Whether it’s your bedroom, bathroom or main door, hearing that ear-irritating squeak anytime someone opens or closes it, is enough to drive you crazy — especially when you’re trying to concentrate on a book or get some sleep. “The most frequent cause of a squeaky door is noisy hinges,” says Jeff Palla, president of Mr. Handyman, a Neighborly company. “Over time, hinges may become dry or dirty, leading to that annoying sound. Another common cause is misalignment; this can occur with the door itself or how it was installed in the frame.” Luckily, it’s actually a cinch to solve this nuisance. Even more good news? You likely have the solutions right at home, say cleaning and home improvement pros who share their tips on how to fix a squeaky door so you can relax in peace.
The 6 surprise fixes for a squeaky door
The first step is figuring out which of the hinges is making the noise. Palla suggests placing your ear next to each hinge as you (or someone else) slowly move the door back and forth. “This way you’ll know where the problem lies.” Once you figure it which one it is, any one of these 6 household staples should work, just grab the one you have on hand.
1. How to fix a squeaky door using talcum powder
“The fine particles in talcum powder work to fill in the tiny spaces in the hinge, reducing the friction that causes the squeaking sound,” says Eunario Chacon, a star cleaner for Super Cleaning Service Louisville. “It can also help absorb any moisture around the hinge area, preventing rust and ensuring that the hinge moves smoothly.” Just sprinkle a bit of the powder on the hinges and use an old toothbrush to help work it into the crevices. Then open and close the door a few times to make sure it’s fully distributed.
2. How to fix a squeaky door using oil
The pantry staple that can come to the rescue: olive oil. “Simply pour a little on a rag and dab it on the hinge, then open and close the door a few times to work the oil into it, and the sound will be silenced,” says handyman Rick Berres of Honey-Doers.com. The oil dislodges any grime in the hinge, and lubricates it to prevent noisy friction between the metal pieces.
3. How to fix a squeaky door using dish soap
Slick dish soap is an easy fix for a noisy door. First, lay a towel or cloth under the door area to catch any excess that drips. Then apply the soap directly to the hinges and move the door to work it in. “Besides its lubricating abilities, dish soap also helps clean away any dirt, grime, or old lubricant that might have contributed to the squeak,” explains Chacon. “A clean hinge is more likely to operate smoothly.”
4. Using hair conditioner
“Almost everyone has a bottle of hair conditioner at home, making it a readily available solution,” says Chacon. “Apply the conditioner to the hinges as a makeshift lubricant.” Just use a clean cloth to wipe some of the liquid onto the hinge, particularly focusing the areas where the hinge parts rotate against each other.
5. Using dryer sheets
Head into your laundry room for this solution and grab a fresh dryer sheet from the box. “Fold it for a good grip, and then rub it diligently over the hinge, making sure to cover all the moving parts,” adds Chacon. “Unlike some lubricants that can be messy and leave a strong odor, fabric softener sheets are clean to use and leave behind a pleasant fragrance.” When it comes to the hinge, the sheet leaves behind a waxy residue that allows the hardware to move with ease. (Click through for 17 Brilliant Uses for Used Dryer Sheets.)
6. Using petroleum jelly
Door hinges can squeak due to metal parts coming into contact with each other, explains home improvement contractor Andrew Wilson. “Petroleum jelly does wonders to lubricate the metal, instantly banishing that noise.” Just use a rag to rub the jelly onto the hinge. Open and close the door a few times to work the jelly in, and the squeak will be gone. (Click through for more brilliant uses for petroleum jelly.)
See how well petroleum jelly works in the YouTube video below:
What to do if a door continues to squeak
After trying a household hero or two, you haven’t noticed any improvement with the door making noise? In that case, Palla says you might want to consider removing the door from the frame and cleaning to find any paint chips or other trapped debris that are causing the squeak.
Still no luck? “There may be an alignment issue either to the slab itself or how it was drilled into the door frame,” Palla adds. “Consider consulting with a professional rather than trying to address any alignment issues yourself.”
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