You went to put the milk jug into your refrigerator door shelf, and all of a sudden it breaks. Not only do you have milk and food all over the floor, the plastic tab on the door shelf is ruined. Who knows if you can even get a replacement shelf.
If that sounds familiar, this guide is for you. We will teach you how to fix a broken refrigerator door shelf whether it’s experienced a clean break, or a nasty one. Let’s get started!
Fix a Broken Refrigerator Door Shelf with Glue
For the simplest fix, you can simply use glue. However, this method works best if the shelf’s plastic tab broke off cleanly. Should the tab still be intact, with no chipping, you should be able to apply a small amount of glue where the break is and glue the tab back on.
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Unfortunately, you cannot just go glueing the piece back on. There are a few precautions to take beforehand. Furthermore, not all glue is good for the job. Glue you would find in, say, a school, just is not going to cut it for this job. You need something way stronger, like Gorilla glue (View on Amazon).
You will need:
- Super glue
- A clamp
- Sandpaper (View on Amazon)
The most important component, other than the glue, is the clamp. You can use your hands as the clamp, provided you do not mind sitting there holding the plastic tab in place. That is where having patience is going to help. If you do not have some kind of object to clamp the plastic tab to the refrigerator door shelf, the Gorilla glue will not bind the two together.
Now let us begin:
1. Start by removing any produce and or food from the refrigerator door shelf and store it in the fridge.
2. Set the door shelf aside and wait for it to warm to room temperature.
Note: This is very important. Failing to do so will prevent the glue from curing correctly.
3. Once the refrigerator door shelf is room temperature, scrub it clean with soap and water, then thoroughly dry it.
Note; This is also very important. You would not want food particles and ice blocking the plastic tab and shelf from meeting at the break point. And water will simply prevent the glue from working as intended.
4. Apply a healthy amount of super glue on the shelf itself. Take the broken plastic tab and press it into place, matching the way it broke off. Use an object to clamp the two together; it can be your hands.
Note; If you choose to hold it yourself, it is very important you do not move. You can break the bonding between the shelf and the tab.
5. After about five to 10 minutes of holding the plastic tab in place, you can finally let go.
Unfortunately, you cannot put the refrigerator door shelf in the fridge just yet. You have to wait at least 24 hours for the glue to fully dry. It sets quickly, but dries slowly, and it varies between brands. But after 24 hours, you can put the shelf back into place.
6. As an additional step, if you used a bunch of glue and it is causing a problem slotting the shelf into place, use sandpaper to sand away the excess glue.
Fix a Broken Refrigerator Door Shelf with a Screw
Sometimes you are left with the kind of break that is not fixable with glue. The plastic tab can sometimes shatter into several pieces, or worse, the piece is too intricate to hold into place. That is when you move onto using a screw. In fact, this method can even make your refrigerator door shelf even stronger than before.
What you need:
- Super glue
- A small screw with washer
- Concrete wall anchor plug (View on Amazon)
Now, what you are essentially doing is creating an entirely new tab for the refrigerator door shelf to latch onto the door with. For the best results, break off the plastic tabs and replace both. Here is how:
1. Start by sanding away any plastic bits left behind. You want a smooth surface for this. Use a pointy object, like your screwdriver, to mark the area where you will drill.
2. Drill a hole where you left the mark. The hole should be where the original plastic tab was.
3. On the inside of the shelf, insert a screw with a washer into the hole, and almost screw it in all the way. Before it is flushed against the shelf, apply a small amount of glue underneath the screw for extra strength.
4. Where the end of the screw is sticking out, slide a concrete wall anchor plug over the pointed end. Cut off the plug so that it fits with your shelf.
Sure, there are a lot more items involved with this solution, but in the end you have a much stronger shelf that will not threaten to break again if too much weight is applied to it. Out of the two options, this method is by far the best.
That Shelf Needs to be Fixed!
If you’re always having problems with your refrigerator, you need to know whats causing the issue and if you’ll need to get the refrigerator repaired or replaced. Having a working refrigerator is crucial for any home and fixing your fridge is one form of home improvement but there are many more.
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In conclusion, when your refrigerator door shelf breaks, you are left with two options: glue it back into place and risk it breaking again, or taking the extra time to create a whole new tab but never have to worry again. Out of the two options, using a screw is definitely going to give you the better outcome. Not only that, your door shelf is now even stronger than before. It is going to hold a lot more weight than it originally did.