Is your door creating a squeaky noise when you open and close it? The likely culprit are the hinges, the handle or in case of a sliding door the rail. And you my friend must be on the hunt for the best lubricant, because the one and only solution is to lube that sucker up!
These are the top 5 lubricants with links to Amazon where you can check the current price and available sizes. These 5 recommendations are based on my own experience, professional analysis of the ingredients and comparison with other popular lubricants on the market:
|Product Name||Base Ingredient||Advantages||Disadvantages||Best Use|
|LiquidFix Door, Lock, and Hinge Lubricant||Oil-based||Amazing multi-purpose lubricant, comes with a 4 oz bottle and a 0.5 oz needle for precision, virtually odorless, prevents frozen locks||N/A||Door hinges, locks, car hinges, etc|
|WD-40 Specialist Silicone Lubricant with a Smart Straw||Silicone||Works well, long straw applicator, quick drying, waterproof and protects against rust, can be used on metal, rubber, vinyl and plastic||Has an intense smell, not as long-lasting as other lubricants||Squeaky hinges, sliding door rails, door locks, etc|
|Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant||Teflon||Similar to WD-40, more long-lasting, precise application with straw, easy to wipe off without leaving a stain||Has a bit of a smell, but it dissipates after a day or so.||Door hinges, locks, motorcycle parts, bike chains, etc|
|Sentry Solutions Tuf-Glide Pen Applicator||Dry lubricant||Precise application and zero mess, displaces moisture, provides rust inhibition, doesn’t attract dirt, dust or debris||Pricey||Hinges, door handles, tools, knives, etc|
|Gear Hugger Multipurpose Lubricant||Plant-based||USDA Certified 96% bio-based and safe around kids and pets, doesn’t contain petroleum or PTFEs, odorless, 3x lubricating power of standard petroleum-based oil, versatile, antirust spray and moisture barrier||Pricey||Small electronics, bike chains, camping gear, tools, squeaky doors, etc|
3 Steps to Eliminate Door Squeakiness
- Identify the source of the noise. Since these door parts are well spaced out, it should be easy to identifying if it’s the hinges, the handle, or in the case of a sliding door the rail that’s causing the noise.
- Wipe the area clean and/or use a degreaser. When you’ve identified the squeaky part, you will likely notice dust, grime and dirt on it.
- Apply lubricant. Then try to open and close the door and see if there’s still any noise. If you’ve identified the real source of the noise and applied these steps the door will be quiet like a mouse!
It’s important to know that there are different lubricants on the market based on the type of material you’re trying to lubricate. The base ingredient and the method of application are the most important factors to consider.
Types of Packaging/Applicators
|Spray lubricant||Aerosol can with straw attachment||Hinges and other door areas||Least messy, precise application with straw||Can’t apply thick coating of lubricant. But it’s unnecessary for treating squeaky doors anyway.|
|Liquid oil||Bottle||Hinges, tools, bearings, small areas||Good for small areas without disassembly||Gums up dust and dirt, drips and runs, not water resistant|
|Stick lubricant||Stick||Thick coatings and protection from corrosion||Thick coating, no mess||Not convenient for lubricating tiny or hidden areas|
|Pen applicator||Pen||Precise application with minimal mess||Precise application, can access small areas||Too small for large areas (but large enough for doors)|
1. Spray lubricant
A spray lubricant comes in an aerosol can, and it may have a thin straw attached to it for more precise application. This is the least messy option, plus the straw can get into the nooks and crevices. So it’s generally recommended for hinges and other door areas.
2. Liquid oil
This is a common lubricant type for hinges, tools, bearings and similar items. It’s great for lubricating small areas without having to take anything apart.
However, it has some significant downsides. First is that it can gum up dust and dirt and cause more friction. So it’s not the ideal solution for surfaces that are exposed to dust or dirt. It also drips and runs because oils are low in viscosity. Lastly, it doesn’t last long if exposed to water.
3. Stick lubricant
A stick lubricant may provide better lubrication and protection from corrosion because you can apply a nice, thick coating. It also doesn’t drip and create a mess like liquid oil.
But it’s not convenient when it comes to lubricating hinge pins or the hidden mechanism of a door lock like a spray or oil. You’d have to remove the hinge pin or the door lock in order to lubricate it from the inside.
4. Pen applicator
Pen applicators are an upgrade to a stick lubricant. If you need to be more precise with your application and want to make as little mess as possible, this is the better option out of the two. It also allows you to access the smaller areas which would be difficult if not impossible to lubricate with a stick.
|Base Ingredient||Advantages||Disadvantages||Best Use|
|Silicone||Cheap, does not attract dirt, not as messy as grease||Can damage paint, not for electrical connections, slippery, dries out quickly, not for walking areas||Metal parts in low temperature environments|
|Lithium grease||Good for metal hinges, dries out slower in hot temperatures||Not for plastic or rubber components, attracts more dirt||Metal parts in hot temperatures|
|Graphite-based||Ideal for high humidity and high temperature environments||Messier than silicone lubricants||Garage doors, door locks, machinery in high humidity and high temperature environments|
Silicone lubricants are usually the cheapest. They are free from mineral oils and grease. So they won’t attract dirt like oily lubricants and they aren’t as messy as grease.
Silicone spray lubricants are a very popular, practical and clean solution for hinges, but you should minimize overspray near painted areas because it can damage the paint and make it more onerous.
It’s also not advised to apply this type of lubricant on electrical connections, switches and relays because it can interfere with them (for example, in cars).
Silicone is also very slippery, it’s like banana peel in a can! So you shouldn’t apply it on walking areas or any items you have to handle (door handle). Also, silicone lubricants dry out more quickly so they work best in low temperature environments.
Lithium grease is a great lubricant for metal hinges. But it should not interact with plastic or rubber components because it’s derived from petroleum and petroleum speeds up the decay of plastic and rubber parts.
However, you can use it on standard metal hinges on wooden doors. It dries out slower than silicone lubricants in hot temperatures so this is it’s primary purpose – hot temperatures. The downside is that it attracts more dirt and therefore gets messier.
Graphite-based lubricants are ideal for high humidity and high temperature environments.
But they’re greasier and therefore messier than silicone lubricants. This is why they’re used on garage doors, door locks and various machinery rather than interior door hinges or cabinet hinges.
Top 5 Lubricants for Squeaky Door Handles, Hinges and Rails
With all of this in mind I’ve created a list of the top lubricants for squeaky doors. These products are favored by professionals, so you can be confident that they’ll get the job done:
1. LiquidFix Door, Lock, and Hinge Lubricant
It comes with a 4 oz bottle and a 0.5 oz needle so that you can deal with larger jobs and smaller ones without creating a mess. The needle was designed for penetrating easily into the working parts of a door hinge. It can also be effectively used on door rails/tracks, squeaky door and car hinges, locks and more.
It’s also virtually odorless if you’re worried about the tiny drop that you’ll need to lubricate the hinge will make the door or smell.
The freezing point of this lubricant is -55F so it’s also good at preventing frozen locks.
2. WD-40 Specialist Silicone Lubricant with a Smart Straw
WD-40 is the most popular spray lubricant for two simple reasons – it works well and it’s versatile. It’s easy to use due to the long straw applicator that can get into the small nooks and crannies with precision. It’s also quick drying, waterproof and protects against rust.
Unlike many other lubricants, it can be safely used on metal, rubber, vinyl and plastic. If you’re dealing with squeaky hinges, sliding door rail or door lock this product can be safely administered on those surfaces and many others.
The only problem with WD-40 is that it has a somewhat intense smell and there are more long-lasting lubricants on the market. But it’s a silicone spray after all, so that’s to be expected. Still the most widely-used lubricant on the market.
3. Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant
This is a very popular Teflon based lubricant. It’s quite similar to WD-40 but it’s more long lasting so it comes out cheaper in the end. It doesn’t take much to lubricate a door part, just a little squirt!
It can be used to lubricate motorcycle parts and bike chains, as well as door hinges, locks and so forth. It’s also very precise in application through the straw that comes with it. Still, if any of it gets to unintended places you can easily wipe it off without it leaving a stain.
Overall, it’s hard to go wrong with Tri-Flow and close to 90% five star reviews on Amazon from over 1900 customers are a proof of that.
4. Sentry Solutions Tuf-Glide Pen Applicator
This is a great dry lubricant if you want to be really precise with your application and create zero mess. It displaces moisture, provides excellent rust inhibition and it doesn’t attract dirt, dust or debris.
It can be really practical for lubricating hinges and door handles, as well as tools, knives and other squeaky and rust-prone stuff around the house.
5. Gear Hugger Multipurpose Lubricant
- USDA Certified 96% bio-based and safe around kids and pets
- Doesn’t contain petroleum
- Doesn’t contain PTFEs
- It’s completely odorless
But don’t think that the lack of harsh chemicals means less lubricating power. The formula behind the Gear Hugger has 3x lubricating power of standard petroleum-based oil found in your typical lubricant.
What’s best, it can be used for virtually anything, including small electronics, bike chains, camping gear, tools etc. Most importantly, for squeaky doors. What’s more, it’s also an antirust spray it serves as a moisture barrier and corrosion inhibitor.
Overall, if you want an almost entirely natural lubricant that is truly versatile, this is the ultimate option.
How to lubricate door hinges (video tutorial)
These are five very powerful and convenient lubricants. My favorite of the bunch is Gear Hugger due to it’s plant-based ingredients. I’m personally trying to cut down on chemicals in my house.
I know that you won’t be using a whole lot of lubricant on a squeaky hinge or anything like that, but it’s still the superior option. Even more so if you have a dog who likes to lick metal parts like my Doberman does.
But if that’s not much of a concern for you, any of these five lubricants will help you get your squeaky door under control in no time!