Fix Stuck Dead Bolts

A shot of dry Teflon spray will keep the bolt operating smoothly

If your deadbolt sticks or is difficult to turn, give it a shot of Teflon lube spray to get it operating smoothly again. It only takes five minutes.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Step 1: Lube the lock cylinder

You use your dead bolt every day without giving a thought to maintenance. But one of these days, it's going to fight back and refuse to open. Don't panic; it's just crying for a few shots of lube. You can get it working again with dry Teflon lube spray. It's a better choice than graphite because it sprays on wet to soak into the lock mechanism. The solvent evaporates, leaving behind a dry, slippery powder. Start by lubing the lock cylinder (Photo 1).

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Step 2: Lube the bolt mechanism

If lubing the lock cylinder doesn't free it, you'll need to lube the bolt mechanism (Photo 2).

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Teflon spray lube