I have a very sticky door lock, is it safe to oil it with standard household oil?

Will oil degrade the security of the lock in any way?

If it's safe, how should I apply the oil?

  • 3
    Graphite powder is recommended for things like door locks. – OrganicLawnDIY Mar 15 '14 at 21:34

No. You're likley to gum up the works. Graphite is common but not actually recommended. Not knowing the brand of your lock, I went and looked up one of the best-regarded lock makers (Medeco) and they recommend 3 products, two of which are not their house-branded product:

Medeco KeyLube 2.0 Multi-purpose Lubricant PX-KYLUB2-03 (5.25 oz.) Aerosol can with spray tube

Sandstrom Poxylube CP-200 Air Drying Solid Film Lubricant Poxylube CP-200 (4.5 oz.) Aerosol can with spray tube

Synco Super Lube Dri-Film Lubricant Super Lube Dri-Film (11 oz.) Aerosol can with spray tube

This existing DIY StackExchange question which will probably mean yours is closed as a duplicate has another suggestion LAB Locksmith Lube, (and another diss on graphite) by another respected lock maker, Yale:

What Should I use to Lubricate a Lock?

Looks like the best consensus (there is a lot of conflicting information in that thread alone) is probably a dry-film spray-teflon product, these days.

|improve this answer|||||
  • I think the only con to graphite is that it is messy. I wouldn't hesitate to use it if I had some lying around. – Ethereal Mar 17 '14 at 12:23
  • Consider that locks have very small moving parts (pins and pin springs) - graphite powder can plug them up. Someone I know was a bit too fond of graphite, and it eventually ruined the drivers side door lock on their car...there are better choices these days. – Ecnerwal Mar 17 '14 at 14:08
  • Graphite or no-graphite is a longstanding religious argument among locksmiths. (Yes, "I are one.") Part of the disrespect comes from having seen too many cases of massive overuse of the stuff by amateurs who think "if a little is good, more must be better" or who add it repeatedly to try to cure problems that it won't solve. Some comes from misunderstanding about how graphite works as a lubricant. But, yes, the better answer these days is a silicon-microsphere lubricant such as those suggested above. WD40 is is not technically a lubricant but can be used to clean a lock before lubricating. – keshlam May 28 '14 at 23:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.