House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How To Take A Door Off The Hinges In 6 Steps

Door Hinges

Removing a door should be a simple process. Unscrew the hinges and lift it out of the frame. However, hinges can become damaged, screws rusted, and there may be other reasons that you don’t want to unscrew the hinges from the frame just yet. In any case, you can take a door off the hinges to remove it, which is especially ideal if you want to clean up and replace the door without doing any damage.

Below, we cover the 6 steps required to do exactly that, as well as some tips on safety and a list of the tools and equipment that you will need. It is a simple task and one that requires basic tools, although, as with many DIY jobs, it is easier if you have somebody to help with the task.

divider 4

Tools And Materials

It is always a good idea to have the tools and equipment you’ll require handy, before you start. Alternatively, you will be left with a door half hanging off its hinges while you run around the house trying to find a missing item.

You will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Hammer
  • Helper
  • Nail
  • Pry bar
  • Screwdriver
  • Silicone lubricant

It isn’t essential that you have a helper, but it will make the job much easier and safer if you have somebody to take the weight of the door while you work. It can prevent caught fingers and eliminate the risk of having a door land on your head. If you can’t get somebody to help, consider placing a small piece of wood under the door to take the weight for you.

You can get hinge pin removal tools, but a hammer and nail is just as effective. It also means that you won’t have to spend hours looking for the very specific hinge pin tool.

a white door in a hallway
Photo Credit: TheDigitalArtist, Pixabay

divider 7 How To Take A Door Off The Hinges In 6 Steps

1. Close the Door

It is much easier to work with a closed door. It prevents the door from swinging around while working, thereby protecting your fingers, and it also prevents the door from falling once you remove the hinge pin. If you do not have somebody helping you, slide a thin piece of wood under the door so it touches the bottom of the door and takes most of the weight of the wood.

2. Break the Paint Seal

Use a putty knife or utility knife to break the paint seal around the hinges. Break the seal around the hinges and use the knife to remove any paint over the screws and around the screws. Removing the paint now will help make the job easier in the long run.

person lubricating door hinge
Photo Credit: NagornyiSergiy, Shutterstock

3. Lubricate

Most door hinges benefit from some lubrication at some point, especially when you are going to try and remove the hinge pin. Add the lubricant to the hinge plates and the hinge pin but don’t apply so much that it runs down the door and on the floor. A silicone lubricant causes less mess and is less likely to damage the floor.

4. Loosen the Hinge Pin

The hinge pin is removed by tapping it upwards. Use a nail, place the head at the bottom of the pin, and gently tap upwards with a hammer. Make sure that you tap it gently and with each tap it should come a little looser. The aim isn’t to hammer the pin out but to loosen it enough that you can pull it free with your fingers. This is where the lubricant will help because some hinge pins can be difficult to pull by hand. If you’re struggling, use the flathead screwdriver place this under and against the top surface of the pin and gently tap it with the hammer.

If you hit the pin too hard or miss the pin with the hammer, you can damage the hinge plate. Not only will this make it more difficult to replace it once you’ve finished working on the door, but it could bend the pin and make it more difficult to remove.

removing hinge to uninstall door
Image Credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest, Shutterstock

5. Slide the Cardboard In

Slide a large piece of cardboard under the door. This will help prevent any marking or damaging of the carpet.

6. Remove the Door

With cardboard in place, open the door very slightly and lift the weight of the whole thing upwards. You can place a pry bar under the door, on top of the cardboard, and use this to take the weight of the door. Most internal doors are made of light wood and are easy to remove with or without help, but some heavier doors can prove a challenge. The pry bar will help by alleviating the strain.

divider 7


Hopefully, using the 6 simple steps above, you should be able to easily remove a door from the hinges without causing any damage to the door, the hinges, or the floor underneath. Once you have cleaned the door, change the carpet underneath or done whatever else you need to do, you can effectively reverse the process to put the door back. Once you have one hinge in place, you can tap the pin in before lining up the second hinge and tapping the second pin in.

Featured Image Credit: Artsiom Kuchynski, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools