Things You'll Need
Nail polish remover
Old tooth brush
Powdered graphite lubricant
Door knobs can be a hassle, especially when the lock is not functioning properly. Many have had the experience of being stuck inside a bathroom or other space with a stubborn knob, or being unable to lock the knob and preserve your privacy. Taking a door knob apart may seem a bit intimidating, but it is really quite simple. Taking that offending knob apart and giving it a bit of much-needed lubricant may be just the ticket to a knob that allows you to do what you need to do.
Place the tip of the screwdriver blade into the screw head in the knob striker plate located in the edge of your door. Twist counterclockwise to loosen and remove the screw. Repeat the process with the second screw. Place the two small screws on a piece adhesive tape to prevent losing them.
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Remove the screws in the knob plate next. Set the tip of the screwdriver into the head of the screw. Take a firm grip on the handle of the screwdriver and apply slight pressure to twist the screw counterclockwise to loosen and remove it. Repeat with the second screw. These screws are long, so it takes several turns. Once the screws are loose, it may simpler to twist them the rest of the way out using your fingers. Place the screws on the tape with the first two for safekeeping.
Pull firmly with one hand on each side of the door knob to pull the pieces apart. Set the side of the knob without the thumb lock aside and place the thumb lock knob on a sturdy work surface. If you are working on a surface that you don't want to be damaged, place a rag or piece of cardboard on the surface and the knob on top of it.
Set the knob so that it stands on the two screw sockets with the thumb button up in the air. Use a small hammer to gently strike the thumb button. The spring and thumb button will fall down onto your work space. Use nail polish remover and an old tooth brush to clean any oil or grime from the button and the inside of the knob.
Replace the button by turning the knob upside down and dropping it in. Press the spring back into place so that it sits in the knob, and push it back until it snaps behind its retainer. Squirt a little powdered graphite onto the mechanism, and push the button in and out several times. Reassemble the knob in the reverse order of disassembly. If the knob still refuses to function, replace it.