How Often Should I Oil My Clock?

by Gregory Burton

If you own a clock – maybe you’ve just purchased your very first, or inherited it from the family – it’s important to take note that these intricate timepieces require some care. In order to keep them ticking away for years to come, clocks require oil to help keep the mechanism working smoothly. Read on to learn more about how often you should oil your clock.

On Average, Clocks Should be Oiled Every 3-5 Years

As a general rule of thumb, all clocks should have an application of oil to keep them running efficiently every 3 to 5 years. This is important since clocks can be very delicate, and in order to keep track of time correctly, all pieces must be functioning smoothly. Although this is the common average for oiling a clock, it’s also important to note that preventative maintenance such as oiling will differ depending on the type, age, and condition of your clock.

Different Timeframe for Different Clocks

Every clock will vary in regards to maintenance needs, and the differences between each mechanism will determine the frequency that oil must be applied.

It is impossible to say specifically, and depends entirely on the environment of that the clock is in. It is best to talk to a clock repairman to see what is recommended for your particular circumstance.

Cuckoo clocks should be cleaned & oiled every 2-3 Years.

Wall & Mantel clocks should be cleaned & oiled every 3-5 Years.

Floor clocks should be cleaned & oiled every 3-5 Years.

Again, the conditions & environment the clock is subject to may vary, but on the average, these maintenance practices should keep your clock running for years to come.

If clocks are not cleaned & oiled regularly, the clock begins to run dry, metal on metal, causing the plates to wear and the pivot holes to become elongated. When this happens, it causes the gears to bind, and the clock will then no longer run. Dirt & fine brass shavings also build up around the pivot hole, and when oil is applied, the dirt and brass shavings are washed in to the pivot hole, causing the clock to stop. When this happens, a rebuild of your movement may be required to get your clock back into running order. Bushings are inserted into the pivot holes to make them round again and provide a new wear surface. The pivots on the gears are then polished, and each piece is cleaned individually. If your clock is spring driven, new mainsprings are typically required. Once completed, the movement is then re-assembled and oiled

 Frankenmuth Clock Company has a full-service clock repair department, with trained clock technicians on-site for consultation. Contact us or check out our clock maintenance and repair guides for more information!