I recently purchased a house with laundry machines in the kitchen. There exists this small divider between the fridge and washer/dryer stack that scrapes along the fridge door and prevents it from opening pretty widely. I'd like to remove it to give more space to the fridge door, but didn't know if there was any particular reason you'd need a divider between these two appliances. It doesn't seem structural for the cabinet as it's only attached to the floor and cabinet at the front as shown, is not fastened at the back, and doesn't even reach all the way up the the bottom of the cabinet. Is there any reason I might need to keep this divider?

Small wall between fridge and dryer

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  • 3
    Looks like the cabinet doors above the fridge were raised up to accommodate the fridge doors, while the cabinet door above the dryer wasn't—that would bug the heck out of me.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


Most dryers leak some dust and lint from cracks in the frame and at the joints of the vent pipe. The divider will help keep that lint from being sucked in and deposited on the fridge's cooling fins. On a French door fridge like yours, the fins are usually not exposed at the back but inside a panel and are not normally cleaned by the homeowner. An abnormal amount of dust and lint being deposited on them would cause poor performance and early failure.

So, you should keep the divider there and make sure it seals reasonably well against the back wall.

To avoid your problem you could cut a couple of inches off the front of the divider. But then, the right hand door will bang against the dryer, and will eventually be dented by it. The door should be able to open almost 180 degrees. It's a great feature, so to take advantage here is my suggestion:

  • Leave the panel and if it doesn't touch the back wall, fix that.
  • Push the washer/dryer as far back as possible. Investigate if the vent and hoses behind it can be arranged better so you can push it further back.
  • Pull the fridge forward, just enough that the door can open all the way without hitting the dryer.

If this arrangement came with the house it would be a good idea at this time to open the fridge's rear panel and if necessary clean the fins. You can do that yourself or get a handyman to do that, clean the dryer vent, and may as well do the gutters at the same time. Welcome home! :)

  • Still, there are ways to prevent dents while still permitting increased door opening.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 14:25
  • @Huesmann not sure what you mean? To open door fully, fridge must be at the right distance further out than dryer. I have a similar fridge, the fully open door would be mostly inside that dryer as they are currently configured.
    – jay613
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 23:29
  • I didn't say you'd be able to open the door fully, just that you could open it more than the current setup allows. Personally, I'd simply pull the fridge out from the wall a little more.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 14:55
  • @Huesmann yes exactly. It's that easy. Me, personally, I'd get a flat periscope vent pipe and 90-degree water hose connectors so I could push the cyclops in another few inches. If I could get it behind the divider I could put a louvered door on! But I know most people wouldn't go that far. I think OP could achieve it. That 2x4 on the right has got to be 36" from the back wall. Says my magic internet measuring powers.
    – jay613
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 16:26
  • Yeah, it's hard to tell whether either appliance is bottomed out against the wall.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 14:17

Your average refrigerator is designed to run in a warm room and still cool the inside sufficiently. There is insulation inside the fridge structure to help room heat stay out and keep the cool in. Additionally, the fridge's heat transfer happens at the bottom of the fridge, while the dryer is up top. I believe that the dryer may not interfere with the fridge's operation, or at least it will make the fridge run a little more.

The center panel has an L-bracket attaching it to the cabinet above. It is likely that this connection is merely to keep the panel centered in its place. However, there is a small possibility that the L-bracket allows the cabinet to be suspended (poorly) above the panel.

If you remove the L bracket and the cabinet bottom does not sink, you can probably safely adjust or remove the divider.

Here is a frame challenge, though: cut some stock off the back of the divider, and put it back in all the way back to the wall. Remove enough so the width of the divider is an inch or two (25-50 mm) less than the depth of the fridge case. The door should then fully open, and the divider can stay there to block heat from the dryer.

  • That cabinet does seem off a bit. It might not be mounted to the wall that much/well. There is also the support on the other end.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 19:19
  • 1
    The screws for one of the hinges on that cabinet are pulled loose, which is why that right most cabinet door is leaning, shouldn't be related to this divider. One more thing to fix =)
    – Travis
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 22:11

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