Gaskets are installed to prevent air from getting into the cabinet. Magnetic and compression gaskets are the two types used in refrigerators and freezers today. They are secured to the door by screws (or sometimes by cone or dart clips in chest-type freezers) that pass through the gaskets, the door liner, then threaded into the door panel. In some models, retainer strips are used. In which case the screws pass through the gasket, the retainer strip, and then screwed into the main door panel. Chest-type freezers are generally equipped with compression gaskets having three or four sides with a magnetic strip along the front to give the lid a leakproof seal. If these gaskets are to be removed, use a screwdriver to pry out the clips. Accumulation of dirt and grease on a gasket makes it sticky, and as the door (or lid) is opened and closed, the gasket tears or pulls loose, or sometimes the door liner cracks. Door liners can also crack because of excessive pressures caused by incorrectly positioned food products that prevent the door from closing properly.

Clean sticky door gaskets with a mixture or vinegar and water or glass cleaner. Rinse with clear water and dry with a towel. Vinegar-water mixture is also a good food compartment cleaner and deodorizer.

The upright unit should be tilted a little to the rear to allow the door(s) to swing closed from a 45° angle. A poorly fitted gasket in most freezers and refrigerators can be adjusted by the hinges and the door latch. Warped doors can be straightened by twisting or adjusting the gasket screws.

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