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How to fix a stiff door lock

Your door lock also has moving parts so it can occasionally be more difficult to operate than you'd expect. Its best to first check that your key is clean and free from any dirt or debris that could be getting stuck or blocking the inside of the lock.

It's best to use graphite to lubricate the inside of the lock and the key, this should help to ease any friction.

1. Put a little powdered graphite inside the keyhole of the lock. You can usually buy this in a squeeze tube from most DIY shops at a relatively low cost.

2. Insert and remove the key from the lock several times. Turn the key in the lock to make sure the graphite is properly distributed.

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.