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How to Remove Door Handles on a Whirlpool Refrigerator

Removing door handles from a Whirlpool refrigerator isn’t a complicated task. With a hex wrench and a bit of determination, you’ll find you can loosen the hex screws and lift off the handles with little effort.

How to Remove Door Handles on a Whirlpool Refrigerator

Every model of refrigerator manufactured by Whirlpool today offers removable door handles as part of its design.  This is a practical option for customers as they are able to remove the handles for a thorough cleaning, to squeeze the fridge through a small doorway, or to remove or replace a door handle that is damaged.

This simple job requires only a screwdriver or hex key, also called an Allen wrench, usually around 3/32-inch or 1/8-inch.  The Whirlpool Refrigerator Owner's Manual might be useful because it includes diagrams, but it's not necessary to complete the task.

Things You Will Need

  • Hex wrench or screwdriver, depending on refrigerator model
  • Owner’s manual (optional)   
  • Painter’s tape (optional)
  1. Place painter's tape on the surface of the refrigerator next to the screws on the handle. The tape will help protect the finish from scratches from the wrench or screwdriver.
  2. Insert the hex key or screwdriver into the top screw on the side of the refrigerator handle. While holding the handle securely, loosen the screw by turning it in a counterclockwise direction. You may have to open the other door on two-door models for the best access.
  3. Loosen the bottom screw in the same fashion. Remove the handle once both screws are loose, and it moves freely away from the door.
  4. Repeat the same process for removing the handle on the opposite door. Place detached handles in a secure place if you plan on reattaching them. If your Whirlpool refrigerator is stainless steel, pay particular attention to the sharp edges of the door handles and the unforgiving finish of your fridge, and put the handles a safe distance away.
  5. Tip

    If you’ve misplaced your Whirlpool owner’s manual, you can find it online or obtain a hard copy from Whirlpool or the appliance store that sold you the refrigerator. Keep the screws together with the screwdriver or hex wrench in a safe place for reattaching the handles later. If you are removing the handles on your refrigerator to replace them, be sure to have the exact make and model available when you contact Whirlpool or your appliance store to order replacements. You may ultimately decide you don't have the time or patience to tackle this project on your own. If you are removing the refrigerator handles because they are damaged and need to be replaced, your local appliance dealer most likely has service people available to come to your home, remove the damaged handles, and install the new set.

    Warning

    Empty the refrigerator doors of all food and other refrigerated items before starting this project. Doing so will make the doors lighter and less likely to open on you while you're removing the handles.

Things You Will Need

  • Hexagon wrench set

Tip

  • To replace the handle, insert the ends of the handle onto the screws attached to the door, then replace the hex nuts and tighten to secure. When the nuts are tight, turn one additional one-quarter turn with the hexagon wrench.

About the Author

Jess Jones worked for a real estate broker in both listing, assessing, and helping to flip residential properties for several years while attending graduate school. After obtaining her own real estate license, she took a position working for a custom home builder. Jones worked closely with clients in finalizing plans, making specific selections for each new build, and helping to solve problems in the building process. She holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in English.