Putting super glue into padlock is a common problem and 99% of the time it is local children causing mischief without appreciating the problems it can cause. Here are some tips on how to prevent it and how to deal with it if it does happen.


Lock Grease Keyway

Pack with grease to prevent people from getting glue inside

1. Soak in Diesel: The number one way of preventing super glue from sticking to the inside of a lock is to soak the lock in diesel. Pour a little bit of diesel into a bowl and leave the padlock soaking overnight. This will create a film on the mechanism and keyway preventing it from sticking.

2: Use grease or Vaseline: See the photo on the right (Click to enlarge). Put it on the key way and around the shackles when they enter the body of the lock. This is the same method for weatherproofing a lock against freezing. It is then very difficult to get super glue into the mechanism and a little messy so the culprit my decide otherwise.

3. Put up criminal sign: If you’re having repeat problems then one of the things you can do is put up a sign to clarify their legal position. If they jump the fence onto your land then they are trespassing and this is a civil offense which is technically outside of police jurisdiction in the UK. If however they don’t come onto your land but damage you padlock, this is a criminal offense, punishable by the police with a criminal record. If you explain that then often they will think twice.


There are not many solvents that will dissolve super glue fast enough to be of help but Acetone or Nail Polish Remover is the best. Be careful as it is very powerful stuff and can discolour clothes and take precautions not to get it in your eyes. Turn the lock upside down and apply it into the keyway. If you can’t get it into the keyway then try and get it to soak down into the body from where the shackles are.

Generally this is a very laborious and messy method. Often locksmiths will prefer to cut the lock off and use of the the prevention methods above.