/ / / Soft Closing Drawer Slides Problems: 8 Reasons and Troubleshooting Guide

Soft Closing Drawer Slides Problems: 8 Reasons and Troubleshooting Guide

If you have a cabinet, RV, or dresser, you must have encountered soft closing drawer slides problems when opening and closing them. They are automatic slides that enhance the opening and closing of drawer boxes without much use of energy.

These slides have numerous benefits compared to other traditional drawers. However, this does not mean that soft close drawer slides are 100% effective. I will take you through the 8 problems encountered using drawer slides and their possible solutions in this article. Let’s dive into it!

What are Soft Closing Drawers?

Soft closing drawers are more advanced features that pull your drawer shut and prevent slamming. There are some of their benefits:

What are Soft Closing Drawers?
  • They are superior in quality and require a slight push to close without needing to push them in.
  • The drawers will close softly, smoothly, and silently. 
  • Installing a soft closing drawer is a simple task that will only take an hour or less, depending on the installer’s experience.

Check out the common problems and solutions with closing drawer slides!

Problems and Solution Table at the Glance

Go through the problems of soft close drawers and their possible solution summarized in the table below:

Soft close drawer Problems


Rust issue:

Cleaning the necessary parts using a pressurized air pump

Wrong installation:

Unscrewing the glide and setting it a fresh one

Broken slider:

Replace the broken slider

Bend sections of the drawer:

Use pliers to bend it back to its original position

Dust, debris, and objects clogging the slider:

Clean the drawers and use lubricants

Alignment issue:

Further adjustment is required for correct alignment

Drawer dampers:

Call professional contractor

Loose screw:

Put a piece of wood and glue in the hole. The screws will tighten with seamless attachment

8 Major Soft Closing Drawer Slides Problems and Solutions

While using your RVs or cabinets installed with soft close drawer slides, you may encounter some problems in opening and closing them. These problems are due to wrong installation, broken sliders, loose screws, rusting issues, and many others.

Are you interested in knowing more about the soft closing drawer slide problems and their solutions? Read on, I will take you through the issues and solutions in detail:

1. Rusting Issue

Nothing is much more frustrating than finding your soft close hinges rusting. The problem occurs due to various reasons, such as:

  • High humidity environments:  Soft close drawers made of metal slides corrode at a higher rate during humid conditions, especially during summer. This occurs because the moisture-saturated atmosphere interacts with oxygen and electrons at the metal’s surface.
  • Poor quality materials: While purchasing drawer slides, ensure you get high-quality materials because low-quality metals are prone to rusting.
  • Wear and tear: Over a long period, soft close drawer slides can reduce in value, and the protective coatings may wear off; this increases the risk of rust.
Rusting Issue
Credit: www.olivertraveltrailers.com

If you notice your drawer isn’t moving smoothly, it is advisable not to use a wet cloth to clean the debris or particles but instead to use a pressurized air pump to prevent rusting. Here is a guideline on how to clean soft closing drawer to do away with rusting:

  • Remove the drawer by sliding it straight out to check for rust.
  • Use a wet cloth or a pressurized air pump to wipe out the affected part.
  • Apply lubrication to clean rust off using a brush or a towel.
  • Clean up the mess before returning the drawer on the runners.
  • Return the slider to its place and check if it fits well.
  • Attempt to open and close the drawer and confirm whether it works fine.

2. Wrong Installation

Another problem that can cause your drawer not to move smoothly is the wrong installation. The main reason behind the wrong installation is because:

  • A mechanical error in positioning soft close drawer slides.
Wrong Installation

Let’s look at how you can correct the wrong installation of your soft close drawer slides:

  • Unscrew the glide and set it to fresh.
  • Use the manual instructions for better installation, or call a professional contractor to fix it.

3. Broken Slider

A broken slider is mainly caused by the following reasons:

  • Using a lot of force in opening and closing the drawer.
  • Overloading the drawer box breaks the slide. Therefore making it locked in the wrong position.
Broken Slider
Credit: www.youtube.com @CAPO Kitchen and Bath

The only solution to deal with broken slides is by:

  • Replacing the broken slider with the new one.
Note: Follow the correct procedure when replacing it.

4. Bend Sections in the Drawer

If one side of the drawer leans forward, it might cause bending, especially in the bottom section of the drawer. Here are some reasons for bending sections in the drawer:

  • Angled Installations: Installing drawer slides at the wrong angle can cause some parts to bend.
  • Load Distribution: If your drawer is unevenly distributed, especially when it holds heavy items, it can cause some parts to bend or warp over time due to the imbalanced load.
Soft Closing Drawer Slides Problems. Bend Sections in the Drawer
Credit: www.youtube.com @Crafted Workshop

You can use the following remedies to deal with bend sections in the drawer:

  • Install the drawer at the right angle.
  • Spread the load on a slide so it’s not all concentrated in one spot. This helps to make the slide more stable and less likely to bend over because the load is balanced across its surface.

5. Dust, Debris, and Objects Clogging the Slider

Scattered object remains, and dust will make the drawer stay out, interfering with self-closing drawers. This might be caused by:

  • A buildup of Dust and Debris: With time, drawer slides accumulate dust particles and debris from the surroundings that interfere with the soft closing mechanism of the drawer.
  • Lack of regular Lubrication: Failure to lubricate your drawer can cause dust and debris to accumulate, making it easier for objects to become trapped.
Dust, Debris, and Objects Clogging the Slider
Credit: www.wd40.com

Here is a solution to do away with dust, debris, and objects clogging the slider:

  • Thoroughly clean the drawers and use lubricants to enhance the soft close mechanism.

6. Alignment Issue

Alignment issues can make your drawer not open as smoothly as required. This is mainly because of;

  • Having some parts of drawer slides adjusted leads to inappropriate functioning.
Alignment Issue
Credit: www.youtube.com @Cabinets.com

For correct alignment, further adjustment is required. The following tips are essential to solve this problem:

  • Check if the drawer tilts: The initial action in adjusting a soft close drawer is determining if it tilts and, if so, in which direction. If the drawer leans forward, the rear ball bearing is raised and must be as low as possible to achieve the correct alignment. If the drawer leans sideways, the runners on opposite sides need a height reduction.
  • Remove the Drawer: After realizing that your drawer needs an adjustment, ensure you remove it before the adjustment process.
  • Clean the soft-close metal slides: A pressurized air pump can remove these particles if debris is on the soft-close metal slides.
  • Adjust the Tabs: Whether the drawer tilts or not, adjusting the tabs in soft-close drawers is very important. The adjustment tabs at the bottom of the box enable the slide’s soft close mechanism in and out of the cabinet.
  • Adjust the Drawer Dampers: Use the tilt tab located at the back of the cabinet slides to help you adjust the drawer dampers to align in the correct position for effective operation. Once you shift the tab, you will see a mounting projection that moves correspondingly as you gradually adjust it.
  • Determine the Fitting: The laststep is to determine whether the drawer box slides in and out softly as intended. Put the drawer in its original position and confirm if it is closing quietly. If this is not the case, then you need further adjustments. Repeat the procedure until the box is appropriately aligned.

7. Drawer Dampers

At the rear of the cabinet box, you will discover drawer dampers that introduce a soft-close feature to the cabinet and contribute significantly to noise reduction. However, drawer dampers have several problems that cause it to slide out of alignment:

  • Low-Quality Dampers: Poor-quality drawer dampers may not have the durability of higher-quality options.
  • Incompatible Hardware: Using drawer slides or components not designed to work with soft-close dampers can cause compatibility issues and lead to problems.
Drawer Dampers
Credit: www.youtube.com @Rok Hardware Cabinets

Let’s examine some solutions for poorly manufactured drawer dampers:

  • Go for quality dampers to help in preventing problems in the long run.
  • Enlist the services of a professional contractor rather than attempting and failing with the slides.

8. Loose Screws

At the start, when the soft drawer slides are new, they are appropriately attached to the sides or bottom of the drawer for a soft close mechanism and smooth movement. Some drawers have loose screws, which is caused by:

  • Age of materials: With time, screws come loose, making your soft close drawer slides not working correctly.
  • Thermal expansivity: An increase in temperature and humidity will cause the expansion and contraction of the drawer slides making the screw to be loose.
Loose Screws
Credit: Credit: www.youtube.com @WoodworkerExpress.com

Solving this problem is a simple task. Here is how to deal with loose screws:

  • Tighten screws: You must put wood glue in the hole; the screws will tighten with seamless attachment.

Is the Issue of Soft Closing Drawer Common in RVs?

Sincerely speaking, soft-closing drawer slide problems are widespread in RVs. Here are some of the common issues associated with soft close drawers in RVs:

  • Difficulty in the smooth opening of the drawer.
  • Getting stuck while closing the drawer.
  • Noisy while opening the drawer.
  • Soft close drawer slides reduce effectiveness once they are overloaded in the RVs.

5 Steps for Properly Installing Soft Close Drawer Slides

Here are the steps you need to follow for quality installation:

1. Remove the Drawer and Hardware

Ensure that the desired drawer is empty and remove it from the cabinet. Also, unscrew the current glide fixtures from the drawer and the wardrobe by turning them counterclockwise.

2. Install Drawer Glides

For installing drawer glides, follow this procedure:

  • Set the drawer box on its right side.
  • Position the new glide flush with the bottom of the drawer.
  • Mark placement with a chalk or pencil.
  • Fix the glide into place using a screw.
  • Reiterate at the rear.
  • Turn the drawer over; the same procedure applies to the other side.

3. Install Cabinet Slides

Pull the glide on the drawer to free the clip and remove the cabinet section from the drawer for installing the cabinet hardware. Furthermore, fasten the mounting clips to both ends of this segment.

5 Steps for Properly Installing Soft Close Drawer Slides

4. Attach Clips

Mount the face frame clip to the cabinet using a screwdriver. Also, affix the rear mounting clip to the back of the cabinet box, ensuring it’s balanced before screwing it securely.

5. Make Needed Adjustments

Assess the distance between the drawer glide at the front and back of the drawer box. If needed, adjust the screws accordingly. Then, replicate these steps on the other side.

Additionally, slide the drawer into the glides and confirm that all components are appropriately aligned. To adjust all the features in the correct position, use the tilt tab located behind the cabinet box. Make any final alterations before securing the remaining screws in place.


What are the disadvantages of soft-close drawers?

Soft close drawers have numerous disadvantages, such as; limited customization alternatives, more costly than traditional drawers, and potential for malfunction, which can lead to inconvenience and repair costs.

Can you adjust the tension on soft-close drawers?

Yes,it is viable to adjust the tension on soft-close drawers. The approach to achieve this may vary based on the type ofdrawerin use. Drawers with a built-in damper should come with guidelines on tension adjustment. Alternatively, if the drawer lacks a built-in damper, install a separate one, usually with an adjustable tension screw.

How do you make soft close drawers slide easier?

There are several ways to make your soft-close drawers slide easier. First, it’s important to check for any misalignment issues that may be causing the drawer to tilt in any direction. Additionally, if the drawer is sticking due to dryness or friction, applying a suitable lubricant can greatly improve its performance.

Why are my soft-close cabinet hinges not working?

If your soft-close cabinet hinges are not functioning as intended and the doors are slamming shut, the issue could arise from a poor adjustment of the hinges or lack of resistance. Also, problems with the hydraulic buffer can make your cabinet hinges malfunction.

Why does my drawer keep sliding open?

Your drawer keeps sliding open after closing due to several reasons, such as; misalignment of the drawer, damage to its parts, loose drawer slides, applying excessive pressure at the top when closing it, and uneven distribution of the slides.


Soft closing drawer slide problems have several causes, for instance, rusting, dust or object clogging wrong installation, etc. This problem interferes with the regular operation of the drawer slide.

Solutions to these challenges include using a pressurized air pump to remove dust, lubricants for frequent drawer movement, and other solutions. Generally, it would help to be careful when using soft-close drawers for durability.

Have you experienced any burning issues with soft close drawer slides, or do you have tips to share for overcoming these challenges? Let me hear from you in the comment section.

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