How to Lubricate a Door Lock: Importance of Lubricating a Lock

Chuck Williams

March 21, 2023

A locksmith is using a lubricant spray on a door lock. He is wearing a brown and beige jacket and focusing on applying the lubricant to ensure the lock functions smoothly. The door handle and lock mechanism are visible in the close-up image.

Does your lock feel peculiarly stiff? Perhaps you are finding difficulty in turning the key within the lock due to stiffness. Or worse, the key is not turning at all and has you locked out of your home, which is bound to have you in a frenzy…

These problems are often caused by a lack of proper lubrication, which can lead to a lock that becomes increasingly difficult to operate over time. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also be a big trouble if you find yourself locked out of your home. Lubricating your locks in a timely manner can save you from the whole headache.

In this article, you can find how to lubricate a lock the right way to ensure it operates smoothly and efficiently. You can also learn about potential issues that arise from neglecting to lubricate your locks and how a professional locksmith can help resolve any lock-related issues that may arise.

Why It Is Important to Lubricate a Door Lock for Regular Lock Maintenance

Keeping your locks well-lubricated is essential for maintaining them. Just like any other moving part, locks require lube once in a while to function smoothly. Lubrication helps prevent wear and tear and ultimately extend the life of lock. Additionally, over time, elements like dirt and grime can accumulate inside the lock, causing it to stiffen and potentially leading to damage. Lubricating your lock can displace the dirt and grime and keep it functioning smoothly.

Neglecting to lubricate your lock can cause a host of issues that you definitely do not want to deal with. Here are some of the problems that can arise from excessive neglect:

  • Difficulty turning the key: Dirt, dust and debris can accumulate inside the lock over time, causing the lock to get sticky and stiff. This makes it hard to turn the key.
  • Worn-out lock components: Without proper lubrication, the components inside the lock can wear out faster due to increased friction. This could result in more frequent lock repairs or even replacement.
  • Rust formation: Moisture can accumulate inside the lock if it is not lubricated, which can lead to rust formation. Rust can corrode the lock components, making it difficult to turn the key.
  • Lock freezing: In colder climates, locks can freeze if they are not properly lubricated. Moisture buildup inside the lock can freeze, and when the temperature drops, it could make it impossible to open the lock.
  • Key breakage: Without lubrication, the key can become stuck inside the lock and even break off, rendering the lock unusable.

With that in mind, make sure to lubricate your locks regularly to avoid these problems and ensure that your locks function smoothly and efficiently.

Types of Lubricants for Locks

Lubricating a lock may seem like a simple task, but it is crucial to know how to lubricate a lock the right way. Before you get started, make sure you are using the right lock lubricant for the job. Using the wrong type can cause problems like sticky residue and attracting dust and grime, causing disruption in the lock’s function.

For example, oil-based lubricants are not recommended because they tend to leave behind residue that can attract dirt and gum up the lock. Similarly, WD-40 may seem like a good option, but it can actually attract even more debris into the lock.

So, which types of lubricants should you use? Here are a few safe and effective options that professionals recommend:

  • Graphite powder: This dry lubricant is great at reducing friction and wear on moving parts, and it does not leave behind any sticky residue. However, it may not be the best choice for humid weather or outdoor use, as the humidity can turn it into gunk and interfere with the lock’s function.
  • Silicone spray: If you are looking for a long-lasting lubricant that can withstand harsh weather conditions and keep dust and moisture out of the lock, silicone spray is a great option. It dries quickly and leaves no residue.
  • Teflon-based spray: This lubricant offers long-lasting protection against moisture, dust, and dirt, reducing friction and wear on moving parts. It is also able to withstand harsh weather conditions.

By using one of these effective lubricants, you can help keep your lock functioning smoothly and protect it from damage caused by friction, dirt, grime and weather.

A person lubricating door lock

How to Lubricate Locks

Lubricating the locks is a very simple process. Here are the steps to help you learn how to lubricate a lock.

  1. Clean the lock: Before you begin, it is essential to clean your lock thoroughly. Dirt, debris and other elements can interfere with the lubricant’s effectiveness, causing problems down the line. To clean your lock, you can use compressed air to remove any particles.
  2. Insert the lubricant: Now that your lock is clean, it is time to apply the lubricant. If you are using graphite powder, insert it into the keyhole and turn the key to distribute it evenly across the lock. A pencil can also be used in a pinch. Rub the pencil into your key to coat it with the graphite and insert it into the keyhole. For spray lubricants like Teflon-based and silicone, spray a small amount of lubricant into the keyhole and then turn the key to distribute it evenly across the lock. Be careful not to use too much spray, as it can attract dirt and debris and cause the lock to become clogged.
  3. Wipe away excess: After applying the lubricant, wipe away any excess with a clean cloth. This step is crucial because excess lubricant can attract dirt and debris, causing the lock to become clogged and difficult to turn. Wiping away excess lubricant also helps prevent any potential staining or damage to surfaces the lubricant may come in contact with.

If your lock was previously freezing up, test it to see if it now moves about smoothly. If it still seems to be jamming to an extent, then repeat the lubrication process.

Solution for Lock Issues Arising From Lack of Lubrication

Dealing with a lock that is not working properly can be frustrating and troublesome. If you are experiencing issues like difficulty turning the key, lock freezing or a key breaking off inside the lock, it is important to seek help from a professional locksmith.

A locksmith has the knowledge and specialized tools necessary to diagnose and fix a wide range of lock issues. They can perform repairs such as cleaning the lock, replacing worn-out components or fixing a damaged lock mechanism. If your lock is beyond repair, a locksmith can recommend the best type of lock for your needs and install it correctly to ensure that it functions properly.

In the event that a key has broken off inside the lock, a locksmith can extract the key safely without causing further damage to the lock. They can also create a new key for you if necessary.

And in cases of emergency lockouts due to a faulty lock, a locksmith can provide emergency lockout services to help you regain access to your property as quickly and safely as possible.

A locksmith lubricating a door lock

Lock Malfunctioning Due to Lack of Lubrication? Get in Touch With Us

By ensuring clean and lubricate your locks properly, you can ensure that the lack of lubrication does not compromise the functioning of your locks.

However, if you ever encounter serious issues with your locks, it is best to seek professional help from a locksmith. A locksmith has the expertise and specialized tools necessary to diagnose and repair or replace your locks, ensuring that your property remains secure.

If you require locksmith services, look no further than Faster Locksmith. Our team of experienced Aurora locksmiths is available 24/7 to provide a wide range of services, including lock repair, replacement, key extraction, and emergency lockout services. Contact us today for all your locksmith needs and any lock issues!

Safeguard your property with our expert locksmith solutions. Get in touch with our approachable, knowledgeable team.