Introduction: How to Keep Your Refrigerator Door Shut

My fridge is old and busted. Thanks to a few magnets I was able to save my food from rotting and spreading sickness through the household.

The fridge isn't mine. It came with the house that my wife and I are renting and even though it's not really that old it has a problem with the door after someone banged up the bottom of it by moving it around. You can close the door, but it would open if even slightly jostled.

Closing the freezer door would pop the main door open. There were also times that the door would open on its own. We took to putting a chair up against it, but one day I forgot to do that and it opened up during the day, ruining all the food inside.

I was going to install a new latch or fix the hinge, but I found an even better way: neodymium magnets.

Step 1: Get Some Magnets

I had a few hundred 1/16" neodymium magnets stuck to my fridge, but you can get some easily enough through several different sources. eBay is a good place to look. I got mine from K&J Magnetics (the D401), but I haven't seen any reason to favor them over any other retailer.

If you're ordering for this purpose, I'd recommend that you try and get a variety pack. I was using 1/16" magnets, but a few 1/32" ones would've helped.

Step 2: Stack the Magnets in the Gap

On my fridge there is a bit of metal between the magnetic strips and the outside of the fridge. It's not very wide, but neither are these magnets.

I simply kept stacking the magnets and tested the fridge door to see what was a good fit. This takes, oh, about a minute.

Step 3: Make More Stacks

Now make more stacks so that you have a more secure connection and you're done!

This solution has been working for me for the past month. You can see the proof in this short video that shows how the problem of the freezer door opening the main door was solved.

Comments

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Michael Blyth made it! (author)2013-05-18

I was skeptical that this would work for our fridge since it takes so much force to keep the door shut--probably a couple of pounds. But just two stacks of magnets were enough for a start, and another two give a good positive closure. Wonderful tip!

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ksafford made it! (author)2011-03-07

Thanks so much! My freezer is doing this, and it's getting really annoying. I'm gonna try this asap!

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nagutron made it! (author)2008-12-17

I just fixed a panel on my oven this way. Great suggestion! The heat doesn't seem to have reduced the magnets' effectiveness much.

http://flickr.com/photos/nargopolis/3113672559/

3113672559_eee849acf7.jpg
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baudeagle made it! (author)2008-02-06

I had a similar problem and I fixed it based upon this idea! Thanks for your Help :) Rather than using a stack of magnets I constructed a bracket out of a metal can and mounted this to the top of the freezer door. I removed the decorative trim and mounted my homemade bracket underneath the trim then replaced the screw. By using a bracket with the magnets mounted parallel with the door I only need 9 of these to keep the door closed. I wanted add some pictures to this so someone would understand what I did, however the add image button does not seem to work for me.

author
VIPER2475 made it! (author)2007-10-28

I believe you can also replace the magnet seal that goes around the fridge door. Good work.

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error404 made it! (author)2007-10-26

Nice idea. I will say one thing about fridge door problems that frequently the problem is that the door is warped. The flat fridge door has little structural integrity, and so repeatedly opening the door will eventually ause it to warp, usually from the corner where the handle is. So if you close the door up with your foot in the bottom corner, the one away from the hinges, like a doorstepping door to door salesman, and simply apply pressure from the top crner it will warp back. Obviously the forse I am suggesting is very little as it is only a sheet of mild steel and paint over an insulating layer and a plastic shelf section. It is amazing the number of fridges I have "fixed" this way. Apart from my last one where the magnetic gsket that actually hold the bugger shut had come apart and although it has been replaced I now know that I could have fixed it through the POWER OF MAGNETISM!!!!! nice Instructable

author
brad made it! (author)2007-10-25

Typically the fridge door swings open because it has not been properly leveled - if you adjust the little feet at the front and raise the front edge of the fridge (lengthen the feet) the door should stop swinging open.

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xorshift made it! (author)2007-10-24

Good idea, and instructable. But households with small children should be cautious of using these magnets, as toddlers that swallow them can be injured fatally. fatal..

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fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2007-10-24

Good point. Maybe the whole thing can have some heatshrink tubing or other casing applied to it.

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Kiteman made it! (author)2007-10-24

I'd have thought that this situation would have been the ideal chance to spy on the little man who lives in the fridge and works the light.

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fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2007-10-24

I'd like to visit your vision of the world and furtle about for a while sometime. It sounds interesting.

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Kiteman made it! (author)Kiteman2007-10-24

It's a happy little world, with good beer and plenty of onion gravy.

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fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2007-10-24

Sounds good to me!

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Hoopajoo made it! (author)Hoopajoo2007-10-24

Sign me up! I'll bring the Urkel-O's cereal from 1993!

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turbonegro made it! (author)2007-10-24

youre lucky to have those cutouts in the original design (did ya ?)
my freezer has an alarm that goes of when the door is open for like 5 (= lights on)minutes but it has a little bit of slack 2-4 mm i have tried to adjust and trim it but there is still a possibility to fuck up thanx for this instructable it cleared my mind about the magnets after all i am a big fan of magnets but i so far i did not think of it as a solution to my own freezer problems thanx again for the eyeopener

author
fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2007-10-24

I didn't modify anything. All I did was add the magnets.

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Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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