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How to Fix a Sticking Door Handle

Updated February 21, 2017

Door handles should glide smoothly, making access to other parts of the house simple. A sticking door handle can be frustrating. It is easy to blame the handle itself, but it may only account for part of the problem. A misaligned door can cause the latch of the handle to bind inside the catch. Maintenance of the entire door may be required to fix a sticking handle, but don't fear, as these repairs can be accomplished by most home DIYers.

Inspect the door hinges for loose screws. Tighten the screws using a screwdriver and check the door.

Inspect the door latch and strike plate with the door open for loose screws. Tighten down the screws with a screwdriver. Align the strike plate with the latch so they do not grind against each other.

Open the door and insert the key. Try turning the key. Lubricate the locking mechanism if the key is difficult to manoeuvre. Remove the cap from the graphite powder tube and insert the end in the locking mechanism. Squeeze a few times to blow the powder into the lock. Insert the key and engage the lock a few times.

Remove the cover from behind the handle by prying it up with the end of a flat head screwdriver. Inspect the inside of the unit for dirt or debris that may be preventing it from moving.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Graphite powder
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