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Rust builds up on the metal surfaces of door hinges. It’s a fact of wear and tear and time. Moisture that sits mixes with oxygen and rust begins to form. It’s not a good look. It can also be dangerous. Rust can cause poisoning, commonly known as tetanus, if it finds its way into the bloodstream and it can cause structural damage and corrosion on the hinge itself which can damage its integrity.

A question professional locksmiths often get is, “how do you clean a door hinge of rust”?

It’s not as simple as spraying it with Windex and scrubbing hard. Rust is the result of a chemical reaction and, as mentioned, can be a dangerous substance. It’s a process to do so, but one you should employ regularly as part of your general home maintenance to ensure rust is taken care of as soon as it appears on your door hinges.

Below are the steps to getting rust of your door hinges

Remove the Hinge

While in some cases it is possible to clean rust off the hinge without removing the hinge or door completely, but you’ll get it the cleanest if you take the time to remove the hinge. Take them fully off the door for cleaning.

Scrub with Steel Wool

Any sort of cloth or paper towel won’t be enough. Scrubbing vigorously with steel wool will take away the first layer of rust, though some rust will still remain. That’s okay. It’s part of the cleaning process.


That’s right, cola. Take the door hinge, recently scrubbed, and place it in a container filled with some form of cola beverage. These beverages contain phosphoric and carbonic acids which remove rust from surfaces. Live the hinge in there for several hours or even up to a day, checking periodically for the etching progress.


After the etching is complete, cleaning thee door hinge with your preferred brand of liquid dish soap. Dry the hinge completely before placing it back on the door.

Related Questions

How Often Should I Do This?

Taking rust off your door hinges is not easy work, as you can see. It takes time and effort, so it makes sense to clean all affected door hinges once a year as needed. Check them during season changes when humidity levels fluctuate and pay extra attention to outdoor or older hinges.

What Lubricants Can I Use on My Door Hinges?

Your best lubricant options are plumber’s grease and silicone spray. The former is odorless and used to great effect by plumbers to lubricate pipes and O-rings, the latter is the least messy and easiest to apply.

Don’t let rust go on your door hinges. Keep your home and family safe by taking the rust off properly and safely. If you are finding that your doors are compromised due to the rust on its hinges and locks, and don’t seem to be working the same after you’ve cleaned them, its time to call a professional locksmith service.

If it’s time for new locks or new doors, get the job done right by calling a local trusted locksmith company. From emergency lockout service, to re-keying and door repair and installation, Action Locksmith can help. Having experience in all facets of locksmithing, we can tackle any lock, door, safe or security issue you are facing. Call us today to learn more about our residential and commercial locksmith services and set up a security consultation!