Do you want to know how to maintain your door locks? Some occasional lock maintenance will help ensure your locks work well longer. If you notice any problems with your lock, it’s a good idea to give it a good cleaning before reaching out to a locksmith. If that doesn’t work, our professional can have a look or pull the lock apart and clean it thoroughly. Below are a few tips for maintaining locks that you can do yourself at home.
Clean the Locks Regularly
Bits of dirt, dust and moisture will build up in the locks on your door. Every time we insert the key into the keyhole, grime will accumulate on the lock pins inside. If pins are clogged up too much, the lock mechanism might get jammed.
- First, clean outside the lock with either a dry and soft toothbrush or cloth. Brush or wipe away the dirt, and make sure the dirt doesn’t get into the keyhole.
- Next, to clean inside the keyhole, use a can of compressed air duster and spray it into the keyhole. However, do not point the nozzle too close to the keyhole because these cans can release moisture. Moisture inside a lock can cause rust and more maintenance later. Also, please exercise safety when using compressed air.
- The strike plate, hinges, deadbolt, and latch will get dirty too. Wipe in and around the lock and door parts to clean.
It’s a good idea to clean your door locks at least once yearly to prevent dirt from accumulating.
Lubricate the Locks Regularly
Lubrication is essential for door lock maintenance. The correct lubricant can extend the life of your locks and improve their functionality. Applying lubricant helps remove dirt from the insides, protects against corrosion, and makes turning the key smoother.
If possible, check the lock manufacturer’s manual for their recommended lubricant type and how often you should lubricate the locks. Silicon based lubricants are usually highly recommended. Apply a small amount to the key instead of spraying directly into the keyway. Next, insert the key fully in and out the keyway, and lock and unlock the door. This will help the lubricant spread inside the lock. After that, wipe away any excess lubricant around the keyhole and on the key. You can also apply lubricant to the hinges.
Avoid using petroleum or graphite based lubricants as they can accumulate dirt and debris, potentially harming the lock. It’s advisable to lubricate a lock at least once a year. Increase the lubrication frequency when the lock is in exceptionally dusty conditions.