Fridge Won’t Stay Closed? Fix That Door In 5 Steps

Fridge won't stay closed

Are you trying to keep your fridge door closed?

Sadly, I’ve been there too. There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to keep your food cold because your fridge won’t stay closed.

Don’t worry, though. You’ve come to the right place to fix this issue.

If your fridge won’t stay closed, please unload the door, clean the gasket, or level your appliance. But, if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to tighten the hinges or replace the door seal.

Keep reading to learn more about these fixes!

How to Fix a Fridge Door That Won’t Close? 5 Simple Steps

You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve seen complain about not being able to close their fridge door.

Unfortunately, this may happen due to numerous reasons.

But the good news is that in this article you’ll learn 5 different ways to get rid of the issue. These are:

#1 Unload the Door

Before doing anything else, I’d like us to make sure that there aren’t too many items in the door of your refrigerator.

You see, if this happens, your fridge won’t close and your food may not stay cold.

Unload your fridge door to close it
If your fridge won’t stay closed, make sure there are no heavy objects on the door.

The easiest way to solve this issue is by moving the heavy objects that are on the door to the shelves.

Follow these simple tips to store the food in your fridge properly:

  • Top shelf: You should put on this self all the ready-to-eat foods, such as drinks, and leftovers.
  • Middle shelves: Put items that are prone to spoiling, such as dairy products, cooked meats, eggs, etc.
  • Lowest shelf: This is the coldest shelf, so I recommend putting in raw meat and fish. Make sure they don’t touch each other or other items to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Drawer: You should store vegetables and fruits wrapped in paper or plastic bags with holes to keep them fresh.
  • Door: It’s ideal for condiments and spreads. Don’t store dairy products in the door because it’s the warmest place inside the fridge. Make sure your door is not overloaded.

#2 Clean the Gasket

The rubber seal on your fridge door, better known as a “gasket”, seals in the cold air by keeping your fridge firmly closed. This way, your food can stay fresh.

Unfortunately, if the gasket is dirty, your fridge won’t stay closed.

Dirty fridge door gasket
A dirty gasket can prevent the door from closing.

There are different ways in which you can clean the door seal. But this is the easiest one:

  1. Prepare the cleaning solution. I recommend mixing 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of water.
  2. Soak a soft sponge, brush, or cloth in the cleaning solution. You can also use a cotton swab for more precision.
  3. Wipe down any dirt or grime.
  4. Dry the door seal with a paper towel to prevent mold.

Try cleaning the gasket at least once a week to prevent this issue from happening again.

Once you’ve completed the steps above, it’s time for us to protect the door seal. To do it, I recommend putting a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) over the gasket.

Put a thin layer of Vaseline on your fridge door seal.
Use petroleum jelly to protect the door seal

I know this may sound weird, but believe me, this quick action can protect the rubber and make it last longer without wear. Doing this will also help form a tighter seal.

#3 Level Your Fridge

If cleaning the gasket didn’t do the trick, there’s a good chance your fridge isn’t balanced correctly.

You see, your fridge should always tilt slightly to the back. Otherwise, it won’t stay closed.

Leveling your fridge can prevent cooling issues, noise, vibration, and will ensure that the door closes properly.

Follow these quick steps to level your fridge:

  1. Open the doors at a 90º angle and remove the screws attached to the plastic kick plate at the bottom of your fridge.
  2. Put the grille aside and locate the leveling legs or adjustable rollers. They’re located behind the grille. If you can’t find them, I recommend checking your manual.
  3. Place the level on top of your fridge and measure from side to side and front to back.
  4. If your fridge has leveling legs, use a wrench to level it. Don’t forget to check your manual to know what wrench size you need. If your fridge has adjustable rollers, you’ll need a screwdriver instead.
  5. To raise your fridge, turn the wrench to the left. But, if you want to lower it, turn the wrench to the right.
  6. Place the level on top of your fridge and measure again to make sure your fridge is level.
spirit level inside a fridge
Make sure your fridge is level

You can ask another person to help you. It may be easier to level the fridge.

#4 Tighten the Hinges

Now, it’s time for us to check the hinges.

You see, if your appliance is overloaded or old, the hinges may be loose. If this happens, your fridge won’t stay closed.

Luckily, solving this issue is very simple, you’ll just need to:

  1. Locate the hinge. Bear in mind that some hinges are covered by a cap.
  2. Loosen the hinge screws and move the door until it is in line with the top of the fridge.
  3. Tighten the screws again and make sure the door is flush with the fridge.

#5 Replace the Door Seal

If you’ve tried the four fixes above, but your fridge won’t stay closed, there’s a good chance the door seal is broken, moldy, or torn.

To check if that’s the case, put a piece of paper or a $1 bill between the gasket and the fridge and close the door. Then, pull the piece of paper.

If it slips out easily, it means that the door seal isn’t tight enough, and you need to replace it.

Replacements cost anywhere between $50-$75; however, if you’d like to ask a professional for help, you might end up paying as much as $150 USD or more, depending on your location.

Luckily, you can likely tackle this yourself, since replacing the door seals is really simple.

There are three different types of magnetic door seals. In this section, I’ll show you how to replace all of them.

Here’s how to replace a push-in door seal:

  1. Unpack the new door seals and lay them on a flat surface for 24 hours, so they can regain their shape.
  2. Once you’ve waited for 24 hours, remove the old seal by gently pulling it out.
  3. Install the new push-in door seal by aligning the ridge on the back side of the seal with the channel in the door, and pushing the seal into place. Start at one corner and work your way along the strip.
  4. Please check your manual, because you may need to put vinyl cement on the channel first to fully secure the seal.

To replace a snap-in door seal:

  1. Unpack the door gaskets (or seals) and lay them on a flat surface for 24 hours or until they regain their shape.
  2. Remove the old gasket by pulling it out of the channel. Start by pulling on one corner of the seal.
  3. Insert the inside edge of the new seal behind the retaining lip of the inner door panel. I recommend starting with one corner and working your way along the seal.

To replace a screw-in door seal:

  1. Lay the new door seals on a flat surface for 24 hours, so they can regain their shape.
  2. Loose the screws around the door liner, and pull the old gasket out.
  3. Position the upper half of the new gasket and secure it by tightening the screws. Then, do the same with the bottom half.

Door seals usually last for 12 months. However, if you clean them regularly, they may last longer.

Once you’ve completed the steps above, please close your fridge door and make sure the gasket is seated evenly around the whole door.

Finding Your Fridge’s Manual

As mentioned in the fixes above, you may need to replace the door seals, level your appliance, or tighten the hinges to close your fridge door.

This is why I strongly recommend double-checking the given instructions with your manual because the process may vary depending on the fridge model and brand you own.

If you can’t find your manual, please search for your fridge’s model number (this label is typically located on the inside doors, on the side, or back).

Then, search on Google for your fridge brand and model. For example, if you have a Samsung fridge, you’ll need to search for “Samsung [model] Refrigerator Manual PDF”.

How to Check if Your Fridge Is Under Warranty

If you’re still struggling with the issue, you might want to check if your fridge is still under warranty.

The easiest way to do this is by checking the product documentation you received the day you bought your fridge.

However, if you can’t find this paperwork, please check the manufacturer’s website to verify the length of the warranty. You can also try contacting the retailer, since they normally save customer transaction details.


That about covers it! I hope that this article has helped you gain some more confidence in solving the issue.

Remember, if your fridge won’t stay closed, you’ll need to make sure there are no heavy objects on the door and clean the gaskets.

Don’t forget to level your fridge, tighten the hinges, and check the door seals to see if you need to replace them.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guide. If you found it helpful, please check out our related posts below.

Good luck!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more