How to Repair Oven Door Latches
The oven door is one of the most vulnerable areas of the oven, and the door latches in particular may become damaged or simply worn out through regular use. You may find that your latch will no longer close as tightly as it did without a little pressure, and then you will find that the door is sometimes swinging open after you thought it was closed. These are all signs that your oven door latches need to be repaired before they have to be discarded completely. You can call in a repair man at this point, and pay for the latches to be fixed, or you can try to mend them yourself. If you are willing to try the latter, following a few simple steps might help you in the right direction.
Step 1 - Clean the Latch
The oven can often get quite dirty after use, and while people often clean their ovens immediately after cooking, most of them forget to clean the latches at the same time. One of the biggest causes of oven door latch problems is simply dirt and grease. This can get between the sides of a latch, and cause it to stick, or it can get into the reciprocal latch hole, where it stops the penetrating piece from entering fully. Thoroughly wipe the latch with dish soap on a damp cloth. Depress the latch, and remove any signs of dirt that you can see, and then pull it all the way out and wipe the sides. Do the same with the hole bracket on the oven itself, make sure that there is nothing in the gap which would stop the latch from staying in the hole. Once you have cleaned the door fully, leave to dry before trying again.
Step 2 - Remove and Reset the Hinges
If the cleaning has not worked, then you may need to try removing and resetting the oven door hinges, Sometimes the door can get moved slightly out of true, and this can affect the connection of latch and hole. Begin by unscrewing the hinges, then take the door and lay it flat on the floor. Use your pliers to tug the hinges until you see the hole at the top. You must insert a nail to prevent the hinges from closing again, and then replace the door on the oven. Screw the hinges into their spaces, and then remove the nail. Try the latch again to see if it will take this time.
Step 3 - Replace the Latch
If you are still having problems with the latch, contact your oven maker and ask them to send a replacement part. Unscrew the old one from its base, and then insert the new one. With this new latch, you should find that there is no more problem with sticking and failing to close, but this is a last resort.