Most of us take our refrigerator for granted. We assume that it will always be there, keeping our groceries and perishables cool and fresh. Unfortunately, without a little care and attention, our refrigerators can lose efficiency and performance is compromised. One of the important maintenance tasks that is often overlooked is cleaning your refrigerator gaskets. The gaskets are needed to create a vacuum or air-tight seal to form a barrier to ensure that the cooled air is kept inside your appliance. The gasket is located on the edge of your refrigerator doors and needs to be in good condition, or you could end up losing cold air. This will not only compromise performance, but waste energy. The good news is, cleaning your refrigerator gasket is easier than it may seem.

Create a Cleaning Solution

Your first step in cleaning is to create a cleaning solution. Most appliance experts recommend using a baking soda solution of one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved into a quart of warm water. You could also use a water and mild soap solution.

Wipe the Gasket Gently

Use a toothbrush and microfiber cloth dipped in your cleaning solution to gently wipe the gaskets. Gaskets can be vulnerable to mold and mildew, collecting dust and particles of food debris. Try not to be too vigorous with your cleaning, as you don’t want to tear the gasket. Additionally, you should avoid using excessive amounts of water. Once the gasket is clean, wipe down the gasket with a clean cloth or paper towels to remove any excess moisture. A clean gasket makes it easier to stay sealed, helping your refrigerator to more efficiently cool.

Check the Seals

Cleaning the seals provides the ideal opportunity to check for any holes or tears. Even a small tear can compromise the integrity of the seal and compromise the energy efficiency of your refrigerator. To test your seal integrity, shut a dollar bill or piece of paper in the refrigerator door. If there is resistance when you try to pull it out, your seal integrity is good. If you can easily pull out the paper, you should replace the gasket. You should also inspect the top, bottom, sides, and corners of your gasket for any damage.

Checking you have an air-tight seal on your gasket will not only help to reduce energy loss, but also help to keep your food fresh for longer. Maintaining a cool temperature will keep your produce and perishable items better protected, saving you money on your grocery bills.

Refrigerator gaskets are not considered repairable. The low cost of gaskets means that it is more economical to simply replace a damaged gasket rather than attempt any repairs. If you do attempt any DIY repairs, it is unlikely to be effective, so it is best to err on the side of caution and install a new gasket.

While regular cleaning is important, if you notice that your refrigerator is not cooling properly, it is worth considering replacing your gasket. Installing a new gasket is a relatively simple repair and can be included in a regular appliance maintenance check-up. A professional appliance repair technician can replace your gasket and ensure that your refrigerator is running at optimum efficiency. Prompt gasket replacement can not only improve your refrigerator efficiency, but could also extend the lifespan of your appliance.

Every kitchen needs a great refrigerator that can keep all your produce properly chilled. If your appliance is no longer up to the task and you’re considering an upgrade, you can explore your options with this online collection of refrigerators or speak to a home appliance expert for a more specialized service.