Despite the common misconception, all door locking devices including internal door locks require maintenance. It involves inspection, testing, cleaning, and lubrication. It has to be provided at least once a year and preferably twice a year. When you do it properly, you will enjoy safe and effective lock operation and the highest possible level of security. At the same time, avoid the most commonly made serious maintenance mistakes.
The primary mistake which customers make is to provide care to the hardware components including the door lock cylinder without reading the owner's manual first. This is typically a small leaflet with few simple instructions which are easy to understand and follow. You need to pay special attention to the warranty terms, conditions, and ensure not breach them in any way while providing maintenance.
One of the major mistakes which people make is using corrosive cleaners. It is certainly not true that any household cleaner is safe for metal locks. It is best if liquid household detergent dissolved in water is applied which is easy to find in addition to being perfectly safe. In case of stubborn dirt, try automotive polish in cream form. If you have no choice but to try another type of cleaner, read the list of ingredients carefully to confirm that none of the compounds is corrosive. All this effort is worth it for avoiding premature lock change.
The harsh rust removers and solvents are often even more dangerous compared to the corrosive general cleaners. Apply only the mildest of these products to avoid the need for early lock replacement. In fact, it is a good idea to try simple homemade solutions first. Distilled vinegar helps to remove rust effectively. Just remember to cool it after having brought it to boil. If there is any thick grease or adhesive accumulation, try to remove it with lemon juice first before opting for a solvent such as white spirits.
The use of abrasive tools for cleaning is also a mistake which you must not make. The list of dangerous tools includes sandpaper, brushes with hard bristles, and steel wool. Any of them can cause serious damage and pose the need for lock repair.
When using the appropriate cleaners, tools, and following all instructions and suggestions of the manufacturer of the locking device, you will keep them it in top condition easily.