The direction of your dryer door is something that most people never think about. Unless, of course, you think about it all the time. When your dryer opens the “wrong” direction, it affects you every single time you do laundry. Normally, this direction is determined by how the washer and dryer sit next to each other. Ideally, washer and dryer doors open away from each other, like a pair of French doors. If you have a top-load washer, you still want your dryer door to swing out away from the washer so you can more easily transfer clothes from one to the next.
Your Dryer Door Can Switch Directions
So what if your dryer door is facing the wrong direction for your current setup? What if your laundry nook definitely places the washer on one side, the dryer on the other, and the door is just plain inconvenient the direction it swings? We’ve got you covered. As it turns out, dryer doors are almost universally revers able. One-door fridges, too, we might add.
You can absolutely switch the direction that your dryer door opens, reversing the dryer door, just by moving the hinges and the handle. Allow us to walk you through this surprisingly simple process.
The following steps are not brand or model specific and cover similar fundamentals with most dryer door reversals.
Gather Your Supplies
- Phillips (cross) Screwdriver
- Putty Knife or Slot Screwdriver
- A Friend
It’s always best to gather your supplies before getting started. Fortunately, you only need two things for this repair, and you can make do with one: the screwdriver. In addition to needing a screwdriver for the task, you may also benefit from the help of a friend to hold the dryer door in place while you work. Fortunately, this repair is not electrical in nature, so you don’t even need to unplug the dryer or wear gloves. You don’t have to move the door switch, though some models are designed so that you can if you wish to.
Open the Dryer Completely
Start by opening your dryer door fully. You will need to do this to access the hinges, which are only visible on the inside. Pull your dryer open and swing the door wide, as far as it will go. For some dryers, this will be flat against the front panel, for others it may stop at a set angle. The point is that you can access the hinge hardware.
Remove the Hinge Screw Covers
If you can’t see the tops of screws yet, what you’re looking at is crew covers, or caps. These are small circular pieces of plastic that hide the screw tops. You will need to pry off these caps. If they don’t come up easily, then grab the putty knife or your slot screwdriver. Work an edge under the edge of each cap and flip them off like tiddly-winks. If the caps have a long cylinder, a rocking motion can help pull them out.
Extract All the Door Hinge Screws
Once the screws are exposed, you can easily remove them. Here is where our directions take two paths. If your dryer door clearly has a place for the hinges to be mounted on the other side (of the door itself) then remove every screw. Take the hinges completely off the door because you will be installing them on the other side.
If there is no infrastructure to swap the handle and the hinge to the other side, then only remove the screws that go into the dryer cabinet. Leave the hinge attached to the door.
Secure the Hinges on the Opposite Side of the Door
OR Flip the Door Upside-Down
Now it’s time to swap the hinge direction. If you are following the first path and fully removed your hinge, swap it to the other side now. Use the same screws and configuration to attatch the hinge to the holes on the other side of the door. Tighten them securely.
If you are following the second path and not moving the hinges, flip your door upside-down. It’s simple as that. Make it so the handle and hinges are on the opposite sides, but the outside of the door is still facing you.
Switch the Door Handle Side
If you moved your hinges, you will also need to move your door handle. Dryer door handles vary, but usually, they are just a plastic cup for your fingers with tabs on either side. The tabs fit into the door and hold the handle in place. Some models will also have screws securing the handle.
If there are screws, remove them. Then squeeze the door handle so that the tabs pull inward and remove the handle from the door. Switch the directions, find the slots on the other side, and squeeze the handle so that it fits into the slots. Let go, let the door handle expand. If there were screws, add them back in now.
Align and Secure the New Hinge Location
Have your friend hold the door with its new-direction hinges up at the right height and align the screw holes. This will make it much easier to properly apply the screws until they are secure enough for the door to hang on its own.
With the holes aligned, add the hinge screws back into place and secure them. Tighten the screws so that the hinge doesn’t sag.
Test Your Door
Congratulations! You have now changed the direction of your dryer door. No more running into the door when you’re doing laundry. No more door running into the washer when the machines are not aligned. No more bad workflow in your laundry room.
The final step is to make sure the door works properly. Open and close your dryer door. Then turn it on and make sure the door switch still stops the spin, showing that the dryer knows when the door is open or closed. With that confirmation, you are free to celebrate by doing all the laundry in the house.
—Some repairs are remarkably easy to do, and the benefit is immense. If you have more complex appliance repair needs, please feel free to contact us for the help of a professional technician.