There are few things in life more annoying than a squeaky door. A squeaky door is a problem that you’ll be reminded of every time someone opens the door, and if that’s in a busy part of your house or office, that’s going to be a lot. And who wants to be woken in the middle of the night by a creaking door?
Let’s take a look at how to fix a squeaky door and what the best lubricant for squeaky door hinges is.
What Makes a Door Squeak?
Although it can be wood rubbing up against wood, more often than not it’s the hinges that are causing the squeak and need your attention if you are going to regain your sanity. Friction in the hinge can be caused by a build-up of dirt or dust or a lack of lubrication between the metal surfaces of the hinge and the hinge pin. It is this friction and rubbing of metal on metal which causes the squeaking sound.
The most common causes of a squeaky door are:
More often than not, the hinges are the main culprit. So what do we do when the hinges are causing headaches?
As hinges or generally the cause of a squeaky or creaky door, it is the hinges where you will need to oil the door. To fix a squeaky hinge, you might be able to just lubricate the hinge without having to take anything apart. Sometimes you might need to remove the hinge pin. You should be able to remove a hinge pin quite easily by using a hammer to tap on the bottom of the pin with a nail.
8 Lubricants For Squeaky Door Hinges
Quick and easy solutions to stop squeaky door hinges can be surprising and found in the average home. You may not need to make that visit to your favourite DIY store just yet! First, you need a substance to clean the door hinge to remove any dirt build-up. Next, you’ll need a lubricant to ensure the hinge parts can move smoothly with little resistance or friction from other parts.
There are many different options when it comes to lubricants which can help stop a squeaky hinge. We’ll take you through some of the best lubricants for door hinges to fix that annoying squeak. Some good lubricants which can solve a squeak can be found readily in your home and are worth a try at first. For stubborn squeaks, you may need to go to a hardware or DIY store to buy a specialist lubricant. Here are some commonly used lubricants for door hinges – we’ll explain how they work and let you know what we think the best solution is.
Hairspray can be a quick and easy way to stop a door hinge from squeaking. Hairspray contains polymers that create a seal around the door hinges that stops them from loosening and moving about and squeaking. Spray a couple of times on the squealing hinge and then open and close the door to spread the hairspray around. Hairspray should work in the short term, but you’ll want to look at our other solutions for a longer fix.
2. Bar Soap
Bar soaps contain fats and oils (such as palm and coconut) that will help lubricate those squeaky hinges. It should be no surprise that soap can ease door squeaks and scraping sounds – in fact, soap has been found on the axles of chariots dating back to 1400BC and is used in many industrial lubricants now. Rub a bar of soap into the hinges until they are well-lubricated. Open and close the door to work the soap into the hinges. Make sure you choose a bar soap with a good fat quantity in it – organic soaps are a good bet.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a simple solution for fixing squeaking hinges. A few drops of olive oil will easily lubricate your squeaking hinges. We’d recommend using a pipette or oil can to make the process as easy and clean as possible. Simply apply a few drops of olive oil to the hinges and your hinge should soon be squeak-free.
4. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly has had many uses over the years such as medically to reduce scarring and as an ingredient in hair products to reduce moisture loss. Commonly petroleum jelly is used to protect lips against the weather or to protect against dry skin. Due to petroleum jelly’s oily properties, it makes a great lubricant for door hinges so could be the solution you’ve been looking for. To use petroleum jelly to ease your squeaking hinges, rub the outside of the hinge with a small amount until the jelly is worked into the hinge. For a more thorough job, you might want to remove the hinge pin and coat that in petroleum jelly before replacing it in the hinge.
5. Paraffin Candles
The petroleum in paraffin candles will also act as a lubricant to quieten those noisy hinges. You will need to light the candle to soften the wax. You will also need to remove the hinge pin from the hinge. Grease the hinge pin with melted wax and safely put the pin back in the hinge.=
A great solution for lubricating your door hinges is GT85 as it has a PTFE silicone element within it. GT85 is supplied with a small plastic tube to minimise mess and waste. Squirting a little GT85 into your lock will remove any build-up of dust & dirt and also leave a thin lubricating layer. Wipe away any excess liquid and your creaky door should be gone!
7. Silicone Spray
Silicone spray is excellent for fixing squeaky hinges and is widely available both online and in DIY stores. Silicone spray is free from mineral oils and grease, and safe to use on a variety of surfaces as a lubricant including plastic, rubber and metal. The best approach to using silicone spray to stop a squeaky door is to remove the hinge pin, spray in the hinge and use a cloth to catch any liquid that drizzles out. Then spray the pin itself before placing it back in the hinge and wipe away any excess.
8. Lithium Grease
Lithium grease is another good option for solving creaky hinges. A blob of lithium grease on the hinge pin should lubricate the hinge and make sure your door does not squeak.
What Is the Best Lubricant for Door Hinges?
The best lubricant for squeaky door hinges would be either a silicone spray or lithium grease. Silicon spray is cheaper, easier to apply and potentially less messy than lithium grease, which makes it the winner for us. If you don’t have either silicon spray or lithium grease don’t panic. Petroleum jelly is a good option, as are some of the other household lubricants we’ve mentioned, such as hairspray or olive oil. It’s worth remembering that whilst lubricating a door hinge should get rid of any squeaks or creaks, it might only be a short-term solution if the door has been fitted badly or the hinge is simply at the end of its lifespan. In these circumstances, you would need to investigate rehanging the door or replacing the hinges.
Is WD 40 Good for Door Hinges?
WD 40 is not a good solution for squeaking door hinges. The reason that WD 40 is not good for lubricating door hinges is that its main function is as a cleaner and a water displacer, It does contain a very small amount of lubricant, but spraying your hinges with WD 40 could ultimately attract dirt and make the problem even worse.
What Else Can Cause a Squeaky Door?
While it’s true that the hinges and the door shape can cause your door to squeak, there may be more at play than what needs the eye. Some of the most common causes of squeaking doors include:
Hinges and Hardware:
Worn Hinges: Over time, the hinges of a door can wear out or become rusty, causing them to rub against each other and produce a squeaking sound.
Loose Screws: If the screws holding the hinges in place are loose, the hinge plates can shift slightly, leading to friction and noise.
Lack of Lubrication: Hinges, doorknobs, and other hardware may lack proper lubrication, causing them to grind against each other and create noise.
Changes in Humidity: Wood tends to expand and contract with changes in humidity. This can cause parts of the door, such as the frame or panels, to shift slightly and produce squeaks as they rub against each other.
Misaligned Hinges: If the hinges are not aligned properly, the door might not hang evenly, causing uneven pressure and rubbing against the frame.
Door Warping: If the door warps over time due to temperature changes or moisture exposure, it might rub against the frame unevenly, leading to squeaking.
Worn Weatherstripping: If the weatherstripping is worn or damaged, it might create friction between the door and the frame.
Age and Usage:
General Wear and Tear: Over time, as a door is opened and closed repeatedly, the components can experience wear, leading to increased friction and eventually squeaking.
Settling of the Structure: Houses settle and shift over time, which can cause doors and frames to move slightly and create new points of friction.
What Else Can I Do?
If lubricating the door hinges doesn’t do the job, it’s time to dig into other options. One or more of these may help quiet the squeak!
Tighten Screws: Check and tighten any loose screws in the hinges and hardware to ensure proper alignment.
Replace Worn Components: If hinges, hardware, or weatherstripping are severely worn, consider replacing them with new ones.
Adjust Hinges: If hinges are misaligned, adjust them to ensure the door hangs properly within the frame.
Sand or Trim: If the door is rubbing against the frame due to warping, you might need to sand or trim the areas causing friction.
Use Door Shims: If the door is uneven, use wooden shims to adjust its position within the frame.
Upgrade Hardware: Consider using nylon or ball-bearing hinges that are designed to reduce friction and noise.
As we arrive at the final paragraphs of this helpful guide, we’ll take a moment to recap what we’ve discovered:
Squeaky doors are usually caused by hinges or a warped/misaligned door
There are 9 great lubricants that you can use for door hinges (and silicone spray is the best)
There may be a few other reasons that your door is squeaking, and we’ve outlined 6 ways to fix this