How to Reverse a Refrigerator Door

Updated: Nov. 28, 2018

Swap your refrigerator door handles in minutes

FH12APR_SWAHAN_01-2 left hand refrigerator hingesFamily Handyman
Door handles can easily be reversed on almost any refrigerator door by removing a few screws and bolts —but keep track of the parts and the assembly order.

You might also like: TBD

Removing and reinstalling the doors

Photo 1: Lift off the door

Tilt the upper door away from the fridge and lift it up and off the middle hinge pin. Immediately check for a plastic washer or guide that fits into the bottom of the upper door. Locate those parts and put them in a safe place.

Photo 2: Swap the handles

Unsnap the plastic “vanity” plugs that cover the door handle screws. Then remove the door handle screws and swap the door handles.

Photo 3: Reverse the hinge pin

Grab the hinge pin with pliers and unscrew it. Flip the pin upside down and screw it back into the hinge.

Photo 4: Mount the middle hinge

Hold the bottom door in place and insert the middle hinge. Then install the screws and tighten.

You moved the old fridge into the Men’s Crisis Center (aka the garage) and now the doors open the wrong way. And that makes for inconvenient beverage access, a problem that must be corrected before pursuing other home improvement activities.

It’s an easy DIY project, but you do have to pay attention to the disassembly and reassembly steps and keep track of the plastic parts. If you put the refrigerator hinges back in the wrong place or leave them out, the doors won’t close properly. The entire job takes less than an hour and requires just screwdrivers, pliers and a socket set.

Start by removing all the food from the upper and lower door shelves. Then pry off the upper hinge trim piece (if equipped) with a flat-blade screwdriver. Hold the door in place while you remove the upper hinge screws. Then remove the upper door (Photo 1).

Next, remove the middle hinge screws and the bottom door. Check for plastic parts at both hinges and label them. Then remove the bottom hinge and mount it on the opposite side of the fridge. Swap the door handles and the door stops to the opposite sides of the door (Photo 2).

This next part makes most people crazy, but it makes sense when you think it through. When you flip the middle hinge to the opposite side of the fridge, the upper and lower hinge pins will be facing the wrong direction. Don’t panic! Just reverse the hinge pin (Photo 3).

With the middle hinge pin reversed, go ahead and reassemble the doors and hinges and reload your fridge.

Required Tools for this left hand refrigerator Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY left hand refrigerator project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Socket/ratchet set