Solving the problem of a squeaky door

Solving the problem of a squeaky door


It’s late at night (midnight to be precise) and you’re watching the Exorcist when suddenly, out of the blue, you hear the long drawn out squeal of a door moving on rusted hinges. Don’t know about you but that particular set of circumstances causes some fascinating changes in the anatomy of this writer, such as extreme whiteness of skin and rapid increase in heart rate, accompanied by a belief that a demon lord from hell has entered the house to claim his soul.

That is just one of the many ways in which squeaky doors can be a nuisance. Thankfully it is a nuisance that you can quickly get rid of. Here in this blog, we cover a plethora of ways in which you can get rid of squeaky doors.

Usually applying a lubricant of choice on the hinges of a door can get rid of that squeak right away. But if that doesn’t do the trick, you can try removing the hinges completely and then either removing rust or covering them with a lubricant of choice.

The following is a list of the different lubricants that you can use straight away.

  • Any kind of lubricating oil
  • Olive oil
  • Paraffin candles
  • WD-40 spray
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Bar of bathing soap

If that doesn’t solve the problem of your squeaky door, it’s time to get to work on removing the hinges and then cleaning them up or covering them with a lubricant. There are three things you can do once you have removed the squeaky hinges of your squeaky door.


1.     Lubricating with oil

Using oil on the hinges of a squeaky door is usually enough to solve the problem. Follow the steps below to apply oil to the hinge pins.

a)     Removing the hinge pin with a nail and hammer

First, close the door and tap on the end of the hinge pin using a nail and a hammer. Position the nail at the base of the hinge and knock on the tip using the hammer. Once the pin is loose, you can pull it out using the gripping end of the hammer. Remember, once the hinge pins are out, your door is no longer attached to the doorframe. Therefore, for the sake of safety, prop it against the nearest wall so that it doesn’t fall. You may need some help with this!

b)     Cover the pins with WD-40

WD-40 is a great lubricant for squeaky doors. It can also last for a long time on the hinges before it dries out. Spray some onto the hinges and wipe any excess that drips.

c)      Place the pins back in the hinge

Wiggle the pins back in, and once they are in a position where they aren’t sliding out, use the nail and hammer to knock them completely in place. Try opening and closing the door repeatedly to ensure that there is no more squeaking and that the door is completely secure. If you find that the squeaking has not gone away, you may need to apply more oil. Repeat the process of removing the hinges and applying the oil.

d)     Wipe away excess WD-40

Given that lubricant is a fluid, it is possible that some could have dripped on your door. That can lead to your door getting stained, so use a clean cloth to wipe away that excess lubricant.


2.     Using wax on your hinge pins

If applying oil didn’t work, wax can also solve the problem of a squeaky door. Follow the steps given below for applying wax.

a)     Buy paraffin wax

You can find paraffin wax in candles and in its raw form at a lot of craft stores. Raw wax is usually odorless, white and is available in large slabs or small cubes. If you are buying candles, check to ensure that they are made of paraffin wax.

  • Beeswax is an alternative; however it is rare and could be hard to find
  • Old paraffin candles can also be used for lubricating hinge pins

b)     Melt the wax on a stove or in a microwave.

If you own an electric stove, heat the wax over it until it completely melts. Avoid using a gas stove for this, as it is not safe; overheated wax can form vapors which are flammable. If you do not have an electric stove, use your microwave to heat the wax. Do this in segments of 1:30-2:00 minutes to ensure that the wax melts evenly.

  • As an added precaution use a thermometer for measuring the temperature of your wax. The melting point of paraffin wax is approximately 140°C (284°F).

c)      Dip the pins in the melted wax.

Remove the hinge pins in the same way as described above for lubricating them with oil. Applying hot wax is advantageous in that it prevents the accumulation of dust, compared to using oil. While dipping the pins in the wax, ensure that you coat the pin evenly.

d)     Replace the pins back in the hinge.

Wait for the wax to cool. That way you can avoid its dripping off the hinge pins. This could take at least 5-10 minutes. Open and close the door several times to ensure that the squeaking is gone.

e)     Apply wax again on the hinge pins until the squeaking is gone.

Sometimes one coat of paraffin wax is not adequate. In this scenario keep applying the wax until the sound is gone. The residue of the wax is thinner compared to oil, therefore you don’t have to wipe the excess wax after applying it every time.


3.     Using Steel Wool to Remove Dirt or Rust

You need to remember that oil and wax cannot remove dirt or gunk from hinges. If your squeaky door remains squeaky, you need to resort to steel wool. Follow the steps given below for applying steel wool.

a)     If the hinge pins are rusty, clean using steel wool

If your door has not stopped squeaking after oiling or waxing, dirty or rusty hinges could be the problem. Lubricants are ineffective against rust, dirt, or grease. Examine the hinges closely. If you see that there is a lot of dirt, rust or grease you need to try cleaning them with steel wool first.

b)     Remove the hinge pins

Once you have removed the hinges using the steps described above, place the pins in a sink. Get a pad of steel wool and keep it close by to start cleaning the pins.

c)      Scrub the pins using the steel wool

Steel wool that is extremely fine will be best for cleaning the pins thoroughly. Remove all the rust, dirt, or any paint residues. For removing resistant spots rubbing the pins in circulation motions helps. You can also use a diluted solution of any household cleaner in conjunction with the wool for removing stubborn rust spots.

d)     Cover hinge pins with lubricant

After the pins have been cleaned, you need to evenly cover them with melted wax or oil. Even dish soap or grease can do the trick. After that place the hinge pins back using the steps described above. Test the door and remember to wipe away any excess grease or oil.

Hopefully, after using all the methods above, your squeaky door should be a thing of the past.

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