Lubricating Sticky Door Locks in Your Home

Whether you’re a first time homeowner, or simply facing challenges with maintaining your home, here’s a tip that can help.

Stubborn, sticky locks can be aggravating, but using the wrong method to unstick those locks can lead to even more frustration. While spray lubricants may work well, they can be messy. They can leave a residue on the door knobs, trap dirt inside the lock, and make a greasy mess as it drips out everywhere.

A powdered graphite is a much better choice, as long as you don’t use too much at once. Just insert the tip of the container into the keyhole and gently squeeze to distribute a small amount, then use your key to work the graphite into the lock.

Powdered graphite is readily available at most hardware stores, but if you have a hard time finding any, just use a #2 pencil and liberally color both sides of your key before putting it into the lock and working it in and out. Since pencil lead is made from graphite, you should get similar results and no greasy mess!

This First Time Homeowner tip brought to you by Schlage, real security sets you free.

Further Information


  1. Yahoo! Thanks for your tip. I just impressed all the guys at the office that didn’t know what to do! Made me look like a star – and did give you credit.


  2. Well, I sure wish I had read this sooner. I literally just used some WD40 on my locks! Oh well, now I know for the future. And WD40 does a pretty good job so I guess it’s not that big of a deal.

  3. In addition to graphite powder, you can use silicone lube, grease lube, or Teflon-based lubricant to lubricate the door lock mechanism. As a penetrating fluid, you can use WD-40 or white lithium grease. When choosing a lubricant, consider the weather in your area.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the Today’s Homeowner community!
      TH community members helping other TH community members — we love it. 🙂


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