Squeaky Door Handle: 9 Ways to Fix the Squeak

fixing a squeaky door handle

Last updated: April 15, 2022 at 13:30 pm

Door handles are often used, and they can get loose over time. A squeaky door handle is also a sign that your door handle needs repair or replacement.

As a door handle ages, the internal mechanical parts start to wear and the moving parts rub against each other. The constant contact creates friction and eventually causes a squeak.

If you don’t fix a squeaky door handle, the problem may get worse. This article will teach you how to fix a squeaky door handle.

Why Door Handles Squeak?

Squeaky door knobs can be very annoying. They also indicate that something is not working properly with your doorknob.

It could be wear and tear, rust, or just that the mechanical system of your doorknob is faulty.

There are several reasons why your door handles squeak, and here are the most common ones:

Rust and Corrosion

One of the reasons why your door handle is squeaking when you press it is rust. The metal parts of the handle are rubbing together, causing friction and that irritating squeak.

When the metal parts of your door handle are exposed to air and moisture, they start to oxidize and corrode. The chemical reaction between the metal and these substances causes your door handle to deteriorate and break down over time. This process produces iron oxide or rust, which can cause a squeaky door.

Dirt and Grime Build-up

In some cases, the squeakiness is just caused by the build-up of dirt and grime on the handle’s metal components. For example, if you have a sliding door that opens to your backyard and its always wet outside, then it’s not surprising that some debris will find its way into the lock mechanism.

Related: 8 Ways to Easily Soundproof an Internal Door

Faulty Door Knob Latch

The simplest type of latch mechanism in a doorknob uses a spring to hold the latch or bolt into place. You should be able to see a small spring around the catch on the inner side of your doorknob when you open it.

When this spring becomes worn out or rusty, it won’t have enough power to hold back the catch, resulting in a squeaky door handle. A way to fix this problem would be by oiling the spring or replacing it with a new one.

If you don’t hear a squeak when twisting your doorknob but only when you’re locking and unlocking it, then what you need to do is lubricate the latch on your lock. You can find this as part of the metal tab that sticks out from either side of the lock when you pull it.

Another possible reason is that there is some misalignment in your door’s locking mechanism. If this is the case, then it might be time for you to replace your doorknob.

9 Ways to Fix a Squeaky Door Handle

Squeaky door handles are annoying, but you don’t have to put up with them. Here are some ways to fix a squeaky door handle.

1. Locate the Source of the Squeaking

The first step is to identify if it’s the handle or the hinge that is making the noise. If it’s the handle, try opening and closing it while applying pressure to the top of it with your palm. If the squeak stops, then it is indeed the handle that needs attention. Make sure you clean off any dirt or grime from around where the handle meets the door. This will help you pinpoint where on your handle is making noise.

Common culprits include:

  • the door handle screw
  • latch bolt
  • strike plate

2. Use Lubricant or WD-40

The simplest solution is to lubricate the moving parts of your door handle, so they won’t rub together any more. For this, you can use any oil that is suitable for door hinges. You can often pick some up at a hardware store like B&Q

In case you don’t have oil available, you can use many other things as well: grease, toothpaste, soap, or even candle wax. Just put it on the squeaking parts and try the door handle a few times to see if it works.

3. Replace Loose Screws

Sometimes the screw in your door handle comes loose, causing the squeak when it moves around in its hole. To fix this, remove the screw and clean all old grease from the holes in the handle and on the screw itself.

Then apply some fresh oil or grease, reinsert the screw, and tighten firmly (but not too much; this might damage your door).

4. Apply Silicone Grease to the Spindle and Pivot

Most squeaky door handles are the result of a dried-out lubricant. Every time you open the door, the movement of the spindle causes friction; if there’s no lube to keep it moving smoothly, you hear a squeak.

To stop the squeak, apply silicon grease to the spindle and pivot (the part that moves inside the handle).

You can find silicone grease at any hardware store. Apply a small amount with your fingertip or a cotton swab.

5. Lubricate the Keyhole

A squeaky door handle may be caused by a worn-out keyhole. The keyhole is the area where the key is inserted into the lock.

Using the lubricant of your choice, spray inside the keyhole. The idea is that when you insert the key, it will pull the oil through the machine where it’s needed to loosen up moving parts and reduce friction.

Just put a little bit of the lubricant on the tip of your key and push it into the keyhole. Twist it around inside of the keyhole for about 30 seconds and then wipe off any excess with a damp cloth or paper towel.

6. Spray Silicone on the Dust Cover Area

Any mechanic will tell you that friction causes those annoyingly loud squeaks. When the dust cover of the door handle rubs against the inner workings of the door, it causes that high-pitched noise.

To stop the squeaking, use a heavy-duty lubricant like silicone spray. Spray some on the dust cover so it slides easily and isn’t subject to friction. While you’re at it, spray some on the hinges as well so you don’t have two high-pitched noises competing for your attention.

If your door handle has a spring in it, take the entire thing apart and lubricate each piece separately. Be sure to reassemble everything before testing it out, though.

7. Add Weather Stripping

Squeaky door handles are often the result of dry, cracked, or worn-out weather stripping around your door. Weatherstripping is the rubberized or vinyl edge that lines the frame of your door to keep out drafts and cold air.

When the weather stripping gets old, it can get brittle and crack, allowing a gap between the door and the frame where air can get through and cause a squeak. You can buy new weather stripping at hardware stores, remove your old weather stripping with a pry bar and staple gun or use nails to put in new strips.

Once you put in new weather stripping, you may need to adjust the hinges on your door so that there isn’t a gap between the door and the frame. And you may also want to add some lubricant to your hinges and handle if they’re still squeaking after you replace the weather stripping.

8. Place Rubber Stoppers on the Floor Underneath

You may find that your squeaky door handle is caused by contact with the floor. A rubber stopper can fix this. Place a stopper under the door handle. When you turn the door handle, it will absorb some of the pressure and keep it from squeaking.

9. Replace the Door Handle

If the door handle is still squeaking, you have one of two options. You can try to remove the doorknob and tighten the screws, or you can replace the whole thing.

Most doorknobs have a small button on the back that you can push with a paperclip to open them up. If you don’t see a button on the back, look for a small hole on the edge where the doorknob part and lock part come together. Use your paperclip to push inside and release the latch that’s holding it together.

Once you’ve removed it from its housing, use your screwdriver to tighten any loose screws. If that doesn’t solve your problem, take it to your nearest hardware store and ask for a replacement.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it’s a fairly simple process to remedy noisy door hardware. A little spray oil and some smooth, regular use should banish that squeak for good. However, if a coat of lubricant doesn’t solve the problem, it might be time to replace the whole handle.

If your door is constantly slamming, read our door slamming article for more tips.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ is a self-confessed soundproofing nut. He has written full-time on Quiet Living for the past 4 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about living a quieter life, soundproofing and fixing loud noises.

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