A question asked of 1-800-4CLOCKS almost all the time is how often to both oil and clean my mechanical grandfather clock. There is no question that oiling and cleaning at appropriate intervals both make the grandfather clock run more smoothly continuously throughout its life, and increase the clocks longevity. Without oiling and cleaning at defined times, not only will the grandfather clock not perform as well over time, but the life expectancy of the movements, or at least certain critical parts inside, will most certainly be shorter.
Having said the above, 1-800-4CLOCKS also gets many requests for oiling kits, and each time the person is asked if they know what they are doing when it comes to oiling a clock. The simple reason is that if one puts too much oil in or on the grandfather clock, or in the wrong places on the movement, one can really cause a major problem for the clock in the present and the future.
Just as you want to make sure you or your auto mechanic know what they are doing when working on your car, you want to know that whomever is servicing your clock is not just randomly “throwing oil into an automobile engine.” The analogy of a car’s engine to a grandfather clocks movement is not a bad one — both have inner metal workings in need of both oiling and cleaning.
OK, so how often!!??!! We will tell you what is generally recommended by 1-800-4CLOCKS for high-end mechanical grandfather clocks like Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Bulova Grandfather Clocks and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks. Oiling is recommended every 2-4 years, and a complete cleaning every 5-8 years. The same for Antique Grandfather Clocks and Grandmother Clocks. Many experts will recommend more frequent oiling and cleaning of grandfather clocks. Few will recommend much less over time. It is suggested, however, that any time your mechanical grandfather clock is appearing sluggish or losing time (or has stopped running, as an extreme example), a cleaning and or oiling may be in order (after ruling out more obvious causes, e.g. leveling your clock, or making sure it is in beat).
With proper maintenance, a grandfather clock will last many many lifetimes, and will be a treasured heirloom that can be passed down to future generations.
Howard Miller Shreveport Triple Chime Grandfather Clock Model 610-790