How To Open A Squeaky Door Quietly: 5 Methods

Squeaky doors are annoying.

This is especially true if the squeaky door in question is your child's bedroom door and you want to sneak out without waking them, if it's the door into a quiet library or if you simply want to sneak somewhere without everyone being aware that you are coming.

Oiling the hinges and ensuring that they are properly fitted is the ideal long term solution to a squeaky door however if you need to find a way of getting past a squeaky door quietly right now then try these tips:

1. Open The Door Quickly

Opening a door quickly is often far quieter than opening it slowly (providing you don't slam it into anything!).

opening a door quickly can minimize squeaking sounds

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Moving the door quickly sends more force directly through the hinges, this will change the way that the door moves so that the hinges create less noise because it doesn't rub on the 'squeaky' parts.
  2. Moving the door quickly means your door will take only a fraction of a second to open rather than a second or two. This means that any noise created happens for a shorter period of time.

2. Lift The Door Up By The Handle

Most door squeaks are caused by the hinge parts not sitting together correctly, this can happen if hinges become loose over time or if they are not quite set at exactly the right height.

The bottom and top parts of the hinge rub together making a nasty squeaking sound.

lifting a door up by the handle can reduce squeaking

Lifting the door up by the handle changes how the hinge is aligned, doing this will normally eradicate hinge noise.

To do this firmly grab the door handle as close as possible to where the handle is fitted to the door (this will give you better leverage), then lift up.

You should feel the door move slightly, hold the door up as you open it.

Don't allow the door to rest until it is fully open.

If the door is self-closing then you will also need to keep it up until it is closed again to avoid squeaks.

Obviously some doors are far heavier than others, a solid oak door will require signficant force to lift it up by the handle (we recommend you use two hands), whereas a typical panel door is not so heavy.

3. Twist The Door Knob & Pull The Door

If the door is fitted with a knob then you can use this method to help open it quietly.

hand reaching for door knob

If the door hinges are on the left side of the door then twist the handle in the opposite direction, if the hinges are on the right then twist left.

Twist the handle as far as you can and then pull away from the hinges.

Doing this will change the way the force of the doors movements travel through the hinges.

Slowly open the door while maintaining the tension.

Depending on the exact hinge issue that is causing the squeak this may or may not work so open it a fraction initially to check if it is going to squeak or not.

4. Oil The Hinges

Obviously, this isn't something you can necessarily do in the moment if you suddenly encounter a squeaky door unless you happen to have some oil on you.

oiling a hinge

3-in-1 oil or WD40 work very well on door hinges.

Simply apply a few drops inside the joins and the top of the hinge, open and close the door a few times and then you're good to go!

Be aware this is only an option if you have access to the side of the door where the hinges are exposed.

5. Apply A Lubricant

Oil is of course the best lubricant for hinges however if you find yourself in a desperate situation (maybe you're hired an AirBnB and the babies bedroom door squeaks like a banshee!) then there are a number of different things you can try which will silence the door temporarily.

Again these are only an option if you have access to the side of the door where the hinges are exposed.

Lipstick

Yep, it's unconventional for sure but if you have some spare lipstick or chapstick lying around then break a bit off, smear it on your index finger and rub it over the hinge.

Try to get as much of it as you can in between the hinge joins as this will lubricate the movement, minimizing the noise.

Soap

If you've ever slipped on a bar of soap in the shower then you'll know that soap is very good at reducing friction, this is because soap is made from animal fats that grease whatever it is rubbed on.

Use the same method with a bar of soap (liquid soap doesn't work so well).

Break a chunk off then rub it all over the hinge, again make sure to work it into the hinge gaps.

Soap can be tricky to apply so used a well used bar of soap (this will be softer) and take your time working it in for maximum effectiveness.

Be aware soaps which contain glycerine should be avoided as this can cause hinges to rust over time.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the more effective DIY lubrication solutions.

ALl you need to do is put a few drop on each hinge.

We recommend you put the olice oil on a cloth and then rub the cloth over the hinge to avoid making an oily mess.

If done properly this method should keep your door squeak-free for months.

Hairspray

Stronghold hairspray works best for reducing squeaky hinges.

Spray the hinge liberally from 2-3cm away, this will coat the hinge in polymers which will help keep it quiet.

Make sure to open and close the door a few times to help work the haispray into the hinge.

Hairspray is one of the quickest solutions to a squeaky door however it is also one of the shortest lasting fixes.

You can typically expect to need to reapply the hairspray within a week of the initial application.

Water

Okay, so this is a genuinely terrible choice as it will cause the hinges to rust, but, if you have no other option then it will work.

Simply spray or drip some water over the hinges.

This temporary moisture will make them move more fluidly (for a few minutes) until it dries up.

If you are stuck behind a squeaky door with nothing but water to help then this method can work.

We recommend that you dry the hinges off with a towel and hairdryer (to get the water out of the inside of the hinge) as soon as possible to prevent it from rusting and then apply oil.


Also Read: How To Open A Can Quietly

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Welcome to Soundproof Panda,

I'm Dan, I live very close to an internationally famous stadium which generates an awful lot of noise that I'd rather block out.

This is my place to document what I've learnt on my soundproofing journey.