How to maintain your locks and keys

Person inserting key into lock


Posted January 19, 2021

If there's anything more annoying than losing your house keys, it must be having your keys on hand, but being unable to get inside because the keys won't turn the lock. Keys and locks deteriorate over time with regular wear and tear, so it pays to ensure they are kept in tip-top shape. RACV's resident expert handyman, Handy Andy, shows you how in this quick video.

If you want to give it a go, you'll find a step-by-step guide below as well as details of the tools you'll need to complete the job.

Here’s what you’ll need to maintain your locks and keys

Keeping your keys and locks in perfect working order is easier than you think. To avoid jammed locks and keys down the track, just follow these simple steps from Handy Andy and the locksmiths at RACV Emergency Home Assist.

  1. To maintain the lock’s barrel, apply a small amount of graphite powder to the keyhole. Be sure to wear gloves, and place a Post-It Note under the keyhole to catch any spills. 
  2. Once you’ve applied graphite to the keyhole, place the key in and give it a few turns to spread the graphite around.
  3. Afterward, give everything a wipe with a rag to remove any excess dust. 
  4. Store any extra graphite powder in a dry place.
  5. Note: When having a new lock installed, put one key away for safe keeping. This will ensure you always have a master key to cut new keys from if the others become worn down.
  • Gloves
  • Graphite powder
  • Post-It Note (Or other sticky note)
  • Rag