If your microwave door is stuck, take a deep breath and try not to panic. Millions of households have microwaves and this problem is occurring to at least one other person on the planet right now. Here are the most common reasons and quick fixes that will make your microwave door open as easily as it once did.
Why Your Microwave Door Won’t Open
1. Food residue is blocking the door latch
Gummy residue can form in a microwave after a period of use, especially if you don’t clean it regularly. More importantly, residue can get caught in the door mechanism, preventing the door latch from raising.
Residue can also prevent the door from opening as it hardens after the latch is released. So the next time you try to open the door it remains stuck.
One solution is to press the microwave release button and pull the door open directly. If that doesn’t cut it, you’ll have to access the door latch, which is located behind the control panel in order to remove the residue.
Here’s a video showing how to access the door latch and perform basic repairs:
2. The door button is broken, detached or jammed
If your microwave has a button for opening, it can be the main source of the problem. The easiest way to inspect it is to press and see if it’s too easy to press or if there’s a blockage. If it’s too easy, the button has separated from the rest of the door mechanism, so it’s no longer functional.
Perhaps a small clip has broken off. If you can’t press the button fully in, the button might be jammed thanks to this alien object. In both of these cases the solution requires accessing the mechanism behind the control panel to either fix or replace the faulty component.
Here’s a short video tutorial for fixing a microwave door button:
3. The microwave door latch is broken
If your microwave has a door latch lever, as many do, it could be either broken or stuck. The lever is basically a plastic hook that catches the door and releases when a button is pressed or a lever is pulled.
As mentioned in the first tip, there could be food residue preventing it from raising. But, it could also be broken. In that case, you can try to repair it or replace it. Here’s an easy video tutorial:
4. The door spring is broken
The purpose of the spring is to open the microwave door automatically when you release the lever or press the button. If it’s broken then the door won’t open automatically. However, you should still be able to open it manually if the spring is broken.
Usually, the latch is the component that is broken, and the spring is attached to the latch, so it won’t work either. By fixing the latch you will fix the spring issue as well. Refer to the videos above to access the entire mechanism and fix the latch.
How to Fix a Microwave Door That Won’t Open
If you suspect that the problem has to do with the button or latch lever, you’ll need to access the latch. Begin every repair by unplugging the microwave first. Then remove the control panel. You might need a screwdriver to unscrew it.
Clean out any debris that could be blocking the door mechanism. If there’s a disconnect between the latch and the button, you might be able to connect them with needle-nose pliers. If not, you’ll have to replace one or both components.
If the problem is not the latch, then it’s the door itself. Potentially faulty components in the door are the hinges, spring and door-side latch. Remove the internal panel of the microwave door and release the hinges. Inspect for any broken or dirty parts.
So that’s pretty much all there is to it. Microwave doors rely on a simple mechanism that is easy to troubleshoot. You have the button, latch, spring, hinges and not much else. One or more of these components is malfunctioning. The problem is usually fairly obvious and easy to see, since there is either a broken, disconnected or a misaligned part.
But you might require some time finding a replacement. Usually these components are available on Amazon (aff link), so type in your model and the part you need and you’ll probably be able to find it. Repairing the broken part or installing the new one will make your microwave door fully functional as it was intended to be.
Hope this helps!