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The Case of the Creaking Door

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Crrreeeak… WooooHahahaha… I really need an audio/video lead-in for effect.

Have you ever tried to sneak into the house late at night? Or maybe sneak out? Does your dog take refuge in the laundry basket at the sound of a creaking door announcing the gremlins' attempts to enter her sanctuary? 

There are simple fixes for such dilemmas without having to replace the door or take the dog to therapy. Most creaking door issues are the result of friction caused by the rubbing of the door hinge pins on the hinge knuckles or the knuckles rubbing against each other. The quickest, easiest method is a quick spray of WD-40 on the open hinges. Spray each hinge, on the door, then work the door back and forth, wipe off excess lube. This may not be a long-term fix but might calm the dog’s nerves for a while. If the noise returns within a short period of time or the hinges show a residue between the knuckles, or they're extremely rusty a more intense repair may be in order.

Here are a couple of options. The first will require removing and cleaning the hinge pins. I suggest taking out the pins one at a time – that way there’s no need to struggle with the weight of the door – you can insert a nail in the pin space if you’re concerned the door may become unstable. Clean each pin by spraying with WD-40 then scouring with a fine steel wool, 0-00. The inside of the hinge knuckles can be cleaned by spraying WD-40 inside then scouring with a small bottle brush or pipe cleaner, you can scour the surface, as well, if necessary. Wipe clean, then coat pin with a silicone lube or 3-in-1 oil and replace. Move on to the next pin, repeat process. In the case of hinges with non-removable pins, or if the pin cleaning solution doesn’t solve the problem, your best bet (in my opinion) is to replace the hinges.

If you like your door there’s no need to replace it. If it’s an exterior door replace the hinges with good quality brass hinges. Measure your existing hinge. Hinges are measured with the leaves in the open position with the first measurement being leaf height followed by width of leaves, e.g. 4” x 4” (do not include the ball tip, if applicable, in the measurement). Hinges have either square corners or round corners, with round corners coming in 1/4” or 5/8” radius. Hinges are also available in various thicknesses, commonly referred to as residential or heavy duty. Heavy duty hinges are available as standard or ball bearing. These descriptions refer to hinges common to U.S. building applications.

There are many styles of hinges available in this big beautiful world, our beautiful French Paumelle Hinges among them. Contact Us here at Adkins Antique Hardware if you have any questions regarding hinges and/or their application.


Hope we’ve addressed any creaking issues you have or may encounter. Any further issues with the dog may need to be referred to the cat. Happy Halloween