My kitchen cabinets are all wood (even the sliders on the drawers are wood against wood)as they are pushing 50 years old. I can’t afford to replace them right now. What can I put on the drawer sliders to help them move more easily? I keep thinking I once heard of someone using some type of soap or something to make old cabinet drawers slide easier.

The farmhouse in which I grew up had custom cabinets – read that: Grandpop made them for Grandmom… who was very short. All drawers were wood, sliding on wood. We always saved the ends of candles and kept them handy in the kitchen. When a drawer would stick, we’d just pull it out and run the candle up and down the runner several times. Soap also works but the modern soaps probably have more moisture in them than is optimal for this purpose. If we ever used soap on our drawers, it was probably Fels Naptha. Wax probably works better.

And I would go slow on replacing those all-wood drawers, you’re unlikely to find anything of as good quality on the market today. We replaced ours after about 60 years, not because they were no good anymore, but because when we opened the walls to insulate, we found more and more reasons to gut and reconfigure the kitchen and dining rooms and excavate underneath as well. It was a real adventure, glad I wasn’t living there at the time! It turned into a fascinating archaeological dig, which made my history.

Paraffin and a heat gun will solve the problem. Heat the wood with the heat gun, “now that does not mean a hair dryer but a real heat gun” rub the paraffin onto the heated wood and then apply heat until that paraffin has soaked in. Do this to both surfaces until the wood will not absorb anymore of the heat liquefied wax. This treatment will last for several years and also works very well on windows as well. Applying heated wax before painting will keep the wood from taking on the paint and will insure that your windows will still work when you finish. Of course you still have to use reasonable care when painting but you won’t “GLUE” all your windows shut in the process.

Use a rough cloth or towel to wipe off the excess wax when finished you I believe you will be pleased with the results. Electric Heat guns are available at local hardware stores for under $40.00 and you will probably find many other uses for one once you won it.

Any kind of bar soap will work, just rub it on. Graphite also works but it’s not as readily found around the house. If the drawers are getting stuck, you could do a little light sanding on the rails or drawer bottoms to give them a little more space to move.