The door seal may seem like a minor part of your washing machine, but a defective seal can shut down the entire system. Most of today's washing machines have a sensor that prevents the machine from turning on if the door is not closed. If the door seal no longer fits correctly, the door may not close securely enough to trigger the sensor. Gaps or cracks in the door seal can also allow water and detergent to leak out of the machine. Be sure to choose a replacement door seal that will fit your make and model of washing machine. Visit the manufacturer's website if you are unsure which part number to buy or need to order a new copy of your owner's manual.
Unplug the washing machine, or turn off the circuit breaker switch that controls the power to your home's laundry area. Close the water supply valve on the wall behind the machine.
Slide the washing machine out from the wall until you can reach the back. Ask someone to help you with this step if the washing machine is too heavy for you to move safely on your own.
Move to the rear of the machine, and remove the screws that hold the top panel onto the rest of the unit. Pull the top panel up and toward the back of the unit to disconnect it from the front panel, and lift it off of the washing machine.
Check your owner's manual to find out how to remove the door seal. There are usually two clamps that hold the seal onto the washing machine unit. The front clamp is spring-loaded, and the rear clamp has a screw that holds the two sides together. Use the end of a flathead screwdriver to pry the front clamp band off of the door seal. Slip the front of the seal over the front flange. Loosen the screw on the rear clamp, and pull out the door seal.
Soak the new door seal in a bucket of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften the material. This will make it easier to stretch out to fit the washing machine's door opening.
Insert one edge of the door seal into the rear clamp. Tighten the screw on the clamp to lock the seal in place. Pull the other edge of the seal onto the front flange. Secure the seal with the spring-loaded front clamp.
Shut the washing machine's door, and replace the top panel. Insert and tighten the screws that hold the top panel onto the rest of the unit. Push the washing machine back against the wall, again asking for assistance if it is needed.
Open the water supply valve, and restore power to the washing machine by plugging it in or turning the circuit breaker switch back on.