No one will argue that squeaky door hinges are deeply annoying. Luckily, there are plenty of quick, easy ways to stop those squeaky hinges from disrupting your peace!
The best way to stop squeaky door hinges is to take apart and thoroughly clean them, then add silicone lubricant. You can also lubricate hinges with WD-40, olive oil, petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, hairspray, or bar soap.
This article will explore all of the above methods in-depth. Read on to find out which way will work best for your needs.
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How To Stop Squeaky Door Hinges
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Noisy hinges are usually a result of friction, so it’s no surprise that adding lubricant is the go-to solution when you have a squeaky door on your hands. However, keep in mind that dirt, rust, and grime build up in your hinges over time, causing squeaks that lubrication alone will only temporarily resolve.
With that in mind, here are 4 simple ways to end that annoying squeak!
1. Clean the Hinges and Pins
The best and most lasting way to fix squeaky door hinges is to clean the pins and hinges thoroughly, then lubricate them. Before you start, you’ll need to gather a few things:
- A hammer
- A large nail
- Paper towels or a rag
- Q-tips or pipe cleaner
- Silicone lubricant
- Steel wool (optional)
Here’s what you need to do:
- Place the tip of the nail on the underside of one hinge and tap the other end of the nail gently with the hammer to get the pin to come out.
- Once the pin is free, spray a generous amount of WD-40 on your paper towel or rag, then thoroughly clean the pin with it. You can also scrub the pin with soap and water or use steel wool to remove stubborn rust and grime.
- After your pin is cleaned, you need to clean the hinge itself. Before you start, place a rag or paper towel under the door to prevent WD-40 from dripping on your carpet.
- Spray the inside of the hinge liberally with WD-40, then use your Q-tips or pipe cleaner to clean out all the dirt and grime. Again, if there is rust or heavy buildup, scrubbing the hinge with steel wool may be required.
- When the hinge is clean, wipe off any excess WD-40, and spray the inside with silicone lubricant.
- Replace the pin and repeat the process on the other hinge!
2. Tighten the Hinges
This might surprise you, but door hinges can become loose over time! In fact, it is a very common cause of squeaking doors. Luckily this is another easy fix.
All you need is a Phillips screwdriver or a power drill. Open the squeaky door and test each screw in the hinges. If they are loose, tighten them accordingly. That should stop the squeak!
During this process, you may find that the screws and screw holes in your hinges are stripped, causing the hinge to loosen and the door to sag. If your screws are stripped, you’ll need to purchase new ones. Make sure the new screws are the same size and length.
If your screw holes are stripped, you can purchase a hinge repair kit like the ZZem Stripped Screw Hole Repair Kit from Amazon.com, which comes with three different drill bits plus screws that reinforce the strength of your door hinges. All you need is a power drill.
Alternatively, you can use gorilla glue or wood glue with a small wooden dowel, toothpicks, or a golf tee to fill the damaged screw holes, as seen on this YouTube video from Paint Life TV:
Note that this method will require a 24-hour wait time for the glue to dry. However, once dry, you can reattach the hinge, and your door is fixed!
3. Lubricate the Hinges
The fastest way to deal with squeaky hinges is to lubricate them. Silicon or lithium grease are the best lubricants for door hinges. Lithium grease lasts the longest, but silicone is cheaper and easier.
However, if you don’t have either handy and don’t want to go out and buy some, other lubricants you have around the house will work in a pinch.
In addition, if you don’t have the proper time or tools to clean your hinges, these common household lubricants provide quick fixes to stop that annoying squeak.
Remember that these fixes are only temporary without cleaning the hinge. The dirt inside the hinge will still be there, ready to resurrect that squeak as soon as the lubrication wears off!
Most households have a can of basic multi-purpose WD-40 lying around, which makes it an easy temporary fix for squeaky hinges. WD-40 is designed to lubricate and clean, so it will stop the door from squeaking for a few weeks, depending on how dirty the hinges are.
For the best effect, removing the pins as described above is recommended. However, you don’t have to. You can skip that step and spray the hinge with the WD-40 until the substance works its way inside.
Don’t forget to wipe away excess product and then repeat the process on the other hinge.
Olive oil is another handy quick-fix lubricant that can be used on door hinges. While it’s not ideal because it’s not designed for use on hinges and can potentially go rancid, olive oil will silence your squeak for a while!
- It’s best to remove the pin and clean the hinge first, but you can also dribble a little olive oil on the top of the pin.
- Open and close the door as the oil drips down to get it into the hinge.
- Once the squeak is silenced, wipe away the excess oil.
And you’re all done!
Petroleum jelly, or Vaseline, is another easy replacement lubricant you will likely have lying around. To fix that squeak:
- Rub a generous amount into the hinge using your finger or a Q-tip.
- Swing the door back and forth a few times until the petroleum gets inside the hinge.
Petroleum jelly is also convenient because it won’t run or drip like sprays and oils, so clean-up is much easier!
Paraffin wax also functions as a suitable lubricant for door hinges. Plain white candles are often made of paraffin, so you may have some lying around. Keep in mind that this method requires the pins to be removed from the hinges, so it’s not as quick as the others I’ve mentioned. It is also easily the messiest method on this list.
- Remove one pin from your door hinge. Leave the other pin, so the door can stay on the frame.
- Warm some paraffin wax in the microwave at 15-second intervals until it is melted.
- Dip the hinge pin in the wax, ensuring the entire pin is coated.
- Re-insert the pin into the hinge.
Do the same for the other hinge pin and test the door for squeaks. You should be in the clear!
While it may seem counter-intuitive, another quick and easy way to quiet a squeaky door is with hairspray. Just spray the hinge liberally, and you’re done! However, please note that this method does not last long. The squeak may reoccur within a few days.
If you don’t have WD-40, olive oil, petroleum, paraffin wax, or hairspray at home, don’t worry. Believe it or not, you can lubricate your door hinges with bar soap! Just make sure it’s not glycerine soap, which appears translucent.
- Dampen the soap with water.
- Rub the soap bar over the hinge joints.
- Rotate the door a few times to get the soap inside the hinge.
Voila! No more squeaking.
4. Replace the Hinges
If none of the above approaches works to end your door squeaking, it may be time to replace the hinges altogether. This, however, is not a quick fix! You will need a couple of tools and a trip to the hardware store.
Tools to use are:
- Phillips screwdriver or power drill
- New hinges and screws
To replace hinges, you should:
- Remove one hinge. Take the hinge with you to the hardware store to buy your new hinges.
- Ensure the old hinge and new hinge are the same size and shape. This will make the replacement process much more manageable.
- Replace the removed hinge with your new hardware and screw it into place.
- Repeat this process for the remaining hinge.
That’s it! For a detailed tutorial, check out this YouTube video on How to Replace and Upgrade Your Door Hinges:
Other Noisy Door Problems
Squeaky hinges aren’t the only consideration in noisy door problems. Latches and door stoppers can also be irritatingly loud. Or, perhaps, you want to reduce noise pollution through your doors. If so, check out my other articles below.
The most effective and lasting way to fix squeaky door hinges is to clean the pins and hinges with multi-purpose WD-40, then lubricate them with silicone or lithium grease. Tightening all the screws in the hinges is also an effective solution. Temporary fixes include lubricating the hinges with WD-40, olive oil, petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, hairspray, or bar soap. Lastly, if nothing else works, you can replace the hinges.