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.


Please Leave a Comment

2 Comments on “How to Fix a Sticky Door Lock”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  • Jay Says:
    July 6th, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    What causes and should I lubricate a deadbolt lock that’s key is difficult to get in and out?

  • 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.

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

 characters available

How to Fix a Sticky Door Lock