Lifehacking, which sadly is not the act of hacking real life with Doom‘s god code, is more like nifty little tips and tricks that can make life just a bit easier, giving you more free time to read awesome stuff on the Internet. Sometimes, though, lifehack tips aren’t quite as useful as they purport to be–but that’s not the case here! Today’s lifehackery is about keys and it comes straight from the mouth of Miwa Lock, Japan’s largest locks/key/security company.

If you have trouble sliding your key into the lock, it turns out that there’s a quick, simple way to deal with it. And you won’t even need any oil!

Next time your key is sticking in the door, all you need to do is reach for your pencil case!

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“For all of you who are troubled by keys not sliding properly, take a look at this way to solve the problem, as recommended by Japan’s largest lock company Miwa Lock. Now you know that you don’t need any expensive oil that will end up with a ton left over.”

The plastic bag in the photos is apparently a wrapper for a Miwa Lock-produced key. It’s a bit long, but the explanation is basically this: Take a graphite pencil and rub the graphite on the sections of the key that have been cut out (on the sides), such as the places indicated by the arrows in the photos. Once those sections are black with graphite, slide it in and out of your lock a number of times, and it should move smoothly. If it doesn’t work at first, repeat the procedure. Once you’re done, just wipe the key–so you don’t get your clothes dirty!

Now, some of you may be wondering, “Well, why don’t you just use some WD-40?” As much as we love the smell of that blue can’s juice seeping into a rusted chain first thing in the morning, Miwa Lock recommends not using oil or a standard lubricant. It’s not because they’re secretly colluding with pencil manufactures (we think…), but because the oil could collect dust which would make the lock cylinder work even worse. Graphite, meanwhile, is a dry lubricant of sorts, making it much less messy.

▼Which is the least of your problems here…

key 2Wikipedia (Wong35Lau27)

Another factor to consider is that WD-40 would probably help your lock move more smoothly at first, but once it dies up, it’ll be right back to sticking. It’s still good for loosening up a bike chain though!

So, were Japanese commenters impressed with this lifehacking tip?

“I already knew…”
“I didn’t know locks could have ‘bad slidability.'”
“But I don’t even have any pencils at home to begin with…”
“That might help with getting your key in and out, but if you have trouble turning it, you’ll definitely need some grease.”
“What? WHAT? Isn’t this common knowledge? Are there really people who DON’T know this? What kind of stupid, carefree life are they living??”

Well, we’re sure plenty of people already knew this, but in case you didn’t know, we hope it proves useful for you!

Sources: Jin115, Twitter
Top image: RocketNews24