Lock oil and lock maintenance to keep your security locks working
Your door and window locks are highly machined mechanical devices comprising of many moving metal components. Your door or window lock components must move smoothly when the key is turned in the lock. If dirt, rust or other contaminants build up in the casing of the lock then resistance starts to grow and you key takes too much strain to open the door or window which may cause it to snap in the lock.
It's quite normal to think that oil is the answer to releasing a stiff locking mechanism. Using the wrong oil can be the source of some of your key and locking problems. The reason for this is that the metal components of the lock are coated with a light grease. When you spray or apply oil some household oils into your locking mechanism then it washes away the grease coating. The lock performs better for a short period of time but the thick oil coating starts to attract contaminants. The contaminants build up and the lock starts to become stiff and may completely fail.
So what's the best lock maintenance oil to use on a security lock?
You need a very light oil - sometimes called 'machine oil'. The oil will rest on the surface of the metal in a thin layer and thus protect the metal from oxidisation and rust while also being thin enough not to attract contaminants.
It is normal to find light oils such as this being advertised as graphite oils. You can apply the oil to the key hole and to the bolt movement. The key hole can be used to introduce the oil to the lock. This allows the oils to penetrate when turning your key.
For a proper and full overhaul then the lock itself can be taken out and overhauled but we suggest that you should leave this to a friendly local Torquay locksmith. The internals of the lock are very fiddly and a locksmith can quickly examine the whole situation to know if your door lock is serviceable or needs to be changed.