How to Repair or Replace Your Refrigerator Gasket Seal

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If your fridge isn’t staying cold, one of the most common causes is the sealing gasket. The gasket on your fridge is the strip of white or black rubber that runs along the inside edge of the door. It seals the fridge closed so the cold can’t escape and your food stays cool. When there’s something wrong with your gasket, it will need to either be cleaned and reinstalled or replaced with a new fridge gasket.

This repair is relatively simple and requires no electrical work. But you might want to turn off/unplug your fridge while you work to save power and avoid a literal cold shoulder. You’ll be working with the fridge door open.

Supplies

Gather the supplies you’ll need to work with the gasket. If you already know you are replacing the gasket, follow option B. Otherwise, try Option A first and see where it takes you.

  • Screwdriver (See Step 3)
  • Option A: Sponge & Soapy Water
  • Option B: New Fridge Gasket
  • Vaseline
  • Paper Towel or Cloth

Step1: Open the Door

Open your fridge door to find the seal on the inside edge of the door. If it is dirty, twisted, or hard to the touch than it is very likely the cause of your problem.

Step 2: Lift the Seal

The seal will consist of a fold at the edge and a long flap facing inward. Lift the flap from the inner edge to reveal the fridge door and screw fasteners beneath.

Step 3: Get the Right Kind of Screwdriver

Look at the screws to identify what kind of screwdriver you need. Fridge models vary widely in this regard so you might need a Phillip’s, Slot, or Hex screwdriver to do the job.

Some designs will not even have screws as the gasket simply presses into the grooves on the door. So skip step 4 if that is the case.

Step 4: Loosen Screws Around Fridge Edge (Do Not Remove)

Loosen every screw underneath the gasket flat, but do not fully remove them. These screws are more like clamps than wood screws and the gasket will be loose enough to remove.

Step 5: Pull Old Seal Loose and Discard

Carefully pull the gasket away all the way around the fridge door. It should pull away in your hands. If it sticks, loosen the screw further. If it is stiff, tug a little more firmly.

Step 6: Wash and Inspect

With the gasket fully removed from the door, it’s time to decide whether or not to replace the part. Wash your old gasket with soapy water and dry it to inspect. If it is deformed, damaged, or cracked, then throw it out and install a new one with Step 7B. If it is simply dry and hard, try Step 7A first.

Step 7A: Polish and Reinstall

Use the vaseline to polish and remoisturize the rubber gasket. Rubber and synthetic rubber are absorbent and respond to oil similarly to wood. Vaseline will help an old rubber gasket become springy and sealant again, and will improve the airtight quality of the seal.

Then reinstall the treated gasket by fitting it into the door and re-tightening the screws.

Step 7B: Install New Gasket

If you have thrown out the old gasket, unpackage a new one and treat it with vaseline. This will improve the quality of the seal and potentially increase the time before it dries out. Fit the edges of the new gasket into the door the same way the old one was attached. Then retighten the fastening screws to secure it into place.

Step 8: Test the Seal

Finally, take a step back to open and close the fridge door a few times. See if it feels like a good, firm seal that takes some effort to break. If so, you have done a good job.

—-If your fridge repair problem is more troublesome than a door gasket or the gasket is only the beginning, contact us today! Our team of repair experts can help you get your fridge back into ship-shape.

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