I would like to attach a clasp/latch to the side of my fridge/freezer, so that I can tell when it is closed at a glance, and to make closing it a concious effort.

The fridge is from some time in the 90s (maybe even 80s), and is 4th hand (I know its last 4 owners). I just want to squeeze a few more months/years out of it.

I initially attached it with hot-glue, but that came off when I forgot it was there and opened the latched door. I moved up to superglue, which has the same thing happen when my mother-in-law opened the door.

So next up would be to drill a hole and use pop-rivets to hold it inplace once and for all. But I am not sure what is actually inside the fridge wall? Is it safe to drill a hole in the side? Will it damage the fridge/freezer -- assuming on don't penetrate the inner layer.

Does the same hold for the door?

My other option is to use 2 part epoxy resin / Araldite. Though I would rather rivets.

  • 2
    You could hit the heating elements (yes, heating elements) around the edge of the door opening. And a "latch" on a refrigerator does indeed bring the reason we don't have those anymore right to mind as a reason not to. If a relatively small, weak person was inside the fridge, would they be able to push the door open, or would they suffocate?
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 5:10
  • Ecnerwal: Can you expand that into an answer? That is much more an answer than a comment. (Also, unlike the ill fated locks of past, the latch I have can only be closed from outside, and even then is kinda fiddly) Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 6:53

4 Answers 4


Do not drill. I did, big mistake. Did not drill deep, and drilling was not the demise of the fridge. I used short sheet metal screws. First two went ok. The third offset screw punctured a line. Had the Company not insisted it be done Right Now, I would research alternative applications. Marine lock made by 3-M company, sells adhesive pads with cable to padlock door shut. Reviews we're all good. Just look up marine lock for fridge. NO HAPPY DRILLING HERE !


Drilling into side is not safe. A coolant tube may or may not be there, but you will mess up the thermal insulation for sure, creating dew point and similar problems. Those may not manifest within few months, but the risk of letting the genie out is simply too big.

Use a double-sided foam tape, the kind that's used to secure towel hooks to ceramic tiles. It's sold in rolls for eg mounting mirrors. If you use sufficiently large area (like 5x10cm), it will actually have MORE strength than rivets, because a rivet is not very strong in a thin sheet, while the foam tape will distribute the load evenly. Just make sure that the surface is degreased and cleaned thoroughly and that the part holding the door wraps around and is glued to the front of the door, because there simply is not enough area on the side of the door for any firm grip.

A rather extreme idea is to use a lock that wraps around whole thing, like a ratchet strap. In this case, the glue would only serve to keep the lock at proper height, and once locked it would keep the thing impossible to open. Just make sure it's routed properly at the back and not putting stress on fragile parts like heatsink (eg route it under the heatsink).

You may want to consider removing the original handle and attaching a new handle that will hold quite weakly and is easily reattached, to serve as a "fuse" in case of someone forgetting it's locked.

/edit: Look here for the general idea. One pad on the front of the door, one on the side of the main body, uses "3M VHB adhesive pads" for installation.

  • How do you address making sure someone doesn't get trapped inside with the ratchet strap idea? Commented May 19, 2017 at 12:17
  • @ThreePhaseEel By the virtue of fact that OP has kind of lock that requires conscious effort to close it. But if he manages to lock The Thing inside, a wrap-around would make sure it stays in : )
    – Agent_L
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 12:21
  • 2
    @ThreePhaseEel the getting trapped inside risk comes from locks that "click" shut when closed, but require a button (or lever etc) to be pushed to open. Which means someone one their own could become closed inside. Where as for a clasp like I was looking at, or for a sliding bolt, or for a ratchet strap, it requires action on the outside to both lock, and unlock it. Commented May 20, 2017 at 3:41
  • If I read the question right, it isn't about sealing it shut, it's about a latching mechanism to provide a positive way to ensure it's shut when it's shut and to be able to tell at a glance whether it's properly shut.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 19:18

As the other answers have addressed the title question, let's look at your scenario: You want closing/latching your refrigerator to be an explicit matter.

Have you looked into child safety locks? The adhesive-mounted ones such as this are quite effective, in my experience.

If you're not comfortable with adhesives, combine these mounting magnets with a bungee cord. I've used used that company's mounting magnets (with a machine screw, not eyehook) to hold a DSLR to the top of a car moving down the highway, and can attest to their strength.

A temperature alarm such as this would also be very effective at the underlying issue--ensuring your fridge's content remains cool, and alerting you when it isn't.


Sure, I don't see why not. All the AC coils are behind and underneath but I'd use sheet metal screws (no chance of penetrating the inner wall) as I'm not a fan of rivets. Inside the fridge wall it's just full of spray foam. Puncturing the inner wall is more of an aesthetic concern then worrying you might be causing some giant loss in efficiency. Consider adhering magnetic strips along the door seal. Or level the fridge so that it leans back a little and gravity will close the door.

I hope your going to use a clasp that doesn't 'lock': Refrigerator death.

  • the sheet metal screws are good, however if the panels on the fridge are really thin, then rivets would be better. I highly doubt an old guy like that uses cheap, thin panels though!
    – Hightower
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 6:33
  • My fridge has coils at the sides. Drilling would be a quite sure way to kill it -1.
    – Agent_L
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 12:02
  • @Agent_L - I'm guessing your fridge isn't white (not that the OP said his was, but I'd bet you $100 it is, or at least not black or stainless, which I'd bet yours is), fourth hand, or from the 80s.
    – Mazura
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 0:57
  • @Mazura Mine is from 2013 and it's white and unimpressive. I'd call it a budget model, because of it's "budget" width of mere 45cm. My point is that drilling in the sides without consideration could be dangerous, and questions on SE are meant to help more people than just OP. I think you could mention existence of models with side coils and that before drilling the sides one should check if there actually isn't anything vital there. That would make this answer applicable to more cases. Hiding coils is pretty straightforward mechanically so I wouldn't discount it by age alone.
    – Agent_L
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 12:58

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