No matter whether they are used indoors or outdoors, padlocks are exposed to all kinds of threats. Particles get inside the keyhole and around the shackle. Other objects can scratch them. The fittings can get damaged as well. There are measures that you can take to prevent damage effectively. Learn what these measures and how to apply them correctly for best results.
Start by inspecting the condition of the padlock and fittings - You should check for physical damage such as bending and chipping. Watch closely for rust and corrosion as well. While rust can be removed, corroded devices have to be replaced as soon as possible as they are too weak to do their job. Tighten any loose bolts of the fitting. If they are damaged, you should replace them right away.
Remove rust with white spirit - Take the device out and lay it on a table covered with protective cloth. This allows you to do a much better job than with a stationary door lockset. Apply only a small amount of the product. Use a soft cloth for the cleaning job. Do not use anything that may scratch the surface.
Clean the keyhole with compressed air - Apply the compressed air directly into the keyway. It is the same with door lock cylinders. Keep going until dirt particle stop coming out. You should also clean around the shackle. If there are any particles left on the surface of the device, remove them with soft dampen cloth. You can use lemon juice for making the device shine.
Get the right lubricant - The graphite lubricants are excellent for locking devices as they are not sticky and provide protection from freezing during the cold and wet months of the year. It is best if you select a product which is especially formulated for use on external and internal door locks. You must not apply any kind of oil on any locking device.
Apply the lubricant into the keyway and around the entire device - Insert the nozzle into the keyhole and squeeze until the compound starts coming out. Spread a little bit of the lubricant on the face of the padlock around the hole. You can do it with a small brush or soft lint-free cloth. Apply a small amount of the lubricant on the shackle as well.
Take the key and apply a thin layer of the lubricant on it - Insert it into the keyway and turn it several times to spread the compound completely. Wipe an excess that comes out.
Keep in mind that while indoor padlocks can receive maintenance once a year, the ones used outdoors for keeping outbuildings secured have to be cleaned and lubricated every six months.