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How To Lubricate A Typewriter

How to clean a typewriter - how to oil a typewriter

Every typewriter needs maintenance to keep running properly. Whether you are trying to restore a vintage typewriter or you want to perform routine maintenance on you typewriter to keep it in working condition, it will need to be dusted, cleaned and oiled. 

Once the office primary writing tool, the typewriter has become almost obsolete. Yet despite no longer being an essential machine, typewriters have become a hobby for many people and have become quite the collectible item. The typewriter hobbyists have brought a renewal in the use of typewriters. However this comes with an issue in that any typewriter will need some care to restore it to working condition. Typewriter enthusiasts have few professional options to hire to restore a vintage typewriter which is causing maintenance and typewriter restoration to now be done by the owner. At first glance, cleaning and lubrication of a typewriter seems very complicated. However, any person with proper tools, lube and knowledge can effectively clean and oil a typewriter.

The first step to clean a typewriter is to remove the dust and debris. This can be done with a vacuum or spraying compressed air or even a leaf blower if that is what you have. Clean the dust from the inner parts of the machine too. You may need a screwdriver to remove parts or the body to access certain areas. Use Q-tips, a brush or a cloth to clean dirty parts. 

Regular oiling is essential to keep a typewriter running smoothly and prevent metal parts from rusting. But using the wrong lube can cause even more damage and gum up the moveable parts. It is a bad idea to use WD-40 on a typewriter. WD-40 is not a good lubricant for fine machinery and after a time will cause the moveable parts to get gummy. What is the best lubricant to use for typewriters? The answer is PlanetSafe AIM lubricant. 

AIM Extreme Duty Lubricant is the best choice for your vintage typewriter. In fact, this is the same lubricant that is used in Grandfather Clocks with great success. AIM is a light, mineral oil based lubricant with our proprietary bio-synthetic additives. It is odorless, non-toxic, non-hazardous lubricant scientifically formulated to penetrate and lubricate small and intricate parts quickly. It bonds to metal surfaces for long-lasting protection for movable parts. 

Apply AIM to the movable metal parts and let the oil penetrate the parts. The lube will bond to the metal and remove dust, debris and grime on its own. Wipe away any grime that the lube has removed. 

Apply a drop of AIM lube to the movable parts. Press the space bar until the carriage moves all the way to the left. Clean and lube the rails and carriage. Add a drop of lube to the keys. Press and release the keys several times to work the lube into the parts. Apply lube to any other movable pivot parts. Wipe away any excess lubricant.

How to lubricate a vintage typewriter - what is the best typewriter lubricant?

You might consider getting the PlanetSafe AIM Extreme Duty Lubricant 1oz + 4oz Bundle which has a needle applicator and spray applicator with the same lubricant to allow access to any machine part. Keep in mind that a small amount of lube goes a long way. Apply a small amount, then use a rag to spread it where you want it and wipe off any excess. All this is needed is a very small coating of the lubricant on the surface because it bonds to the metal and stays active for a long period of time. Very infrequent lubricant treatments are needed when using PlanetSafe AIM. Happy typing!

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