How to clean your refrigerator door gasket seal

Your Fridge Gasket Needs TLC to Keep Bills Down and Food Fresh

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Ever wondered why your fridge isn’t as cold inside as it should be? The culprit might be lurking around the edges of your refrigerator door. Literally. When your fridge gasket doesn’t seal properly, it can cause all sorts of issues.

You don’t need to be a repair technician or handy to test if your fridge door is sealing properly. It’s something I do every time I clean my fridge or kitchen. So, stick around and I’ll share the signs you need to, how to do it, and how easy it is to clean your fridge gasket to keep sealing well.

Signs Your Fridge Door Gasket is Failing

Knowing the signs your refrigerator’s seal is failing can help you spot problems early on. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Temperature fluctuations: If your fridge isn’t staying cold, the gasket might be the culprit.
  • Visible damage: Cracks or tears call for a new one.
  • Condensation: Water droplets around the door mean cold air is escaping.
  • Door issues: If the fridge door doesn’t shut well, feels loose or opens too easily.
  • Spoiled food: Food going bad quickly is a warning sign.
  • Frost build-up: Excessive frost in the freezer can mean warm air is getting in.

A Quick Fridge Gasket Test

If you suspect your gasket is failing, try the paper test to check it: close a dollar bill or piece of paper in the door. Repeat on all sides. If you can slide it around or pull it out easily, your fridge door gasket isn’t expanding fully to ensure a good seal.

Before you call the repair techs, clean it using the steps below. You might be surprised how often cleaning can “fix” things.

How to Clean Your Fridge Gasket

  1. Clear a path: Open the fridge door and move things back on the shelves so you’ve got room to work.
  2. Wipe: Use a warm, soapy rag to gently wipe the seal all the way around the door.
  3. Clean the folds: Using your fingers, gently pry open the folds in the rubber seal and wipe between them. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or cotton swab on stubborn grime.
  4. Rinse: Go over the same areas with a clean, damp rag to remove soapy residue that can also interfere with the seal.
  5. Disinfect: Use a disinfecting wipe or a cloth dampened with hydrogen peroxide to wipe the seal, including between the folds.
  6. Dry and inspect: Grab a clean, dry cloth and go over the areas you’ve cleaned. Repeat the paper test after cleaning to know if you need a new fridge door gasket or not.

Pro Tip

Cleaning a fridge door gasket is such an easy process but it has a big impact on utility costs and food bills. So I do it when I’m cleaning the kitchen, right after I check for expired foods.

Fridge Gasket Maintenance Tips

  • Routine cleaning: Clean the gasket every month to prevent mold and mildew.
  • Coat the gasket: A very thin layer of petroleum jelly, olive or coconut oil can keep the rubber soft and pliable.
  • Be gentle: Don’t tug on the seal when you’re cleaning or drying it, or you may pull it out of place.

Now check out my tips about organizing your fridge to make the most of this space.

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