When it comes to your home and the defects it sometimes suffer, it boils down to the little things. There are a lot of structural things that can go wrong around your house. Whether it’s the front-door lock that is seemingly bent on not letting you inside to your own home or the cracked window that is letting the cold wind in, small household problems can potentially lead to much bigger concerns.
For a lot of these things, there is really no need to call in the professionals. You can just tap into your ingenuity and a few household materials to fix these things Even when it seems that the roof is falling in or the floor is opening up beneath you — at times, in very literal fashion — there are often simple ways to solve larger problems on your own.
One of these things is a squeaky door, which is enough to drive someone insane! But why do doors squeak? The problem is often caused by wood rubbing against wood. In a door hinge, the hinge’s pieces of metal are sliding over each other and vibrating. The door attached to the hinge probably acts as a soundboard to amplify the sound.
There are numerous solutions; some don’t even require the use of the usual go-to product — WD40. All of these are easy to do, can be done in less than five minutes and requires easy-to-find household items. Let’s take a look at these different methods.
Table of Contents
- Lubricate with Oil
- Apply Wax to Hinge Pins
- Use a Steel Wool to Eliminate Dirt or Rust
- Use Mayonnaise
- Use a Suitable Lubricant
- How to Remove Difficult to Detach Hinges
1) Lubricate with Oil
Try to lubricate the hinge pin without removing it. Before you try to detach the hinge pin from a door, try lubricating it. You may be able to spray enough oil into the hinge pin without needing to actually remove the door. Make use of some silicon-based blaster spray to coat the hinge as best you can and check if this fixes your squeaky door before trying other methods.
Then, remove the hinge pin with the use of a hammer and nail punch. Close your door and tap the hinge pin with a hammer and nail punch. Place the nail on the bottom of the door hinge and tap the nail’s tip with your hammer. Always remember that the nail will be useless after you do this. When you’ve loosened the pin, pull it up and out with the use of the back end of your hammer or an old flat head screwdriver. When the hinge pins are removed, your door will not be attached to the doorway. Prop it up against the wall to keep it from falling.
Next, coat your hinge pins in white grease. White grease will assist in coating the hinge and keep it from rusting. This oil will also last longer on your hinges without drying out. Press a rag or paper towel over the oil’s bottle opening and wipe down the hinge pins thoroughly. You can also try using motor oil, which also removes light or surface rust. A silicon-based blaster product can work as an alternative, as can cooking oil.
When you are done, you can now put the pins back into the hinge. Replace the pins by wiggling the pins back in until it is stable enough to use your hammer and nail again. Open and close the doors a few times to make sure that the squeaking can no longer be heard and that your door is secure. If the door is still squeaky, you may not have applied sufficient oil. Recoat your door hinge with oil after re-removing the hinge pins until the squeaking stops.
Don’t forget to wipe down any excess oil. Because oil is a fluid lubricant, some might drip on your door. As this can cause staining or worse, cause an accident, use a clean rag to wipe away any leftover oil. Reapply the oil as needed whenever your hinges resume squeaking.
2) Apply Wax to Hinge Pins
First, go buy paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is usually found in candles, although you can find it in a raw form at many craft stores. Raw wax is white, odorless, and most times sold in small cubes or larger slabs. If you purchase wax in a candle form, check the label to make sure you purchase paraffin wax. If you cannot find any paraffin wax, the beeswax will suffice as an alternative, though it is generally even tougher to find. Old paraffin candles, even those with scents or colors, can be used to lubricate hinge pins.
The next step is for you to melt your candle wax over a stove or microwave. If you have an electric stove, heat your paraffin wax over it until it is thoroughly melted. Don’t use gas stoves; these are unsafe for melting wax because, if overheated, it can ignite flammable wax vapors. You can actually use a microwave to heat your wax if you have a gas stove for 1:30-2: 00-minute segments until the wax has melted evenly. Use a thermometer to gauge your wax’s temperature. Paraffin wax’s melting point is generally around 284°F or 140°C.
Then, you should dip the hinge pins in hot wax. Detach the hinge pins just as you would if lubricating with oil, which we discussed above. Unlike oil solutions, hot wax can be smeared to the hinge pins with little dust-accumulating deposit. As you dip the hinge pins into the hot wax, make sure to get an even coat that covers the entire pin.
Once you are done, put the pins back into the hinges. Wait until the wax has cooled to prevent it dripping off the pins. This should take roughly 5-10 minutes. Test the door a number of times to make sure the squeaking has ceased.
Recoat the hinge pins with wax until the squeaking halts. At times, a singular coat of paraffin wax will not be sufficient enough to stop that annoying sound. Continue coating the hinge pins in wax until your squeaking problem has been resolved. Because the wax residue is thinner than oil, you do not need to wipe off excess wax after each coat.
3) Use a Steel Wool to Eliminate Dirt or Rust
Use wool if your hinge pins are grimy or dirty. If oil or wax does not keep your door from squeaking, your hinges might be a little too filthy to work the right way. Lubricants will not take away dirt, dust, or grease. Check your hinges thoroughly. If they are discolored or coated in gunk, then using steel wool is your best option.
Once again, you should remove the hinge pins. Once you’ve detached them and propped your door up, place your hinge pins over a sink. Find a steel wool pad to start cleaning the hinge pins.
Scrub the hinge pins with the steel wool. Superfine steel wool works best to meticulously clean the pins. Take away any and all dirt, rust, or residual paint. Rub the hinge pin in small circular motions to eradicate stubborn spots.
Use a diluted household cleaner along with the steel wool to remove stubborn dirt or rust spots.
Then, coat the hinge pins with a lubricant. After your hinge pins are scrubbed, use oil or melted wax to evenly cover the hinge pins. Grease or dish soap can also work. Then, place the pins back into the hinge, then open the door a few times to test their sound. Wipe off excess grease, dish soap, or oil if you use any as a lubricant.
4) Use Mayonnaise
Out of all the recommendations, this might be the oddest. A classic condiment can work wonders as an in-a-pinch lubricant to hush a squeaky door: mayonnaise. The first step is to remove the hinge pin on your door by tapping it with a hammer, then coat the pin with a light layer of full-fat mayo. Afterward, work the pin back into the hinge, and open and close the door a few times to spread the lubricant. Lastly, wipe away any oily excess with a damp cloth. The squeak should be a thing of the past after you complete all the steps!
5) Use a Suitable Lubricant
Buy a reliable lubricant like WD40. The lubricant used on door hinges should be adept of piercing the grime and coating the interior of the hinge to keep it functioning properly. It’s crucial to get a can or container that has a thin nozzle to access the hinge area. Ask your local hardware dealer for a good and affordable spray lubricant. Good varieties and brands to use on hinges include:
Silicone spray lubricants like Blaster or Tri-Flow are often the most widely-available and easiest lubricants to utilize for greasing door hinges.
Lithium grease is effective and resistant to dust and is available in large quantities at your preferred auto parts stores. Mainly used for lubricating car parts, this will also do the trick and be useful in other situations as well.
Food-grade oils like olive, canola, or coconut oil can also be used in a pinch to lubricate sticky hinges. If the door works relatively well but still squeaks, these are effective ways of fixing a quick squeak. Food oils tend to attract dust and grime, however, making them unsuitable compared to that of silicone, or other varieties of lubricant.
The next step would be to locate the hinge pin. Each door hinge is comprised of the hinge itself and the pin used to hold the two elements of the hinge together, the door to the wall. Look for the round hinge pin that sits between the flat plates on the hinge. This hinge pin holds the hinge plates together and will need to be removed to lubricate the hinge effectively.
Then, remove the hinge pin. Open the door and pull out the pin some of the way from the hinge. On some hinges, you may be able to simply use your fingers, but on others, you might need to use long pliers to move the pin counterclockwise to detach it. Be careful to avoid scraping your knuckles.
Some hinge pins can be rusted or otherwise difficult to remove. If you’re having more trouble than usual to get it loose, you might use a screwdriver or some PB blaster to help to slacken the pin. After detaching the hinge pin, clean off the old grease and dirt from the pin and the hinge plates with the use of a disposable rag or paper towel. Then, apply a thin coat of lubricant directly onto the hinge pin, as well as into the hinge itself.
Reassemble the hinge. Push the hinge pin back into place and ensure that it is secured. Open and close the door numerous times to work the lubricant around the innards of the hinges. If the door still squeaks when you open and close it, repeat this process for each hinge until the squeak is no longer heard.
Use a rag or paper towel to clean up. Wipe away any excess grime, oil drips, and dust from the hinge area to leave it dirt-free. The build-up of grime is why the hinge becomes squeaky in the first place, making it crucial that you clean it up while you’ve got the chance.
6) How to Remove Difficult to Detach Hinges
If you’re having difficulties trying to remove the hinge pin from a sticky door, soak it in some penetrating lubricant spray for up to 12 hours before trying to remove it. WD-40 is another product often used for the purpose. Spray a liberal amount of penetrating spray onto the hinge and let it sit.
Many people can’t wait to get to it and try forcing the pin out with a hammer, but if it is very rusted, this could eventually cause some damage to the wood of the door, break the hinge, and leave you with a bigger repair job on your hands.
After letting it soak, you can now use the end of the screwdriver to tap the pin through the hinge, pushing it out gradually. This can be a more efficient way of getting the pin removed from the hinge to lubricate it. Use something small enough to push the pin out. The tip of a pair of pliers, even an ink pen or another small thin tool might be appropriate for the job. Find something the proper size of the hinge you’re working on.
Roll the pin on a flat surface to see if it is bent, and check the pin for signs of wear. If it’s very rusty and bent, it’s good to take a little bit of time straightening it out and cleaning it up before re-installing it so you can avoid a squeaky door in the future. If it’s bent, straighten it out by putting it on a cement floor and tapping it with a hammer to get it back into shape. Use emery cloth to sand down the pin, removing the rust. This will help the pin fit more loosely, creating less resistance and less potential for squeaking.