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The Refrigerator Door Won't Close on Its Own

Updated February 21, 2017

Your refrigerator door must close tightly in order for the appliance to maintain its cool temperature. As a result, most refrigerator manufacturers set the hinges so the door swings shut by itself if it is accidentally left open. If your refrigerator door does not close on its own, you can try some troubleshooting techniques to eliminate some of the most common causes.

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  1. Move any food, jars or bottles away from the door and close any open crisper draws. The door may not be able to close because it is banging into open draws or objects stored inside the fridge. This problem usually occurs when the fridge is overly full or when food is not stored in its correct location inside the appliance.

  2. Tighten the door hinges with a screwdriver. The refrigerator door may not swing shut if the screws holding the hinges to the cabinet have worked loose. Tighten any loose screws or bolts to restore the hinges and door to their correct position. See your manual for exact tightening instructions.

  3. Verify the side or the rubber gasket nearest the hinges is not folded or sticking. Gaskets that are loose or dirty can fold over or stick and prevent doors from closing. Apply paraffin wax to the face of the gasket to prevent sticking and reattach any loose gaskets.

  4. Confirm the refrigerator is even on all sides using a spirit level. The refrigerator's feet should have been adjusted when it was installed to make it sit perfectly level. The door may not swing close if the appliance is leaning forward or to the side. Consult your instruction manual for more information on levelling your refrigerator.

  5. Verify the fridge has at least an inch of room on all sides. The door may swing open if the fridge is leaning against a countertop or cupboard. All domestic refrigerators require room for air to circulate around the edges. You may need to move your fridge if its current location is not suitable.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver (if necessary)
  • Paraffin wax (if necessary)
  • Spirit level (if necessary)

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