Fixing a squeaky door hinge can be one of those items on your honey-do list that gets put off time and time again because you’re simply not sure how to make the squeaking stop. Let us begin by suggesting the use of some good, old-fashioned WD-40 to spray all the hinges of the door to stop the squeaking or creaking you hear. If this doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to move into something a little more complex — not to worry — it’s much simpler than just about any other repair you can think of!

How to Fix Squeaking Door Hinges with Pliers and Aerosol Lubricating Oil

Using a pair of narrow or needle-nosed pliers, remove the hinge pins of each hinge. You can do this one hinge at a time or remove all hinge pins at once and remove the door, setting it carefully against a wall. Obviously, if this is a large exterior door, you'll want to do one hinge at a time so you don't have to remove the whole door. Once you have chosen which route you'll take, place the pliers on the top of the hinge, to move the hinge pin back and forth until it is loose enough to pull up and out with the pliers or your hands.

Cleaning Hinge Pins With Steel Wool and Sandpaper

Next, you will use some steel wool to aggressively scrub the pin: this process cleans the pin while also removing any points on the hinge that may have spurs (little splinter-like points created by wear and tear that could also be the cause of squeaking). By cleaning the pin, you're doing more than the WD-40 can do because you are actively removing dust, grime, dirt, or even sand and other gritty debris that could be the cause of a creaking door. After you finish your aggressive cleaning with steel wool, dry it by hand and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes so it is completely dry before you add any aerosol or other lubricants. While the hinge is out, you can also do your best with a rag to clean the hinge itself — you won't use the steel wool here because if you were to slip it would cause a scratch to the finish or paint on your door. Try to run something through the hinge so it also gets a good cleansing to remove any debris that will still cause a squeak even when the newly cleaned pin is back in place. If you feel the squeaking is caused by friction between the pin and the hinge, use a fine grit sandpaper to file the hinge pin. This will remove any rust that's creating resistance between the pin and hinge while also making it a tad smaller, which also lessens friction.

Replacing and Lubricating the Pin and Hinge

Before you place the pin back inside the hinge, lubricate it with either an aerosol lubricant like WD-40, door grease, machine oil, or even greaseless lubricant if you're fearful an aerosol grease may contain chemicals that could harm the finish or paint on your door. Now you’re ready to put the pin back in, simply put it in place and push it down, using the gentle tap of a hammer or the butt of your pliers to make sure the pin is all the way in. Repeat this process on all three hinges and your door will be swinging and squeak-free — you can do this once every 12 months or so to clean the hinges and pins so squeaking sounds never return.