You wake up at night craving a snack but before putting your foot down the bed, you are reminded that the path to the kitchen is filled with noisy minefields. One step towards the kitchen door and there’s a possibility that someone will come running towards you and spoil your night time. Doors with squeaky hinges and creaky floorboards can drive you crazy, especially at night when you are trying to be stealthy. With time, floorboards often get loose and the hinges in the door start to rust – the primary reason for all those annoying noises.
There are several DIY techniques and lubricants that can be used to prevent squeaky hinges and creaky floors. Following are seven techniques that will allow you to fix your squeaky door hinges and creaky floorboards on your own:
A Bar of Soap
Using a bar of soap is the easiest way to stop door hinges from squeaking. However, for this technique, do not use a soap that has glycerine in it. Glycerine is known to attract moisture that causes the metal to rust. With time, the metal pin in the hinge will get stuck to the frame and it will take a lot of effort to open the door.
Simply rub the soap all over the hinges until they are completely covered. The soap will keep the hinges smooth and prevent them from squeaking for a long time. This is a cheap and easy option to fix squeaky door hinges because you can apply it after every few months.
Wax is cheap and excellent lubrication for squeaky hinges. Paraffin wax is used for fixing miscellaneous items such as snowboards for reducing friction, loosening sliding glass doors, etc. For fixing squeaky door hinges, it is better to use a white candle, as the color will not be that prominent. There are two ways you can apply the wax on the hinges: You can either run the candle all over the joints or hammer out the pin and lubricate it fully by melting the wax on it.
If you are handy with your repair work, try the latter option, as it ensures that the door will not squeak for a long time.
Hammer out the pin from the hinges and cover the pins, as well as the joints with the petroleum jelly. If the pin slides right in gently, your work is done. Make sure there is an adequate amount of coating on the hinges, so that every time when you open and close the door, the jelly works the joints.
One of the biggest reasons why door hinges start to squeak is when people paint over it. As the paint dries, it restricts the movements of the hinge and leaves it susceptible to rust in places where paint has settled in and is still wet.
If your squeaky door hinges are painted, then the first step is to remove the paint. Boil water in a cooker and transfer it into a bucket. Drop the door hinges in the bucket and wait for the paint to chip off. Scrub off the rest of the paint and screw the hinges back on the door. Let the hinges dry and before applying olive oil, wipe them off with a cloth to remove any dust.
You can use a brush or a piece of cloth to apply olive oil. Apply it all over the hinges and make sure that the pin is well lubricated. Don’t pour olive oil directly on the hinges. Too much of it and it can go rancid when the dirt settles on it.
Cornstarch and talcum powder are two of the cheapest ways to fix your squeaky floorboards. The reason why floorboards start to squeak is that they expand and contract according to changing weather conditions. The floorboards rub against each other and the nails become loose. Simply sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch between the floorboards and let it settle in. Make sure that there’s no water spillage in the area until the cornstarch has penetrated the boards.
In case the nails are loose, you can drive screws from the subfloor up the hardwood. Make sure that they are long enough that they grab the hardwood and short enough that they don’t stick out.
In case, only a specific area of the floorboard is creaking, wedge a shim between the boards, if you have access to it from underneath. A thin piece of wood will do the trick and prevent floorboards from rubbing against the support beam.
WD-40 is a multi-use lubricant that can be used to fix both squeaky door hinges and creaky floorboards. It penetrates stuck parts and loosens them so that you can clean them easily. WD-40 comes with a smart straw that allows you to lubricate small parts and corners that are unreachable with a cloth. It prevents the metal from rusting and ensures six-month-long lubrication. You can even use it to clean dust and grease from the floor nails and door hinges.
Simply spray on the metal parts and between the floorboards. Wipe everything with a piece of cloth to remove any grime. Now, lubricate once again and let it dry. WD-40 prevents moisture from all kinds of surfaces and allows them to run smoothly.
When using household solvents for fixing these problems, make sure to wipe off every surface before applying anything. Often, water mixes with these substances and a mixture of forms that are corrosive on the metal. When using any of the above techniques, allow it to work for one to two hours before testing them out.
So to make your midnight snack as quietly as possible, use WD-40 lubricant or these other DIY techniques to fix squeaky door hinges and creaky floorboards.