How to Adjust a Soft Close Toilet Seat

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A toilet seat should be aligned with the bowl.
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Soft-close toilet seats slowly lower when tilted forward. This prevents them from slamming down, which could damage the toilet seat and hinges or wake sleeping members of the family. Dampers control the soft-close action, and these may need to be adjusted or replaced if the lid suddenly starts slamming closed. The damper on the left controls the seat and the damper on the right controls the lid.


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Removing Soft-Close Toilet Seats

Soft-close toilet dampers look like cylindrical hinges. Methods for removing them depend on the make and model of the soft-close toilet seat.

First, remove the seat and lid from the base of the toilet. With the lid closed, remove or lift the cover caps behind the seat, if they exist. For some toilet lids, like the Kohler Quiet-Close, all you have to do is pull the toilet seat forward to remove it after lifting the caps. Others have screws that you can remove with a screwdriver, or nuts that you can remove with a socket wrench.


Others may have no caps at all. Open the lid and lift the toilet seat, then apply outward pressure to the ends of both hinges to release them. Once the toilet seat and lid have been removed, place them on a flat surface with the bottom of the seat facing up and the hinges pointing toward you.

Removing Soft-Close Dampers

The process of removing the soft-close dampers will also differ by brand and style. On some models, you might see a small hole on the dampers. Insert a screwdriver into this hole and rotate the damper toward you, then slide it outward to remove it.


On a Kohler Quiet-Close seat, start by removing the gray cover. Push upward on the two recessed areas on the side of the cover to lift it out. Next, use needle-nose pliers to grasp the "X" on the end of each cylinder and pull inward.

This will allow the entire damper assembly to separate from the toilet seat. With it removed, push the dampers outward.

Adjusting Soft-Close Dampers

With the dampers removed, you have two options: Install brand-new ones purchased from the manufacturer or adjust the soft-close toilet seat dampers with silicone damping grease. Damping grease will absorb shock and increase resistance when the toilet lid shuts, slowing it down.


The damping grease needs to be applied to the inner structure of the soft-close toilet seat dampers. Look for a retaining nut on one end of the damper and remove it with a socket wrench (it may be located under a cap that must be pulled or twisted off first). This should allow the damper to pull apart so you can pack the inner compartment with grease. Clean the damper in soapy water first, since it's possible for debris to have accumulated in the damper over time.

It's important to squeeze as much oil or grease into the damper as possible so that it provides resistance when the damper rotates. Wipe up excess oil or grease with a paper towel when finished, then reassemble the damper and reinstall it onto the toilet seat.



Cathy Habas enjoys distilling even the most complicated home improvement tasks into bite-sized pieces. She believes in empowering homeowners one article at a time.