Have you ever asked yourself, why is a refrigerator door hard to open right after closing? Say, for instance, you pick a snack from your refrigerator, after which you close it. Immediately, you remember that you didn’t pick the drink that is supposed to be taken with the snack. However, when you go back to open the refrigerator door, you realize that you have to put extra effort to open it.


Most of us can relate to this scenario. So why do refrigerator doors become hard to open right after closing them? This article explains why this scenario happens, as well as practical things you can do to make opening the refrigerator door easier. Read along!


Why is a Refrigerator Door Hard to Open Right After Closing?

It is not an uncommon thing for the refrigerator door to become hard to open right after shutting it. When the door is first opened, warm air enters inside the fridge. However, since the temperatures inside the fridge are low, the warm air starts to cool, “shrinking” and contracting as it gets colder. In turn, this creates suction, which makes it hard to open the refrigerator door. Besides, when the door is slammed shut or closed quickly, the air inside is forced out, leaving a vacuum inside. Since it usually takes some few minutes for this vacuum to be fully released, the door becomes difficult to open right after closing it.

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Therefore, if you notice that your refrigerator door is difficult to open right after closing it, do not worry that it is faulty or broken. On the contrary, it is the suction that builds inside the fridge immediately after closing the door that makes it hard to open the door. Once the pressure inside the refrigerator has equalized and the vacuum released, the door should become easier to open. Usually, it takes about 10-15 seconds for the refrigerator door to begin opening easily after closing.


How to Solve a Refrigerator Door That is Hard to Open?

When you open a refrigerator door, warm, humid air flows inside the fridge while cold air flows out. When you close the door, the warm air mixes with the cold air inside the refrigerator, in turn creating a vacuum. This vacuum causes the doors to become harder to re-open. When this happens, simply wait for internal pressure inside the fridge to equalize before opening the door again. In most cases, you will have to wait for less than one minute.

But what if your refrigerator door is always hard to open? What if you find it difficult to open your refrigerator door at all times, and not just when you try to open it immediately after closing? Well, here are two practical tips that can help you make your refrigerator door always easy to open:

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A. Clean the Gaskets

Dirty gaskets are the leading cause for refrigerator doors that are hard to open. When dirt, dust particles and other debris build up on the surface of the door gaskets, they cause resistance, hindering the normal opening and closing of the refrigerator door. And the more the dust particles build up, the harder the refrigerator door will be to open. Therefore, to ensure that the refrigerator door opens and closes properly, keep the door gaskets always clean.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean the refrigerator door gaskets:


  1. Fill a clean bucket with warm water. Then, add a few drops of mild detergent into the water.
  2. Using a clean, soft cloth or sponge, wash the gaskets to remove all dirt, dust and debris.
  3. Fill the bucket with clean water, then rinse the gaskets thoroughly until all soap residue is gone. Use a clean, soft cloth to dry the gaskets. Also, if the door gaskets tend to stick, rub a thin paraffin wax coating on them to prevent sticking.

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B. Ensure that Your Refrigerator is Level

If your refrigerator is not level, it could interfere with the proper opening of the refrigerator door. Therefore, to avoid refrigerator doors that are hard to open, you need to ensure that your refrigerator is properly leveled. You can always refer to the installation instructions or refrigerator manual for any useful information about leveling your refrigerator model.

Besides using the installation instructions and manual to help you level your refrigerator, you can also use a level tool to ensure that the appliance is level, both from front to back and from side to side. In addition, look at the floor underneath the refrigerator and check to see if it is level. If it is not level, you might need to use shims to align the floor and make it level.



So when wondering why is a refrigerator door hard to open right after closing, Usually, it is due to the vacuum created when warm air flows into the fridge and mixes with the cold air. Fortunately, this situation doesn’t last long and the door will open easily once again after a few seconds. And even if your refrigerator doors are always hard to open, you can use the two suggestions provided above to solve the problem permanently and make their opening and closing much easier!

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