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How to fix a stiff door lock

Over time door locks can become increasingly difficult and annoying to lock and unlock, a problem generally caused by a lack of lubrication within the internal mechanism. While locks may seem complicated, there is a simple solution to this which only takes around 10 minutes!

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Step One: Apply the graphite powder

Powdered graphite usually comes in a tube that makes application easy, just place the tip of the nozzle inside the lock and squeeze a little out. Do the same for the key, gently apply to both sides. If you do not have any powdered graphite available then rub the tip of a pencil against the lock and insert and twist several times.

Step Two: Lubricating the lock

Once graphite has been applied, simply insert the key and twist. Repeating this action several times to ensure that the graphite (either from a pencil or powdered) is properly distributed throughout the lock. Once complete locking and unlocking should become much smoother.

If you are not able to access any graphite you can try using a graphite pencil instead. Simply rub the end of the pencil over the key and insert and remove it from the lock a number of times. Follow our handy video below for a step by step guide on how to fix a stiff door lock using graphite and a graphite pencil.


Video transcript

To lubricate the lock Safestyle recommends using graphite powder, the fine particles mean less residue than oils or sprays which can also be sensitive to hot or cold conditions. Put a little amount of graphite powder inside the door lock to ease any friction inside, making sure not to put in too much. You'll also want to put some of the powder onto both sides of the door key. If you don't have any graphite powder you can use a pencil. Gently insert and remove the key from the lock several times to make sure the graphite is properly distributed. Safestyle recommends using the same make of key as the lock, such as Yale when getting a key cut for the best fit, it may be that a new key is a little thicker.

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