Over the years, it is inevitable that a door or window hinge will accumulate grime and dirt which can result in rust. This can cause your door to become stuck. However, if you clean and lubricate the hinges of your door and windows then you can prevent this. Make sure you use the best lubricant for interior door hinges – WD-40.
Why do hinges for doors and windows get stuck?
Humidity, frost, smog, greasy vapours from cooking and continuous use can lead to the degradation of doors and windows. In some cases, you may not be able to open/close a door or a window because the hinges are so damaged. Sometimes lubricating the hinges with greases, whether oil-based or pasty can make this problem worse as it can attract dust and create a sort of “sludge” that not only no longer lubricates but can also limit the movement of the hinges. That’s why cleaning and lubricating door hinges regularly is important.
So how do you lubricate door hinges to open a stuck door?
You can use WD-40® Smart Straw Multi-Use Lubricating Spray which cleans and prevents the formation of rust and corrosion. It penetrates and lubricates the blocked parts and can protect the surface from humidity. It can also remove any grease stains. Or you can also use Lithium grease. Lithium grease is an excellent option as it is also resistant to dust. It is available in most hardware stores. It is mainly used for the lubrication of car parts. We have our own version called WD-40® Specialist® High Performance White Lithium Grease.
Otherwise, there are several cooking oils that can be used, such as coconut, canola and olive oil, to lubricate hinges. Even though cooking oils can work, they are magnets for grime and dust. This makes them less effective in the long term, compared to the other varieties of lubricant.
Next, you need to locate the hinge pin. Every door hinge comprises of a hinge and a pin that holds the two hinge components together and secure the door to the wall. Find the cylindrical pin that is located between the two plates of the hinge. This pin is responsible for keeping the plates together. You must remove the pin in order to effectively lubricate the hinge.
Now you need to remove the pin. First, open the door and then proceed to pull the pin out. In some cases, it may be possible to use your hands to do it, but more than often not, you’ll need a tool to do it. Take a pair of pliers, grip the pin and rotate it counter clockwise gradually to pull it out. It is possible that the hinge pin may have accumulated a lot of rust which would make it difficult to move. If you have to struggle, use a hammer and screwdriver along with some WD-40® Smart Straw Multi-Use to loosen the pin.
You now need to clean the pin up and coat it with the lubricant that you have chosen. Once you have removed the pin, use a paper towel or any rag to clean the grime and grease from the plates and the pin. If there is rust, you can also use sandpaper for maximum effectiveness. Once you have cleaned up the pin and plates, coat them with the lubricant.
Now you need to reassemble the hinge. Put the pin back into its space and make sure that it is properly secured.
Now that the hinge is in place, check your door. Open and shut the door to ensure that the lubricant properly seeps into the mechanism and the inner side of the hinges.
Take a paper towel or a disposable rag to clean up. Make sure that you have cleaned up all the grime and dust that was taken out and wipe away the lubricant that may have dropped.
How To Remove Hinge Pins That Have Become Sticky
Use WD-40 to soak up the hinges. If you find that you have to struggle to remove the pin, lubricate the door hinge pin in any penetrating lubricant (WD-40 is great for this) for approximately 12 hours before you attempt to remove it. Use a large amount to cover the hinge completely and leave it to work. You could use a screwdriver and hammer to force the pin out. However, if there is an excessive amount of rust, this may result in damaging the door, or breaking the pin and hinge, which would unnecessarily compound the problem.
Use a screwdriver to gently hit the pin. Once you have let it soak in the lubricant, use the screwdriver’s end to strike the pin through its space, to push it out. This is usually a better way to remove the pin from the hinge for lubricating it. You need to use something that is sufficiently small for pushing the pin out. You could use the tip of pliers, a pen or pencil or any other tool that is thin enough, or close to the dimensions of the hinge that you are cleaning.
If necessary, repair the pin. Take the pin and place it on a level surface. Examine the pin for indications of wear and tear, or if it’s bent. It’s a good idea to take out some time to straighten it up and rigorously clean it before you place it back. This will help in avoiding a door that squeaks for the future. If the pin is bent, you can make it straight again by placing it on a cemented floor or any hard surface and striking it using a hammer to put it back into its previous shape. It is ideal to use sandpaper for removing any accumulated grime or rust. This will smooth out the pin and enable it to fit more easily.
Now you have lubricated door hinges time to fix other problems around the home. If your door swings relatively easily but still has a tendency to squeak, then you can read our blog How To Fix A Squeaking & Creaking Door. Finding that you have a lot of rust? Read our blog on the best methods for removing rust.