A Quiet Start to the New Year

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People tend to hibernate at home more at this time of year, often to recharge after a hectic end to the previous year. Aim for true peace, quiet and indoor tranquility with these noise-busting tips.

Close the door on squeaky door and cupboard hinges. Most squeaks can be quashed by spraying WD-40 onto the hinges and moving the door or cupboard door back and forth to work in the lubricant.

Silence your steps. Broke curfew? Planning a midnight fridge raid? Make like a ninja on de-squeaked wooden floors, courtesy of a good sprinkling of talcum powder or cornstarch. Force the powder into the floorboards to reduce the friction where the pieces of wood rub together.

Mute the mayhem. While today’s fans, dishwashers and other appliances are much quieter than they used to be, full at-home relaxation requires the muting of as many other sounds as possible. To this end, choose padded carpeting over bare floors, sound-blocking curtains and solid — not hollow core — doors. If replacing doors isn’t an option, at least apply weatherstripping or soundproofing tape around each indoor door to provide a sound barrier/seal. For a more major soundproofing effort, consider sound-blocking ceiling materials that help to block noise traveling from one floor to the next.

Have a silent night. A squeaky bed can keep you, your partner and — if you have someone living downstairs — other people awake with your every turn. If you have a metal bed frame, sometimes simply removing the mattress and tightening the frame’s screws and bolts will remedy the problem.

You can also take apart the bed frame and rub some candle wax or paraffin over the contact surfaces of the joints, or grease with WD-40 to get rid of the friction and help silence the squeaks. If screws are no longer a tight fit, take them out and wrap plumber’s tape around each one, and consider adding new washers too before screwing them back in.

If the squeaks are the result of the metal corners of your box spring interacting with the metal bed frame, you can try cushioning the spaces with old socks, t-shirts or towels.

After all that, if your bed continues to squeak you may want to try placing a sheet of plywood under your mattress to act as a buffer between the mattress and box spring. Plywood isn’t expensive, and most big box stores will cut the wood to the size of your box spring if you give them the dimensions, so it’s worth a try before taking on the expense of a new bed.

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