Got a sticky lock or just want to perform routine maintenance on your door lock? Lubrication is the way to go. But what lubricants are well-suited for door locks? Let’s find out!
The quick answer is dry lubricants. Dry/powered lubricants such as graphite and those with Teflon are the best for door locks as they don’t attract and/or accumulate dirt inside the lock.
Even so, dry lubricants are easy to use and are quite effective.
If you’re planning to lubricate your door lock, see our picks of the best door locks lubricants and how to use them.
Best Lubricants for Door Locks
1. CRC Dry Graphite Lube
So at the top of our list is the CRC Dry Graphite Lube. As you’d expect, it’s a dry lubricant with excellent conductivity and dirt repellant constituents.
It can withstand extreme pressure and up to 850 degrees F. It offers low friction and as well prevents galling.
It’s excellent for lubricating door locks—dries out at room temperature and protects pressure and friction.
2. 3-IN-ONE Dry Lube for Locks
3-IN-ONE is a well-known lubricant brand, and this is one of its excellent products—dry lube for locks.
This lube is specifically produced for locks—home and commercial locks. It comes with a spray that aids the lubrication process—helps you get the lube right inside the lock’s narrow mechanism.
The lube contains an Aerosol formula that penetrates deeply to loose sticky locks.
Of course, it’s dust/dirt-resistant and dries out in a few minutes. It works for both routine maintenance and repair of sticky locks.
You can safely use it on wood, metal, and plastic surfaces, but polystyrene and polycarbonate.
3. B’laster Industrial Graphite Dry Lubricant
As the title says, this is a dry graphite lubricant for locks. It’s also suitable for rollers, wheels, chains, gears, etc.
4. WD-40 Dirt and Dust Resistant Dry Lube
Here’s another dry lubricant you need to keep your door locks running smoothly and free of corrosion.
WD-40 dry lube features a two-way spray for easy lubrication. This also helps you to get the lube right into the lock.
It doesn’t attract air or dust, which is great for keeping your lock functional.
The formula is safe for use on fabrics, woods, metal, leather, and plastics—except polystyrene and polycarbonate.
How to Lubricate a Door Lock
- Step 1: Blow the dust off the keyhole using an air compressor. You can do this by pointing the spray close to your lock’s keyhole and press the pressure button to blow air on your lock.
- Step 2: With a spray cleaner such as WD-40, spray the cleaner into your lock’s keyhole to clean the cylinder and opening.
- Step 3: Now lubricate your lock—using a dry lubricant. Simply spray the lubricant into your lock’s keyhole and then insert and turn your key around to circulate the lube into the lock.
As you read above, dry lubricants are recommended as they don’t attract dirt into the lock, which could damage its mechanism.
Note: This method is mostly used for routine maintenance—to prevent stickiness, rusting, etc. If your lock is already sticky, consider applying the below method.
Lubricating a Sticky Door Lock
- Step 1: Disassemble the lock. The process may well vary depending on your lock type and installation. But basically, it involves unscrewing the screws holding the lock—underneath the doorknob and on the faceplate.
- Step 2: Take out the faceplate, doorknob, and other accompanying parts. Ensure you keep them safe—you can put them on cardboard.
- Step 3: Clean the doorknob, faceplate, cylinder, keyhole, and other parts thoroughly. Make sure all dirt and grimes are wiped off. You can use a spray cleaner or WD-40 for the cleaning.
- Step 4: Now apply dry lubricant to all parts of the lock, including the cylinder, faceplate, doorknob, and keyhole. Ensure all parts of the lock are free of any liquid before applying the lube.
- Step 5: Reassemble your lock—putting all parts correctly. Ensure the screws are properly tightened. Next, insert your key to see if it turns easily, and also turn the doorknob to ensure everything works correctly.
So that’s all to get your sticky lock working correctly again. If it fails to work, you may have to contact a locksmith or possibly change the lock.
Note: Do not use any household oil to lubricate your door lock; it attracts and accumulates dirt and could damage your lock’s mechanism, eventually.
Why should you lubricate your door locks?
Lubricating your door locks is a great way to keep it working perfectly all year long. More so, lubricating a lock can help fix a sticky lock and prevent rusting.
How often should you lubricate a door lock?
Door locks should be lubricated periodically, say 1 to 4 times a year. This, however, depends on usage and weather conditions.
Door locks that are used frequently and exposed to freezing weather conditions should be lubricated at least four times a year, and at least once for those with more limited usage and non-freezing weather.
Should you lubricate smart locks?
If your smart lock comes with a keyhole, it may well require lubrication as other cylinder locks. But you want to ensure the process is carefully done to avoid altering the electronic components.
However, smart locks may not require regular lubrication as they have other means of locking and unlocking (access codes and remotely), which reduces the use of a physical key.
Is silicone lubricant good for locks?
Yes, silicone lubricants are good for locks so long as they’re in dry form. Note that we don’t recommend liquid lubricants because they attract dirt.
What can I use to lubricate a lock instead of lubricant?
Household oils such as olive and coconut oils are suitable alternatives, but you shouldn’t use them to lubricate your lock. They attract a lot of dirt, which may well damage your lock, eventually.
What lubricants should I use for exterior door locks?
Regular dry graphite lubricants are suitable for outside door locks. However, you want to lubricate them often as they’re exposed to the elements.
Lubricating your door lock helps to keep it running uninterruptedly. However, your lock may well malfunction even with frequent lubrication—if you don’t use the right lube.
As mentioned, always use a dry lubricant to lube your lock as it doesn’t attract dirt that could damage your lock.