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Simple Solutions

How to Fix a Sticky Door Lock

By: Joe Truini
Applying powdered graphite to door lock.

Applying powdered graphite to door lock.

To fix a door lock that doesn’t turn easily:

  1. Squirt a little powdered graphite (available in squeeze tubes at home improvement and automotive stores) in the keyhole of the lock.
  2. Insert the key in the lock and turn it several times to distribute the graphite.

In a pinch you can rub lead from a soft pencil (which is composed of graphite) on the key, then work it back and forth in the lock. Be sure the lead in the pencil is made from true graphite.

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One Comment on “How to Fix a Sticky Door Lock”

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  • Tom Says:
    March 7th, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    My issue is with a steel exit door where to turn the key you have to pull up on the door knob before it will turn. It seems that the bolt is pressed against the jamb by the weight of the door.


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How to Fix a Sticky Door Lock