Make Bathroom Renovation EasierLearn More
Make Bathroom Renovation Easier

blog

Fix a Door that Closes or Opens by Itself

A Quick Fix for An Annoying Problem

As Seen On
by Jeff Patterson in Interior DIY Projects
Fix a Door that Closes & Opens by Itself-Remove the middle hinge pin

Do you have a door that closes or opens by itself?

This is a project that doesn’t take long and will make your life a whole lot better.  You’ll be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner.

Before this fix we had to use a door stop to keep our bathroom door open.

Otherwise it would always close by itself (sound familiar?).

This isn’t big deal unless you have  a small bathroom and the door closes on your butt while you brush your teeth. One day I thought someone goosed me while I was spitting out my toothpaste. But it was only the door, LOL.

Anyone can do this fix in less than 10 minutes.

Here are the supplies you’ll need

  • Hammer
  • Scrap piece of wood
  • Screwdriver
  • WD-40

Are you ready to stop your door from closing itself?  Let’s get to it 🙂

The First Step: Remove the Old Hinge Pin

Interior bathroom or bedroom doors that close themselves are aggravating.

The easiest fix is to remove your middle hinge pin and put a slight bend in it.

When I say ‘slight’ that means a barely noticeable bend.

Remove the pin by placing a screwdriver under the middle hinge.

Fix a Door that Closes & Opens by Itself-Remove the middle hinge pin

Tap the screwdriver with the hammer until the pin pops up from the hinge and can be removed by hand.

Old pins may need to be pried loose in a different manner. You might have to wedge a flathead screwdriver between the head of the pin and top of the hinge.

Slightly tap the screwdriver with the hammer until a gap forms between the head of the pin and top of the hinge. Place the screwdriver under the head of the pin.  Then tap up on the pin’s head with a hammer until you can remove it by hand.

Removing the middle hinge pin allows the door to stay in place via the top and bottom hinges.

If your door only has two hinge pins then completely close it and remove the hinge while the door is in this position. The striker on the door handle will help to keep the door hinges aligned while you remove the pin.

 

The Second Step: Put a Slight Bend in the Old Hinge Pin

Place your hinge pin on a scrap piece of wood.

Find the middle of the pin and tap it with your hammer until it has a slight bend. It only took three taps with my hammer.

Fix a Door that Closes & Opens Itself-Place a bend in the hinge pin

This bend will provide enough friction to stop the door from closing or opening by itself.

Place the pin back into the hinge and tap it into place with your hammer.

Test your door.

I bet my childhood baseball card collection that it stays in place.

If the door still opens or closes on its own you can bend the pin a little more until this doesn’t happen. Here’s a short video that shares this tutorial step-by-step.

Any squeaking can be eliminated by spraying WD-40 on the door hinge pin.

This sounds counterintuitive since the whole point of the bend in the pin is to create friction. But the WD-40 shouldn’t cause the door to swing open or close.

 

Learn how to remodel your bathroom, save money, and increase your home’s value with Bathroom Repair Tutor

 

 

What’s Next

Now you can add another skill to your DIY toolbox. Pretty awesome!!

Our door tutorial for fixing doors also comes in handy if the door rubs the floor or jamb – it’s priceless.

Grab our free guide if you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel – it shares how to remodel a bathroom in 10 days or less

Send Me The Guide

 

Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.

Ask your questions below and we’d be happy to help.

Cheers,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. Our online store has great supplies for homeowners doing a bathroom remodel. You’ll find shower systems, tiling tools, and more.

103 Comments
  1. Another great tutorial, thank you!

    Another question for you– what about doors that used to stay closed but now do not? We stayed at my in-laws last weekend and none of the doors will stay closed unless you push really hard and kind of jiggle the handle, I think it has something to do with the door frame or the door knob?. Any suggestions?

    1. Nice question Valorie.

      You’re describing a very common problem. Either you can realign the strike plate to engage the door lock or adjust the hinges.

      Close the door and look at the gap between it and the door frame. If this gap gets smaller at the bottom of the door it means the door has “sagged”.

      This is a common issue with bathroom doors that have towels hung on them. Over time the heavy towel pulls the top hinge out from the mortise (groove the hinge sits inside).

      You can tighten the hinges to see if that helps or you can slightly shim the bottom hinge to make the door plumb again. Making the door plumb will allow the door lock to engage.

      Just last night my daughter pointed out that the bathroom door drags on the floor. So I might put together a tutorial on this problem. Hope this helps in the meantime.

      1. That would be awesome Jeff! I am not there to help them with fixing the doors so I could direct them to your tutorial. They got new real wood interior doors within the last 4 or 5 years, wondering if the doors are too heavy for the hinges? It would make sense because it is multiple doors, all with the same problem! You nailed it me thinks!

        1. The other issue I’ve seen is hinges being screwed to trim with 3/4 inch screws.

          They could always remove these screws and use longer ones, say 1.5 or 2 inch in length 🙂

          1. Rita Johnson says:

            My bathroom door does the exact same thing as yours. Does this pertain to hollow doors and solid doors alike? Please help!!!!!

    2. stacey says:

      How do i bend the pin to my hinge so it will stop closing on me?

  2. Awesome. I have one of those! Our guest bath door…drives me crazy. Thanks for the fix!

    1. It drove my wife crazy, too!!!!

      Here’s the goofy part-even though our door is fixed I still find myself reaching for the old door stopper. Haha.

  3. Terri Hoke says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, but I have a door with only two hinges. Do I bend the top or bottom pin?
    PS. If you don’t have WD40, you can use any kind of cooking spray to eliminate the squeak. Just make sure you have a paper towel or rag under the hinge as you spray.

    1. Thanks Terri for the cooking spray tip. Gotta put Pam to work 🙂

      If you only have two hinges then remove and bend the bottom one. Hopefully that will solve the issue.

      Let me know how it works out.

  4. I just did this to the 2 doors in my house that have been self closers for 3 years!! It took me 5 minutes and they are fixed. Yay!! Thank you!

    1. Susan, great job!! It’s the best feeling in the world when you get something accomplished that you thought would be so hard but wasn’t. 🙂

  5. Cheryl says:

    Thanks for the tips about doors that keep shutting. I tried the bending of the middle hinge and in 5 minutes it was fixed. Thanks again. Great tip.

    1. Hey Cheryl,

      Way cool. Doors can be tricky but sounds like you got your door under wraps.

      🙂

      Jeff

  6. Rob says:

    For a second I thought you were being a [email protected]$$ when I read “How to fix a door that closes or opens by itself” and saw the picture of you pointing at a door stop! Thank you for this fix. It worked perfectly and now I can find something else to drive me nuts!

    1. Haha, that’s hilarious Rob.

      Our door did in fact open on by itself and when I finally got around to fixing it my wife got upset. She said I was holding out for the last 3 years and it should have been done sooner.

      Oh well, it’s fixed now and I’m glad that my adventure helped you with your own.

  7. WG Voight says:

    I don’t like to fix the symptom by bending things rather than finding out the cause. I took a length of string (80″ or so) and made a plumb bob by tying a weight at one end. Then I held the string at the top of the door jamb such that the string bisected the two outside screw heads in the upper hinge, with the weight past the lower hinge. What I found out was that the lower hinge was displaced by 5/8″… the string was actually to the outside of the center screw in the bottom hinge.

    1. Great tip WG, thanks for sharing

      1. Dana says:

        I like your solution better! Easy fix, thank you.

        1. Thanks Dana. It does come in handy for this problem. I know my wife was happy because it worked like a champ!

  8. Nino says:

    Found this home repair video that seemed like an easy fix for my door that closed by itself. Was a little skeptical at first, but literally 5 minutes later I was a believer. THIS WORKS!!! Many thanks.

  9. Sandy says:

    After putting up with my self-closing closet door for 7 years, I finally decided today was the day it would stay open…and thanks to you it is! Such a quick and easy fix!

  10. Gavin says:

    I struggled with a door that wouldn’t stay open because the frame (and wall) aren’t true: it’s an old house. After a lot of searching I found a spring loaded hinge with an opening action. I installed it as an extra hinge, between the existing hinges, because it wouldn’t be tough enough as a hinge replacement, and it works just to give the door enough opening push to counter the gravity closing effect. I can now stand next to the door without it continually trying to swing into me. The only drawback is that it’s not perfect aesthetically: I could only find the spring hinges in silver finish, and the door hinges are brass.

    1. j.b. says:

      Can you spray paint the hinge , I know it would drive me to have missmatched colors,,.great to finally have the problem fixed

  11. Genia says:

    Oh my word, thank you! That stupid door in my son’s room always closed on it’s on. I took me SEVERAL slams with the hammer to barely bend the pin, but finally, it was perfect. Now, door stays open. Can’t wait to show my husband… who I’ve been asking to fix this for months. Mwah!

  12. Joe says:

    My door was squeaking, so I oiled the hinges. Then it was silent, but would swing open on its own. I should have looked here first for a solution. Instead noticing that none of the wall, jamb or door was plumb (out about 3/16″ from top to bottom), so my solution was to move the bottom hinge out 3/16″. It worked perfectly, but does not look as good since the door and jamb are no longer aligned. I am trying to decide whether I should leave it as it is or move the hinge back and bend the pin.

  13. stacey says:

    How do u bend the darn thing!?

    1. tom says:

      i used a vice to hold the pin tight just below the mid point and then smacked it with a crowbar a couple times. if i didn’t have a vice, i’d probably do like he says and put it on a piece of scrap wood (like a chunk of 2×4 or whatever is lying around) and then smack it in the middle a few times with a hammer.

  14. Nick Zubak says:

    Been a GC since 92 never knew this trick TY

  15. James says:

    In my house I had 3 self closers and 2 self openers and they’d been that way for maybe 5 years. It took all of 5 minutes to fix all 5 doors. Wish I would have looked this up years ago. Thanks!

    1. Awesome job James!!! Thanks for sharing your success stories. I was in the same boat as you, my wife asked “why didn’t you do that sooner?”

      Lol, well both of us can now that we know the solution 🙂

  16. Darrell says:

    Bending the middle hinge indeed stopped our door from auto-closing.
    Thank you for the successful tip!

  17. Kevin says:

    Worked perfectly thanks!!!!

  18. Ron Leighton says:

    Very simple repair but so efficient. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  19. Sam says:

    Ok so I have ball bearing hinges so no pin to pop out… any other suggestions?

    1. Sheri says:

      We have the same problem as Sam (comment above) that no one has answered yet.
      We have ball-bearing hinges or sealed hinges ( no removable hinge pin) so how do we stop our door from self closing???

  20. Mike Griffin says:

    Thanks for the simple tip! I had to hammer the pin several times and with a little more force to make it work, but in end it worked great! Was so inspired, I fixed a second door. Now when my wife comes home from work and asks what I did all day (I’m retired), I’ll have a great answer!

  21. Sendy says:

    I bought my house 13 years ago and all this time I have used door stops. I had three doors to fix and after seeing this video, they were fixed in about 10 minutes. THANK YOU!!!!

  22. Jeff says:

    I can hardly wait until tomorrow morning to try this. The side door of my garage swings shut by itself. A typical situation is that I’ll walk into my garage without putting the light on, just to grab a tool on the other side. Before I can grab it, the door closes, and I’m standing there in the dark. Have to walk back to the door to turn on the light. You wouldn’t believe how many times a day that happens.

  23. tom says:

    worked like a charm. thanks!!!

  24. Max Jones says:

    I think its smart to put a little bend in the hinges! It makes sense that it would make the hinges a little more snug. I think I would prefer to have a professional come and help me with door repairs however, because I’m not the most handy person. I’ll have to see if the pro uses these tactics. Thanks!

  25. Carl Fillerup says:

    Just did this and it worked! Thank you very much. Just scored some major points with the wife because the door was driving her nuts!

    1. Great job Carl. And I’m happy you scored some points with Mrs. Filerup 🙂

      1. Todd says:

        SWouldn’t lithium grease be better than wd40 or are you using it to help create more friction? i have always heard that WD attracts more grime and dirt but for this situation maybe thats a good thing. This problem aside, would white lithium grease be better?

  26. Andrew says:

    You’re a genius dude I’m going to try this tomorrow. This door is driving me nuts.

  27. David Hathaway says:

    Your ghost door fix worked perfectly. Thanks for the tip.

  28. Paula says:

    You are a genius! I used to put a cotton ball under the mat that’s in front of the shower door to keep the bathroom door open.

    What a simple solution. I know I’ll sleep tonight! Thank you, thank you.

  29. Rocco says:

    Great advice. Been bothered by the bathroom door hitting my behind when at sink. You get to keep your childhood baseball card collection.

  30. Kurt Carter says:

    your childhood baseball card collection is safe.
    Crap, that was stinking easy and the Queen (my lovely wife) is quite pleased. three doors 5 minutes; ending months of frustration. I should have looked you up much sooner. many thanks

  31. Marc S. says:

    Thank you! A simple solution to a very perplexing problem. So glad I came across this!

  32. Michael says:

    Dude, thats hilarious, worked like a charm!!

    1. It is, but totally works. Very simple fix that lasts a long time. Glad it helped.

  33. Oxy Moron says:

    Brilliant. I fixed two doors in 10 minutes. Thanks so much.

    1. Great job. It’s amazing how simple a fix this can be. Glad the tutorial helped.

  34. KK says:

    Thank you Jeff! Just used this at home and at my parents’ place. Works like a charm!

    1. Awesome! Thanks Karim for sharing your success. It’s crazy how easy this problem is to fix, wish I had done it sooner on my doors.

  35. Kim Dubendorfer says:

    Did 3 doors, worked like a charm. Main entry door opens so fast, feels the wall it hits will fall down. I would have to bend the hinge to a 90 degree angle,. I know this is not doable. How can I stop this fast moving heavy door from banging my doorstop?

    1. Thanks Kim, have you tried this method on that door?

  36. --davidinark says:

    Just found this and was about to attempt it on a door at the office. But, when I looked at the hinge, it had a hex-head bit in the center. Turns out, our doors can be adjusted to stop swinging just by tightening the hex screw! I would not have found that, though, had it not been for your tip. Thanks!

    1. That’s so cool David, thanks man for sharing. Those hinges should be on every door!!

  37. Inpong says:

    Thank you so much that was awesome work like you mention. I tab the pin in the middle of the pin with hammer put pin back in worked keep bathroom door open. Thanks again.

  38. Chris Duke says:

    Brilliant!! A quick Google search brought me here and I’ve been swearing at our bathroom door for years. Thank you

  39. Mary McDermott says:

    We have had 3 doors that HAD this problem in our current home until I found your awesome solution. In less than 10 minutes, my husband had them all done. We have a new place in the country & the brand new door for the master bath is doing the same thing. The contractor told my husband to try to remove any excess oil. Well of course that didn’t work. Now I can’t wait until we get back to the country and fix that door. Thanks!!!

    1. Thanks Mary for sharing your success, that’s fantastic!

  40. David says:

    I took off the middle hinge pin. I tried to bend it using a hammer, but the pin I have must be made of solid metal and it would not bend, no matter how many times or how hard I hit it with a metal hammer. Not sure what to do now.

  41. Rob says:

    Great easy fix. Thanks for taking the time to post this!

  42. dale list says:

    It worked!!!!!!!!!!! After years of this annoying door,thinking of all the toothpaste I’ll save LOL!!!! 🙂 took all of 5 minutes,THANKS

  43. Diane says:

    This is an awesome fix. It wouldn’t work with the middle hinge for me so I put the bent pin in the bottom hinge. Now to see how long it takes my husband to notice and whether to leave it a mystery or tell him. 🙂

  44. Will says:

    My door opened and closed fine until I sprayed it with DW-40 to stop the squeaking. Thanks for the trick I’ll have to try it out!

  45. Renee Grob says:

    This did not work for me! I bent the middle and bottom pins and the door still magically opens on its own. Should I bend the top pin? I saw another blog that said not to touch that one.

    1. It wouldn’t hurt to try.

  46. Andrei says:

    I actually laughed out loud when I read the first paragraph because I have the same problem. I have a small bathroom and the door keeps goosing me while I brush my teeth! I will be trying this today! Thanks for the helpful tutorial.

  47. Dean Albright says:

    It worked perfectly!! Thank you!

  48. Baabee Kay says:

    Thanks for the tutorials, both the written and video. They were helpfully concise, well done. And again thank you.

  49. Susan says:

    It took me longer to gather the supplies than it did to fix the door. Our guest bathroom door has been driving me crazy partially closing for the past eleven years. Thanks for the solution. It worked out great.

  50. SHAWN KROSNICK says:

    This was awesome! Fixed in 5 min! Thank you so much.

  51. BK says:

    Hi Jeff, thanks! Worked perfectly! We had a bathroom door that would not stay open and it drove my wife crazy!!! This solved the problem….BRILLIANT!!!!

  52. Nacho Aguilar says:

    Thanks so much, Jeff! Quick easy fix!

  53. Nancy says:

    Glad to know there’s a fix for this annoying issue! I didn’t read all the comments, perhaps my question was addressed: If there are only two hinges, does it matter which pin to bend?

  54. Nancy says:

    haha, I couldn’t wait for the reply. I bent the lower pin, and SUCCESS!! Thank you!

  55. Suzanne Brownrigg says:

    Hi Jeff. Too bad you guys just focus on bathrooms. I have issues in all of my house.
    I tried this with three upstairs doors and they all worked. One door still swings a tiny bit, but only from the frame inward about 6 inches. Matter of fact, i re-hammered that pin again, but it still swung out sightly. The other two doors were fine.
    The biggest problem, as woman “of a certain age”, lol, was finding a heavy enough hammer to bend the pins. I had to bend my three pins quite a bit more than your picture shows.
    But it worked and thanks so much!! I love being able to do simple projects without having to ask hubby for help. He didn’t know what I was doing and wondered if I was banging the house down.

  56. James Hamm says:

    Kudos! Good fix!

  57. Neil says:

    I’m a “fix it myself” kind of guy and was trying to think of shims and all sorts of complicated methods before I finally broke down and googled a fix. I found this and thought, “There’s no way this is going to work” and took 5 minutes and what do you know? It totally worked! Thanks for the simple and mind blowing fix. The door doesn’t even feel like there is any extra weight to open or close it. I’ve been door stopping it for two months now haha. Thanks!

  58. Catherine C Erickson says:

    Thank you sooooo much! My laundry room door has been closing on me for 30 years…today I finally went searching for a solution…since my husband kept saying it couldn’t be fixed. I followed your instructions and Voila! The door stays open! It’s magic! No not really it’s you guys! Thanks, Catherine Erickson

  59. David Sebring says:

    So I followed your tutorial exactly point for point and it did not work at all. Not even a little. So I was just wondering which baseball cards you have? Thanks.

  60. James Marquardt says:

    Friction theory sounds great. However, I substantially bent all 3 hinge pins for no effect. Since I had no replacement, I did not want to abandon the theory. So, I distorted the pins by clamping down hard on them with a Vise-Grip. Perfect.

  61. calder cay says:

    This is not a proper fix, but what many different industry calls a “hack”. Yea, it’s fast and easy, but *doesn’t solve* the ultimate problem – the door jamb is not plumb. And the fix described in the article may only be temporary.
    Take a level and lay it on the vertical edge of the door and open the door at 90 degrees? Is it not plumb? You may need to bring the door “almost closed” [and re-check with the level] to see if it’s out of plumb.
    The rule-of-thumb is if the door closes on its own, you’ll need to rework the upper hinges. If the door opens on its own, the lower hinges need to be reworked.

  62. Ralph says:

    Jeff, thank you for this tip. Tomorrow I attack the hinge pins with my hammer.

  63. Delia M Rose says:

    What if there are 4 hinges?

  64. nicole says:

    hi, we have this swing door at work where it closes immediately because of its weight/gravity and causes injury to employees. what can you suggest to fix this door to be safe for everybody? thanks!

  65. Caryn N says:

    Amazing!! Three doors drove me nuts!!
    Thank you!

  66. Rock Silverman says:

    I typed in the search bar, “fix door that doesn’t stay opened”, and voila! You guys came up with this truly genius idea of putting a slight bend in the door-hinge bolt. I’m still smiling from ear to ear and dancing on one toe for such a simple fix. Many thanks again.

    1. Awesome Rock, thanks for trusting us with your project. Definitely feel free to share this tip with friends and take credit!!

  67. Marv G. says:

    Worked like a charm… Wife is now very happy……….

  68. Studios says:

    How to remove hinges pin if the top and bottom of hinges are flattened. Or, is there any other ways to fix the swinging door having flattened hinges.

  69. Adrian says:

    Sadly didn’t work on a newly replaced pre-hung in-swing exterior door. If left partially open, it’ll pick up momentum & slam open against the interior wall. For good measure I also bent the bottom in addition to middle pin. Still opens 😩

  70. Janusz says:

    Hinges bought at DIY stores have a pin with caps at both ends, hence you cannot remove the pin.
    Solution. If door swings open, remove bottom hinge and replace it with a smaller hinge. This worked for me.

  71. Charlie says:

    Are there any issues with removing the pin (if needed) after you bend it?

    1. Todd says:

      I can;lt imagine there would be, but worst case scenario you could easily cut it and drop a new one in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.