How to Repair a Refrigerator Door That Isn't Closing

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Door seal
Soap and water
Baby powder
Hair dryer
Dollar bill

If your refrigerator door is leaking air, it can wreak havoc on your electric bill. While there are many parts of a fridge that seem too complicated to fix for the average homeowner, replacing the refrigerator door seal is a fairly easy do-it-yourself job that can save you money.

Step 1 - Inspect the Liner

Before you order your new seal, take a quick moment to inspect the door liner under the seal. If the liner is cracked you will need to replace that as well, as the door seal will not seal properly

Step 2 - Size and Buy the New Seal

Refrigerator door seals can be found at almost any major home improvement or hardware store. You can also find them online. Buy a factory seal that will fit your brand of refrigerator. Be sure you write down the correct model number before you make the purchase. When it comes time to repair, make sure that you have the right part by holding it up against the old door seal and making sure they are the same size.

Step 3 - Clean the Area

The inside of a refrigerator.

As with any project involving sealing, make sure that all the surfaces you are working with are clean by using warm, soapy water. You may also want to soak the new seal in hot water to make it more flexible when it’s time to install. Make sure all surfaces are dry before proceeding.

Step 4 - Install the Seal

Make sure the refrigerator is level.

Loosen the screws by lifting the edges of the seal. These screws hold the liner and the seal together. Loosen just a few at a time. Do not take the screws out all the way out, as this will allow the door liner to fall out and make more work for you.

Pull the old gasket out. It should easily slide out from behind the plastic liner.

Attach the new gasket by slipping the small lip of the new door seal behind the plastic liner. Once you start attaching the seal you can start tightening the screws. Do not tighten them all the way. It is best to start in the corners. Check the alignment as you continue to tighten the screws, as well as checking that the seal is straight.

Rub some baby powder around the hinge corners of the door seal and where the seal slides to prevent sticking.

Small gaps and wrinkles will generally work themselves out over a few days, but can sometimes be removed with a hair dryer.

Step 5 - Check Your Work

To test your seal, use the dollar bill test. Close the refrigerator door on a dollar bill and gently pull. You should feel a slight resistance as you try to remove the dollar bill from the seal. Repeat this around the door. If you do not feel a slight pull on the dollar, the door is not sealing properly.