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How to Remagnetize a Freezer Door

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By Elizabeth Masterman

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If the door on your freezer doesn’t seem to be shutting correctly, you may wonder what the problem could be. A quick search online might suggest you remagnetize the door seal – but is this wise?

How Do You Remagnetize a Freezer Door?

Most of the time, a faulty seal will have nothing to do with the magnet, so check out the other possible causes first. If the problem is the magnet, it is possible to remagnetize it, but you could do more harm than good, so it is probably better to replace the seal completely.

What Can Stop a Freezer Door Shutting Properly?

The first thing to check is whether there is something physically stopping the door from shutting. There may be an item of food jutting out and blocking the door, or a layer of ice around the door might stop it from shutting entirely.

Another thing to check is whether the freezer is positioned correctly. The front of the appliance should sit slightly higher than the back, to help the door remain closed. If this is not the case, the legs may need adjusting, in which case consult the manual.

You may also need to reconsider how you are using any storage compartments.

If there are drawers or shelves in the door of your freezer and you have used these to store heavy items, this may be pulling the door open, particularly if the unit is leaning forwards rather than backwards.

You should also check the hinges. If the hinges aren’t installed correctly, this can result in the door being misaligned. If they need adjusting, this can be done quickly with a screwdriver, or if the parts are damaged or corroded, they can be replaced relatively inexpensively.

What Causes a Freezer Door Not to Seal?

If none of the suggestions above fixes the problem, the issue is probably with the seal, otherwise known as the gasket. Over time the seal can become dirty or covered in frost, or it can become worn.

Start by giving the seal a proper clean.

Make a paste of 1 part bicarbonate of soda to 3 parts water and scrub this on the seal with a toothbrush, then rinse and dry thoroughly. As you are doing this, check the seal carefully for any signs of wear and tear. If there is any damage, you will probably have to replace the seal.

Once the seal is clean, if it appears to be in good condition, you could then apply a thin layer of either paraffin wax or petroleum jelly as this can soften the seal and help it to work more effectively.

These methods can also be used as a preventative measure every twelve months or so, to help keep the seals in good working order.

Another thing you could try is warming up the seal to make it more pliable and flexible again.

This can be done by directing a hairdryer at the seal all around the edge of the freezer door. You only need to do this for a short period, so it shouldn’t be long enough for the food in your freezer to start to defrost.

Alternatively, you could warm the seal by removing it completely and placing it in a sink of warm water, leaving it to soak for a while.

Obviously, this will take a little longer, and meanwhile, your freezer door won’t shut very effectively, so only do this if you have an empty freezer or an alternative way to keep your food cold.

How Do You Revive a Freezer Door Seal?

Embedded within the seal all the way around your freezer door is a flexible magnet. If you have followed all the steps above and your freezer door still isn’t closing properly, the problem could be the magnet.

It is possible to remagnetize the magnet, but you could risk demagnetizing it completely, rendering the whole seal unusable.

If you don’t remagnetize the magnet, then the door seal will need replacing anyway, so you might decide it’s worth a try.

You will need a strong magnet, such as a neodymium magnet. Run the magnet along each section of the gasket 50 times in the same direction. If the door still doesn’t shut properly, you will need to replace the seal.

Neodymium Magnet

How Do You Replace a Freezer Door Seal?

Find out your freezer’s make and model, then order a replacement seal, either online or from your local appliance repair shop.

When you receive your new seal, it’s a good idea to soak it in warm water first to help soften it up. These seals often come in small packages so have been bent out of shape, and putting them in warm water can also help them go back to their original shape.

Seals can be attached to freezer doors in a variety of ways (push-in, snap-in or screw-in), so it’s best to check the manual for your appliance.

For a push-in or snap-in door seal, simply pull the old seal away from its housing. Start at a corner and work your way around the door. You then fit the new seal by pushing the ridge on the back of the seal into the channel around the edge of the door.

For a screw-in door seal, when you try to pull the old seal away, start from the top and as you pull you should see a retaining plate with some screws holding the seal in place.

Remove these and then the seal should pull off in just the same way. Fit the new seal as above, then screw in place.

Do you have further questions about remagnetizing and fixing a freezer door seal? Then see if these FAQs help you:

How Do You Check Your Freeze Door Seal?

Open the door of the freezer, place a piece of paper between the edge of the door and the freezer, and close the door, trapping the paper in the seal. If you can remove the paper without opening the door, there is a problem with the seal.

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