Refrigerator Door Gasket Replacement (or How to replace a door seal)

Some people think that installing a refrigerator gasket is a difficult job. It could be somewhat strenuous but with a few tips it’s definitely doable. Most of the time, gaskets come in special packages which are designed to be acceptable for shipment and at the same time provide decreased deformity. Although, deformity does occur, there are easy ways of bringing the gasket back to its original shape (see “Restoring Deformed Gaskets” at the bottom of this post). 

Pre-Installing Tips for Magnetic Gaskets

  • Wipe off the cabinet area surrounding the gasket and any food stuck under your old gasket.
  • Make sure the new gasket is at room temperature before removing it from the package.
  • When handling the gasket, carry it by the corners to make sure that there is no damage done to the internal magnetic tape.
  • If your rerfrigerator is using a three sided magnetic gasket, always install the new gasket as the old gasket was removed.

Removing and Installing Tips (Magnetic Gaskets)

  • Before removing your old gasket, take a look at how it is secured. You can do that by pulling back on the edge of the gasket.

Method A (Retainer Mount)

  1. If metal retainers are used, loosen the screws across top and half way down each side. Don’t loosen the screws too much. Just enough to allow the gasket to be pulled out of the retainer. Begin removing the gasket starting at the top, then each side showing where the screws are still secure.
  2. Start installing the new gasket at the top by sliding the lip of the gasket under the retainer until you reach the point at where the old gasket is still attached.
  3. Tighten the screws onto the new gasket up on top and on the sides. Leave about 2 screws untightened to the old gasket.
  4. Loosen the rest of the screws to the old gasket and remove it.
  5. Finish installing the new gasket.
  • After you finish installing the gasket, close the door to check for alignment. If you need to re-align the gasket, slightly loosen all the screws and flex the door in opposite direction to assure proper door seal contact when closed. When the aligment is right, grasp edge of door about mid-way and slowly open door as to not warp. Re-tighten all of the screws.
  • On some doors the hinge side seal might start to roll as it closes against the cabinet shell. If that happens, petroleum jelly is used on hinge side of the gasket surface to help the gasket slide into place. It can also be applied to the gasket to help with this problem.

Method B (Panel Mount)

  1. If metal retainers are not used, the above steps can be followed. However, the screws or clips have to be removed as opposed to lightly loosened on the retainer mount style.
  2. Replace the gasket the same way discussed above by removing the old gasket from the top and installing the new gasket without fully removing the old gasket.
  3. Loosen the rest of the screws to the old gasket and remove it.
  4. Finish installing the new gasket.

Installing a Non-Magnetic Gasket

  • Non-Magnetic gaskets designs are used on mechanical latch type doors. Follow the same installation methods as A or B.

Remeber to allow the new gasket to reach room temperature before removing it from the pacakage and always carry it by the corners to avoid breakage of the magnetic tape.

Restoring Deformed Gaskets

If you find your gasket to be deformed from storage, you can correct it by applying heat to the deformed sections. Some things you can use are as follows:

  • Hair dryer
  • Electric heater
  • Light bulb (150-300 watt)
  • Pan of hot water

Move the source of heat back and forth over the deformed part of the gasket to make sure there is even warmth. Be sure to maintain a distance of 3 to 4 inches between the gasket and the heat source. Keep applying heat until the gasket gets back to its original shape. Using your hands to reshape the gasket can help too.

Helpful Links:
- Find the right refrigerator door gasket for your model.

15 Comments For This Post

  1. Paul E Rowley Says:

    Is there any way to refresh the magnet on the refridgerator door gasket

  2. ApplianceJournal Says:

    No, not really. Refrigerator door gasket magnets were not meant to be very strong though. So, if you have a problem with the door not sealing properly, it could be due to a couple of reasons: 1. the rubber gasket is cracked. 2. door hinges are bent or misaligned.

    Check the entire gasket for cracks, then try the “dollar test”:

    Test the door gasket for leaks by placing a dollar bill between the gasket and the door jamb and closing the door. Pull the bill out. If it offers some resistance, chances are the gasket fits properly. If the bill comes right out, or falls out, the gasket is faulty and should be replaced. Test the gasket at several locations around the door (every 6-8 inches or so).

    Hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Grace Clark Says:

    I replaced my refrigerator door gasket Saturday, and it is not sealing properly on the bottom right hand side. I have checked the alignment, and the door is level. Im not sure what else I should do. I used a hair dryer until the gasket was “fluffed out” but its still not wanting to seal unless I push it in with my foot. Any suggestions? Thank you.

  4. Brain722 Says:

    To Grace,
    The door is slightly warped. You didn’t say which sied of the door…if it’s the hinge side..you’ll have to remove the door and “flatten” it. If it is the handle side then just open the door slightly. Put a small block of wood between the door gasket and refrig and close the door just enough to hold the wood in place. Now place your foot at the lower corner where the problem is (on your bottom right of your refrig) Hold your foot at that corner and at the same time pull back gently towards you the top right hand side of the door. You may have to do this several times to get it right. Sometimes a quick yank will do it to. Take itt easy though. Refrig doors are usually made of very light sheet metal and can be dented very easily.
    Hope this helps…

  5. Grace Clark Says:

    Thanks, I didn’t think to try that! It did work for the side (handle side), however now the top has a gap between the door and fridge. I don’t get it. Im starting to think maybe there is no magnet up there or maybe it got damaged? Maybe the door needs to be adjusted?? How do you adjust the door? The only hinges I see, or what I think are hinges, don’t seem to want to move at all. If only I were rich and could just go out and get a new fridge……

  6. Matt Daugherty Says:

    How long does something like this take?

  7. Adam D Says:

    Thanks for the tips. I was having a similar problem and it turns out the door was a bit warped. A little elbow grease and it closes fine.
    Lets see how long that lasts!

  8. Lisa Says:

    Purchased a Whirlpool refrigerator Model No. ET6WSKXSTO2 from a yard sale and it works fine but cannot get the door aligned correctly. top seal that is horizontal on fridge door has a small gap that appears to me is not a seal problem. It’s off like 1/4 inch. So the cold air is escaping. Help me please!

  9. leekolb Says:

    I purchased a replacement gasket for our Kenmore refrigerator. Its model number indicates it was made by GE. There are no screws visible under the original gasket, and the new gasket looks like it might be designed to snap into some sort of slot. I’ve found one mention of this type of mounting method on-line, but would like to be sure I’m not damaging anything before I try to pry off the old gasket. Any advice?

  10. Phoenix Says:

    How do you remove the door seal from a whirlpool model ART 572/H. There are no retaining screws and its not magnetic.


  11. donna Martin Says:

    the gasget on my fridgidare refrig is coming out I have tried to push it back in but it will not stay . the model number isfrt18l4jw7 what should I do? thanks donna

  12. Ramona Beauty Salons Says:

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  13. Richard Cichanski Says:

    It appears the french door refrigerator models made by Amana and branded for others has a design defect. When the left door closes last, it’s hinged seal deforms the upper flap of the gasket on the right door. A premature failure develops as the deformed flap eventually tears. Then, it stays depressed whenever the left door closes last, and it will leak in that position. With more cycles, the tear will spread further into the right door gasket. This problem is hard to detect until it becomes very bad, which is after the warranty period. There should be a recall of these units.

  14. david harry Says:

    Good tips for the refrigerator users,for fixing this type of gas kit very easy,before removing of the gas kit first check how it is fix,then as per the instruction remove the old gas kit & fix the new.
    refrigerator repair thousand oaks

  15. carol Says:

    Westinghouse freestyle ref. freezer switch for making the freezer colder and or sending the cold to the refrigerator is not moving from
    the one position of sending the cold to the refrig. we have tried
    removing the 2 screws which hold the section for this switch onto
    the back of the freezer. any help on moving the switch lever from
    above as stated?

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