How To Make A Clock Quieter: A Step By Step Guide

Traditional clocks are great until you are trying to relax… The continuous ticking of a nearby clock is enough to drive a person crazy but before you rip the clock off the wall and throw it out, take a look at these quick and simple ways to quieten the ticking of a clock once and for all.

This step-by-step guide will help you reduce the sound of a clock in no time at all.  

1. Take the clock down

Take the clock and place it face down onto a table or workbench. Remove the back panel (removing it may require unscrewing or unhooking the panel).

silent wall clock, green background

2. Oil the mechanisms

Now the back panel has been removed you should be able to see the internal mechanisms of the clock. The gears may need extra lubrication to help them move smoother (and quieter).

Gently oil the gears with clock oil (this is a special, thinner oil that usually comes in a spray for easy application), check it out below:

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  • Formation of a Triple Barrier Shield to protect against rust and other corrosive buildup

Spray the gears once or twice with the oil.

Once you have applied oil, place the clock face up onto paper towels so any excess oil can drip off onto the towels. After 20-30 minutes it should be dry. Oiling the mechanism will help the clock to run smoother.

How the inside of a clock looks varies from clock to clock so you may need a bit of knowledge about the clock before being able to access or oil the gears. This is particularly true of older clocks.

However, most clocks use the same basic mechanisms so once you are aware of this you should be fine. Some clocks have an additional cover over the mechanism but this can often be easily screwed off.

3. Soundproof the clock

Now the gears have been oiled, place foam inside the body of the clock. Ensure the foam does not interfere with any of the mechanisms of the clock.

The foam should be dense and heavy as it is acting as a mass that will help to block or muffle the sound. You can then tape the foam in place. The gears will keep turning but the sound will be muffled.

This method is most effective for use on wall hanging clocks.

4. Replace the back panel

back of alarm clock

Now that the gears have been oiled and you have added foam to help block the sound, you can place the back panel back to its original position. With the back panel reattached you can now hang the clock back on the wall.

The ticking sound should be noticeably reduced. The amount the noise has reduced depends on whether the clock has been designed to tick loudly or whether the noise was as a result of a lack of lubrication in the gears.

No matter what the cause, you’ll certainly notice the clock is quieter, particularly with the foam acting as a barrier for the sound.

All in all, this technique will take just a few minutes of your time to complete and requires very few tools. It is effective in reducing the ticking sound so is certainly worth a go.

Other Solutions

how to silence a clock

If you have found your clock is still ticking too loud for your liking, there are a couple of other solutions to the problem.

Replace the clock mechanism

You can buy a silent movement clock mechanism to replace the ticking mechanism your clock currently has. A silent movement clock will mean the second-hand moves in a sweeping motion instead of the second to second ticking motion.

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By buying a silent clock mechanism for just a couple of pounds you can completely silence the clock without having to pack it with foam or buy a whole new clock.

How to Install a New Clock Mechanism:

  1. Buy a suitable silent mechanism. A silent mechanism kit will cost a few pounds and they generally come in a couple of sizes so make sure you get the size that will fit your clock.
  2. Once you have bought a silent mechanism you will want to take the clock off the wall and remove the back panel. You will also need to remove the clock face cover so you have access to the clock hands.
  3. Take the clock hands off and put them to one side, then turn the clock over and remove the mechanism box. Now, you can put your new silent mechanism in its place.
  4. With the new mechanism clicked in place, turn the clock over and replace the hands making sure you place the hands in the correct order (hour, minute, second). Place the hands so they all point to 12 and then you can use the time-set knob to check the hands all rotate properly and have clearance of each other. It is very important to make sure the hands are not hitting each other and are not going to hit the glass panel or clock face cover.
  5. Now you can replace the front cover, put a battery into the mechanism, set the time and replace the back cover. Your new and improved clock is ready to hang back on the wall. You will notice the ticking hand now moves in a silent sweeping motion and there is no more annoying ticking noise.

Place the clock into a container

If you don’t feel like taking your clock apart, you could place it into a container. An airtight container such as a jar or a glass dome will do the trick. That way, you won’t hear it ticking at all (but it may be a bit strange to have a clock in a container).

The container simply acts as a barrier and will reduce the noise you hear. This technique works to quieten any appliance and you can find a way to make it look good too.

Although, you won’t want to put your clock into a container if it is an alarm clock because it won’t just be the ticking that you can’t hear, you won’t be able to hear the alarm either!

Replace the clock altogether

If the ticking sound is a problem and you’re not that fond of the clock you could replace it altogether.

Try switching from a battery-powered to a mains-powered clock as a mains-powered clock will not tick. There are also battery-powered versions that are designed to make almost no noise so this may be worth investigating too.

Another option is to buy a non-ticking silent clock, these offer an affordable solution and are completely silent (bliss!).

Purchasing a silent clock can eliminate your problems with no fuss and no D.I.Y needed.

To Conclude

Noisy ticking clocks are obnoxious and annoying. It may be surprising to hear there are a fair few solutions to this problem so there is absolutely no reason to tolerate it anymore. If you have a ticking clock that is disrupting your peace then it can be silenced in a few easy steps.

No matter what your skill level is, there is a way for you to quieten the clock. The simplest solution is to add foam to the back of your clock to dampen and muffle the noise but all of the methods above are relatively quick and inexpensive.   

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My name is Dan and I live very close to an internationally famous stadium which generates an awful lot of noise that I'd rather block out!

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