Rusty Hinges Pic1What can you do with a rusty hinge? This is a real problem for door hinges. Your door may not open or open with difficulty. The door will be noisy when it operates.

Rust is usually found on hinges that are old and perhaps of poor quality material. What are the options? Is it something you can take care of? Salvaging the hinge is possible, replacing it is another option. Both of options are within reach, for a homeowner.

Not sure if this is your problem? See the article 'How To Fix a Door' for a complete listing of all the door topics.

Hinges in days gone by were made of iron and low grade steel. Rust was a common problem. Oil or grease would be the common solution for battling the rust. The hinges would still disintegrate over time and eventually quit working. Since then better methods and better materials have changed hinges. Quality door hinges are made of brass or metal alloys that don't rust. Poor quality hinges may only have a protective coating on them the breaks down over time, then rust can appear.

This leaves you with two basic options. You can try to lubricate a rusty hinge and get it working again. This does not help much with the appearance. The other option would be to replace the hinge with a new one. This will help the door to work smoothly and the door will look nicer.

Fixing a Rusty Hinge - Information

What Can You Save?

There is a range of cost here for a normal door. Lubricating and freeing up the hinges or replacing them with a set that is the same size could run from $50 to $100. Taking an older door down and modifying it for a new set of hinges could run from $100 to $200.

How Hard Could It Be?

Fixing rusty hinges could involve some work if the door is old and the hinge style is no longer available. Lubricating hinges to get the working is not hard.

These repairs will have a Difficulty Level of: A Bit of Work
These repairs require a Skill Level of: Handyman

Check the Simple Things!

Lubrication is the quick solution for a rusted hinge. You may need to start with penetrating oil and then move up to silicone spray or white lithium grease.

What Can Go Wrong?

Old hinges may be of a style and size that is no longer available or only available from specialty hardware sources. Fitting newer hinges onto an old door can involve some work. Lubricating a stiff rusty hinge can involve a lot of oil. Oil makes a mess, so make sure you have rags handy to clean up the excess.

Troubleshooting a Rusty Hinge

rusty-hinge-pic2Troubleshooting rusty door hinges is the first step you should take in deciding what to do with a tight squeaking door. First determine if the hinge is still serviceable.

When you have a rusted hinge, you first need to determine how badly the metal is damaged. Surface rust will make the hinge look bad, but it should still work. Deep rust may have deteriorated the metal to the point where it is ready to break. It may be broken already. You don't want the hinge to break and the door fall off and hurt someone.

Visually inspect the hinge and try to determine the level of rust. Does the door work, can you open it? Do the hinges appear to be functional? Do large flakes of rust fall off when you move the door? These are some question you might consider when checking the hinges.

For surface rust you are safe to lubricate the hinge and start using the door. Lubrication will not fix the appearance issues. Some soap and a scrub brush or steel wool could help with the appearance. See the article 'Lubricating Rusty Hinges' for more information. Replacing the hinges is still a consideration if they look too bad.

WARNING!! Get Help When You Remove a Door, They Are HEAVY!!! WARNING!!!

Lubricating Rusty Hinges

See 'How To Lubricate a Door Hinge'

Cleaning Up Door Hinges

Cleaning up door hinges is the last step in fixing your squeaky hinges. The oil can  continue to ooze out for a while, so cleaning up is a must.

Keeping a rag handy while you are oiling the door hinges will save the amount of cleaning up the door hinges you have to do. Careful use of the oil or grease is also important. Putting too much on the pin will cause it to ooze out and run down the door.

After you have move the door back and forth several times, you can check for any excess lubricant. Use the rag to wipe any residue off. It is a good idea to do a couple of checks over the next few days. Wipe off any excess lubricant the works out of the cracks in the hinge. Once the mess is cleaned up, you are done with this squeaky door hinge project.


How did it go with your rusty hinge? Were you able lubricate them and clean them up. That is good news. Were they too far gone or did they look too bad for this procedure? Did you decide to replace them? Hopefully, you found hinges to match and the replacement was not difficult.

Worst case you had to fit new hinges to an old door. This can be done, although it involves using a chisel and some lay out. Now that your rusty hinge issues are behind you, what are you going to do? You probably have other home repair projects on your list. Keep at it, there is an afternoon off somewhere on the horizon.