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Tighten Loose Bathroom Towel Bars, Toilet Paper Holders, and Door Handles with Loctite 242


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by Jeff Patterson in Bathrooms

Loose towel bars, toilet paper holders, and door handles seem like the never-ending story (without the crazy flying dragon).

Two daughters and several tenants have shown me how bathroom accessories get jiggly or even broken over time.

Turn your bathroom nightmare into a DIY fantasy (sorry, my videos don’t have a shirtless buff guy or Mila Kunis in them, there’s no budget for that stuff) by using Loctite threadlocker blue 242.

This stuff is awesome because it protects threaded bolts and set screws from rust & corrosion. And it stops towel bars, toilet paper holders, and door handles from jiggling loose due to repetitive use.

Here are the supplies you’ll need

  • Small flat head & Phillips screwdriver (I mean tiny, think 1/16 of an inch wide)
  • Loctite threadlocker blue 242
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Duct tape
  • Allen wrenches
  • Paper towels

By the end of this post your bathroom accessories will never wiggle loose again (unless you’re doing a total remodel, in which case feel free to yank them right out of the wall).

Let’s get started!!

How to Tighten a Loose Toilet Paper Holder

Captain Kirk had his command chair.  But what you may not know is that it was in the bathroom.

There’s nothing more irritating  than a jiggling toilet paper holder  (okay, there are several more aggravating things in the world but this one is right up there with soggy sandwiches).

This fix is for a toilet paper holder that’s attached to your wall.

Take out the horizontal rod that holds the toilet paper and set it aside.


How to Tighten Bathroom Accessories with Loctite 242-Remove the horizontal rod that holds your toilet paper


There will be a small set screw either on the bottom or side of each toilet paper holder support arm.

Use a tiny flat head screwdriver or Allen wrench to turn the set screw to the left. This will loosen the tension of the set screw on the support bracket. Do this until you can remove the toilet paper support arm.

Here’s a good tip that will reduce your frustration, add a pencil mark on the wall to indicate the center of the metal support bracket. This is where your set screw needs to be lined up in order for the toilet paper holder to be reinstalled properly.


How to Tighten Bathroom Accessories with Loctite 242-Add a pencil mark in the center of the metal support bracket


If you don’t do this step you may just lose your mind like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

Lay an old towel on the floor to protect the surface from the Loctite 242.

Loosen the set screw until you can see at least 3-4 threads. Add 1-2 drops of Loctite threadlocker 242 and if you drop any on the floor just immediately wipe it up.

Line up the set screw with the pencil mark you made and tighten it until the support arm doesn’t budge.

Do the same thing for the other support arm and BAM, you’re toilet paper holder is tight like Elvis (not the 1977 Elvis who died ironically on a toilet, the 1957 Elvis who sang Jailhouse Rock).


How to Tighten a Loose Towel Bar

If you have matching bathroom accessories then this fix will be exactly the same as the toilet paper holder.

Since the towel bar get’s used so much (f this were a men’s room it wouldn’t get used at all, I can’t tell you how gross it is to see guys use the restroom and then walk out like they just bought a bag of chips or something!!) using Loctite is a godsend.

Here’s a brief video showing you how to tighten your loose towel bar, and please encourage your friends, family members, & random strangers to wash their hands because dysentery isn’t fun.


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How to Tighten Loose Bathroom Door Handles 

Loose bathroom door handles could drive Mother Theresa crazy (although I’m certain she wouldn’t curse like me).

Almost all door handles are held together with two screws. If your handle has a decorative coverplate like mine the first thing you need to do is remove the handle itself.

My handle has a set screw that can be loosened with an allen wrench. Usually these wrenches come with new door handles but if you have no idea where it is you can purchase a set from your local hardware store.

Loosen the set screw by turning it to the left then remove the handle. This will in turn allow you to remove the coverplate. Now you can access the two screws that hold the door handles together.

Here’s a tip, add a 7 inch piece of duct tape to the top of the door handle body. This will hold it in place and keep the screw holes aligned with each other when you remove one screw. Otherwise, as you loosen and pull out the first screw the door handle body will  drop.


How to Tighten Bathroom Accessories with Loctite 242-Add duct tape to the door handle body


This kinda stinks because sometimes it’s hard to align the screw holes. Adding the duct tape will eliminate that headache.

Add 2 drops of Loctite threadlocker 242 to the door handle screw then insert it back into the body. As you tighten the screw it will distribute the Loctite along the threads and create a tight bond in 10 minutes.

In case you like videos better than words here’s a short clip showing you how to do everything I described.


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Hopefully this post helps you to never have to tighten your bathroom accessories again. Every time you reach for toilet paper just remember that you’re well equipped with the knowledge to stop loose screws all over the house.

Where could you use Loctite threadlocker 242?

Have a great day!

Jeff Patterson





P.S. Sign up for my weekly email newsletter because you’ll get tips, DIY ideas, & crazy stories that will save you time and maybe make you laugh 🙂

  1. Linda S. in NE says:

    Hey Jeff, I enjoyed todays lesson and videos. I am curious as to just how permanent this Loctite threadlocker blue 242 product really is. It sounds like it solves the jiggling fixture problem without a hitch. But, you know us women,…what if we tire of the finish of our fixtures, want to unscrew them from the wall, take them out to the backyard and do our “spray-paint magic”? Not naming any names here. Has the Loctite company come up with the “Oops, changed-my-mind product” that will loosen the Loctite locked screws? Always thinking ahead!

    1. Great question Linda, I hear ya!!

      I change my mind about accessories, too 🙂

      Loctite 242 provides a semi-permanent bond so that if you have that “Oops” moment you should be able to loosen the screws. I haven’t tried this but may me I should.

      I don’t have any kind of relationship with Loctite but I’ll call their technical support line and ask your question.

    2. Linda, I just called Loctite.

      They said that Loctite 242 can be applied to screws that need to be loosened. But if you have trouble undoing the bond it can be undone using a heat gun at a temperature of 450F.

      The tech person did say the 242 will harden again once the heat is removed.

      The package for the Loctite 242 does say it should be used on metal fasteners with 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch diameters. My set screws were about 1/8 of an inch, and I realize this may present an issue if I’d like to switch out the bathroom accessories. But at least you know the temperature at which the Loctite 242 will liquefy.

  2. Linda S. in NE says:

    Thanks for looking into this, Jeff. I do own a heat gun used for embossing projects when I am making handmade greeting cards. You wouldn’t think a tool used for paper crafts would get to a hot enough temperature, but more than once, I have seen smoke!! Yikes!! Thanks again.

    1. Glad I could help Linda, let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  3. You should see the hand towel holder in our bathroom! It keeps coming loose and has rubbed off the wall paint, all around it. I keep tightening it and it keeps coming loose. I thought I would have to either buy a new holder, a new tiny screw but looks like all I need is Loctite 242… adding to my list, thank you for sharing this!

    1. We had the same issue. The paint was ruined by the goofy towel bar always being loose.

      Let me know how your project turns out 😉

  4. Beth in AZ says:

    This is SO timely! Our last kiddo is a boy…a very SOCIAL one! We have teen boys in and out all the time! Its so bad, that I never know what leftovers are…well..leftOVER! One night I went to bed with 4 heads sleeping only to wake up to 6..and someone left and a replacement arrived around 3 am! All this means that the toilet paper hook gets used as a something to lean on. It looks sadder and sadder till finally the roll just slides off onto the floor. I will pick up some Loctite tomorrow and since I know its installed on a stud (patting self on the back), I think I will add a small handle. HOPEFULLY , they will get the hint! (and I won’t have to get out the screwdriver and allen wrenches weekly…SIGH) Thanks for all the tips!

    1. Your story cracked me up Beth 🙂

      It sounds like your son is one popular guy, which is cool.

      You certainly need a HUGE high five for installing the toilet paper holder to a stud. Let me know how the Loctite works out for you.

      Judging by the number of boys that visit, and knowing a typical teenager’s diet is nothing short of prodigious, your bathroom definitely gets a some use, LOL.

  5. Thank you for this post. We are on our 3rd toilet paper holder because they kept coming loose and dropping the toilet paper. I will use your tip and save money on not buying new ones. A bit embarrassing that I am a DIY blogger and couldn’t figure this out. You have great info on your site.

  6. Lori says:

    Will this work on the water faucets so also?? The screws on these are really tiny!!! Or is there another trick to getting them tight and keeping them tight??

  7. I have put up a 1.2m stainless steel rod (25mm) through 2 holders that have a ring for the rod to go through. These are not the end type i.e. the road ends protrude on either end by about 10cm. When I pull the towel off the rod turns and one end falls out of the ring. How can I stoop this?

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How to Build a Shower:
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Learn step-by-step how to build a custom tiled shower and get awesome results.

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