A loose door hinge is annoying enough, but it’s even worse when you’ve tried to screw it back in before realising the holes are stripped and the screws won’t catch. But there’s a clever way to use a stack of toothpicks to fix a loose door hinge, brought to us by TikToker Mercury Stardust. Here’s how it works.
First, take off the old hinge
Unscrew the hanging hinge from the door frame. You can do it by hand if the screws are hanging on by a thread, but if they’re giving you a little trouble, use a screwdriver while being careful not to bend the hinge or damage the screw holes worse. Clear the holes of any remaining debris for what comes next.
Grab enough toothpicks
You’ll want to measure how many toothpicks you actually need, so do a trial run first by taking out your toothpicks and adding them into the existing screw holes. Add or remove your toothpicks until enough of them fit snugly in the hole, and once you have the amount you want to use, only then should you move to the next step: Cover them in a layer of wood glue, just enough so they stick together, but not so much that it’s goopy.
Use your toothpicks to make new screw holes
Jam the toothpicks into each screw hole so they’re nice and tight, then use a strong pair of scissors or wire cutters to cut them down a bit, leaving only about an inch of the toothpicks sticking out. Then hammer the toothpicks so they’re flush with the wood, position the hinge over your new toothpick-filled holes, and screw everything back into place.