How to Fix a Squeaky Door

WD-40, olive oil, bar soap, and petroleum jelly are just a few lubricants you can use to fix a squeaky door.
Written by Talullah Blanco
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Dust build and poor lubrication can cause your door hinges to squeak. You can use steel wool or lubricants like WD-40, olive oil, bar soap, and petroleum jelly to fix the problem.
There are only a few things that are more annoying than a squeaky door (maybe rickety floorboards), and if it's in a highly trafficked area of your home, you likely can’t escape that eeking and creaking sound. If your squeaky door problem is waking you and your family up in the middle of the night, aggravating your pets, or causing a general nuisance, there are several DIY solutions you can try to fix the problem. 
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What causes a squeaky door?

That squeaking sound that happens whenever you open and close your door is actually the sound of the metal hinge rubbing against the hinge pin. More specifically, door hinges that are loose, dirty, or poorly lubricated are the most common cause of the problem.
Overtime build-up of dirt, dust, or gunk can cause hinges to squeak on older doors. However, if your recently installed door is squeaky, then there is a lack of lubrication causing the metal to rub against each other. 

How to fix squeaky doors, step-by-step

No matter the reason for your door squeak, the process of fixing it is fairly straightforward. You’ll just need a screwdriver, hammer, your lubricant of choice, a steel wool pad, and a few minutes to spare. 
Just follow these steps to fix your squeaking door:
  • Step 1: Tighten the hinges. If loose hinges are causing your door to squeak, tighten the screws on each hinge with a screwdriver to ensure they are firmly secured to the door frame. 
  • Step 2: Remove and inspect the hinge pin. Use a hammer to pry out the hinge pin from the door and check to see if the pin is straight. If you see any bends you can hammer them out or replace the pin with a new one. 
  • Step 3: Clean the hinges. Grime tends to build up on older door hinges. You can use the steel wool pad to remove any dirt or dust that accumulated in the crevices then clean with a damp paper towel.
  • Step 4: Lubricate the pin. Apply a thin layer of melted wax, petroleum jelly, or bar soap to the surface of the pin to lubricate it.
  • Step 5: Insert the pin. Use the hammer to lightly tap the pin back into place. Make sure the hinges are properly aligned before you reinsert the pin. 
  • Step 6: Lubricate the hinges. You can use cooking oil, lithium grease, or other lubricating oil to stop the annoying squeak. Just apply the spray lubricant on the outside of the hinge and allow it to soak for a few minutes before cleaning up any drips.
  • Step 7: Test the door. Open and close the door several times to work the lubricant deep into the hinge crevices and make sure the door works smoothly.
After following these steps the door squeak should lessen and be gone completely after several uses. If the door is still squeaking, you may be dealing with a misaligned frame causing wood-on-wood rubbing—which will require you to call a contractor.
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The best lubricants for squeaking hinges

There are many lubricants that can fix squeaking door hinges, but they're not all created equal. Some will get the job done quicker and better than others. Here are the best lubricants for squeaking hinges: 
  • Olive oil: A few drops of olive oil will instantly lubricate those squeaky hinges. Better yet, you probably have it lying around your home. 
  • Petroleum jelly: You’ve probably used petroleum jelly to moisturize chapped lips or dry skin, but it can also be used to grease up the hinges and eliminate squeaking.
  • Paraffin candles: These candles contain petroleum and when melted they can be applied to the hinge pin to eliminate the squeaking sound.
  • Bar soap: The fats and oils in your bar soap will reduce the creaking sound coming from your hinges. Just rub the bar of soap onto the hinges until they’re well-lubricated.
You may end up using one or all of these lubricants to fix your door squeak. Luckily, there’s a good chance these lubricants are already lying around your home. But if they aren’t you can purchase them for less than $10 at your local grocery store. 

Can you use WD-40 on door hinges?

You may have been told to use WD-40 to lubricate your door hinges, but don’t listen to that advice. It could end up making the problem worse. 
While the solution does have a small amount of lubricant in it, WD-40 is a cleaner and water displacer and should not be used to lubricate door hinges. In fact, WD-40 could attract even more dust and dirt to your hinges.

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The best lubricant for squeaky door hinges is lithium grease, but paraffin wax, cooking oil, and petroleum jelly are great too.
Because WD-40 is cleaner and a water displacer, it will not stop your door hinges from squeaking.
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