Door hinges can get creaky, sticky, and rusty over time, especially older door hinges. Even interior door hardware can rust when it comes into contact with moisture. Removing the rust from the door hinges helps them work better and restores their original look to make your doors more attractive. It can also help the door hinges last longer and prevent the need to replace them.
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Why Door Hinges Rust
Rust is an oxidation process that happens when iron or metal alloys containing iron react to exposure to water and oxygen. It usually only forms when there's prolonged exposure. While other metals can corrode, creating something similar to rust, only iron and iron-containing alloys, like steel, can truly rust. Exterior door hinges could be more likely to rust since they have more exposure to moisture, but an interior door hinge in a humid space could also rust over time.
Remove the Rusty Door Hinge
It's easiest to remove your door hinges completely before tackling the rust. When you take off the door and remove the hinges fully, you can reach all the little nooks and crannies to ensure all the rust is gone. You can also soak it in solutions that might help remove the rust. If possible, have someone help you so they can hold the door while you remove it.
To remove the hinges, pop out the hinge pins. An easy way to remove the pins is to hold a nail at the bottom of the hinge pin and tap the nail with a hammer to ease the pin up. Grab the pin once it's out part of the way. Pull the door off the hinges when the pins are free. Then, unscrew the hinges from the door and the door frame.
Scrub With Steel Wool
An easy way to remove rust from door hinges is to scrub them with steel wool. This takes some effort and patience. Coarse steel wool should remove a large portion of the rust when you scour the hinges aggressively. You can also use sandpaper to scour away the rust.
Soak Hinges in Cola
After removing a large portion of the rust with steel wool, soak the hinges in a bowl of cola to help remove the rest. The acids in the cola help to clean off the rest of the rust. It can take several hours for the cola to work depending on how much rust is on the hinges. Soak the hinges until the cola removes all of the rust.
You can also try soaking the hinges in vinegar, which has acetic acid to help break down the rust. The vinegar can help soften the rust and make it easier to scour off with steel wool. Rinse the hinges well after soaking them in any solution.
Clean the Door Hinges
Once you've removed the rust, clean the door hinges thoroughly to remove any remaining gunk. Warm, soapy water using mild dish soap is a simple, effective cleaning solution for the hinges. Place them in the cleaning solution and wipe them with a cloth to clean them. Rinse them well with clean water to remove the remaining soap.
Dry the hinges and hinge pins completely before putting them back on the door. Moisture trapped on the hinges can lead to more rusting. Dry the cleaned hinges with a towel and let them air dry before placing them back on the door.