squeaky door hinges

I have solid core interior doors. Nice doors-3 hinges, heavy and well-built. And noisy!
All that weight means the hinges squeak. I have used graphite several times and it helps for a while. Does anyone have any longer-lasting methods of lubricating door hinges? I am aware of numerous home remedies-paraffin, soap, white grease, etc. but I am looking for a long-lasting solution that won’t leave deposits and guck behind.
Anyone have any success stories for squeaky hinges?


Ultimately, lubrication can’t make up for mechanical binding. And as you suggest, most “home remedies” are really ways for non-competent home owners to hide the problem temporarily by using whatever slippery crap they happen to have lying around. Butter, anyone?

If the frames are poorly built, or the house has sagged, the three hinge pins will not be in perfect alignment. As long as that is true you’ll have a strong tendency to squeak (or sweak!) as one or another of the pins must be slightly cocked in its hinge.

You may be able to resolve some of this by determining which of the three hinges in any door is most out of alignment, then slightly loosening the screws on either the door or jamb side & cycling the door several times. The door motion will push the hinge more closely into alignment with the other two. Then careful tightening while trying not to upset the alignment will get you back in business.

I’ve had good luck with a little squirt bottle of 3 in 1 oil.
Hold a wad of paper towel under the hinge and squirt a little bit in each gap catching the drips with the paper towel. Move the door back and forth a couple times, repeat if necessary and wipe the grease off the hinge.
That normally gives me a few months of squeak free door action.

LSLGuy, couldn’t it also be possible the that squeak is just coming from the mating surfaces of the hinges themselves and not having anything to do with the pin?

I just use WD40 in a spray can. You do need to have a tissue or something to collect the run-off.

Indeed, if the door is heavy, there’s a large thrust load on the axial faces between the two hinge plates, and the tipping moment of the heavy door means there will be large lateral loads on the top and bottom hinge, regardless of how well-aligned the hinges are.

My preferred weapon is Tri-Flow. Used to use it for bicycle chains: it carries little bits of PTFE and heavy lube into tight places, then the ligher fractions evaporate. Works great, long term, for door hinges.

loosening the jam plate and realigning as suggested is good.

dismount the door to lube all mating surfaces and pins works good.

I’ll second this.

Rip a hole in a paper towel so it will just fit over the hinge to catch any extra spray. You may also want to have paper towels under the hinge, especially since you’ve been applying graphite. Spray the Tri-Flow so it’ll get into the hinge, then swings the door back and forth to work it in more. Repeat till squeaking stops. Be sure to clean up afterwards, then check again later for any additional drips.

This. Most times a single squirt is enough. Then just move the door back and forth a few times to spread it.

This is exactly what not do. WD-40 is not a lubricant. It collects dust and dries out. In the long run it makes things worse.

I use a silicone based lube for things like this. But it sounds like the OP has a worse problem than just lubrication.

thanks for all the inputs. We were as careful as we could be in hanging the doors-the house was rebuilt after Kartrina. But it isn’t an easy thing to do. I will investigate whether it is possible to true up the doors.

Tri flo sounds like a good product. Now I have to figure out where to get it. Will a big box store (Home Depot/Lowes) have it? WD-40 and 3-1 oil are pretty light for the job. They certainly would work for a while, but for these doors it would be a matter of days. I am looking for something more long-lasting.
Thanks for the replies.

Are the hinges mounted so the pin is proud of the trim? Sometimes the hinge pin will rub on the trim if it doesn’t extend past the casing. That can cause a squeak. No lubrication will correct that problem.

I build and install heavy solid wood doors, sometimes up to 3.00m tall and weighing over 75 kilos, and if the proper hinges are installed properly there will be no squeaks.

The door in the picture weighs about 40 kilos and uses three 4" x 4" Mont Hard hinges.


Hardware store might have it. Nearest bicycle shop probably will have it.

Product website here. Somewhere on the site is the “find a store” tool.

that is a beautiful door!
If that door doesn’t squeak eventually then I clearly need to investigate proper door hinge installation.

I wonder if my hinges just aren’t built for the task. The doors are custom and these are the hinges that came with the doors, but one can’t be certain…

Can anyone comment on hinges? The pins are proud of the door but don’t rub on anything.

It is difficult to say from the info given just what is causing the problem. I have built hundreds of heavy solid wood doors over the years. In my own home all of the interior doors are a full 1 3/4" thick with 3/4" thick panels, built out of mahogany so they are not light. They were hung with Mont Hard stainless steel 4 x 4 hinges 15 years ago and none of them squeak and none have sagged in all of this time.

According to the company,

WD40 is still a poor choice for hinges despite what it says on the can. It is excellent for penetrating and loosening, cleaning and even lubricating something with light friction.

Hinges bear a lot of weight and come from the factory lubricated with a heavy grease, WD40 is just too light for the job, and is more likely to clean out the remaining heavy lubricant (which can be a good thing if you then wipe up and replace it with fresh grease).

Are the hinges worn? If there is dark sludge or dust then the bearing surfaces are probably in poor shape. Big, heavy quality hinges as mentioned above are the best solution, but if the doors are milled for smaller hinges and you don’t wish to re-do them you could try ball bearing hinges. We hang a lot of solid MDF doors and get good service out of basic ball bearing hinges.

Thanks! those are nice hinges. I wish I had known about them when we were installing the doors. As is, to replace the hinges on all the doors would cost over $700 just for the hardware. But I have noticed something-the squeakiest doors are the ones with the highest humidity-bathrooms and laundry rooms. And the noise doesn’t seem nearly as bad during the day.

Can you tell me whether these hinges would be better in a higher humidity environment? I note on their webpage that they warn of severe environments.

The door in the link I posted above is in a house right on the beach in the tropics. I built and installed over 100 doors last year on another project on the same beach and stainless was specified. Cheap builder specified undersized hinges so we used 4 on the passage doors and 3 on louvered doors. I use stainless hinges for all of the work I do at the beach unless the clients are willing to pay for solid brass. You shouldn’t have a problem using stainless or solid brass. But be prepared to pay.