A squeaky door may not seem like a tremendous problem, but over time the constant eeking and creaking every time the door opens or closes can be irritating. A squeaky door may even interrupt sleep, aggravate pets, or disturb an otherwise peaceful mood. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn how to repair a squeaky door and eliminate this unwelcome noise.
Why Doors May Squeak
Over time, a door’s hinges can loosen and rub, causing irritating squeaks. Poorly aligned hinges or a sagging door can also cause squeaking, particularly if the hinge pin gets bent. A lack of lubricant to keep the hinges smooth can also lead to squeaking, especially if dust, dirt, or rust builds up inside the hinge and causes additional pressure. Whatever the reason, however, a squeaking door is relatively easy to fix.
Repairing a Squeaky Door
No matter why the door is squeaking, the process to fix it is easy and takes just a few minutes.
- Tighten the hinges.
In some cases, a loose hinge may be the only cause of annoying squeaks. Tighten the screws on each hinge, ensuring they are inserted evenly and have a firm grip. This will keep the door properly secured and firm in its frame.
- Remove the hinge pin.
If the door still squeaks, use a nail and hammer to gently wedge out the hinge pin. Once the pin is elevated enough to grip, lift it out the rest of the way. It is best to work on just one hinge at a time, and take care that the door is sturdy and won’t tip or fall while each hinge is loose.
- Inspect the hinge pin.
Check that the pin is straight and is the proper size for the door’s hinges. If it is bent, use a hammer to gently tap it straight again, or consider replacing the hinge pin with a new one that doesn’t have any bends, curves, or cricks.
- Clean the pin.
Use steel wool to clean the hinge pin, rubbing gently to remove any accumulated rust, tarnish, or debris. It is not necessary to wash the pin, but if you do, ensure it is completely dry before proceeding, or else it may rust when it is reinserted into the hinge.
- Lubricate the hinge pin.
Use white grease, candle wax, bar soap, or petroleum jelly to lubricate the pin, spreading a thin layer all along the pin’s length. Do not use cooking oil or lubricating sprays, however, as these products are harder to control and can attract dust that can lead to future squeaks.
- Reinsert the pin.
Taking care that the hinge is properly aligned, carefully reinsert the hinge pin from the top of the hinge. Use a firm, slow motion, and if necessary, tap the pin into place with the hammer, but do not pound so tightly that the hinge will not work.
- Clean up extra lubricant.
Some wax or grease may have spilled onto the hinge as the pin was reinserted. Wipe up that grease carefully, as any extra accumulation can stain the door or frame. Wipe off the outside of the hinge at the same time.
- Test the door.
Open and close the door several times to work the lubricant into every crevice and ensure the door works smoothly. At this time the squeaking should be less, but it may take a few uses to fully eliminate the squeaking even after every hinge is lubricated.
If the Door Continues to Squeak
If the door continues squeaking even after the hinges have been thoroughly lubricated, it may be necessary to check how square and secure the door’s framing is. If the door is crooked from misaligned framing or softened, rotted wood, the weight of the door may be putting pressure on the hinges and misaligning them, even with lubrication. It may also be necessary to check that the door isn’t rubbing and causing wood-on-wood squeaking rather than hinge squeaking, but it is easy to sand down the door slightly to eliminate rubbing.
Fixing a squeaky door is an easy task that shouldn’t take long or cost a great deal, but the satisfaction of fixing these irritating noises is priceless.