How Often Should Locks Be Lubricated? Maintenance Tips For Your Locks

How Often Should Locks Be Lubricated?

Have you ever been frustrated when trying to unlock the front door? You grumbled why you hadn’t lubricated them last weekend?

We all experienced that feeling! So, how often should locks be lubricated?

Depending on the environmental conditions and usage frequency, you should lubricate your locks from 1-4 times a year.

Let’s scroll down for a more detailed answer and well-rounded guide on how to perform it effectively!

How Often Should Locks Be Lubricated?

Maintenance is important.

How Often Should Locks Be Lubricated?

Over time, dust, particles, and chemicals in the air accumulate in the inner lock mechanism, causing friction inside the lock components.

Not only does this cause locking and unlocking impeded, but the lock also finally seizes, resulting in a frozen lock or damaged key.

So if your locks are used in severely dusty conditions, you should clean and lubricate them every three months. Otherwise, you won’t have to do it very often, maybe once or twice a year.

How Often Should Locks Be Lubricated?

You should do the task 1-4 times a year.

Lock housings

You can lubricate it twice a year, and the store can advise you on the best lubricant for your locks.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t lube the tumbler lock, but don’t forget to double-check that all screws are securely fastened.


Locks used frequently or exposed to the environment should be oiled more frequently. It’s best to do it before winter sets in to avoid condensation and freezing.


The frequency of use, weight load, and environment influence lubricating. At least once a year, you should inspect the hinges, grease them, and tighten the screws.

When using the hinges, a layer of black dust will form on them. The easiest approach to avoid this coating is regular maintenance and lubrication. The retailer will show you which lubricant is suitable for your hinges.


As for padlocks, you should lubricate them at least twice a year, especially if they are used outside.

You can consider applying mild lubrication to the lock and keyhole. If it’s your first time trying, you can watch this video for the best lubricant for a padlock!

How To Lubricate Your Locks?

This maintenance task is not too complicated, but you may feel confused at some points. The three methods are simple and will put an end to your mess.

Doing Routine Maintenance

Step 1: Blowing the dust out of your lock

Use an air compressor or pressurized can to blow the dust off the keyhole. It’s advisable to place the spray nozzle close to the keyhole and depress the pressure button to blast air through the locking mechanism.

Step 2: Spraying your cylinder and opening

Clean the lock cylinder and opening using a spray cleaner like WD-40. You can spray the cleaner directly into the keyhole.

How Often Should Locks Be Lubricated?

You can use WD-40 as a temporary fix. 

Step 3: Lubricating your lock with a dry lubricant

It’s best to use a dry lubricant product (like a 3-in-one lock dry lube) to prevent dust from accumulating inside the lock. Spray them into the keyhole, then insert the key and move it around to distribute the lubrication.

Pro Tip: You can also use WD-40 as a temporary fix!

If you’re in a hurry and need to get your lock moving, you can spray a little WD-40 into the keyhole. Insert the key into the keyhole, then open and close it a few times so that the WD-40 goes through the deadbolt.

Bear in mind that WD-40 attracts dust particles, which might clog your lock. That’s why you should only use it as a short-term solution.

Taking A Deep Cleaning Job

Step 1: Disassembling your lock

Remove the screws that keep the lock in place on the door. You can start by unscrewing the two screws under the doorknob and the ones that hold the faceplate to the side of the door. Then take off the doorknob and the faceplate.

It’s good to place all the parts on a piece of newspaper or cardboard so that you don’t miss out or find them later on.

Step 2: Using WD-40 to clean all the parts

Clean all the components with WD-40 or a spray cleaner. Carefully remove all dirt and grime from the doorknob, faceplate, cylinder, and other parts. Don’t forget to wipe off the leftover liquid cleaning or WD-40 from the lock.

There might be some dirt or grime leaking from the lock, so you should prepare a rag or old cloth to catch any drips.

Step 4: Lubricating all parts of the deadbolt with graphite lubricant

Check if all of the components are dry. If yes, you can apply some graphite lubricant to lubricate them. You should squeeze some graphite onto the cylinder, into the keyhole, and other moving parts.

Step 5: Reassembling the lock

Position the latch-bolt and faceplate on the door’s side. Then place the outside doorknob, followed by the inside doorknob and the faceplate.

Finally, you tighten the screws all the way and turn the doorknob to ensure that everything is moving smoothly.

Oiling A Night Latch And Padlock

How Often Should Locks Be Lubricated?

It doesn’t take as much time as you might think. 

Step 1: Putting some oil in the interior latch

Apply a few drops of oil to the night latch’s internal latch, then a drop to the snip switch and the knob’s base. You should also add some drops to the sliding bolt.

Step 2: Lubricating the exterior night latch

Lube the exterior of the night latch with a dry lubricant to prevent dust and grime from accumulating in the locking mechanism. After that, puff some graphite powder into the keyhole on the outside of the night latch.

Insert your key and turn it several times to spread the graphite throughout the locking mechanism.

Step 3: Lubing the padlock

Puff enough graphite lubricant into the padlock’s keyhole. Enter a key and move it around the cylinder to distribute the graphite evenly. On the padlock, add some oil to the shackle and shackle hole.


We hope now you know how often you should lubricate your locks and with tips and suggestions above. It doesn’t take time to perform this maintenance task, but if you do it regularly and properly, you won’t have to be stuck at the door before getting to work!

Related Post

What To Do When Your Key Won’t Go In Lock

How To Unlock A Door Without A Key? 7 Best Methods For You To Consider

Rate this post

Recent Posts