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What is the best lubricant to use in a lock?

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

Today we are going to answer the question: How to lubricate my lock and why you should lubricate your lock? We’ll also discuss what is the best lubricant to use in a lock.

At Loc-Doc Security, Our Mission is to help you protect your people and your property. We continue to share information like this to help you be informed so you can know the best solutions for the security of your property.

One of the questions we get asked by our customers is ‘Why do I need to lubricate my locks?’. While there are many lubricants on the market, not all of them work well with locks. We will cover three different types of lubricants; WD-40, Lock Saver Synthetic Lubricant, and Graphite Lock Lubricant.

First, Why do I need to lubricate my locks? If you’ve ever noticed your key sticking in your lock or having a hard time turning when the key is in the lock, this could be a sign that you need lubrication. If your door hinges are squeaking and making a lot of noise, this could be another sign you need lubrication. Metal that rubs against metal can get worn down and would be a great candidate for using lubrication. Another thing to consider is the temperature that the lock is exposed to.

WD-40 is very popular and commonly used for an assortment of reasons like preventing rust, removing gum from clothing, removing crayon marks from the walls, and for cars, motorbikes, and around the home. While this is an amazing product, it is actually harmful to place inside your lock as a lubricant.

One of the main reasons is that WD-40 isn’t a true lubricant! WD stands for Water Displacement meaning it removes water and oil and can actually remove any existing lubrication already in the lock which can leave it dry and even susceptible to sticking.

Customers that use WD-40 on their locks usually contact us for help because their lock is sticking or gummed up.

This is caused by the collection of lint, dust, and even grime that get stuck inside from the WD-40 and cause the interior lock pins to stick together. Although the lock will work well when first applied with WD-40, it eventually will begin to break down and cause additional damage. Please, Do Not Use WD-40 on your locks.

Up next is powdered graphite which is known in the industry as a legacy lubricant. Many old fashioned locksmiths have relied on powdered graphite as a lubricant for locks but there are a few drawbacks with this type.

The first disadvantage is that it is extremely messy. The powdered graphite can be hard to get into the cylinder and can leave its mark on nearby carpet. Graphite is used inside of pencils, so you can imagine the mess that it can make on handles and floors.

Like we stated earlier, powdered graphite is an old fashioned lubricant and with the advancements in synthetic material there are now newer lubricants that will perform better with less of a mess.

Finally, let’s look at the last and our favorite lubricant, Lock Saver Synthetic lubricant. This lubricant is specifically designed for locks and is a dry non oily protectant.

This dry style will ensure that the inner workings of the lock will not attract or hold dust, dirt, sand, or any other debris that can be transferred from keys in your pocket. This elimination of dust and debris means your lock will operate smoothly without any interference or stickiness.

Now that you have the correct type of lock lubricant, you need to know how to actually use it on a lock.

  1. To lubricate a lock, insert the straw that comes with the aerosol lock lubricant and spray a small amount into the cylinder of the lock.

  2. Insert your key into the cylinder and remove it checking for any debris attached to the key.

  3. Keep repeating this same action of insert and remove until the key comes out clean.

  4. Keep track of when you lubricate and set a reminder to do it again in about 6 months or sooner if your lock is exposed to the elements.

If you would like to learn more about selecting a lubricant for your facility schedule or to see what upgrades you need for your facility, schedule a free evaluation with our team!

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