Before you start lubricating door hinges, you want to have an old rag handy. Be careful with how much spray or grease you apply. You don't need a lot. More is not better in this situation. Wipe up any excess with the rag quickly before it runs and gets on something.
It is best to remove the pin to lubricate a door hinge. You can use a small screwdriver and a hammer to tap the pin out, usually from the bottom of the hinge. Keep the door closed and do one hinge at a time. This way the door will stay supported.
Spray a little silicone spray on the joints in the two hinge leaves where they rub together. Spray a coating onto the pin and tap it back into the hinge. Add a little more spray when you are about half way. Finish tapping the pin into place. Your squeaky door hinge should soon be history.
Repeat this process for the other hinges on the door. The procedure with grease is similar. Coat the pin with a thin layer of grease. Put a small dab of grease on the end and tap the pin back into place.
After you have taken care of all the hinges, open the door. Move it back and forth several times to work the lubricant in. Hopefully, the squeak is gone. Repeat the process if the squeak persists. You want to be sparing with the lubricant, but not too sparing.
Oiling Door Hinges
The simplest fix for this problem is oiling door hinges. This is a fairly simple task. The only material you need is five dollar (or less) can of silicone spray. There are a few things to concern yourself with. The first is the potential mess. The other is the lubricant that you decide on.
Graphite is often recommended for door hardware. It is dry and will not get your keys all oily. In moderation, graphite is a great product and will free up sticky locks. For hinges there are some concerns. The black dry powder can get on surfaces like painted walls and carpet and stain them. This could be a real problem. The hinge works, but the carpet is ruined.
For oiling door hinges, silicone spray or white lithium grease is probably the best choice. Silicone is the easiest, but does not last as long as the grease. When use properly, the mess is minimal. If you decide to use graphite, be careful.
Remove the hinge pins from the hinge one at a time. Apply the lubricant and put the pin back in. When the hinges are lubricated, you should work the door back and forth to work the lubricant in. Repeat if the squeaks or stiffness is persistent. For more information see the articles, 'Squeaky Door Hinges' and 'Fixing Rusty Hinges', for more information on hinge lubrication issues.
WARNING!! Only Remove One Hinge at a Time. The Door Will Fall!!! WARNING!!!
Lubricating a Rusty Hinge
Lubricating a rusty hinge is a good choice when the hinge is still working. Oil will loosen it and quiet it down with a little effort.
When a rusty hinge has deep rust, you may want to start by soaking the hinge with penetrating oil. Use a good quality penetrating oil. Apply the oil liberally, without getting it everywhere. Keep a rag handy to wipe up any excess. Allow the oil to soak in before you try working the hinge. You may want to repeat this step a few times with a badly damaged hinge.
After the penetrating oil has freed up the hinge, you can lubricate it. Use a silicone spray or white lithium grease for this task. Keep in mind that an old badly rusted hinge may need repeated treatments.
Lubricating a rusty hinge is easier when you remove the pin. Not all pins are removable, especially on older doors. When this happens, use spray silicone or spray penetrating oil and try to get it in every crevice of the hinge. Work the door back and forth to work the lubricant down into the hinge.
The age and appearance of the rusty hinge may make you decide to replace it. The easiest replacement job is when you have new hinges that are the same size as the old ones. You can replace one hinge at time without taking the door off. Unfortunately, finding replacements for older hinges is difficult. You may need to go online or go to a specialty hardware store. Cost will go up for hinges that are restoration quality.
One other option would be to fit the door for a newer style hinge. This will require some carpentry skills and may be beyond the ability of the average homeowner. You need to take the door off and change the mortises in the door and frame.