An oven with a faulty door is a struggle because it will not seal heat inside the oven, which will increase the baking time and overwork the oven, and can lead to burns. But not to worry, in this article, we will talk about common reasons why your oven door won’t close and step-by-step instructions to fix them.
How to Know Your Oven Door Isn’t Closing Properly
An oven door doesn’t have to be stuck wide open to count as an oven with a faulty door. In most cases, the door will remain slightly ajar when you try to close it. And it is easy to miss, but here are a few signs to know that your oven door is not closing
- The door doesn’t close evenly
- Gaps in the side of the door
- The oven light doesn’t turn off
- The oven door and knobs become hot when baking
Why Your Oven Won’t Close & Step-by-Step Instructions to Fix It
Before you call a repairer or start unscrewing your oven components, first, check the inner edges of the door and oven tub for clogged-up food debris to remove debris.
Also, make sure to check that the oven trays and racks are well-inserted and positioned in the right places so that they are not obstructing the door.
Push back any wrongly positioned rack or tray into the right place. If any of the shelves or trays have become warped or bent, stopping the door from closing properly, you may have to replace the affected piece.
That said, let’s talk about common reasons why your oven door won’t close and how you can fix them by yourself — you may have to hire a repairer for more technical issues.
1. Misaligned, Rusted, or Damaged Hinges
The oven door hinges are tiny moveable components that make it easy to open the oven door and help hold the oven door in position when closed. This is why the hinges should be the first suspect when you notice that your oven door is not closing properly. The hinges may be rusted, misaligned, or damaged.
For rusty hinges, lift the door off the hinges to remove them, and use a ball of steel wool to clean the rust until you see the rust has visibly reduced.
Next, pour greasing oil on the hinges. If you can’t remove the hinges because they are screwed in, get a screwdriver that fits and unscrew them before cleaning and applying grease.
Depending on how rusted the hinges are, you may need to replace them with new hinges. When you get new hinges, ensure that you clean your oven regularly to prevent another premature rust.
For damaged hinges, you have to get new hinges to replace them. Take your oven manual pamphlet to spare parts stores to get the correct spare hinges for your oven door. Buy high-quality hinges offline or online, remove the old worn-out hinges and replace them with the one. Here are some recommended oven door hinges (aff. link to Amazon) based on what oven you have.
For misaligned or loose hinges, remove the hinges and firmly screw them back into the correct positions to stop them from wobbling.
Watch this video to learn how to replace your oven door hinges.
2. Worn-out Door Seal
The oven door has a gasket or seal that keeps heat inside the oven when baking. The oven gasket is usually a heat-resistant cloth seal located inside the oven tub or the oven door.
Over time, the seal can wear out, preventing the door from closing and letting heat escape. Additionally, your door gasket might be clogged with food debris, which will not make it seal properly and will prevent your oven door from closing.
To determine whether your oven door gasket is faulty, turn on the oven and use your hand to feel around the door for escaping hot air. If you feel hot air blowing out when the door is closed, then your oven door seal is damaged.
If your door seal is clogged with food debris, the solution is simple, use clean water and mild soap to wash it gently. But if your oven door seal is damaged, you may have to replace it with a new one — get the correct seal for your oven model offline or online.
Step 1: if the seal is inside the inner edges of the door, use a flat-head screwdriver or pliers to unscrew or pull one section of the door loose, then locate the seal and remove it to inspect. If the seal is broken, dried up, hardened, frayed, or cracked, then it needs replacement.
Step 2: measure the new seal against the old seal and cut the new seal if necessary to make it the same length as the old one.
Step 3: place the seal inside the door hollow where you removed the old one and continue pushing inside the hollow until the gasket is firmly seated inside the inner edges of the door.
Note: Avoid closing your oven door with excess force because it can dislodge the seal from its default position.
Watch this video to see how to replace your oven door seal.
3. Engaged, Clogged, Warped, or Broken Latch
The oven door latch is responsible for keeping the oven door locked when the oven is in self-cleaning mode. Otherwise, the latch will remain by default in an alcove and not disturb the oven functionality.
However, if you find that the latch is engaged when the oven is not in a self-cleaning cycle or when the oven door is open, then the latch may be faulty. A faulty latch will keep the oven door open when you try to close it.
If the latch is clogged with food debris, remove the food debris in the latch mechanism with a clean damp towel. Sometimes, the door latch only needs to disengage so that your oven door can close. Turn off the oven to reset it, then wait for the latch to disengage to go back into the default space.
If the latch doesn’t disengage, then the latch might be damaged or broken and needs replacement. Another way to disengage the latch is to manually unlock it following these steps;
Step 1: Lift the oven stove.
Step 2: Locate and unscrew the metal panel underneath the stove.
Step 3: Open the oven door to unscrew the two bolts in the door latch.
Step 4: Disconnect the rod in the door latch, then push and pull out the latch to inspect it.
Step 5: If the latch looks okay without any visible crack or twist, put it back into the default position.
The latch may be warped or broken due to regularly opening and closing the oven door with excess force. In this case, you have to replace the latch with a new one that matches your oven model — you can find a replacement latch on Amazon (aff link). Use steps one to four from above, but instead of putting back the old worn-out latch, replace it with the new latch.
Note: Avoid using too much force when operating your oven.
Watch this video to see how to remove and replace your latch.
4. Worn-out Door Springs
Springs in oven doors are going out of fashion, but many old ovens have door springs, which enhance the closing and opening of the oven door. Over time, the springs can break, causing the oven door to remain open when you try to close it or/and pushing the oven door into a wrong alignment.
If you notice that the door springs in your old oven no longer make it easy to open or close your oven door, the solution is to replace the broken spring or both springs using these steps.
Step 1: pull the oven door off of the door hinges.
Step 2: find the springs — you can check the frame underneath the oven or the oven door for the springs.
Step 3: if the springs are located in the door, unscrew the access panel to reach the springs. If the springs are located in the frame, you can use pliers to pull out the broken or rusted spring(s).
Step 4: you can still use an old spring if you see that nothing is wrong with it after inspecting the spring and the hole you removed it from. You can reattach the springs if they are unhooked.
Step 5: if any of the springs is broken, remove it and take note of the hole you removed it from. Then, get a new spring that matches your oven model and tighten it into the exact hole you removed the damaged spring from.
Here’s a video that will show you how to fix a broken spring.
5. Warped or Expanded Oven or Door
Not all ovens are made from high-quality metal that can withstand regular heating. Some oven metal will warp or expand from heat after a period of regular use.
This may cause either the oven door to expand, making it bigger than the original door space, or the door metal can twist out of shape, preventing it from closing.
The oven itself can also warp out of shape from heat. Either way, this will affect the door latch and stop the oven door from closing properly no matter how hard you try to close it.
If you notice this early, you might be able to fix an expanded door by tightening the bolts around the door frame to keep the door firm. Otherwise, you may have to replace the oven door or the oven entirely with a new and more durable oven that can withstand heat without warping out of shape.
Having a maintenance routine with your oven can increase its durability. It’s never too late to start. I hope this helps!