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How to Lubricate a Stiff Lock

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It is normal for door locks, keyholes and padlocks to start to stiffen and stick. Regular exposure to the elements will hasten the condition. Prevent frustration and potential damage, and prolong the life of your lock, by keeping it lubricated.

Step 1

Lubricate Interior Night Latch

Lubricate Interior Night Latch

A night latch needs two different lubrication products. The interior latch needs oil. Add a few drops on and around the sliding bolt, to the base of the knob, and to the “snip” switch.

Step 2

Lubricate Exterior Night Latch

Lubricate Exterior Night Latch

The exterior cylinder needs a dry lubricant and should never have oil applied. Oil can cause a gummy residue, which eventually stiffens or stops the cylinder from turning. Instead use a graphite powder, which is applied using a narrow application spout provided with it. Puff the powder into the keyhole and slide the key in and out to disperse the powder through the cylinder and tumbler parts.

Step 3

Lubricate Interior Door (Mortice) Lock

Lubricate Interior Door (Mortice) Lock

Apply a little lubricant oil on the sliding bolt and into the keyhole; just a few drops is sufficient.

Step 4

Lubricate Padlock Cylinder

Lubricate Padlock Cylinder

The padlock cylinder should be lubricated with a dry lubricant such as graphite powder. Tip: Lubricating a lock cylinder with a dry graphite powder will keep the delicate mechanism working properly. This is especially important for locks that are exposed to wet conditions and freeze/thaw cycles. The more mechanical type locks such as interior locks and latches may be oiled or greased as normal.

Step 5

Lubricate Padlock Shackle

Lubricate Padlock Shackle

The shackle mechanism of the padlock should be oiled.