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Note: I apologize beforehand if my question lacks any necessary information. Repairing my own stuff is a new experience for me. I am happy to provide any additional information on request. If this question's already been asked in some form, I apologize. Close as duplicate, you know the drill.

I have a pair of what I'm assuming to be stripped screw holes on a newly-purchased dryer unit. I tried screwing them in initially with a power tool which I now know that was the wrong thing to do. When I try screwing in the screws manually, the screws get incredibly tight and won't go all the way in.
The holes are where the metal piece for the dryer door latches, so these screw holes are necessary. I tried using Woodmate's Mr. Grip Stripped Screw Hole Repair Kit, but there is no "back" in the holes to catch the strips, and the holes are so tiny that the strip I cut has a single row of teeth.

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Questions
First: Are the holes stripped? If so, what options do I have for fixing small stripped holes on a dryer unit? (I have no way of isolating the screw holes from the rest of the unit, at least without taking the whole dryer apart)
Second: If they are not stripped, what am I doing wrong? Other than using a power tool on the first attempt of screwing them in, that part was my fault. Is this something a beginner can fix?
Follow-up: Would it be okay to fill the holes with clay or putty or even melted solder and then try screwing the screw back in before the material dries? Or is that a recipe for disaster?

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Details
Dryer model: MED5630HW (stackable, square door)
Screw type: WPW10288126, T25, they are ~1/2 inches in length

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Background info:

I recently bought a new dryer and forgot to mention to the salesperson that the door would need to be flipped before delivery. I decided to do it myself.

I have the door flipped and attached to the dryer unit, but in the process I mistakenly stripped a couple of screw holes using a power tool. If I try manually screwing the screws in with a hand tool, they get stuck halfway.

I'm a beginner with DIY stuff (I shocked myself that I was able to flip the dryer door on my own), so I don't feel comfortable with re-threading the screw hole with a new screw because it's a new dryer. If it weren't new or it was something else, I wouldn't care and I'd consider it a learning experience if I mucked something up. I really don't want to make things worse.

Edit - pictures:
#1 - Problematic screw holes Problematic screw holes

#2 - Close up of one screw hole Close up of one screw hole

#3 - The door attachment that I'm trying to attach to my dryer, picture was taken before I started
Door attachment - prior to reversing the dryer door

  • Can you post a picture of the problem screw holes/door? – manassehkatz-Reinstate Monica Jul 16 at 23:49
  • Sure, give me a couple of minutes to transfer them from my phone. – Tiffany Jul 16 at 23:51
  • If the holes were stripped then the screws would never get tight. It sounds to me like you have screws which are too long or the wrong thread pitch (metric vs american "standard"). – brhans Jul 16 at 23:59
  • @brhans It's a possibility, but all of the torx screws should be the same since they're what came from the manufacturer, and there's nothing in the installation instructions that indicates the torx screws on the door are different. But FWIW, I did try to keep most of the screws in separate groups since I had to take apart three different things. – Tiffany Jul 17 at 0:05
  • Also, I tried using the screws in different holes either by hand or with a manual screwdriver, including the holes where the door attachment originated, and I had no issue. I tried different screws. Unfortunately, I don't have a reference point for the problematic screw holes of their tightness with a manual screwdriver prior to when I tried screwing them in with my power tool. :/ – Tiffany Jul 17 at 0:06
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Based on the comment thread, your screws are not damaged excessively. This means you can take the good screws to a local hardware store and ask for a matching tap to clean or re-tap the threads in the door. The hardware store person should find a nut to fit the screw, identifying the thread as metric or SAE and then match the tap tool accordingly.

For a one-off task such as this, you can get away without a tap handle. Use an adjustable wrench set to match the flats on the tap, place the tap in the hole and attempt to start the cutting threads to match the probably-damaged threads in the dryer wall. Because the threads were there previously, you won't have to use the forward half-turn, backwards quarter-turn practice used for tapping a drilled hole. A bit of lubricant would be useful, a light oil or even motor oil. The image below is an arbitrary selection from Amazon.

tapping tool

Once the tap spins with minimal effort, back it out and your screws will fit again.

  • I will try this out tomorrow, thank you! If it works out, I will mark as answer. – Tiffany Jul 17 at 0:54
  • Fred's path is likely best. If it fails, remember pop rivets: duckduckgo.com/… – Wayfaring Stranger Jul 17 at 3:04
  • @WayfaringStranger, your comment also brings to mind a more expensive, more permanent solution known as rivnuts. Threaded inserts which are expanded in place in the same manner as pop rivets, but leaving behind a threaded hole. I was aiming for an economic answer and neglected that option. – fred_dot_u Jul 17 at 14:17
  • It worked! :) I bought a handle with the bit since it is my first time trying it and I didn't want to mess it up. The holes are re-threaded and the screws went in with a manual screwdriver no problem. Thanks again. – Tiffany Jul 17 at 18:14

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