When your doors work normally, you pretty much never notice them – they’re just doors! You open them, walk through them, close them – there’s not much really to say about doors!
But a squeaky door, that’s another thing altogether. They somehow make an object as mundane as a door annoying. They interrupt conversations, they wake you up at night, and they just plain get on your nerves.
Worse still, a squeaky door isn’t going to fix itself – you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands!
Luckily, it’s an easy thing to fix – just a few minutes work with some simple household tools could fix that squeak, and get your doors back to being boring again!
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What Causes A Squeaking Door?
The cause of a squeaking door is usually pretty simple. Most of the time, that ear-piercing cry that happens every time you go into the kitchen is the sound of metal rubbing on metal. Your door hinges are usually the culprit.
What has often happened is that your hinges have just become too dry – the squeaking sound happens when metal parts of your hinge meet and rub against each other.
It’s a pretty normal thing to happen, and doesn’t necessarily indicate anything further wrong with your door.
However, it’s always best to have a good look at your door, the door frame, and the hinges, before starting work. If anything looks damaged, or the door seems to be hung incorrectly, you might well have a bigger job on your hands.
If the door frame is damaged, you’ll unfortunately probably need to get a professional to fix it.
The hinge has a pin inside it, that holds the hinge together and makes it work. This could well be the source of your squeak.
If your hinge pin, or the hinge parts that hang off it, are damaged, then it might be best to replace the whole hinge. It might not be enough to lubricate the visible parts of the hinge – especially if you’re not using a spray.
You’ll need to take it out.
Removing The Hinge Pin
It’s pretty simple to take the hinge pin out – you’ll just need a hammer and a long and thin enough nail to knock it out with.
Do these one at a time, so you can keep the door mounted – just be careful, and don’t leave it on one hinge for too long!
Simply put the nail in the central part of the hinge from the bottom, and lightly tap with the hammer. The hinge pin should rise out, allowing you to take it out freely for lubrication.
If it sticks a little, pulling the door up a touch on the handle should help to free it from the hinge.
Put The WD-40 Away
WD-40 is, simply put, the wrong tool for the job! It’s the first thing that a lot of us reach for when it comes to fixing squeaky or stuck things, but WD-40 is a bad lubricant for your door hinges.
It can fix the problem temporarily, sure – but there are a few good reasons not to use it.
Firstly, it can be quite messy! Although it comes with a straw for spraying, its still quite easy to overspray, and make a mess of your carpet.
Secondly, it’s no great shakes as a lubricant – as lubrication isn’t its intended use. It might fix the squeak temporarily, but it can actually end up attracting dirt, making the problem even worse.
It’s tempting to reach for the can of WD-40, but there are better ways to fix that squeak!
The Right Lubricant
Don’t worry though, there are plenty of ways to lubricate your door hinges correctly without using WD-40!
Some of them are by using lubricants you can buy from a hardware store, but there are a few ways to do the job with simple household items.
If you don’t mind using a spray, there are some great silicon sprays that will do the job of lubricating your doors! They’re widely available, and as simple to use as a can of WD-40 – but are much better for the job!
Make sure to put a cloth under anything you’re spraying. After all, you don’t want to ruin your carpet!
A small dab of lithium grease on a door hinge pin can work wonders for fixing a squeaky door! You can find it easily online or at your local hardware store. Just be aware that it can be a little messy – don’t use too much!
A dry lubricant might seem like a strange idea, but graphite (the same stuff you’ll find in pencils) actually works fantastically well as a lubricant.
You can apply a small amount to your hinges and hinge pin, and it will likely do a great job of fixing a squeak!
However, graphite powder is really, really messy stuff! It will do bad things to any carpet that it touches, and likely even leave a bit of a mess on your paintwork!
So, while it’s a possible choice, it’s not likely to be the best one for most people.
You might well have the solution to your squeaky door in your kitchen!
A touch of olive oil rubbed on the working parts of your hinge will lubricate them nicely – just dip your finger in a little olive oil, and smear it over the hinges and the pin!
Remember, you’re lightly lubricating your hinge – not marinading it! Any excess is just going to drip onto the floor, so don’t use too much.
Available in many brand names, petroleum jelly is a popular household item – and it works well as a lubricant for your door hinge.
Simply rub some petroleum jelly onto the hinge with your finger – you don’t need to cake it on, but make sure that you’ve lubricated the hinge well.
It won’t take long – and unlike a lot of other options on this list, petroleum jelly isn’t very messy and cleans up easily!
A simple bar of soap is also an easy way to remedy a squeaky door hinge! And, as it’s not a liquid, or made out of powder, it might be less messy than those other options.
Simply rub your bar of soap over the hinge and the hinge pin. Make sure you’ve covered them well – give them a rub with your finger to make sure.