One of the most troublesome events in a modern home is to notice the refrigerator door left open, looking inside, and seeing that our favorite foods have gone cold, or worse, spoiled. “How long has the fridge been open? Why is it open?” Sniff . . . “Is this still good?” These are the questions that plague our minds. Often times, it is merely the case of someone accidentally leaving the door ajar a few minutes prior. Sometimes, though, there are underlying issues.

So, why does the refrigerator door not close if not due to an individual’s mistake of leaving it open?

There are a couple of possibilities including something blocking the doorway, too much weight, loose hinges, or a worn down and damaged gasket. We will discuss potential problems more below as well as quick explanations on how to repair them.


The first step when you find your refrigerator door not closing is to not assume the worst. A door not closing does not mean that you need to run and purchase a new refrigerator right away. It may be as simple as some container or condiment on the shelves sticking out too far and blocking the door.

Repair: Check if any food on the main shelves is sticking out too far. Check if something in the door is tipped over, blocking the entryway. If so, rearrange the food and condiments to ensure everything is standing upright and in their proper locations.

Too Much Weight

Most doors hold an abundance of condiments, butter, bottled drinks, and an assortment of other objects. These can be extremely heavy. If the refrigerator door is constantly weighed down by heavy objects, over time, this creates strain on the hinges and causes them to become loose and out of shape. Loose and out of shape hinges mean that doors hang at an angle instead of perfectly square. They no longer fit within the fridge opening, causing it not to close.

Repair: First, remove the weight from the door. Depending on how long the weight was there and the extent of the weight, this may not solve the issue. You may need to replace the entire fridge, but try this solution first.

Dirty Gasket

A gasket is the rubber lining around the entire edge of the refrigerator door that creates an air-tight seal once the door is closed. This keeps cold air inside and warm air outside, protecting food from spoilage. If there is dirt and grime buildup on the gasket, it could keep the rubber lining from sealing properly, leading to a left open door.

Repair: Examine the gasket and determine if there are any blockages such as pebbles or stray pieces of food. Then thoroughly clean all sides of the gasket. If this does not allow the door to close, there may be another issue.

Damaged or Worn-Out Gasket

Gaskets are constantly subjected to use though the opening and closing of refrigerators, so over time they become worn out and easily susceptible to damage. One form of wear is when the rubber lining hardens and no longer seals correctly. This causes cold air to escape and warm air to leak in as well as makes them more susceptible to cracks and tears. Besides wear, damaged gaskets can also result from careless maneuvering of the door, repeated bumping from containers or silverware, or general mishaps.

Repair: Thoroughly examine the gasket for any hardened areas or damage such as rips, cracks, or holes. If you find any, you will have to replace the gasket in its entirety.


While there are numerous reasons that a refrigerator door may not be closing, there are steps you can take to determine the culprit. The first step is to check if there are any blockages. Second, check if the door is slightly askew. If so, the objects in the door shelving may be too heavy. If it is neither of these, be sure to thoroughly inspect the gasket.

If none of these checks work and you cannot locate the issue yourself, the next best option would be to call an appliance repair service. A repairman may still be less expensive than purchasing a new fridge.

If you’ve got questions or need help with a home appliance, call our family here at Affordable Appliance Repair Service of West Michigan. We are quick, dependable and will help you decide whether to repair your appliance or replace it. When our technicians leave your home, you’ll be fully satisfied with our service and your fully functioning home appliance.

When an appliance fails or is failing, things seem to fall off track quickly. We look forward to helping you stay on track!