Solve Your Squeaky Door Problem With One Kitchen Staple

Old wooden doors are certainly charming: beautiful, solid, symbols of great craftsmanship. But metal hinges on wooden doors can sometimes start to squeak, which can disturb sleep and be a general annoyance. What if you don't have any WD40 or other suitable lubricant on hand for the problem? Simple: just grab some dish soap. By dish soap, we mean liquid detergent used when washing dishes by hand, not the liquid detergent used in your automatic dishwasher.

Although technically dish soap isn't a lubricant, and cannot replace a proper lubricant like blade oil, it can definitely be used in a pinch to lubricate door hinges and make them stop squeaking. This is a kitchen item most people have on hand, so there's no need to head to the hardware store. And unlike other makeshift solutions (like cooking spray or cooking oil), dish soap isn't greasy or oily and won't leave a mess behind.

The other reason dish soap is not a bad idea to use as a temporary fix for this problem is that one of the main causes of a squeaky door hinge is dust or dirt. So using dish soap means you're halfway to cleaning the hinge properly and eliminating the problem altogether.

How to use dish soap on your squeaky door hinge

To get your door hinge to stop squeaking, you need only apply a very, very small amount of dish soap. Using too much can cause the hinge mechanism to get gummy and it will need to be cleaned. This is a temporary fix, but a solid enough solution until you can address it more fully.

Apply a small amount with your finger and open and close the door to make sure the squeaking has stopped. Basically, the dish soap will coat the hinge and prevent the dust or dirt from creating the squeaking sound. Be sure to wipe off any excess soap with a paper towel or dry cotton washcloth. Many dishwashing liquids contain water, and too much water can rust the metal hinges on your door.

Before too much time goes by, you will want to properly clean and dry your door hinges to prevent any further problems. So within two weeks of applying the dish soap to your squeaky hinges, you'll want to clean and dry them thoroughly to remove any dust or dirt buildup and eliminate any rust.

Using dish soap to eliminate the cause of your squeaky door hinge

So, let's say you used a bit of dish soap to temporarily make your door stop squeaking in an annoying way. But now that it's not the middle of the night and you're not too tired to really focus on the issue, you want to fix the root cause of the problem. Luckily for you, dish soap can come to the rescue! Soaking them in soapy water will address the underlying issue: dirty hinges.

To clean your door hinges thoroughly, first remove the screws and hinges from your door with a screwdriver. Then soak them in a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Swish them around creating some bubbles, and then let them soak for at least an hour. You may want to scrub them a bit too with a gentle brush to really get any grime or dirt off them. Rinse them thoroughly, and then let them dry on a dry cotton towel or rag.

Make sure they're thoroughly dry before applying some WD-40 or other lubricating oil, and wipe off any excess before reinstalling the hardware on your door. You can also put the hinge back in place and then add a bit of lubricating oil. (Again, wipe the area clean as thoroughly as you can.) This should take care of your squeaking problem for a long time.