way of the guides or slides.

If you have a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool, use it to clean out any debris that may have gotten stuck inside. If you don't have one, you can use a can of compressed air!

Plus, you can use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to remove anything stuck between the guides and slides.

Once you’re done with the cleaning, take a final look at the guides and make sure the plastic piece can move freely.

Next, make sure the slides are in place and push the drawer back into place. If you’re satisfied with your work, put the clips back where they belong (if it had clips, not a lever!) and slide the drawer closed.

And voila, your drawer is now both clean and in working order! Now, let's look at some ways to increase the friction on a drawer's slides!

4 Tips to Add Friction to Your Drawers

Drawer slides are a big part of how smoothly your drawers work. A lot of factors can affect the quality of your drawer slides, but one of the most common problems is friction: too much or too little can make your drawers feel stiff or sloppy.

So, we'll show you our favorite tips for adding friction to drawer slides—whether you're working on brand-new cabinets or updating an old set, these tips will surely help!

1. Use Friction Tape

Friction tape is a type of tape that many people use to enhance grip on objects and surfaces. You can also use it to repair furniture, shoes, and even clothing.

In addition to repairing objects and increasing your grip, friction tape can be used for various other purposes. For example, you can use it as padding under carpeting or runners in doorways or drawers!

Friction tape comes in a variety of materials, including cotton and rubber. We'd recommend using the cotton-based variety because it has a rough texture that helps it grip firmly onto surfaces.

Just follow these simple steps to apply it correctly to the guides:

  • Empty the drawer
  • Remove it from its place
  • Cut the tape to the desired width and length
  • Line the guides with the friction tape

After you’re done, put the drawer back into place and test out how well it slides. Depending on how well it works for you, you might need to remove some tape or add more.

2. Use Drawer Liners

This might sound a bit unusual, but it’s no stranger than the other choices on our list!

Generally, drawer liners are a great way to add a little bit of flair and personality to your kitchen drawers.

What’s more, you can also use them on the guides to add just a little bit of friction! There are many different types out there, so you’ll have to look through them carefully to find ones that aren’t too thick.

Moreover, after you finish lining the guides, you can use the rest in the drawer itself!

You can use them to make the space look more finished, and they're a fun way to add personality. Plus, drawer liners are just as easy to install as friction tape!

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Empty the drawer
  • Remove it from its slot
  • Cut the drawer liners to the desired shape
  • Add a little bit of glue on the back of the drawer liners
  • Stick it to the guides

This way, when you open and close the drawers, they will stay in place.

3. Use Packing Tape

If you think the friction tape or drawer liners are too thick and would, therefore, impede the drawer’s movement, then you can just use packing tape!

The adhesive on packing tape is designed to be very strong and durable to hold heavy items being shipped from one place to another. Therefore, it’ll grip the drawer’s guides with ease and keep the drawer secure.

Moreover, the pressure-sensitive aspect means you don't have to use a separate adhesive or glue; just press down on the tape for about 10 seconds, and it'll stick for good.

To apply the packing tape, follow the same steps mentioned in the friction tape section.

4. Use Self-Adhesive Magnets

Self-adhesive magnets are small, circular magnets that have the power to stick to various surfaces. This can include metal, plastic, or glass.

They're usually sold in large packs, and each magnet comes with a removable adhesive backing for easy application.

These magnets are an inexpensive and simple solution to providing friction for soft-close drawers. All you have to do is add the magnets in several places along the drawer’s edge.

You can also use the magnets as a way to keep your kitchen cabinets closed when they're not in use.

This is especially handy if you have kids or pets who are likely to get into your food or other things you don't want them to have access to!

To Sum Up

So, again, how to fix a soft close drawer?

Easy! Just empty your drawer out and then remove it from its place entirely. After that, check to see whether the soft-close mechanism is working correctly. Sometimes, it just needs a little bump with a screwdriver to work again.

Other times, it requires a change in the spring or perhaps a new soft-close mechanism altogether. In either case, it's not hard to fix, and you'll be able to enjoy the luxury of soft-closing drawers again in no time!

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