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General-purpose metal cleaner will restore the shine on the exterior housing of an un-lacquered deadbolt lock, but avoid getting polish inside the mechanism. Use a sponge or soft cloth and a gentle household cleaner to polish up lacquered metals, such as brass. Abrasive pads or cleansers will damage the lacquer.


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Like all things mechanical, locks need occasional maintenance to keep working well. A quick spray of penetrating oil such as WD-40 will keep the deadbolt operating smoothly. Penetrating oil can also be used inside the lock cylinder, but a better choice is graphite lock lubricant, sold in tubes by hardware stores and home centers. Squirt this dry powder in through the keyhole once a year, insert a key, and work the lock back and forth several times to distribute the lubricant. (Wipe the key with a paper towel when finished. The graphite can stain clothing, and while it’s not harmful, graphite is difficult to wash off hands and fingers.)

Keep a paper towel square handy whenever you use penetrating oil to wipe up inevitable overspray and drips.


Lock:  Created on November 3rd, 2009.  Last Modified on November 3rd, 2009


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