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How to remove drawers for cleaning

Stuck for ideas on how to remove an Ikea drawer? We’ve got you covered right here.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Cleanipedia Team

Open kitchen drawer: how to remove kitchen drawers
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Key steps

  • Wooden runners are the most traditional type, and the drawer simply needs to be pulled firmly.

  • Side-mounted ball bearing slides have a lever to disengage and release the drawer.

  • Soft-close drawers will need you to remove the clip or push the lever to remove them.

The best way to clean a drawer, whether it's a crummy cutlery drawer or a dusty wardrobe drawer, is to remove it entirely to give yourself full access. Read on to discover a guide to different drawer slides and how you can remove them quickly and easily.

Stay safe when removing drawers from furniture and kitchen fittings. Always start by emptying out the drawer first, especially if it contains heavy or sharp objects. Start with the highest drawer first when dealing with movable furniture to keep the weight balanced.

IKEA drawer removal: your guide to different drawer slides

Before we show you how to remove an IKEA drawer, it’s important for you to understand the different types of drawer slides and runners. Don’t panic, it’s simpler than it sounds!

  1. Wooden runners: These tend to be used on more traditional drawers. They are strips of wood tenoned into horizontal rails.

  2. Side-mounted ball-bearing slides: This is the most affordable, dependable and hard-wearing option. These slides, as the name suggests, are fitted to the side of your drawers.

  3. Self-closing undermount glides: These are popular in modern fittings of drawers due to their smooth, silent operation and the fact that they are soft-close. Due to their placement, they are also ‘invisible’.

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How to remove kitchen drawers, wardrobe drawers and more regardless of the slide type

Whether you want to be able to remove IKEA kitchen drawers without a hiccup, or are stuck trying to figure out how the different runner types can be removed, this simple guide is here to help.

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Regardless of the type of runner, slide or glide your drawers have, the first step in removing them from your kitchen, wardrobe, or other furniture is to ensure that you have fully removed all the contents. Once empty, use one of the following methods to learn how to remove drawers with ease.

How to remove drawers set on wooden runners

In general, these are the easiest to remove:

  1. Always start at the top of any furniture to prevent it becoming top-heavy and falling on top of you.

  2. Pull the drawer out, making sure you keep it straight and level.

  3. Keep pulling to its natural stopping point.

  4. When you reach this point, it’s time for a little extra force. Pull firmly to overcome the resistance and pull the drawer out of its slot.

How to remove IKEA wardrobe drawers with side-mounted ball bearing slides

  1. Pull out the drawer as far as it will go.

  2. First check for any screws that may affect your ability to get the drawer off the slide and out to clean. If it doesn’t have one, or you have already removed it, move on to the next step.

  3. Locate the lever on the slide.

  4. Disengage the lever and remove the drawer at the same time.

  5. When putting the drawer back into place ensure you align all the parts perfectly to avoid damaging the slides. Push it in until you hear a click and voilà! It’s done.

How to remove IKEA kitchen drawers with self-closing glides

These steps will also apply to most other self-closing drawers, too!

  1. Pull the drawer out.

  2. Ensure that the glides are fully extended.

  3. Locate the glide and examine it to find the locking lever or clip. For a lever, you need to push it in the direction it moves, where a clip simply needs removing.

  4. As you press the lever or pull out the clip, pull the drawer to remove it. You may find that some drawer designs will need to be slightly tilted at the back to be able to fully remove it.

Now you’ve removed and cleaned your drawers, get them organised! Whether you need to know how to organise your clothes Marie Kondo style or need advice for how to organise a kitchen, we’ve got you covered right here at Cleanipedia!

So, with this easy guide you now know how to remove soft close drawers in the kitchen, or wardrobe drawers with side-mounted slides, with ease.

Originally published