How to Fix a Door Lock | Learn What Professionals Do to Fix Door Lock


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Of all the details of the house, the lock is one of the ones that most need attention, especially when taking into account its great utility for the security of the place. At the same time, many people have difficulties with it, whether with the key scratching, problems with turning or even the loose crumb. For this reason, learning how to fix a door lock is extremely useful for day-to-day maintenance.

The awesome news is that there are several comfortable and practical techniques to solve door lock problems. You will find that it doesn’t take many complicated products or applications to leave your door as if it were new again.

Thinking about it, we have separated some tips in this post to help you solve all your problems with the lock quickly and straightforwardly. Continue reading and check it out!

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How to Fix a Door Lock: What Tools Do I Need?

To fix a door lock, you will need the following items:

A Flannel Cloth

This would be needed to clean the lock, and a great product in this regard is the Barcelonetta Cotton Flannel Fabric.

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This would be needed to prevent the lock lubricating product from coming into contact with your skin. A great product in this regard is the Pacific PPE Household Glove. Exceptionally comfortable and durable, this product is quite suitable for fixing your door lock. It’s also made of thick materials to prevent puncturing and tearing.

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Graphite Powder Tube

This would be needed to lubricate the lock, and a great product in this regard is the Dry Powdered Graphite Tube. This tube contains superfine graphite which can lubricate the door lock effectively.

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This will be needed if you desire to disassemble the lock. A great product in this regard is the CRAFTSMAN Screwdriver Set. This 8pc. Bi-material screwdriver kit comes with a black oxide coating to provide a more precise fit and reduce fastener peeling and eccentricity. The polypropylene material and ergonomic handle shape provide twisting force for three different applications. 

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How to Fix a Door Lock

One of the first things that a lot of people think when they encounter a malfunctioning lock is to pour oil on it, and that is a big mistake. When you apply fatty substances, you run the risk of mixing them with local dust and ending up creating a paste of dirt. This makes the part repair process even more difficult.

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The 1st step for learning how to fix the lock insert is to clean it thoroughly. You can then start the lubrication process. However, you must understand that the best lubricant is not oil or similar materials, but graphite powder. In this way, introduce the powder through the cannon and turn the key a few times to spread the product. If that fails to work, you may need to disassemble the lock. However, before attempting to do this, make sure that the model allows disassembly.

How to Dismantle a Lock?

With the aid of a screwdriver, unscrew the metal plate that holds the lock close to the door and start removing the knobs. They are usually joined by a spring or pin. When all items are loose, remove the part carefully – if necessary, use the key to push it.

When the lock is loose, open the case and look out for damages. Check that all the springs are correct, that there is no excess amount of products or that the parts are not worn. If necessary, do one more cleaning with a lint-free cloth.

Put the lock in the same place and do the test again. If the problems persist, it is worth calling a locksmith and exchanging for a new part. In this situation, remember to take note of the dimensions of the item, to achieve an exact match and avoid having to compromise the door.

How to Fix a Door Lock: Sticky key

If your key sticks in the door, once you have successfully opened it, retry the key. In case, it operates smoothly, then it means the deadbolt will is not engaging the port correctly. If it does not turn quickly in the lock, try lubricating or cleaning the lock. Then spray a little graphite in the cylinder and try the critical several times.

How to Fix a Door Lock: The key Spins in a Vacuum

If the key turns without opening the lock, disassemble it to verify that the cam or fork is appropriately connected to the lock. In case, you see anything broken, replace the affected item, and reassemble the lock. If the key refuses to enter the lock, check that it is not frozen in cold weather. If so, try heating the key and gradually inserting it into the keyhole. Repeat the process until thawing occurs.

How to Fix a Door Lock: A New Problematic key

If you use a new key that does not insert properly or does not work; it may have deformations that need to be filed. To locate such deformations:

  • Hold the key over a flame to coat it with tallow
  • Please insert it into the lock
  • Rotate it slightly and remove it 
  • File the shiny areas on which the deformations have removed the soot.

How to Prevent this from happening?

Now that you know what you need to do to fix that door that doesn’t open, as well as the essential tools for that, you must understand what mistakes to avoid so that the locks stop giving problems and you don’t have to fix them again so soon. Check out these tips below!

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Maintain regularly

To keep the locks in good condition, they must be maintained. This care includes lubricating the core and keys with the annual application of a small amount of graphite powder or whenever it feels challenging to lock and unlock.

Many indicate the use of greases and oils, but as these products are wet, and they create a risk of clogging the kernels when used in excess. This is because they tend to accumulate residues and dust that stick when they come into contact with the liquid or paste. Therefore, it is preferable to use only powdered graphite in the lock, but if you do not have it at home, an oil such as a WD-40 can temporarily help you not to be locked out.

Never use damaged keys

We often think that the problem is with the door lock, when in fact it may be in the damaged key that you are using daily. This can get in the way of unlocking your home or end up damaging the kernels which were earlier in good condition. Thus, it’s best to stay tuned to the status of your keys. 

Avoid using them when they are already bent or worn. Instead, arrange for an immediate exchange for new keys to avoid problems.

Keep the lock clean.

As stated earlier, dirt and dust residues can accumulate in the lock. This is a problem that makes it very difficult to open and close the door. It prevents the key from being appropriately positioned and doing its job. So, it is essential to keep it away from any waste. Clean it regularly with a cloth on the outside, open it whenever necessary to sanitize the inside, and don’t forget to protect it when there is a risk of accumulating any dust.

Learn More: How To Unlock A Bedroom Door Without A Key

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix a cylinder lock on a door?

  • Remove the locking panel.
  • Remove the lock to see where the screws are
  • Tighten the set screws
  • Take out the old cylinder.
  • Get the measured value of the cylinder.
  • Use your measurements to buy a new cylinder.
  • Install a new cylinder

How do you relieve a door lock? 

To relieve a door lock, gently squeeze a minimal amount of graphite powder into the lock hole, and then use the key to drive the lubricant into the lock slowly. Another method is to first coat the key with graphite powder and then insert it into the lock.

Why is my door lock stiff?

Dirt and dust can sometimes enter the lock and accumulate over time. This can block the locking mechanism, making it difficult to turn. You can apply some graphite or silicone-based lubricant to the lock put the key back and turn it several times to relieve it from stiffness.

How do you unlock a multi-lock door?

To unlock a multi-lock door, do make use of the following steps:

Turn the thumb turn inward or use the outside key to unlock the door. To open the door, hold the handle and push it down, then operate the door. To engage the multi-point lock, close the door and raise the handle.

How do you adjust a multi-lock door?

  • To adjust a multi-lock door, do make use of the following steps: 
  • Use an Allen key on the screw on the side of the hinged multi-lock door.
  • Next, please close the door to adjust it.
  • Rotate 1-2 turns clockwise, and then test whether it is still dragging
  • Adjust the hinge until it can open and close smoothly


In conclusion, learning how to fix a door lock is not the most challenging task. Once you learn how to do this and understand how to prevent the problem from happening, it would no longer be a significant inconvenience.

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