How To Properly Lubricate a Lock

Are you having a hard time turning a door’s key into its lock? Or maybe you can feel resistance in inserting its key into the lock? If your answer is “yes” to even one of these questions, then it’s time to lubricate your lock. Lubricating locks are quite easy to do. Follow the instructions below and you can get your lock working properly again in no time:

  • Gather the materials. You need a door lubricant, a rag, and the key to the sticky door lock in lubricating a lock. Go to your local locksmith to buy lubricants that are especially made for locks. Choose either Teflon-based or graphite lubricants instead of petroleum-based ones. Petroleum-based lubricants tend to form into a sticky film over time and prevent the parts inside the lock from moving.
  • Lubricate the lock. Depending on the type of lubricant you purchased, the application of the lubricant to the lock may vary slightly. Make sure to read the instructions in using the lubricant located at the back of the product. Generally, here’s how you use Teflon-based and graphite lubricants:
          • Teflon-based. With a rag in hand, hold the lock of the door you’re going to lubricate. You will use this rag to catch any lubricant that might flow out of the lock while filling the lock with lubricant. Hold the lubricant on your other hand and put the nozzle of the lubricant near the lock. Spray lubricant into the lock and wipe any lubricant that goes out of the lock. When you’re done, insert the key into the lock without turning it. Withdraw the key from the lock and wipe any dirt that has clung to it. Keep inserting and withdrawing the key into the lock until the key comes out clean. Only turn the key inside the lock once it comes out from the lock dirt-free.
          • Graphite. Make sure to hold a rag on one hand when using a graphite lubricant. Graphite lubricants stain carpets and are very difficult to remove. To use a graphite lubricant, put the nozzle of the lubricant at a thirty-degree angle on the keyhole and spray graphite into it. Make the graphite work its way around the inside parts of the lock by locking and turning the key inside the keyhole for several times. If the key still feels sticky inside the keyhole, repeat the steps in applying graphite lubricant. When you can turn the key inside the keyhole with ease, spray lubricant on the top and on the sides of the bolt. Lock and turn the key inside the keyhole again for several times to spread the graphite. Clean any excess graphite on the lock and on the bolt with a rag.

You can use the graphite of a pencil as substitute for store-bought graphite lubricants. Either the lead from a regular pencil or mechanical pencil will do. If you’re going to use lead from a regular pencil, shave about an inch of the graphite using a knife. Otherwise, use your hands to break up the graphite. Insert the pieces of graphite into the keyhole and put the key in the keyhole and turn the key. Jiggle the key inside the keyhole to break up the graphite into smaller pieces and try turning the key. If you can’t turn your key, it means there are still big pieces of graphite inside the keyhole. Repeat jiggling and the key inside the lock until you can turn the key. If the keyhole still feels sticky, put more graphite into the lock.


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