How to Fix a Squeaky Door

Do your door's noisy hinges announce every coming and going? Here's what to do to silence the squeaks.
Tony Carrick Avatar
A metal antique-looking door hinge on a brown wood door.

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Few things can grate on the nerves like a door that squeaks every time you open or close it. It’s an even bigger problem if the offending door leads to a bedroom or, even worse, a nursery. Luckily, repairing a squeaky door hinge usually isn’t a difficult task, and doesn’t require special tools or skills. The high-pitched noise is often an indication that the hinge is dirty or lacking sufficient lubricant. All it usually takes to quiet down a creaky door are a few squirts of lubricant. Here’s how you can fix a squeaky door. 

What causes a squeaky door?

There are a variety of problems that could be causing your door to emit a shrill noise: 

  • Dirt: Debris that has built up inside the knuckle of the hinge may be causing friction that’s leading to the noise.
  • No lubrication: Door hinges need a little lubrication to prevent the metal from causing noise when various parts rub against each other. If there’s no lubricant, they can begin to squeak. (If you don’t have any lubricant on hand, consult our guide to the best lubricants for door hinges.)
  • Bent hinges: Hinges are made of soft metal, so it isn’t difficult for the hinge knuckles to become misaligned. When this happens, the metal pieces rub against each other, creating that irritating squeak.
  • Loose screws: A loose hinge screw can cause uneven pressure to be placed on the hinge knuckles, causing them to rub together and create the squeaking noise. 
  • Door misalignment: a door that isn’t aligned properly can cause the weight of the door to be distributed unevenly on the hinges, creating stress on one hinge that causes the squeak. 

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Project Overview

Working Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
Estimated Cost: $10 to $15

Before You Begin

Before starting on the door hinges, check the condition of the door frame, especially if you live in an older home. If the frame is damaged or falling apart, then fixing the hinge isn’t going to solve the problem. You’ll likely need to replace the door and frame. 

How to Fix a Squeaky Door

Step 1: Spray lubricant on the hinge pins.

A man lubricates door hinges with spray lubricant through small red straw.

When it comes to how to fix squeaky door hinges, your first step is to spray some liquid lubricant into the hinges. Use a sprayer that has a straw attachment—it’ll minimize overspray. Aim the spray at the seams between the hinge knuckles. After spraying, open and close the door a few times to work the lubricant into the hinge. Use a rag to wipe off any excess lubricant.

Step 2: If lubricant doesn’t fix the issue, remove the hinge pins.

Remove the hinge pins by placing a nail in the underside of the pin and tapping it with a hammer. When the pin head emerges from the top of the hinge, pull it out with your fingers. 

Step 3: Clean the hinge.

Inspect the hinge for any build-up of dirt or grime, and clean it using a household cleaner designed to cut through grease. You can also scrub the hinge pins with a piece of steel wool. Use a small brush or cotton swab to clean inside the hinge knuckles. 

Step 4: Lubricate the hinges.

While holding a rag under the hinge, squirt a few drops of multipurpose oil into the hinge holes. Use the rag to catch any excess that drips through. 

Step 5: Clean grease and reinstall hinge pins.

Replace the hinge pin by putting it into the hole at the top of the hinge. Tap the hinge pin with a hammer until it’s all the way through the hinge knuckles. Open and close the door a few times to distribute the grease throughout the hinge and pin, then wipe away any excess grease. 

DIY Lubricants for Squeaky Hinges

Bird's eye view of a man holding an open jar of petroleum jelly in his hand, with a daub on a finger.

If you don’t have time to run to the store for silicone lubricant spray or all-purpose oil, you can use one of the following options in a pinch. Keep in mind, though, that these aren’t permanent solutions to your squeaking door issue—you’ll eventually have to get a good lubricant.

  • Hairspray. Hairspray has a polymer in it that adheres to the hinge, creating a layer that prevents metal pieces from rubbing against each other and causing the squeak.
  • Cooking oil. If you don’t have multipurpose oil, use a few drops of olive oil or any other type of cooking oil to lubricate the hinge pin and stop the noise.
  • Petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly’s oily consistency makes a good lubricant. Remove the hinge pin, apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly on it. Replace it and wipe away any excess. 
  • Bar soap. Bar soaps contain fat and oils that make them a great lubricant. Rub the bar soap over the hinge knuckles, then open and close the door repeatedly to work it in.
  • Mayonnaise. If you’re truly desperate and don’t have any of the above, you can coat the hinge pin with a thin layer of mayonnaise, which is basically fat. Reinstall the pin, then wipe away any excess.


Q. What’s the best lubricant for squeaky doors?

Silicone spray and multipurpose oil are your best options for lubricating a squeaky door. While multipurpose oil is messier and requires you to remove the hinge pin to apply it, it will last longer than silicone spray. 

Q. Are there any other ways to fix squeaky doors?

If the above methods fail, it’s likely that the hinges are misaligned. To find out which hinge is the culprit, remove the pin from each hinge one at a time. Test the door while the pin is removed. If the squeak stops, then you’ve found the problem hinge. Once you’ve located the source of the squeak, you can either replace it or attempt to bend it back into shape by tapping the bent hinge knuckle with a hammer. 

Q. When should you call a professional?

If all the above solutions fail, you may need to replace the door hinges, or even your entire door and door frame, to solve the problem. While these are jobs you can take on yourself, they are more time-consuming and require more skill. If the door or door frame is the problem, it may make sense to call in a professional to make the repair.