Hinge issues
December 1, 2013 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Can I fix a noise problem with these covered hinges just by oiling them?

These are my front door hinges (one of two). They squeal every time I open the door, which sets off the neighboring dog. He only barks for a minute, but the noise has got to be bothering people. No one's complained yet, but I'd like to keep it that way.

If they were ordinary hinges, I would go buy 4-in-1 and oil them myself. But they're covered, as you see, and I don't know how to begin taking them apart, even if I thought that was a good idea. I rent this apartment, and my landlady is very responsive, but it is Sunday, and I'm embarrassed every time I open the door now.

If I oiled the visible cracks in the hinge, or the tiny holes above it, would that help?
posted by Countess Elena to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Best answer: I assume those tiny holes permeate the hinge cover. If so, I would probably get a can of pressurized penetrating oil (like WD40) with the thin spray tube and spray lightly through the hole at the top. Then wait a while (like 10-15mins) until the oil has spread and try the door. If still noisy, spray a little more.
posted by telstar at 12:16 PM on December 1, 2013

Best answer: The holes are for oiling. In the old days they didn't even have spray cans, they just dripped the oil in through those holes. Unless they're clogged with paint, that's where you start; drip drip - try, drip drip -try etc.. If they're clogged, you can try prying the holes wider with a nail and vacuuming the debris out.
posted by Namlit at 12:31 PM on December 1, 2013

Yes, I had those same hinges on my door and WD40 fixed the horrible squeals.
posted by elizardbits at 1:00 PM on December 1, 2013

Response by poster: That's done it! I had to make a special trip out in gross weather for the oil, but it was totally worth it. Thanks!
posted by Countess Elena at 1:24 PM on December 1, 2013

Actually, those look like spring hinges. If so, the holes are for adjusting the tension on the spring - not for oiling. Although using them to oil the hinges would probably work, and be successful.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:26 PM on December 1, 2013

I take that back. After looking again, the barrel probably isn't big enough to be a spring hinge. And the holes are for oiling, because the finials block any other way.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:33 PM on December 1, 2013

WD-40 isn't really the ideal oil for this situation, though it'll do in a pinch. It'll stop the squeak for a while (and if they haven't been oiled in a long time then it'll help break up any rust in there) but soon enough it will evaporate off and wear out and the squeak will come back. 3-in-1 oil would be a much better choice and would last a lot longer.

WD-40 is more of a cleaner, protectant, and rust-remover than a lubricant, if you ask me. It can be used as a light lube in a pinch, but it's almost never the best option. It's great for cleaning up metal parts and preventing corrosion, but as a lubricant it leaves a lot to be desired. 3-in-1 mineral oil is a perfectly good all-purpose household oil for undemanding things like door hinges though, and in my opinion is the natural complement to WD-40 in the toolbox.
posted by Scientist at 2:06 PM on December 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, Scientist -- I didn't realize that. The hardware store was closed, so I went with the only oil they had at CVS, but I'll pick up some 3-in-1 for the future.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:23 PM on December 1, 2013

Well darn near anything will probably do the job at least for a while. Mineral oil, sewing machine oil, WD-40, motor oil, heck, you could probably spray a little PAM in there and your door would stop squeaking. This isn't rocket science here, you just need something slippery on those hinges. 3-in-1 is worth keeping around the house but I'm sure whatever you bought at CVS will be fine.
posted by Scientist at 7:41 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

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