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What you'll need:
Store-bought silicone spray
When it comes to the plethora of home projects you probably have on your plate, a squeaky door can seem like small potatoes. However, over time, this noise is enough to drive you batty. On the bright side, there are many simple tricks for fixing squeaky hinges and doors, and often, you can use items that you already have at home.
7 Steps to Fixing a Squeaky Door
When attempting to solve the squeaky door conundrum, there are several things you can try. Read on to see a few methods to fix a squeaky door before going out to the store and buying your supplies.
Photo: Iriana Shiyan / Adobe Stock
Tighten the Hinges
Making sure the hinges are secure and tightened is important to keep the door secure—and, in turn, potentially eliminating that infuriating squeak. To do this, tighten the screws on each hinge, using a wrench if you need to.
You can also tighten the hinges with a screwdriver, depending on the type. Turn the screwdriver until the screw feels secure against the hinge, and then try opening and closing it again to see if that banishes the squeaking sound.
Spray on Lubricant
A squeaky door is often the result of the friction of metal on metal in your door hinges. Friction within the hinges tends to occur when there is an accumulation of dirt, dust, or debris or simply a lack of lubrication between the hinge surface and the hinge pin.
Silicone spray can be an instant fix for a squeaky door, and as a bonus, it is safe to use on a variety of surfaces. You’ll find these sprays in virtually every hardware store.
To implement this fix, simply remove the door’s hinge pin by using a hammer to tap the pin upwards until the pin’s head is lodged upward. Next, apply the silicone spray on the hinge, and give the hinge pin a spray before putting it back using the hammer.
Try Bar Soap
Bar soaps often are full of fats and oils that work as fantastic lubrication for squeaky hinges. Plus, this method is an affordable fix that you likely already have in your bathroom. Rub your bar soap fully into the hinges until well-lubricated. When you rub the soap in, open and close the door to more thoroughly work the soap into the hinges.
Note: Avoid soaps containing glycerin since these can attract moisture to the hinge, potentially causing rust.
Go for Petroleum Jelly
Due to its oily properties, petroleum jelly can act as a lubricant to fix squeaky doors. Plus, it clings and secures itself well to the hinge, so there’s usually not a residual mess.
Rub the outside of the hinge with a small amount of petroleum jelly. Or, if that doesn’t work, you can try a more in-depth job. First, remove the hinge pin. Place an object like a book underneath it to keep the door in place, and then tap out the hinge using a hammer and a chisel or similar tool. Tap upwards until it loosens. Then, coat the hinge pin with the jelly before placing it back in the hinge.
Apply Olive Oil
Another common kitchen ingredient, olive oil, is a great hack for fixing your squeaking hinges. You can use a pipette to make the job easier and avoid having a big mess to clean up. Better yet, if your oil is already in a spray can, you can also use that to make things even easier.
Simply apply a few drops of olive oil to the hinges, and you should lubricate the squeaks away.
Clean the Hinge Pin with Steel Wool
If your door continues squeaking even after you’ve tried the tactics above, your hinge pins may be too gunked up to work properly. Sometimes, lubricant cannot save the hinge pins from excess rust and dust.
In this case, lubrication alone won't solve the issue; you’ll first have to clean the hinge pins. For this, all you need is a household cleaner and steel wool.
Remove the hinge pins and use a steel wool pad and cleaner to scrub them clean. Afterward, lubricate the hinges with one of your household or store-bought remedies. Finally, place the hinges back in the door and use a hammer to tap them back into place.
Replace the Hinges
If nothing works and your door continues to squeak, it’s time to call in the big guns. Purchasing new hinges can improve your door’s functionality and eliminate your frustrations.
Installing new door hinges is a doable DIY job, and you’ll need the following materials:
It can be helpful, especially if you’re doing this as a one-person project, to use doorstops to keep the door steady as you replace your hinges.
First, you’ll need to measure your current hinges to determine what size you’ll need. When the hinge is open, measure with your tape measure from the top to the bottom of the hinge. You’ll also need to pick a finish, which is a personal preference—popular finishes include bronze, nickel, and brass.
Using a screwdriver or drill, unscrew all the screws on one door hinge and screw in the new hinge. To do this without the door coming off of its frame, repeat this process for each hinge one at a time.
Often, it’s the hinges on the door that cause that annoying squeak. Specifically, the cause may be an accumulation of dirt and dust, which causes the metal surfaces of the hinge and hinge pin to rub together and create squeaking.