The gasket seal on your refrigerator is one of the most important and underestimated parts of the fridge. If your fridge isn’t cold enough, you may be wondering if it’s the condenser coils or the circulation fans or the temperature sensor. But it might just be that your fridge gasket isn’t sealing properly.
Like a cracked window in an air-conditioned home, an unsealed fridge will slowly leak cold air, allowing warm air in and forcing your fridge to work harder, staying cool. Your fridge door may also hang open a little if the seal doesn’t seal. So today, we’re here to share the top three ways to keep your refrigerator gasket seal in the best possible condition for the efficiency of your fridge.
Wipe Down Regularly
The first thing you can do for your gasket seal is to wipe it down regularly. Over time, grime and dust and spills can coat the once-sticky surface. When this happens, the door gasket can no longer make full uninterrupted contact with the surface of the fridge. This smooth contact is necessary for the gasket to form an airtight seal to hold in the cold air.
Even if you can’t see anything on the seal, it doesn’t need to be visible to cause a problem.
Take a wet and lightly soapy sponge and run it along the gasket. Try to get every side. Take the time to clear out the troughs inside the folds where grime can hide and build up. If you feel a rough spot or see visible grime, scrub it with the reverse side of the sponge until the rough spot is gone.
Apply a Thin Layer of Petroleum Jelly
Once your fridge door gasket is wiped clean, there’s a very handy trick you can use to improve both the performance and the functional life of your gasket seal. All you need is a tiny amount of petroleum jelly.
Your fridge gaskets are made out of rubber or synthetic rubber, which is actually more like a plant fiber, and it dries out like wood. When your fridge gasket dries out, it shrinks and becomes hard like shriveled up wood. Petroleum jelly, however, remoisturizes the wood like a lotion and locks in the moisture, so it takes longer to dry next time.
Rub a thin layer of petroleum jelly with your finger or a paper towel along the surface of your refrigerator gasket seal. Just a very thin layer is enough. Get as much of the rubber as you can reach, but the most important surface is where the gasket touches the fridge doorway. The jelly also helps form a seal between the door and the gasket.
Replace If Damaged
It is possible for your fridge gasket to be damaged by impact or twisting. If your fridge gasket is torn, dented, or twisted then it may need to be replaced. Fortunately, this is easy and safe to do.
Underneath the flap of the gasket are mounting screws. Loosen but do not fully remove these screws all the way around and pull the gasket away from the fridge door. Install a new one by reversing the process, fitting the new gasket into the door slot. Then tighten the mounting screws that fasten the gasket into place. For a bonus, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your new refrigerator door gasket to protect it, improve the seal quality, and keep it from beginning the process of drying out.
—Taking care of your refrigerator gasket is an important part of efficient fridge use. Your refrigerator will use less electricity, and your food will stay consistently cold if your gasket is in good condition. For more repair insights or assistance with an appliance repair in your home, contact us today!