How to fix a squeaky door

14 April 2022 – 3 Minute Read

Squeaky door driving you mad? Get it under control without having to head to the nearest hardware store with Yell Home & Garden’s quick guide to fixing squeaking hinges. I road test four common household items, including hairspray, olive oil and soap to find the best alternative lubricant for silencing our noisy bedroom door. Skip the WD40, and find the best homemade solution for how to fix a  squeaking door.

1. Hairspray

What does it do?

Hairspray creates a polymer seal, preventing squeaky door hinges from loosening and moving around. Simply spray a strong-hold hairspray straight on to the hinge from about one inch away. Then open and close the door once or twice to spread the adhesive. No need to remove the pins, no hassle with lots of steps.

Does it work?

Hairspray was the fastest working of all the solutions I tried; our hinges stopped squeaking almost immediately after spraying them with one quick blast of the aerosol. But it was also the shortest lasting, with a gentle squeak returning after only five days. A second round of spraying lasted longer –  around 10 days. Overall, hairspray is good to fix a squeaky door in a pinch, but prepare to top it up regularly or switch to a longer-lasting solution, (like olive oil) after a while.

2. Soap

What does it do?

Soap usually contains animal fat, which will grease the metal fixing. Just rub a bar of soap onto the hinges until they are well lubricated. Homemade or organic soaps often work better as they have a higher fat quantity, and avoid soaps containing glycerine, which can cause metal hinges to rust.

Does it work?

While soap comes up frequently as a squeak-banishing home remedy, I found this the least effective method in our road test. It was awkward to carry out (getting a solid bar of soap into a small space is harder than it sounds!) and overall it required a lot more time and effort than all the other remedies, without very noticeable results. A second test with a more well-used bar proved a little easier, but our recommendation is: skip the soap and buy a bottle of olive oil instead.

3. Olive Oil

What does it do?

As with soap and petroleum jelly, olive oil is a lubricant which will ease up the hinges and help them move more smoothly. You just need to apply a few drops of the oil to each hinge, although this may be messy. To avoid any mess either use an oil can (as in this image) or pipette, or dab olive oil on a cloth and apply that to both sides of your hinges.

Does it work?

Although a little tricky to apply, this method worked very well. I easily applied the olive oil using a dampened leaf of kitchen towel and it proved fast acting and durable; our door is still squeak-free three months later.

4. Petroleum Jelly

What does it do?

Another quick-to-apply lubricant, simply put a slick of petroleum jelly directly onto the outside of the door hinge. I used only a small amount from a lip balm size tin for this and it went a long way.

Does it work?

Just like olive oil, this method was slightly messy and I ended up with small amounts of jelly sticking to our wooden door frame. But this was quick to clean up and overall, it only took 30 seconds to stop the creaking, and the effects lasted around 10 days.

So which remedy should I use to fix my squeaky door?

Our recommended squeak solution is olive oil, which will fix the noise with both speed and duration. If you just need to stop the annoying creaking right now and have nothing else to hand, then use a can of hairspray on the door hinge for a fast fix.

How fitting

Need a new lock fitted? Find a locksmith near you to crack it.