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How To Tell If Your Refrigerator Door Gasket Is Bad And How To Replace It

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The door gasket on your refrigerator is the rubber lining that surrounds the inside of your door. It helps keep the cold air in, so your food stays cold and fresh. If your gasket is loose, brittle, or sagging, your refrigerator may be working overtime in order to keep it cool. This means higher energy bills, and could potentially cause your refrigerator to break down prematurely, in addition to food loss. Replacing this gasket doesn't take much time, and even someone not too handy can do the job. See below for ways to test if your gasket is bad, as well as tips and instructions on how to replace it.

How To Tell If Your Gasket Needs Replacing

  • Inspect the gasket itself and look for any cracks or breaks in the gasket. It's made of rubber, so over time it can dry out.
  • Place a dollar bill inside the door, then close it so the bill is sticking out. Attempt to pull the bill out without opening the door. If it slides out easily without any give, you may have an issue with your gasket not holding in air tightly enough. 
  • Look inside the gasket for any black mold or mildew. If you see any, it could be because the cold air from the refrigerator is escaping and the warmer air in your kitchen is getting in, causing water to condense and cause mold. In this case, your gasket should definitely be replaced.

Replacing Your Gasket

Tools For The Job:

  • Nut driver
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • New gasket
  • Petroleum jelly


  1. Look in your owner's manual or on the inside of your refrigerator for the model number of your refrigerator. To find a new gasket, you can go online to your manufacturer's web site, or contact a local parts shop for a replacement gasket for your particular refrigerator.
  2. Next, pull up on the gasket to see the screws holding it in place. You'll need to loosen all of the screws, then remove the old gasket. While doing so, place the new gasket in warm water in order to make it a little more pliable.
  3. Some refrigerators may have a metal retainer that helps hold the gasket in place. Remove any screws to help loosen this retainer, but don't remove them. If any mold is present, be sure to clean it off using a cleaner such as bleach.
  4. Take the new gasket, and beginning at the corners, insert the gasket behind the retainer (just like the old one had been), and press it in to hold it in place. Work your way down the sides, pressing the gasket firmly in place, and tighten the screws on the metal retainer. Then tighten the screws fully to hold the gasket in place.
  5. Close the door and look to see that the door is shutting firmly and sitting properly. Tighten or loosen the hinges if need be so the door is level and shuts properly. Add petroleum jelly to the gasket on the hinge side of the door if need be.
  6. Repeat the steps on the freezer portion of your door as well, if needed.

Replacing your gasket can help save your food, as well as save you money and can lengthen the life of your refrigerator. Contact a repair company like Appliance Genie if you need help with this task.