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How to Grease a Door Lock

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

Learn how to grease a door lock to reduce friction and ensure a smooth operation. This simple maintenance task can be completed in just a few minutes.

Gather Materials

Greasing a door lock is an easy and cost effective way to fix a sticking or hard-turning lock. Before you begin, though, it is important to have the right materials. This includes things like lubricant, a lint-free cloth, and a screwdriver. Make sure you have all of these before you start to avoid any potential issues. Once you have all your supplies, it is time to get started.

WD-40 or other lubricant

WD-40 or other lubricants are a great choice for adding moisture and preventing corrosion. For smaller parts like door locks, aerosol lubricants sprayed into the opening can be more effective than liquid lubricants. Make sure to spray a fine mist so that the aerosol liquid flows evenly around the keyhole and latch mechanism. Many consumer brands of aerosol lubricant come with an included straw-like applicator designed to direct the mist down into small and hard-to-reach areas.

For larger objects, wrenches, hinges and other metal materials, consider using a more viscous oil such as 3-in-1 oil or machine oil. These oils are thick enough to stay in place but thin enough to get rid of small particles such as dirt, dust and grime that can build up in hard-to-reach areas. To apply, drip some oil onto a clean cloth or rag and wipe directly onto the object’s surface in circular motions until completely covered.

Towel or cloth

Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you can begin greasing your door lock. Place a towel or soft cloth on the floor beneath the door to help cushion and protect any tools you may drop while working. Place your grease or lubricant onto the cloth and use it as a makeshift tray to organize your tools. Now you are ready to get started on greasing your door lock!

Prepare the Lock

Lubricating a door lock is an important maintenance task that should be done regularly. Taking the time to prepare the lock before applying the lubricant is a necessary step in the process. This includes cleaning the lock and key, as well as inspecting the condition of the lock itself. Preparing the lock properly before lubricating it will ensure the grease is applied evenly, and the lock will work smoothly afterwards.

Open the door

Before you can grease the lock, you must first open the door. Depending on the type of lock, you may need to use a key to unlock the door. For locks that have cylinders protruding from both sides of the door, use a pocket knife or other thin device to carefully pry off either side of the cylinder covers. Next, locate the screws that hold these covers in place and remove them. Make sure not to lose any small parts or screws in this process. Once you have removed both side pieces, use a screwdriver to carefully unscrew any other screws that are securing any internal components of your lock.

Wipe down the lock

Before you begin preparing your lock with grease and lubricants, it is important to make sure that the lock is clean. Start by wiping down the lock with a soft dry cloth to remove any dirt, dust or other debris. Pay extra attention to the keyhole and lock chamber to ensure that these areas are clean and free of obstructions. If there is any rust or corrosion on the surface of the lock, use a stiff brush to scrub away as much as you can before reapplying oil or lubrication.

Apply the Lubricant

Greasing a door lock is an important step in keeping the lock working properly. It is best to do this before the lock becomes stuck or difficult to turn. The lubricant you choose should be specifically designed for locks, as other lubricants can produce damage. Apply the lubricant to the keyhole, the internal mechanisms and any other moving parts of the lock. Taking the time to properly greased a door lock can save you money in the long run by preventing expensive lock repair or replacement.

Spray the lubricant onto the keyhole

To apply the lubricant to the door locks, hold the spray can approximately 4-6 inches from the keyhole, and use continuous sprays while slightly tilting it in different directions. Allow the lubricant to penetrate inside the mechanism and saturate all parts of it. Make sure not to spray too much of the lubricant as it will be difficult to remove any excess. Also, avoid spraying closer than 4 inches as that could cause an undesired build-up of lubricant near the lock. Be sure to wipe off any access on both sides of your lock and move onto another step.

Insert the key and turn it several times

Insert the key into the door lock, turn it several times and then remove it. This will help distribute the lubricant evenly around the inside of the lock. Make sure to turn it a few times in each direction (clockwise and counter-clockwise). This motion will help to spread out any dirt or debris that may be accumulating inside the lock cylinder and cause it to become clogged or degraded over time. Additionally, turning the key will create a uniform surface for applying lubricant. Once you have done this step your door lock should be adequately prepared for lubrication.

Test the Lock

Testing the lock is the first step when greasing a door lock. You need to check if the lock is functioning properly and make sure it’s not jammed. This can be done by inserting a key and turning it. If the key turns easily then the lock is most likely in good condition. If there is resistance when you turn the key then it may need to be greased.

Close and open the door several times

Once you’ve greased your door lock, it’s important to test its efficacy. To ensure the best performance and prevent sticking, close and open the door several times. This allows the lubricant to spread evenly and penetrate the keyway of the lock. Look for any signs of binding or difficulty opening and closing the door during this step. If you notice any problems, add a small amount of lubricant to that specific area before trying again. Also, be sure to keep children at a safe distance while continually testing the door lock in case it unexpectedly sticks or binds during use. Doing so will ensure that your door lock is working correctly and runs smoothly over time.

Test the lock by inserting the key

Before reapplying grease, it is important to test the lock. Insert the key that is intended for use in this lock and make sure that it functions correctly. Try removing and replacing the key several times to ensure that it functions properly. Also, make sure to check the inner surfaces of all parts, making sure they move on each other easily without binding or sticking. If necessary, you can use a light lubricant (such as graphite) or a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any dirt from the internal components. After cleaning these parts and lubricating them with grease, insert the key again and feel for any changes before turning the lock knob.


Greasing a door lock is an important part of regular maintenance, as it helps keep it functioning properly and prevents rust that can build up over time. Greasing a door lock regularly will also help extend its lifespan and keep it working smoothly. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to grease a door lock correctly.

Reapply lubricant every few months

Regular maintenance of a door lock is essential in order to ensure smooth and safe operation. Greasing a door lock should be an important part of your regular maintenance to help prevent sticking, rusty mechanisms, and dirty keyholes. To keep the lock in top condition, it is recommended to periodically reapply lubricant every few months or any time you notice any signs of wear and tear.

Before adding lubricant to your door lock, make sure it is clean. Take a dry cloth and wipe away any dirt or debris from around the keyhole as well as inside the locking mechanism itself. Use a brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner to suck out any lingering dirt from unseen crevices within the locking unit. Once all dust and dirt have been removed, you are ready to rebuild the lubrication in the locking mechanism.

Using either graphite powder or oil-based lubricants specifically made for locks, carefully apply the lube into each small opening that exists between metal components inside the keyhole (or at trunk locks). Move slowly to ensure that every part benefits from lubrication. Finally, move outwards toward other open spaces within other parts of your door lock such as springs and pulleys while avoiding getting oil on any plastic parts which could cause them to become brittle over time. With regular maintenance following these simple steps you can keep your locks running smoothly with minimal effort for years!

Wipe down the lock regularly

To ensure that your door lock continues to function properly, it is important to keep it clean and free of dirt and grime. A dry cloth can be used to wipe down the lock body, the key channel and key mouth on the outside of the door. Special attention should be paid to any grooves, ridges or crevices where dirt can accumulate. Grease should also be applied periodically – between every 6-12 months – to provide extra protection against wear and tear. Wiping down your lock regularly will help improve its lifespan by keeping dirt and moisture away from its inner mechanisms.

How to Grease a Door LockCheckout this video:

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