How to Restore Freezer Door Seals

Worn, dirty gaskets on freezer doors don't just look bad -- they weaken the seal between the door and the freezer and allow cold air to escape the unit.

Clean and lubricate freezer door seals to improve their effectiveness.Clean and lubricate freezer door seals to improve their effectiveness.
The freezer compressor then runs more often to compensate for the air loss and lower the temperature in the compartment, if it can keep up. Worn and inefficient door seals make you spend more money on either electricity or the cost of replacing spoiled food. A quick cleaning restores many freezer door seals.

Fill a container halfway with warm water -- a pan, small bucket or large bowl will do fine. Add two or three drops of liquid dish soap to the water and mix it thoroughly.

Submerge a clean sponge into the soapy water to soak it. Lightly wring the sponge out afterward to remove excess water.

Unplug the freezer or refrigerator.

Open the freezer door. Scrub the door gasket's sealing surface with the soapy sponge, dipping the sponge back into the water as needed.

Dry the gasket immediately after cleaning. Wipe the door seal with a clean cloth until no traces of moisture remain.

Identify which edge of the door attaches to the freezer via hinges. Coat the gasket's sealing surface along this edge with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly keeps the seal moist and prevents it from cracking or becoming brittle.

Close the door and plug the refrigerator back in.

Things You Will Need

  • Container
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Clean rag
  • Petroleum jelly


  • Simple cleaning won't always work to restore a door seal. The door seal needs to be completely replaced if the gasket appears dry and brittle, or if you can easily slip a dollar bill out of the seal when you close the freezer door over it.

About the Author

Brad Chacos started writing professionally in 2005, specializing in electronics and technology. His work has appeared in, Gizmodo, "PC Gamer," "Maximum PC,",, "Wired,", and more. Chacos is a frequent contributor to "PCWorld," "Laptop Magazine" and the Intuit Small Business Blog.