How to Fix Squeaky Door Hinges (Without WD40)?

With the possible exception of a smoke detector’s low battery alarm, squeaky door hinges may the most irritating thing to deal with around the house. That high-pitched squeak is enough to drive even the most zenned out among us crazy!

If you happen to have a can of WD-40 on hand, then a quick spray can solve your problem for the time being. Although WD-40 is not the best product to use on door hinges (more on this later).

But what do you do if all you’ve got lying around are regular household items? How can you fix those squeaky door hinges without applying WD40?

Let’s take a look at some of the best methods to fix squeaky door hinges without WD40.

Fixing Squeaky Door Hinges – Guide

There are a number of different ways to lubricate your door hinges so they stop squeaking. We’re all familiar with WD40 and its myriad of uses, but it’s not the greatest lubricant when it comes to fixing door hinges.

While WD40 will work in a pinch, since it’s a solvent and not strictly speaking a lubricant, it won’t last as long as more viscous lubricants. The spray applicator also tends to be a bit messy when you’re trying to get it inside a door hinge.

There are a number of oils, greases, and household products that will perform better than WD40 over the long term. Below are just a few:

  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
  • Cooking oils (Olive, Coconut, Canola)
  • 3 in 1 multipurpose oil
  • Bar soap
  • Paraffin wax candles

Step 1: Remove Pin from Hinge

The first step is to remove the hinge pin from the rest of the hinge hardware. The easiest way to get this done is by using a hammer and nail to gently tap the hinge pin out from below. This should work whether you’re dealing with an inside hinge or an outdoor gate hinge.

Insert the nail into the bottom of the hinge, and gently tap the nail with your hammer to push the hinge pin out the top. The nail will be useless after doing this.

hinge pin removal
A hammer and nail do a good job removing the hinge pin from the housing.

You can also try rotating the hinge pin out with a pair of needle-nose pliers, but if the hinge is squeaking, it’s likely jammed to some degree.

Step 2: Coat the Hinge Pin in Lubricant

Now that you’ve removed the hinge pin from the housing, it’s time to coat it with your lubricant of choice. Any of the lubricants mentioned above will work well, with thicker ‘grease’ type lubricants lasting longer than thinner oil lubricants.

Before you coat the pin, make sure to wipe any dirt and debris clear with a rag. If your pin is rusty, use steel wool, a file, or sandpaper to remove it.

hinge pin coated in petroleum jelly
Hinge pin coated in petroleum jelly (vaseline).

Then apply the lubricant over the entire surface of the hinge pin.

  • Petroleum Jelly: Petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) is a great all-around lubricant, and works very well for hinges. It’s thick enough to last for a long time, so you won’t need to redo the job anytime soon.
  • Paraffin Wax: Melted wax from candles makes an excellent lubricant for door hinges. Simply melt the wax in a pan or in a microwave, and then dig the hinge pin in melted wax until it’s completely coated.
  • Cooking Oil: Any old cooking oil lying around the kitchen will work fine. This oil is thinner than other types, so you’ll need to wipe up any excess after application.
  • Bar Soap: Bar soap might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to lubricating door hinges – but it works surprisingly well.

Step 3: Insert Pin back into Hinge

After coating the hinge pin in the lubricant, gently insert it back into the hinge housing. Keep a rag or paper towels on hand in case any excess lubricant leaks out of the hinge. Open and close the door a few times to distribute the lubricant throughout the hinge.

reinserting hinge pin to hinge
A few light taps will put the hinge pin back in place.

Now, test out the hinge. Open and close the door several times and see how the hinge operates. If it’s still squeaky, you may need to apply more lubricant. If it’s smooth – congratulations – you’ve learned how to fix squeaky door hinges without WD40!

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