How To Fix A Cracked Plastic Refrigerator Shelf

Most parts in your refrigerator are made from strong plastic, including shelves, but they still get damaged. Small cracks can be fixed with simple tools, and unbroken shelves glue back together. 

Furthermore, brands often go out of style, which makes finding replacement parts nearly impossible, and tape only holds the shelf for so long. Repair your refrigerator shelf by following these directions.

Prepare to Work

To fix the shelf, you need:

  • rags 
  • old toothbrush
  • spray bottle or small container
  • liquid dish soap
  • acetone
  • toothpicks 
  • scissors
  • utility knife (optional)
  • sandpaper 
  • putty knife
  • bar clamps
  • one-inch metal mending plates
  • acrylic bonding cement or epoxy glue  
  • three sheets of 1/16 inch thick polycarbonate (optional)

Disconnect the power cord to the unit. Remove the damaged shelf, since repair material shouldn't be used around food, or empty the shelves. 

Set the shelf in a sink or tub. Mix several drops of dish soap in sixteen ounces of hot water in a spray bottle or small container. Mist the shelf or pour the mixture on the shelf, use the toothbrush to scrub the crack.

Rinse, and let the shelf dry, or speed drying by dabbing it with a rag or towel. If you taped the shelf, clean the residue with acetone. 

Fix a Crack with Epoxy

Sand the crack area lightly, and wipe sand dust. If the shelf is together, push one side up and the other side down to slightly divide the crack. Use scissors or a utility knife to cut the tip of the epoxy glue to make a one-eighth inch opening, and mix enough glue to cover the crack.

For a cracked shelf, bend to expose the jagged edges, and use a toothpick to apply epoxy tube along one edge. Press the pieces together for thirty seconds, and wipe extra glue with a rag. Attach a clamp in the center, and let the shelf dry overnight.

Glue Two Broken Shelf Pieces Together

Clean each broken shelf piece with dish soap. Push the pieces together to see if they fit evenly. Apply the epoxy on one edge using a toothpick, dab extra glue, and clamp the center of the pieces. 

Let the glue dry overnight, then glue one plate to the center and two plates to within an inch of both sides. Let the glue cure. 

Repair a Crack with Acrylic Cement

To apply acrylic bonding cement, pour the cement in the applicator until it reaches half-way. Squeeze the applicator until the cement raises close to the top. 

Run a thin layer of solvent along one crack edge, and let it stand for half an hour. For large cracks, cut a piece of one-sixteenth inch polycarbonate about one-half inch larger than the crack with the utility knife, add cement around the edges, then let it dry.