I live in a shared house with a few other people. Due to my schedule, I'm up when most of them have gone to bed. I often need to eat something after coming home but have received complaints that the noise I make in the kitchen wakes them up.

I think the loudest noise is from pressing buttons on appliances. For example, when you press the buttons on the microwave to set the time (I make sure to stop it before the time is up so it doesn't beep at the end). I also use a George Foreman Grill that beeps when you adjust the temperature. Also, the fridge door is sticky and makes a noise when opening it. Any ideas on how to keep these things quiet? Other than that, I'm very careful to put things down on a surface quietly. Normally I wouldn't make anything new and heat up leftovers or boil eggs.

Another problem is, I have the master bedroom so I use the bathroom in my bedroom. This creates a problem because my bedroom is at the end of the hall with all the other bedrooms, so if I need to wash my hands or something I walk past all the other bathrooms. Also the simple act of unlocking/opening my door seems to make noise.

EDIT: The noisiest part is opening the fridge door. I forgot to say this.

  • 3
    You could buy everyone earplugs.... Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 21:49
  • @BrettFromLA I wasn't going to post this but it actually is a valid question. I offered to by them earplugs and they just got mad and said that was stupid. Is there more psychological ways to calm down the situation?
    – Celeritas
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 10:52
  • Your bathroom doesn't have a sink?
    – Just Do It
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 17:15
  • Welcome to having roommates
    – Carl
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 0:44
  • @Carl these are the worst I've ever had and it's sad. I've lived with roommates who did drugs in the house and we still came to an understanding better than these ones.
    – Celeritas
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 4:30

9 Answers 9


I am in a similar situation at home. I get up to go to work at around six in the morning whilst my wife and two very young children (2 and newborn) continue to sleep. If I make too much noise and wake on of the kids, that usually wakes everyone in the house.

I find preparation is key, I make sure that I've done as many things the evening before as I can. Things such as putting clothes out ready so I don't have to open drawers or cupboards. I find that if I've not done this, the act of looking for something in particular generally creates lots of noise.

I walk around the house barefoot or in socks although this does depend on what your flooring is like and how frequently it's cleaned. I also know where most of the "creaky" bits of floor are and avoid them.

With regards to doing things in the kitchen, if I can put as many closed doors as I can between me and those that are sleeping I generally find this works best.

A couple of weeks ago I spend an hour or so going around the house with a can of light spray oil (WD-40 specifically, although 3 in 1 or numerous others would do) and lubricated every door hinge, handle and lock mechanism. You'd be very surprised by the reduction in noise that has made. Some of the doors which previously creaked are now literally silent in operation.

With regards to the appliances. It may be worth consulting the manufacturers or checking the manuals (usually available online) to see if they can be adjusted to run silently (i.e. without a "beep"). Some may not support this function but hopefully some do.

My final piece of advice is to do things slowly. If I rush, I make noise. If I do things very slowly and methodically I find I can do them almost silently.

  • I forgot to say, the noisiest part is opening the fridge door.
    – Celeritas
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 10:30
  • 1
    (AIUI, WD40 is not really a lubricant — it's good for penetrating and freeing up moving parts, especially those which have got wet/rusty, but it's too thin and evanescent to keep them lubricated in the long term.  I believe an oil-based lubricant such as 3-In-1, or a PTFE-based one such as GT85, is preferable for this sort of use.)
    – gidds
    Commented Jan 2 at 14:05

I'd suggest ensuring people close their doors while sleeping (they should anyway, for fire safety and privacy), and you may want to install a noise machine in the hallway, or play a CD of surf sounds, rain sounds, or similar when you're up and others are sleeping.

For washing hands, you can do that in the kitchen sink, and not have to walk back and forth along the hall.

For walking, soft-soled slippers will do a lot to reduce noise.

  • If it is your appliance or if they are ok with it, you could remove the bell from the appliances or have a technician do it, is pretty simple.
  • Have a pair of slippers in your car or near the door handy when you have to be walking at those times.
  • Your own door can be handled by opening / closing it slowly turning the knob completely before opening or closing it.
  • Good advice about the appliances. I bought a fan to keep me cool going to sleep, but every press on the settings panel made an obnoxiously loud beep. I opened the thing up, found the beeper, and destroyed it. Easier than I thought and now it works exactly as needed. Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 2:10

You could try sound proofing the kitchen and wash your hands in the kitchen sink. Sheetrock can be used to sound-proof your kitchen.

As pseyfert stated with the folding doors this is indeed a good combo with my answer!


You have indicated the action that should be taken which is to isolate the kitchen (sources of noise) from the rest of the household or vise-versa.

Kitchen doors are problematic and are rarely used for various reasons.

The refrigerator door is a relatively easy fix. Clean the gasket seal around the refrigerator door and where it presses against the metal frame. A sticky seal will need more force to open which will rattle all the containers in the door. They tend to be small glass containers that bang into each other.

From your post, you have some experience with roommates. If you think that you are doing as much as you can, your roommates will have to take ownership and responsibility for themselves by doing what they can to ensure their well-being. This includes closing their bedroom door. If the bedrooms don't have a door, this is a problem with a very workable solution.

Investigate the possibilities of installing an acoustical folding door which is a Do-it-yourself kit. It's an expense and someone will have to buy it and install it which is an issue for the landlord. Happily, it's a tax-deductible expense in most jurisdictions and one which will make tenant's life a bit more bearable there.


Good luck.


Walking around the house is probably loudest when placing feet heel-first to the floor. Walking front-first is a lot better (now it depends on the house: on the concrete floor, you should be inaudible, wood might still be problematic).

Opening doors: push/pull it shut before pushing down the handle / turning the knob. That way there's no stress on the catch and no sudden bumping when the door is released.

Closing doors: the same, turn the knob / push the handle down before closing the door. push/pull it completely shut and keep it there while releasing the knob/handle.

I assume you have the kitchen door closed already when pushing the microwave buttons.

No good solutions from me for the rest :(


okay, no kitchen door. One can buy some folding doors in home improvement stores. I think blocking the direct airway will help. putting furniture in the corridor or plants to dampen the echo would be an addon (ever compared the noise in an empty apartment to how it sounds after moving in?). Though it feels like beeping from the microwave will not be impressed by echo dampers.

You can (desperately?) try to find out where the speaker is (like on phones one can drastically reduce the volume by putting the hand on the speaker). If it's accessible you can improvise. Cover the speaker with one hand while pushing the button with the other.

  • there is no kitchen door :(
    – Celeritas
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 10:51
  • 1
    @Celeritas, now that's an issue I'd look into first, before sneaking around in socks.
    – Stephie
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 12:06

I've been in a house where all the rooms have an automatically regulated AC unit with a strong exhaust that generates a lot of ambient noise.

On the base floor, there's a kitchen and a common room and metal stairs leading to the sleeping rooms above. When the AC unit in my room is off, I can hear the loud booming noises from the stairs, people opening and closing doors to their rooms, banging cupboards in the kitchen, even using the toilet or taking showers in the adjacent rooms.

Yet, when the AC unit is on, all the sounds are drowned. This might seem like a general recommendation and may not be feasible to pull off, but perhaps installing speakers into rooms and slowly introducing ambient noise before you arrive might help everyone out.


I live with my father in-law, husband, son, and occasionally we have brother-in-law and girlfriend here in garage apartment so I have experience with roomies ..... I think these tips will help:

Clean the fridge, clean the rubber around the fridge and where it meets. A magic eraser works great! Should help with the stickies. Also, grease the hinges (I don't know if that's what you call it). Ours is a little noisy and I find that lifting up on the handle when opening it helps with the sound.

Walk in soft bottoms slippers or socks, instead of flipflops or heals, and keep doing what you are doing. It seems you are doing your best, and going above and beyond the consideration of others. I hope your roommates show the same respect.

I sometimes hand wash dishes late late at night, and I just realized putting down a clean dish towel in the bottom of the sink in which you rinse helps out tremendously (no glass and metal at 3am). I run the water to rinse the dishes once I have washed quite a bit). Oh and.....

And remember: this is the most important!

Everything is extra loud whenever you are up late and others are sleeping. Maybe the roommates can run a fan, TV, white noise, and if they need complete silence to sleep, I would almost bet they aren't your roommates....


Felt pads (the type that are thick and have adhesive backing, like this) are excellent at reducing noise transmission (particularly lower frequency noises or kinetic impacts) in these types of situations. For example, run your kitchen faucet, and then stick a couple of these on the underside to compare the difference in noise level.

Another option that is often more economical (as opposed to actual materials marketed for sound-proofing specifically) is caulking; this will help dampen acoustic travel through the walls, as well as seal any potential air gaps for noise to escape through (as an added bonus, it'll increase your heating/cooling efficiency and save on your utility bill at the same time). Great Stuff is also effective if you don't have any qualms with working behind drywall; another common practice is to put up another layer of drywall over your current one.

  • 1
    Please provide additional details in your answer. As it's currently written, it's hard to understand your solution.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 8:30

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