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How Much Weight Can a Refrigerator Shelf Hold?

Refrigerator shelves look sturdy but just how much weight can a refrigerator shelf hold? The answer to this question is quite simple. While all fridges are not the same in terms of their shape and size, the shelves are a consistent similarity between them. When it comes to weight limitations all fridges share similar results. To better assess the weight results a refrigerator shelf can hold, a little more needs to be explored first!

How Much Weight Can a Refrigerator Shelf Hold?

In general, refrigerator shelves can hold upwards of 50lbs. More specifically, the 50lbs applies directly to full-scale shelf areas. Half-scale shelf areas, which are obviously smaller in size, are recommended to only support up to 25lbs. 

That is a considerable amount of weight! While the technology behind a refrigerator has evolved over the years, the shelves have maintained their strength expectations throughout the years.

This is especially great for larger families who need all the shelf space they can get. But knowing how much weight a refrigerator shelf can hold is only part of the bigger picture. To really put the weight limit of a refrigerator shelf into perspective, a distinctive example is needed.

One of the easiest examples to use for putting shelf weight into perspective is a holiday meal. This is especially true for those hosting a large family dinner. But even for those who are not, most holiday meals add up in weight.

Most holiday meals will have the star of the show: the turkey or the ham. Most turkeys for a holiday dinner will be somewhere between 15 to 20lbs. Some birds can even weigh in around 25 to 30lbs.

Those hosting larger family dinners for this event may need more than one turkey, so double those weights up! Between thawing, brining, marinating, and holding leftovers. The shelves in a fridge are put to the test during a holiday meal. Side dishes should be considered as well.

While holiday meals only happen a few times a year, they still prove the sturdiness of refrigerator shelves. For perspective throughout the rest of the year, a great example includes gallon jugs of milk or juices.

We blindly grab our gallons of milk or juice while grocery shopping without putting much thought into their actual weight. It is extremely common to just refer it as a "gallon". But when assessing the actual weight of these jugs of milk or juice, they can weigh up 8.5lbs.

This is dependant upon what their contents are as well. Whole milk will weigh more than skim milk etc. Either way, a couple of these in the fridge will start adding up.

Can the Shelves in a Fridge Crack or Break?

Nothing is completely safe from being broken, so yes, a shelf in a refrigerator can break. 

Depending on how the break transpires will determine whether or not it is able to be saved. While refrigerator shelves are built to last, they can break. If the break is severe enough to create a complete crack or separation of the shelf, the shelf will need to be replaced.

This type of break has compromised the integrity of the shelf and it will no longer be able to be used.

For cracks that appear in the plastic or glass, depending on how severe they are will determine how they can be fixed. Some cracks in glass or plastic may not be worth trying to fix.

They can still provide support even with minor cracks within their surface. Think about a windshield for example that may have a tiny hole that has not penetrated deep enough to spread into a crack.

While that example is extreme, as a windshield should be repaired eventually, it proves that if it is not quite deep enough, it may be alright to let go for a while. Other cracks that appear can be remedied by clear resin smoothed out over the crack and left to dry.

What are Cantilever Shelves in a Fridge?

In short, cantilever shelves are adjustable shelving units with stationary metal brackets attached to the back of the fridge. This allows for support for all shelves.

They take on the form of slots where the shelves slide into during their adjustments. This feature gives way to optimizing space within the refrigerator. 

The weight limitations that apply to non-cantilever shelves also apply to these types of shelves. While the metal brackets do supply support (and are usually tested for around 35lbs per cubic feet), the shelves themselves are still able to withstand around 50lbs of weight.

Non-cantilever shelves are still supported by some sort of bracket. However, what makes cantilever shelves stand out is that they usually uniform in shape throughout the whole refrigerator.

This is to say that they create the slots for optimizing space from the bottom shelves up. This fluid look has its appeal and it could be argued that they are more spacious than regular shelving in fridges. This could be a matter of opinion but overall, cantilever shelves will hold taller objects a bit better than traditional shelving.

How Do You Paint a Refrigerator Rack?

The best approach to painting a refrigerator rack or shelf is to use good quality spray paint. 

This is only recommended for refrigerator racks or shelves that are made of sturdy metal. Over time, these shelves become chipped away or even rusted in the case of really old refrigerators.

It is not recommended to paint glass or acrylic plastic shelves. When it comes to an old refrigerator rack or shelf, epoxy spray paint is the best route to go. This type of spray paint provides a waterproof coating. This type of spray paint also brings vibrant color to old racks and hardens to into resin to give a solid look to the rack.

As with any paint project, there is a little prep work and drying time involved. This ensures that the paint will stick properly and dries thoroughly so that the paint job was not done in vain. Below are some simple steps to brightening up and giving new life to any old refrigerator rack.

  • Remove the racks to be painted from the fridge.
  • Take them outside so there is plenty of ventilation to use the spray paint.
  • Using a garden hose, spray the racks down to rinse them off thoroughly. If no hose is available, use a bucket and scrub brush. The addition of dish soap can be used to aid in the removal of any dirt or debris.
  • Allow to fully dry.
  • A spray paint primer should be used as this binds the spray paint to the surface in which it is being sprayed onto. Apply this first, one side at a time. This ensures nothing is missed by quick spraying. Allow each side to fully dry.
  • Next, using the epoxy spray paint, apply the spray paint to one side at a time. Once again, this is to ensure proper coats are being applied evenly. While waiting for each side to dry is a bit time consuming, the overall results are always worth it.

After allowing the shelves to fully dry, they are ready to be put back into the fridge.

Their new coating will ready to take on any shelf weight tossed at it! While the time to do this seems like a lot, spray paint is simply the easiest way to upgrade these old racks and shelves. It applies easily and gets into all those cracks and crevices of the racks.

While it is not recommended to paint glass or acrylic plastic shelves, there are some solutions to sprucing up their look as well. Contact shelving paper can be used in the fridge. These come in so many colors and designs and can help keep refrigerator shelves clean and tidy. Applying them is simple. Ensure the shelf is cleaned and fully dry. Cut the contact paper to fit the shelve and press it onto the shelf, adhesive side down.

How Much Weight Can a Kenmore Refrigerator Shelf Hold?

Kenmore refrigerator shelves hold about the same amount of weight as other refrigerator shelving units. Once again, this weight limit is suggested to not exceed more than 50lbs. More specifically, Kenmore shelves even set the bar a little lower by suggested no more than 45lbs.

The name brand of a refrigerator does not imply the shelves will be any more durable than other refrigerator models. In fact, as stated throughout this article, the shelves are pretty consistent with their weight limitations.

Refrigerators are designed to be reliable for holding chilled foods. With consistency in their weight limits, the shelves can hold up to anything. This can truly give people peace of mind when shopping for a fridge or even those questioning the strength of their fridge shelves.

Knowing it will uphold to keeping mostly anything leaves more room for shopping for other features. These can include design, space, smart fridges, etc.

What are Refrigerator Shelves Made Of?

Primarily, refrigerator shelves can be made of metal racking (typically in older models), acrylic plastic, or tempered glass. This is to maintain their reputation for durability.

Moreover, their composition can include plastics made of polypropylene and polystyrene. This combination helps them be strongholds for the items they will house.

While plastic is generally frowned upon, the usage in fridge construction proves to be quite beneficial. Apart from their overall strength, these plastics are easier to clean and can even help with insulation properties meaning cooler foods.

On the other side of the spectrum, tempered glass shelves are also popular choices. Tempered glass shelves are glass that has been reinforced to provide stronger surfaces. Most people associate tempered glass with things like phone screen protectors. While it can be used for this purpose, there are fridges with tempered glass shelves in them.

Mime Petit

A home appliance enthusiast and creative writer.

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