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I'm looking for a long term solution to my squeaky doors. Our home is fitted with brass hinges on all doors and lately they have all been starting to squeak. I've tried several silicone based lubricants but none have solved this issue permanently.

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7 Answers 7

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Properly lubricating the hinges should stop the squeaks. In short, you remove the hinges from the door, lubricate them, and put them back.

You'll want to use white lithium grease. It works very well for metal on metal contact.

I'm assuming simple door hinges here, like these

alt text

You'll want to do each door one at time.

  • Have someone support the door while you knock the hinge pins up and out from the bottom of each hinge.
  • Lean the door up against the wall and unscrew the hinges from the door and the jamb.
  • Lay out the hinges on newspaper and use the lithium grease to lubricate the pins and the inside of the barrel. The barrel is the tube that the hinge pin passes through,
  • Usually, you let the lithium grease dry before reassembly. Follow the directions on the grease.
  • Finally, re-attach the hinge wings to the door and jamb.
  • With someone holding the door, re-insert the pins from the top.
  • Enjoy the silence.

Do one door first, and give it few days to make sure the squeak is gone.

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+1 for the lithium. –  Dennis Williamson Aug 24 '10 at 3:36
That sounds like a lot of work. No offense but I bet you could squirt WD-40 on a whole house full of door hinges in the time it takes to do this to one door. The WD-40 probably wouldn't last as long as the lithium grease but I think I'd rather use it every year than do this every 5 years. –  Mike Powell Aug 24 '10 at 4:42
I like WD-40, and it has it's uses, isn't really a very good lubricant for this type of job. It will usually stop the squeaks for a short time, and the poster was looking for a permanent solution. –  Chris Vesper Aug 24 '10 at 15:20
@Chris: WD-40'd my doors 5 years ago, still no squeaks not sure if Eternity is what he is after ;) –  staticx Aug 25 '10 at 19:12
Any reason you couldn't pull the pins, and then lubricate the barrels while they're still attached to the door and jamb, respectively? Why unscrew the hinge wings from the door and jamb? –  tnorthcutt Aug 25 '10 at 19:30

The underlying problem may be that the hinges are not perfectly aligned.

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This is very likely especially if the squeaking is recurring soon after lubricant is applied, as the OP implies. You can check this by removing the screws from one half of one hinge and seeing if the plate still lines up with its recess when the door is held by the other two hinges. –  Mike Powell Aug 24 '10 at 4:46

Motor cycle chain lubricant or a 3-in-one oil works well. Motorcycle chain lubricant is designed to penetrate and provide lasting protection, though as with any lubricant, it does need to be re-applied occasionally.

Lithium grease is a better option for sure, I just am putting this out there because it can be applied without taking the hinges apart, and works reasonably well. If the hinge is REALLY bad, you'll need to take it apart though.

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+1 for 3-in-1 oil. That stuff works well. Can be used without removing the hinge and lasts a surprisingly long time. –  Brian Knoblauch Aug 25 '10 at 11:36

I like graphite-based lubricants (like you'll see for loosening a frozen car door lock). Lithium grease is an excellent option, though, too.

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Use WD-40. Works everytime.

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WD-40 is not a lubricant. –  Dennis Williamson Aug 24 '10 at 3:35
Blasphemy! Citation please. I'm looking at a can right now that says "lubricates moving parts such as hinges, wheels, rollers, chains, gears." Anyway, it makes my door hinges stop squeaking. –  Mike Powell Aug 24 '10 at 4:39
WD-40 is good stuff, but actually the WD in WD-40 stands for "Water Displacement." It's primarily a rust and corrosion preventative. See paragraphs 1-3 at wd40.com/about-us/history –  Chris Vesper Aug 24 '10 at 15:22
WD-40 does lubricate, but it doesn't last. It is good to clean off a rusty hinge, but is definitely not long-term. –  gregmac Aug 24 '10 at 22:19
These things may all be true, but none of them mean it's not a lubricant, which clearly it is. –  Mike Powell Aug 25 '10 at 12:56

Jigaloo is an amazing lube. If you don't go nuts with it, it dries really quickly. It smells nice, waterproofs, and generally works really well. But, it causes cancer, so don't spray the kids or their toys.

I use it on squeeky things, my leathers, my bike, and my rubik's cube.

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Jigaloo is silicone-based, pretty much the same as what I was suggesting. –  msemack May 12 '11 at 14:06
And it smells soooo delicious! –  cidermonkey May 12 '11 at 17:55

As others have said, WD-40 is not a "permanent" lubricant, but the spray can is damn convenient. So, what I would use is Spray silicone. You can find it in white and clear varieties. You probably want clear.

(Spray silicone is what my car manufacturer reccomends for lubricating the door hinges.)

My next choice would be 3-in-1 oil. It is a little more runny though.

No matter what you pick, don't overdo it. Spray a tiny bit and open/shut the door to let it work in.

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