Hearing a prolonged squeaking sound every time you open a door can be annoying — and downright inconvenient. For example, if you’re trying to sneak out of your home, the sound will only call attention to your plans. It’s best to prepare for potential mischief in advance — namely, by eliminating the cause of the squeak. With that in mind, you should start by finding the best lubricants for squeaky door hinges.
After all, hinges are the usual suspects when it comes to the noisemaking components of doors. Still, they’re not the only things you should inspect. Some door handles also make squeaking sounds — as could any other moving parts. If you have a sliding door, you might want to examine the rails too.
Luckily, all these moving parts are usually pretty spaced out. So you should be able to determine which of them is causing the noise by listening to where the sound is coming from. After that, you’ll deal with the underlying cause of the sound and finish the job with some lubrication.
What Makes Some Door Hinges Squeaky?
Over time, most hinges start making the kind of squeaking sound you’re trying to fix. Usually, the noise is the result of dirt or dust buildup, which dries out the moving parts of the hinge. The increased friction between the various (usually metal) parts causes grating sounds. That’s when you have to get the surfactants and lubricants ready.
Of course, most people only go through the process of cleaning and oiling their hinges once every few years. If your door tends to start squeaking more regularly, you might have to consider other causes. It may be that:
- The door is misaligned because one hinge is looser than the others. In that case, you might want to check if the hinges are all screwed in tight the next time you lubricate them.
- You’re using the wrong kind of lubricant, which is attracting even more grime to the hinge. If that’s the problem, don’t worry — you’re about to learn more about the different types of lubricants.
Believe it or not, different kinds of hinges require different lubricants. When oiling interior room door or cabinet hinges, you’ll probably want to avoid making a mess. That means that graphite-based lubricants are out right off the bat. However, those kinds of products would be ideal for more industrial uses as well as lubricating garage or car door hinges.
Additionally, certain lubricants can withstand higher temperatures than others. Knowing how to tell them all apart may come in handy if you have a squeaky oven door. With that in mind, let’s talk about some things you should know before choosing one of the products on our list.
Features to Look Out for When Shopping for a Lubricant for Squeaky Door Hinges
Ultimately, shopping for a lubricant should be a pretty simple task. You’ll just have to make sure that the base ingredients in the product you get don’t clash with the material your hinges are made of. The only way to make an informed decision is to know all your options. With that in mind, let’s talk about the two aspects of any lubricant product — the base ingredients and the packaging.
Professional hinge lubricants are usually made of silicone, lithium, or graphite. As you can imagine, each of those base ingredients has its pros and cons.
Graphite is great for lubrication in high humidity and high temperatures. It essentially coats the parts you place it on, protecting them against external influences, which also reduces corrosion. However, the greasy substance can be pretty messy, as we have previously mentioned. Because of that, it’s better suited for door locks and car axles.
Even so, many people still use graphite or, rather, Teflon lubricants to grease their hinges. They just protect the surrounding surfaces beforehand to make sure the mess is contained. Alternatively, they may use more solid formulations that promise a cleaner application.
On the other hand, you might opt for lithium grease, which is great for metal hinges. Lithium is derived from petroleum, or mineral oil, so it shouldn’t be near plastic or rubber components. Even so, if you have the standard metal hinges on wooden doors, it should work just fine. As you’ll see later on, knowing the origin of the material will help you find makeshift lubricants around your household.
Lastly, if you’d rather stick to the basics, you can just opt for silicone lubricants. Since those are generally free from mineral oils and grease, they should work on any material. Moreover, silicone products tend to be cheaper and less messy than the other options we’ve mentioned.
Ultimately, the problem with oily products is that they tend to attract dirt. That’s another point toward silicone lubricants. Silicone also works better in low temperatures, whereas the other options shine in hotter conditions.
Packaging and Applicator Design
When choosing the best lubricant for your door hinges, you’ll see that there are different formulations on the market. Even the base ingredients we have just mentioned can come in more liquid or solid forms. Naturally, those varieties all have different packaging and therefore, different application styles.
Most people are familiar with the basic kind of spray lubricant. They usually come in aerosol cans. Moreover, the best kind tends to have a thin straw attached to the dispenser, allowing the user to direct the spray more precisely.
Even though spray lubricants don’t make much of a mess, some people may still want to avoid that kind of application. If you’re one of them, you might want to opt for a stick lubricant instead. Some even use bar soap to add some slip to their hinges — though stick lubricants are specifically formulated for the job. Even so, you’ll probably have to take the hinge pin out to properly apply that type of lubricant.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have more liquid products that come in tubes or bottles. The consistency of those formulas can vary — the kind that comes in bottles tend to be more on the liquid side. Because of that, you may have less control over where the lubricant goes. Still, liquid oils are versatile, if nothing else.
Top 7 Best Lubricants for Squeaky Door Hinges
Now that you know the different kinds of lubricants you’ll find on the market, it’s time to test them out. The following list contains a variety of products that should make your door hinges less squeaky.
1. AGS DE-2 Door Ease Stick Lubricant
If you’d like to fix your squeaky door hinges without having to clean up a huge mess afterward, a stick product will be your best bet. AGS makes several products that fit that category, though the DE-2 stick is the most popular and cost-effective choice.
The odorless, waxy substance inside the stick packaging is safe to put on pretty much any kind of material. According to the company, it should prevent doors, windows, drawers, and cabinets from squeaking and even help your zippers close more smoothly. On top of that, you can use it on bicycle chains and other metal objects.
Either way, the lubricant will effectively weatherproof and grease the moving parts you want to treat. And since the formula is essentially transparent, it won’t leave a mark. Most importantly, the stick only contains about 0.43 ounces of product, so you’ll actually be able to use it up.
- No-mess stick lubricant
- Odorless and colorless
- Safe to apply on metal, wood, glass, plastic, or rubber
2. DANCO Waterproof Silicone Faucet Grease
Next up, we have a plumber’s holy grail product — faucet grease. Of course, DANCO’s Waterproof Silicone Grease isn’t just a great tool for repairing leaky faucets. Essentially, the raw silicone helps old faucets turn, providing slip as well as hold. The colorless, odorless product can also lubricate the threads on showerheads, toilet gaskets, and yes — even door hinges.
Since silicone is water-resistant, it can create a long-term seal around the surface you place it on. In addition to reducing frictionduring movement, that also prevents oxidation. On top of that, this product can also perform in temperatures ranging from -40 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Best of all, DANCO’s lubricant comes in 0.5-ounce tubes. So as with the previous product on this list, this won’t get the chance to dry out. As long as you remember to treat the occasional squeaks you hear around your house, you’ll be able to use these products up.
- Silicone plumber’s grease
- Waterproof and heat-resistant
- Odorless and colorless
- Made for plumbing fixtures but works wonders on door hinges as well
3. Genie Screw Drive Lube
If you’re still not sure about using plumber’s grease on your door hinges, but you like the thought of lubricant in a tube, check out the Genie Screw Drive Lube. The lubricant in question was formulated with garage door openers in mind. But naturally, you can also use it to lubricate any other metal parts. After all, lithium grease is just about the best ingredient you could use for that kind of thing.
As you’ll notice, the listing linked above is for a three-pack of 0.25-ounce tubes of lubricant. The idea is that you can grease an entire screw drive with one tube of the product by putting 1-inch dabs at three points along the garage door rail. That means that a little of this stuff can go a long way. So you’ll probably be able to fix your squeaky door hinge with less than a pea-sized amount.
Following the current trend for lithium grease products, the formula you’ll find inside the tiny tubes is white. So if nothing else, you don’t need to worry about it making a mess. And since the product is soft but not fully liquid, it won’t drip all over the place.
- Three 0.25-ounce tubes
- White lithium grease
- Made for garage door openers but can have many other applications
4. Upkeep Door Hinge Oil
Upkeep’s Door Hinge Oil is exactly what the name of the product suggests — a liquid formula designed to eliminate hinge friction. The synthetic oil comes in a 10 ml or 0.33-ounce container, though that amount is sure to last you a while.
Unlike many liquid lubricants, this one won’t make a mess. The thin, needle applicator is there to prevent too much product from coming out. So if anything, you might have to wait a bit for the right amount of oil to get on the hinges. Luckily, you won’t need more than a drop or two to eliminate the squeaking sound.
The synthetic formula of the lubricant should reduce metal-on-metal friction by suspending any dirt and contaminants that get on the parts. Moreover, it should also make any outdoor components you apply it to rust-resistant. After all, despite what the name of the product might suggest, this formula isn’t just great for door hinges. It’ll work just as well on screw fittings, tools, bicycles, and other metal surfaces.
- Liquid synthetic oil with a thin needle applicator
- Reduces metal-on-metal friction
- Keeps dirt at bay
- Prevents rust and corrosion on outdoor hinges
5. WD-40 Specialist Dirt & Dust Resistant Dry Lube PTFE Spray With Smart Straw
A list of the best door hinge lubricants on the market could never be complete without a WD-40 spray. But the Multi-Use Product most people are familiar with may not be the best choice for this project. It’s amazing at breaking down dust and grime so you can still use it as a surfactant. Sometimes, cleaning the hinges is all it takes to eliminate squeaking.
But if your hinges still require some extra slip after you apply the original WD-40 spray, consider layering another lubricant on top. After all, the WD-40 Company has a range of different products you can try. On the one hand, you can go for the company’s popular quick-drying silicone spray. But if you’re looking to try something different, check out the Specialist Dirt & Dust-Resistant Dry Lube with PTFE.
PTFE sprays are graphite-based, so some may also refer to them as Teflon lubricants (although that is a brand name). Needless to say, the formula will reduce the friction on any kind of moving equipment in addition to protecting against corrosion. Moreover, the substance won’t attract dust or grime whether you use it on wood, paper, metal, or fabrics.
Notably, this formula may damage certain kinds of plastic — namely, clear polycarbonate and polystyrene. But other than that, it should be safe to use. It’ll even perform well in temperatures as low as -50 and as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Like most WD-40 Company sprays, this one comes in a 10-ounce aerosol can. It also has a Smart Straw that lets you control the direction of the spray.
- PTFE (graphite) spray with a smart straw
- Reduces friction on a variety of materials
- Keeps dirt away and protects against corrosion
- Handles different temperatures well
6. 3-IN-ONE Professional Garage Door Lubricant With Smart Straw
Over the past few decades, the WD-40 Company has acquired several of its strongest competitors. So if you notice any similarities between the previous product on this list and the one we’re about to discuss — that’s why.
The 3-IN-ONE company had been developing industrial-grade lubricants for over a century before it was bought out in 1995. That means that the brand had time to develop an impressive lineup of products. Nowadays, 3-IN-ONE makes everything from liquid multi-purpose oils in squeeze bottle packaging to spray lubricants and beyond. With that in mind, we’re going to focus on what the company’s Garage Door Lubricant can do.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that this lubricant also comes in a pressurized can containing 11 ounces of product. Like the WD-40 spray we have mentioned, this lubricant also has a Smart Straw dispenser. Its cap has a built-in straw that can deliver a concentrated spray when flipped up. But if you decide to leave it down, the mist will be more dispersed.
The lubricant inside the can is silicone-based so it should work on a variety of materials. While it was originally formulated to service garage doors, the product has a wide range of potential applications. Like most silicone spray lubricants, it will dry quickly without leaving any residue behind.
- Quick-drying silicone spray lubricant with a smart straw
- Designed for residential or commercial garage door systems
- Can also reduce friction on hinges, tracks, chains, etc.
- Prevents corrosion and minimizes dirt accumulation
7. CRC White Lithium Grease Aerosol Spray
Having seen the best graphite and silicone-based spray lubricants, it’s only fair to consider a similar lithium grease product. After all, lithium greaseis probably the best lubricant for reducing metal-on-metal friction. And since most door hinges are made of metal, having a spray formula can be beneficial.
That’s where CRC’s White Lithium Grease spray comes in. The product is made of NLGI Grade 2 lithium grease, which is perfect for the kind of light work you need it for. The spray should effectively protect your hinges against corrosion, oxidation, and wear, while also sealing them against water. On top of that, the grease is also resistant to heat, as it can withstand temperatures of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since the manufacturer used white lithium greaseto formulate the spray, you may be able to see a slight white residue when you first apply the product. But really, that will only help you figure out where the grease ended up. The hue should dissipate after you wipe the area with a rag.
Notably, this product comes in 16-ounce cans rather than 10 or 11-ounce ones. Also, unlike the previous products we have reviewed, it doesn’t have a Smart Straw. Instead, you just get a regular detachable straw you can push into the dispenser if you want a narrow spray.
- White lithium grease spray with a detachable straw
- Provides slip as well as water and heat-resistance
- Contains oxidation inhibitors
- Ideal for metal hinges
Alternative Lubricants That May Already Be In Your Home
If you really can’t stand the sound of squeaky door hinges, many household items could act as hinge lubricants in a pinch. For example, you can use:
- Bar soap that contains palm or coconut oils, in addition to a variety of fats. That combination should ease the scraping sounds coming from your hinges. Just keep in mind that you’ll probably have to disassemble the hinge to really get the soap in there.
- Olive oil, though you’d need to apply it on a clean surface. If your hinges have started rusting, use steel wool and rubbing alcohol to remove rust before applying the oil with a dropper. In fact, any kind of cooking oil should work, though they tend to attract dust so you’ll need to follow up with a professional solution.
- Vaseline or any other kind of petroleum jelly product you might have lying around. These mineral oil-based lubricants should work well on most kinds of materials.
- Paraffin candles, which are also made from mineral oils. Using them as a lubricant will be better than burning them, anyway, since that may cause them to release toxic fumes.
Some people also recommend using hairspray because of its applicator style, but that may not do much good. On the one hand, hairspray usually contains polymers that should seal and lubricate hinges for a time. However, since the formula is also designed to dry out quickly, it will take you back to square one sooner rather than later.
Now, most of these alternative solutions would require you to take the hinge apart before application. Moreover, you’d also have to thoroughly clean the hinge first. Meanwhile, a good commercial spray lubricant will simultaneously clean and grease your hinges. That’s what makes the products we have reviewed the best choice.
How to Apply Lubricant to Squeaky Door Hinges
The way you go about lubricating your door hinges will ultimately depend on the type of hinges you have and the kind of product you’re using. If you don’t want to make a mess, you’ll probably go for a stick formula or at least a thicker product that comes in a tube. In that case, you’d have to take your hinges apart before application.
Now, if you have the basic kinds of hinges that have a pin going through the core, you’ll need to extract that first. Since most doors have hinge pins that come in from the top, you’ll need to tap it out from the bottom. A hammer won’t do the trick alone — get a sturdy nail that’s just a bit thinner than the hinge pin to force it out. Or, if you want to get fancy with it, you could use a door hinge pin remover instead.
On the other hand, if you have a two-part hinge that has the pin built into the bottom part of the hinge, get someone to help you lift the door. You don’t even have to completely remove it — just expose the pin underneath and apply the lubricant.
In most cases, spray lubricants will be the most convenient solution. If you end up using them, you could even get an attachment like the Hinge Hero to minimize mishaps and messes. Alternatively, you can cover the surrounding areas with plastic and painter’s tape or use rags to soak up excess lubricant.
Why You Need to Have a Hinge Lubricant in Your Home
Once the lubricant you have chosen is on the hinge or at least the pin, it’s time to put everything back the way it was. After opening and closing the door a few times, the hinge should stop making odd sounds — for a time.
Remember, squeaking is just something that will happen every once in a while as the lubricant you put on your hinges dries out and the part starts gathering dust. With that in mind, it’s important to always have a hinge lubricant at the ready. You never know when a squeaking hinge will put a wrench in your plans — whether you’re trying to sleep in or sneak out!
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.