8 Ways to Make Dresser Drawers Slide Easier

Dresser drawers that are hard to open can make them a minor annoyance or a real issue. 

Typically, wood drawers have a hard time gliding because the wood has changed its shape slightly. This can often happen when the seasons change. In the summer, when there is more humidity in the air, wood can absorb the moisture and expand. The swelled wood can make it difficult for moving pieces to function, especially for weathered, old dresser drawers.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can make wood dresser drawers easier to pull in and out.

In this post, we will discuss how to make dresser drawers slide easier.

Paraffin wax

Paraffin wax is made from petroleum, coal, or oil shale. The material is often used therapeutically as an anti-inflammatory skin care solution. The material is also often used in candles.

You can buy paraffin wax at many grocery stores. The material is typically colorless or white with a hard consistency.

Whether you buy a block or a box of wax beads, pull out the drawer, and rub the material back and forth along the drawer track on any areas that come into contact with the drawer.

Related: Replacing Chippendale Drawer Pulls: A Brief Guide

Nylon Drawer Slide Tape

Slick nylon tape is an excellent way to make dresser drawers slide more easily. This tape is extremely versatile. It’s used in the automotive industry but there are also varieties specifically for furniture.

Possibly the best part about Nylon tape is that, unlike wax, it’s not a messy solution.

To use drawer slide tape, simply pull the drawer out and apply the tape to the track of the drawer. This way, the tape allows the parts of the drawer that have friction to rub against each other a bit more easily.


Sometimes the simplest solution for dresser drawer tracks (particularly for old dresser drawers) that simply don’t slide easily is just a bit of sanding. If the wood on the drawer track is rough to the touch, then sanding may be the way to go.

Feel the drawer track with your fingers. If there are parts of the track that seem to be a bit rough to the touch you may want to purchase fine grit sandpaper. In some cases, it might make sense to use rough sandpaper first to wear down the wood on the parts of the track that experience the most friction. 


Candles can be a quick and easy way to lubricate wood drawer slides on a dresser. Candles can be a great go-to solution because they are a common household item.

Often candles are made of beeswax, soy wax, paraffin, palm wax, and synthesized sax, and candles can certainly be made of a blend of these waxes.

No matter the type of wax, candles can often make dresser drawers slide smoothly if you rub the material on all points of friction on the drawer.

Bar of soap

Similar to candles, a bar of soap is another extremely common household solution. If the soap has ever slipped right out of your hand in the shower, then you can probably imagine that it’s an effective way to lubricate drawers.

Simply take the soap and rub it along the track of your drawer. It may help to use a hand towel or cloth to get a better grip on the soap as you wipe the wood.

Dry Spray

Spray lubricant is another option for sticky dresser drawers. Simply pull the drawers out of place and spray down the tracks. Let the spray dry for a bit before pushing the drawers back into place.

Be sure to test the drawers a few times to see if you might need to reapply.

Wax paper

Wax paper can be a convenient solution given that it’s such a common household item. The logic is that the thin line of paraffin wax on wax paper can lubricate wood drawers when the wax paper is rubbed on the wood.

However, compared to the others on this list, it isn’t nearly as effective. There really isn’t much wax on wax paper to begin with so it may take a bit of elbow grease and lots of wax paper to sufficiently lubricate the drawer.

Try a different drawer order

Sometimes drawers don’t slide very easily because they simply are along the wrong tracks in the dresser. Not all drawers can universally fit in any spot on some dressers. Some dressers have a particular order of drawers that need to be used.

Try swapping two drawers at first and testing them out. If that doesn’t work then swap them back and try two other sets of the drawers. Keep going until you find placements for drawers that allow them to glide more smoothly. If you can’t find those combinations, then there is a chance that you need to lubricate the drawer slides instead.

Final Words

If you are sliding the drawers in and out after you have lubricated them and they still aren’t sliding smoothly at all, there is a chance that the track is just not compatible anymore. The best option may be to replace the track with a replacement part. You can purchase drawer replacement parts at hardware stores or even Amazon.

If you find that your drawer is completely stuck shut, there are a few ways you can open a stuck dresser drawer before you focus on lubricating your drawers. 





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