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Lubricants for Garage Door Parts: Everything You Need to Know


Your garage door is one of the most important moving parts of your home. It gets a lot of use, so it’s important to keep it lubricated to prevent wear and tear. To keep your garage door operating smoothly, you should apply a light coating of lubricant to metal garage door parts like springs and hinges a few times a year. 

It might seem annoying to add yet another task to your House To-Do list, but this little step can save you hundreds of dollars in garage door repairs by protecting all the fittings and hardware from metal-on-metal friction, which can increase wear and susceptibility to corrosion. Regularly lubricating your garage door prevents problems like:

  • Squeaking and rattling noises
  • Rust and corrosion
  • Premature wear and tear of parts
  • Binding and jamming
  • Door failure

But how often you lubricate your garage door isn’t the only thing that’s important – what you use to lubricate it also matters.

Little-Known Fact: Your Garage Door’s Parts Don’t Like WD-40

Most homeowners mistakenly rely on the universal WD-40 to lubricate their garage door opener’s parts and infrastructure (i.e. rollers, bearings, hinges). Unfortunately, WD-40 is one of the worst things you could apply to your door – it’s not even technically a lubricant! 

WD-40 is a solvent that strips away rust, dirt, grime, and lubrication. If you need to clean a metal part, WD-40 works great. However, you will need to then clean the WD-40 off said part and apply a lubricant after. Otherwise you’ll be left with metal-on-metal contact that could wear out your garage door parts quickly. 

Another type of lubricant to avoid is anything that’s petroleum-based. While it may protect metal parts, petroleum-based lubricants can degrade plastic and rubber parts. 

DIY garage door maintenance is supposed to lessen garage door repair costs, not increase them, so you’d really be kicking yourself in the foot with those.

Understanding Types of Specialized Lubricants for Garage Door Parts

We know now what not to use; now we need to learn what’s okay to use to lubricate your garage door. There are a variety of garage door lubricants available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common types:

  • White lithium grease: White lithium grease is a thick, white grease that is resistant to water and dust. It is a good all-purpose lubricant for garage door parts, including hinges, rollers and springs.
  • Silicone spray: Silicone spray is a thin, clear lubricant that is easy to apply. It dries quickly and leaves behind a thin film of silicone that reduces friction and prevents rust and corrosion.
  • Graphite powder: Graphite powder is a dry lubricant that is often used on garage door tracks. It is effective at reducing friction and preventing squeaking, but it can be messy to apply.

(Here’s a great article on the 5 Best Garage Door Lubricants for product suggestions.)

Whenever possible, spray lubricants are the most user-friendly option, as you can get into little nooks and crannies in a controlled way. It’s also particularly nice for lubricating your garage door’s springs, because you can safely get all that good lubrication in there but without having to touch or manipulate the springs in any way.

How to Lubricate Garage Door Parts

This is a super-easy do-it-yourself task, as far as garage door maintenance and repairs go, and especially so if you chose a lubricant that comes in a spray can. A quick walk around the garage and a few solid spritzes and you’re good to go! All you do is:

  1. Disconnect the garage door opener from the power source.
  2. Open the garage door manually.
  3. Identify the parts of the garage door that need to be lubricated, such as the hinges, rollers and springs.
  4. Apply the lubricant to the moving parts. Be sure to follow the instructions on the lubricant label.
  5. Cycle the garage door open and closed a few times to distribute the lubricant.
  6. Reconnect the garage door opener to the power source.

A few important things to remember:

  • Lubricate your garage door regularly, especially if you use it frequently.
  • Never lubricate the tracks, as this will increase friction and associated wear-and-tear by attracting dirt and grime.
  • Apply a thin coat of lubricant to the moving parts. Be careful not to over-lubricate, as this can attract dirt and dust.
  • If you live in a humid climate, use a lubricant that is most resistant to water and corrosion.
  • If you are unsure how to lubricate your garage door, consult with a qualified garage door repair company.

See? You grab the right product and there’s nothing to it. And keeping good care of your garage door is always a good idea – less visits from us means less garage door repair expenses. Have more questions about DIY’ing your garage door maintenance? Give us a call!

Garage Door Replacement: When Is It Time for a New Panel?

In general, most garage door systems can last a long time. This is particularly true if you continue to maintain them through frequent inspections and part lubrication. How long your door lasts depend on if you followed the manufacturers recommended care instructions and the quality of the door and parts. A good sign that you need a new garage door panel is when there is significant rust, dents, or other forms of damage to the interior or exterior of the panel. Another potential reason you may want a replacement is to reduce your homes heating and cooling cost. Insulated options are available that can significantly improve your energy bill.