How To Lubricate A Freezer Drawer

A freezer drawer moves less smoothly as time passes. In some cases, it starts to stick rather than slide. You might be wondering what you should do to prevent this from happening, what materials you should use, and what techniques will work the best. We looked up these concerns and discussed them in this post.

To keep freezer drawers from sticking, you will have to apply lubricants to them. Most lubricants come in a needle oiler bottle, making it easier to apply them onto specified areas. As for the varied types, the commonly used options include:

  • Food-grade lubricants like paraffin wax or oil
  • Silicone lubricants
  • Self-made lubricants

Applying lubricants is commonly done with the freezer shut off and cleared of any food products. If the problem has something to do with moisture, it will require defrosting before lubrication.

It's vital to know your options when choosing a lubricant for a freezer drawer, especially when there's the risk of getting in contact with the food inside. Keep reading to learn about freezer drawer lubrication, the different types of lubricants, and how safe they may be to use in a freezer.


A close up of fridge and freezer cleaning and defrosting, How To Lubricate A Freezer Drawer

How Do I Stop My Freezer Drawers From Sticking?

You should regularly lubricate and defrost freezer drawers to keep them from getting stuck. You also need to know why you get sticky freezer drawers in the first place.

Find out Why A Freezer Drawer Sticks

Two reasons a freezer drawer will get stuck are as follows:

  1. Moisture buildup causes frost to form.
  2. Dirt piles up around the freezer drawer's exterior.

Both cases require different methods of continued maintenance. The buildup of moisture comes from drastic changes in humidity levels, leading to further condensation. Make sure to defrost the freezer when needed to lower the chances of ice forming. With stickiness coming from dirt, you should be cleaning the freezer drawer regularly.

Proper maintenance and cleaning prevent damages from taking place. Using lubricants during the process allows the freezer to open and close in a smoother motion. They will also prevent sticking that occurs even without the presence of grime.

Choose from the Different Types Of Freezer Drawer Lubricants

Open fridge freezer container, How To Lubricate A Freezer Drawer

Usually, you can apply lubricants as an extra measure after defrosting the drawer. While there are various options to choose from, they offer different qualities and vary in application. You can choose from the following:

Food-Safe Lubricants

The best to use on a freezer drawer would be food-grade lubricants. These are safe to use on appliances that come in direct contact with food products. Some of these lubricants are edible as well, like baker's wax.

You can apply these onto the drawer by rubbing either the wax or oil around the edges and other areas that stick. These will also help in allowing your drawer to move smoother.

Silicone Lubricant

Silicone lubricants can either be FDA compliant or not. When using these on freezer drawers, ensure the type you are using is good to use with food. While they work well in unsticking a freezer drawer, they may fall under lubricants that shouldn't come in contact with food products.

Most silicone lubricants will come in spray bottles or squeezers. Use the bottle to apply the grease where it's needed.

Natural-Made Lubricants

You can also make your own mixture with dishwashing soap. Take 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and mix it well with 1 cup of warm water. For quicker application, you can place it in a spray bottle.

Spray or spread the mixture along the drawer's sides. Be sure to cover as much area as you can, especially the places that are very likely to end up sticking again. Include the sides where the drawer gets removed.

What Are Food Grade Lubricants?

Food-safe greases are acceptable to use where direct contact with food products may occur. It's crucial to consider this when choosing a lubricant to use on freezer drawers because of food contact. Food contamination can occur with the wrong products, thus, damaging them or making them inedible.

There are different types of food-grade lubricants available. Below are two options you can consider using:

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax, specifically those used for canning, is a popular choice for freezer lubricants. Note that the type of paraffin wax to use should not be the same as what wax candles commonly use. They may contain toxic ingredients that harm the body when consumed, such as burnable components.

Food-grade paraffin wax is made particularly for use with food products. While they won't be as harmful to the food, they may pass through the body undigested. And so, you should still be careful with possible consumption. You can find them in sections for canning materials or sometimes in groceries.

Mineral Oil

Most food-grade lubricants consist of mineral oil. You can apply the pure component by itself when greasing a freezer drawer.

Like with paraffin wax, it's always better to be sure what you are using is food-safe. Although most lubricants will contain it, they come in varying types as well. Ensuring the mineral oil is a food-grade type will make it safe to ingest.

Are All Silicone Lubricants Food Safe?

Not all silicone lubricants are food-grade. Common silicone sprays are often not food-safe options. Despite working well, these pose a risk to the food they may get in contact with directly.

Food-grade silicone sprays serve multiple uses, but it is generally for lubricating both metal and non-metal surfaces on appliances. It comes in a dry type that leaves a protective film on the equipment, and a wet option, leaving a grease-like coat. The purpose of these sprays is to lessen friction, preventing drawers from sticking.

Handling food-grade silicone sprays with safety is vital because of the container it comes in. They can be flammable once they get exposed to flames. Carefully read and follow the precautions mentioned with the product to avoid accidents.

How To Defrost A Freezer Drawer?

Hand of a man opening freezer door in kitchen

Defrosting a freezer drawer requires you to clear it then leave it until all the ice has melted completely. To make lubricants more effective, you will have to follow these steps. The following instructions go into the details on what you should do to defrost a freezer drawer:

  1. Switch off the refrigerator. You can unplug it for extra security.
  2. Empty the fridge of any food products, other items, and shelving. Clean them before placing them back in.
  3. Leave the freezer drawer and refrigerator door open.
  4. From here, you can wait until the built-up frost melts completely.
  5. You can use a fan or blow dryer to speed up the process, as waiting it out may take a few hours. Do this with caution to prevent accidents.
  6. Once melted, clean and dry the interior.
  7. Place back the shelving and open it. Give it time to cool before returning your food items inside.

Defrosting A Freezer Drawer While It's On

In some cases, you don't have to shut off your refrigerator to defrost it. Doing this is acceptable when the frost build-up is not excessive. Here's how you can do so:

  1. Remove all food items in the freezer drawer and transfer them where it is safer. Clear items from the fridge if you will be keeping it open as well.
  2. Place towels on the drawer's surface to soak up excess water from defrosted ice.
  3. To make the process faster, you can dip a spatula into a bowl of boiling water and scrape at the top of the frost. Be careful when doing this so as not to damage the walls.
  4. Avoid using other appliances during the process, such as hair dryers, since it could lead to electrocution.

In defrosting the freezer drawer without turning it off, note that you should leave it open for a maximum of 2 hours. Any longer could damage its ability to cool, even without food products inside.

In Summary

Lubricating a freezer drawer requires the proper type of lubricant. It is best to use food-safe variants due to possible contact with food. These include any food-grade types of paraffin wax or canning wax, mineral oil, and silicone sprays.

Note that the lubrication process will require defrosting when ice build-up occurs in the freezer drawer. Defrosting will ensure the lubricant stays and gets applied thoroughly.

Read more about freezer fixing remedies in the posts below:

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