The best way to prevent stuff from rolling under your appliances ever again

This 10-minute project could save you a lot of aggravation.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read
how to prevent things from rolling under the fridge
Alina Bradford

Got a cat, dog or a small child? Then you're probably very familiar with small things rolling under and disappearing underneath large appliances.

Often, it's just easier to leave the toy under the appliance than moving a heavy load to retrieve it.

The best way to avoid this is to prevent things from going under appliances in the first place. You don't need to train your child or pet not to lose stuff under there, though. All you need is to block the object's access to the dark abyss of appliance land.

Contrary to some popular advice, don't roll up a towel to block the clearing. Some appliances, like refrigerators, need ventilation along the bottom to work properly. A towel can also be a fire hazard worse than the accumulated stuff.

Here is a better solution. You'll need: a roll of wire window screen, scissors and zip ties.

  1. Go to your home improvement store and purchase a roll of wire window screen and some zip ties.
  2. Measure the width of all of the sides of the appliance. Add the measurements together.
  3. Add 2 inches to the total.
  4. Cut a length of window screen that is as long as the total from step 3 and 3 inches wide. I suggest using your old scissors for this project because the wire can dull scissor blades.
  5. Wrap the window screen all the way around the bottom of your appliance like a belt.
  6. Thread zip ties through the screen to secure the ends together, as shown in the photo. You may need to punch holes in the screen with the tip of your scissors to get the zip ties through.
  7. If the band of screen obstructs the door of the appliance simple fold it over a little to accommodate the door.

The mesh is thin and practically invisible. To make it even more discreet, you can spraypaint it to match your appliance before you attach it.