If there’s one DIY job that everyone’s doomed to perform at one point or another, it’s fixing squeaky drawers or hinges. Perhaps you’re trying to keep your midnight snacking a secret. Maybe you’re just sick of hearing that irritating noise every time you open a cabinet. Whatever the reason, you’re going to have to deal with that squeak at some point. If you’re getting to your wits’ end, here’s a brief guide to fixing this issue.
Pretty much any squeaking drawer or door is due to friction in the hinges or rails. By using a good lubricating product, you can usually get rid of any kind of friction and never have to worry about the squeak again. Purpose-made lubricating oil, for example WD-40, is generally the best choice. However, there are various household items which will also do the trick. Olive oil, soap, butter and petroleum jelly are all pretty good things to use. Just apply them carefully to the hinge, and the result should be instantaneous. If not, try removing the hinge pin, applying your lubricant, and putting it back in place.
Image from Flickr
If applying a lubricant doesn’t fix the problem, then you may need to clean the hinges instead. It’s pretty common for rust or dirt to build up in those little gaps in hinges, which can prevent it moving smoothly and create noisy friction. The best way to get rid of this is removing the hinges and cleaning them with some steel wool and oil. Simply dab a little oil on the wool and give the hinge or rail a good scrubbing with it until the dirt and rust lifts off. Before putting the component back into place, it’s usually a good idea to apply a little lubricant; any of the options which I mentioned above. Just make sure you do a thorough job with the wool. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to remove the piece and put it back a dozen times because there’s still dirt or rust clinging to it in certain places. If you don a good job, and you’re still getting the noise, try not to lose your head and break it! Instead, buy some replacement drawer slides or hinges. This brings me onto my last point…
If this kind of issue has caused you all kinds of stress and frustration, then you’ll obviously want to avoid it in the future. Fortunately, there are various preventative measures you can take. When you’re buying any replacement cabinets or hinges, make sure you’re choosing high-quality materials. There are many hinges and rails which have been designed for long-term use, and have corrosion protection. If you’re constructing it yourself, be sure to add lubricant before it’s all completed. You should also keep some lubricant within easy reach somewhere, and get into the habit of regularly applying it. Reducing the hinges’ exposure to moisture is another good measure. Keep your bathrooms as ventilated as you can, and make a point to avoid splashing water on your rails or hinges. With these precautions, you won’t have to read posts like this for a long time!