Cleaning a Refrigerator Gasket

Category Appliances
Having clean gaskets help your door to seal better. This page is about cleaning a refrigerator gasket.


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Did you know that one of the first thing to wear out of a refrigerator is the rubber door gasket? So, with this simple tip, you can protect the gasket from cracking, drying, and mildew. Just apply a very thin coat of Vaseline petroleum jelly. By this simple procedure, you are preforming a preventative for the cracking, drying, and mildew! It also improves the seal!

By dwedenoja from New Creek, WV

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If you are having trouble with ice build-up on the heater coils in the back of an older fridge and are having to go through the lengthy process of removing the food and shelves to defrost with a hair dryer -- a little Vaseline may be all you need!


It turns out that the plastic seal around the edge of the door loses its elasticity over time and so may not be sealing as tightly. I got a tip from a repairman that simply rubbing the seal with petroleum jelly will help soften it up. It completely eliminated the problem for me!

By tahlula from Northfield, MN

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October 19, 2010

Never use bleach, diluted or undiluted, to clean refrigerator seals as it breaks down the rubber. I used to, but after 18 months I had to replace the seals.

By Slayer from Bunadaberg, QLD

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 27, 2011

What cleaning solution do you use to clean the rubber around the doors of your refrigerator and freezer?



December 28, 20110 found this helpful

I only ever use some liquid dishwashing soap. I put a squirt on a rag, and wipe the gaskets off, then do a rinse with plain water, and dry them off.

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December 29, 20110 found this helpful

I use my home made counter cleaner of water, bleach, and dishwash liquid which I keep in a squirt bottle. Just spray it on and wipe it off.

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December 30, 20110 found this helpful

I use a solution of half water, half vinegar. Works a treat!

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December 30, 20110 found this helpful

Dawn dish soap first. Apply it directly with a dishcloth and then rinse with plain water.


The same can be used for any copper tubing nest.

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January 3, 20120 found this helpful

Drying it, and applying a thin coat of vaseline, will keep gasket from cracking.

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September 28, 20160 found this helpful

What cleaning solution do use to clean the rubber around the doors of our refrigerator and freezer?

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August 18, 20190 found this helpful

I use Young Living Thieves Essential Oils Cleaner. It is absolutely chemical free and kills 99.9% of germs on contact! Also good for removing mold and stains.

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May 13, 2012

I bought a used side by side refrigerator and on the freezer size someone had put, of all things, packing tape on the rubber seal. They did this to keep the seal in place because they had taken the door off and didn't take time to put the rubber seal back in its place correctly. When I pulled the tape off the seal to put the seal around the door properly it was sticky. How do I get the sticky residue from the tape off of the seal?


By Norma from SC


May 14, 20120 found this helpful

On something that contains food - I'd use vodka - apply and let sit for a little bit. For items like glass, etc. nail polish remover works, and there's a commercial oil called Goo Gone - one bottle will last for years.

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July 14, 20160 found this helpful


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What is the best way to prevent mold/mildew from building up on the door gaskets of the refrigerator? What is the best way to clean it when it does form?

Connie from Smithville, TN


March 6, 20090 found this helpful

(Submitted via email)

Kris and Velco,
You were very kind to share with the readers that we are NOT to use bleach on the refrigerator. gaskets but I much of missed the 2nd part.


How do we clean the mildew and mold off safely with damaging the gasket? Thank you for your help and time. From a house wife who hates mold, anywhere. Connie H.

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March 7, 20091 found this helpful

Hydrogen peroxide. I can't praise this stuff enough. Put some in a spray bottle and spray the mold or if you don't have a spray bottle just pour it on. Let it sit a few minutes. Wipe. You may have to repeat.

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November 28, 2012

The rubber gasket around my refrigerator and freezer doors gets mildew and mold buildup constantly. I've cleaned it several times with Clorox and other cleaners however the older stains remain and the mildew/mold builds up again. Does anyone have a better and permanent solution please?


By Nancy

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 5, 2009

How do you clean black mold off refrigerator gaskets? I really need to clean it up before company arrives in 2 days.

Fionar from Arlington Heights, IL


Cleaning Refrigerator Seal (Gaskets)

I've been in the gasket business for 25 years and the one thing you should not use is bleach. Bleach will dry out the vinyl and in a very short time they will crack.(02/20/2008)

By Kris

Cleaning Refrigerator Seal (Gaskets)

Bleach is very bad for the seals (gaskets).
Everyone that uses a bleach product will be buying a new refrigerator, or a new gasket sooner or later. How long have you been using Scrubbing Bubbles? Does it contain Bleach? Any cracks or distorted areas on your gasket yet, bleach users?
Does anyone know what the manufacturer recommends?
If they recommend BLEACH we all know why. (07/10/2008)

By Velo

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May 9, 2007

Can anyone tell me how I can clean the mildew on the rubber seal on my refrigerator/freezer doors? Thanks!



Cleaning Refrigerator Gaskets

I use chlorine bleach, either straight or mixed with hot water. Also, to get the mold or mildew out of the gasket grooves, take q-tips and dip them in the bleach, and then run them through the grooves. Great for those tight spots. (02/02/2005)

By Tori

Cleaning Refrigerator Gaskets

A toothbrush and cleaner with bleach works great for scrubbing those moldy gaskets. And my refrigerator repairman says we need to lube them every 6 months, with, believe it or not, vaseline. (02/03/2005)

By Deb

Cleaning Refrigerator Gaskets

I use comet cleanser. Works really well. (02/07/2005)

By Jean Donahue

Cleaning Refrigerator Seal (Gaskets)

Clorox Cleanup will do the trick. (03/25/2005)

By suzi homemaker

Cleaning Refrigerator Seal (Gaskets)

I would try Scrubbing Bubbles. In Florida, as you know, we experienced 4 hurricanes last Summer / Fall. Some refrigerators were in terrible shape after several weeks of no electricity and the owners unable to get to them for a variety of reasons. Scrubbing Bubbles to the rescue.

I have started using it each time I clean my refrigerator now --- because it gives it such a nice clean look, and I figure the bleach in it can only help sanitize.

Hope this helps! (03/27/2005)

By Rama

Cleaning Refrigerator Seal (Gaskets)

I use Soft Scrub with Bleach. It works really well. (03/28/2005)

By Meari

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