Sticky Door Lock Maintenance: What Lubricants Do The Professional Locksmith’s Use?

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Locksmith arizona voted 1 in state lubed locks

In the routine maintenance of your door locks, you may wonder what would be the right lubricant for your unique lock. Todd at was quoted saying “Keep your lock lubed to extend the locks life.”

The wrong lubricants can cause problems and reduce the lifespan of your lock. The right ones, on the other hand, will keep your locks functional for many years so you don’t have to call a locksmith anytime you encounter a problem.

So what is the right lubricant for your lock? Let’s find out.

4 Effective Types of Door Lock Lubricants You Can Use

  1. Graphite powder

The biggest advantage of using graphite powder rather than oil is that the graphite leaves no sticky residue that can later attract dust. Indeed, the lubricating properties of graphite reside in its weak covalent bonds, which allow the layers of graphite to slide over each other with very little resistance.

Blow the powder into the keyhole and slide the key in and out to disperse the powder through the parts of the cylinder and the lock mechanism.

With this in mind, it is often best to use a graphite-based lock lubricant where dust and dirt are a problem. That said, applications such as locks, key slots, threaded rods, air compressors, hinges, and printer rails are perfect for a dry graphite-based lubricant.

  1. Compressed air bomb

It is normal for door locks, keyholes, and padlocks to start to stiffen and stick. Regular exposure to the elements will speed up the situation. Avoid frustration and the potential damage and extend the life of your lock by keeping it lubricated with a canister of compressed air.

Lubricate the interior latch by inserting the nozzle of the air canister into the keyhole and spraying lubricant into it.

  1. Non-aggressive, silicone-free lubricant

Because silicone oil is super slippery and poorly reactive, it can lubricate almost anything. It works especially well on porous items, such as plastic parts, but it’s a good lubricant for locks, hinges, and guns. As with everything, silicone has its dark side; you should not use it too much.

The outer cylinder needs a dry, silicone-free lubricant and should never have an oil application. The oil can cause a gummy residue, which eventually stiffens or prevents the cylinder from rotating. Instead, use a non-aggressive, non-sticky lubricant, which is applied using the narrow application nozzle supplied with it.

  1. Lubricating oil

Clean the mortise or interior door lock. Apply a little lubricating oil to the sliding bolt and into the keyhole; a few drops are enough. Then wipe off the rest.

What type of oil to choose to properly clean the lock?

  • Paraffin oil

Paraffin oil can help extend the life of expensive machinery and equipment by reducing friction, galling, and wear. You can use it as a lubricant for the locks.

Paraffin can also be used as a coolant for electrical systems, as a hydraulic fluid, and as a solvent for fats and insecticides.

  • Mineral oil

Most locks do not require lubrication but can be used dry for very long lifetimes. Some locks need a little cleaning every now and then. For this purpose, a small amount of mineral oil is usually preferable; silicone lubricates well but does not last very long. However, too much mineral oil can build up inside the lock and make it unusable.

Among oil-based lubricants, white lithium grease thickens too much with cold weather to be useful. Penetrating oil evaporates much faster than silicone lubricant.

Mineral oils last longer than penetrating oil but evaporate most of the time, sometimes leaving residue and potentially attracting dust to cause further damage to the lock. Waxes, like lithium grease, harden too much in cold weather to be useful.

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