How to Make a Grandfather Clock Last for Years

How to Make a Grandfather Clock Last for Years

A grandfather clock is a timeless heirloom that requires special care to stay in the best possible condition for the future generations. Any grandfather clock requires proper maintenance, cleaning and oiling. Premier Clocks has prepared a simple guide on how to protect and take care of a grandfather clock so it lasts for many years. 

How to Protect a Grandfather Clock

Room Temperature

The temperature of the place where a grandfather clock is located affects how it works. The pendulum rod is experiencing thermal expansion and contraction that depends on the changes of temperature and humidity. That’s why it’s important to control the temperature environment or keep the grandfather clock away from humid or frigid rooms. 

Keep It Away From Sunlight

The case of a grandfather clock can crack from the direct sunlight and extreme heat and at the same time, the finish of the clock will fade. So, if you want your grandfather clock to work properly, it’s better to put it in a shady place with a cool temperature.

Professional Maintenance

Clockmasters suggest to service a grandfather clock every now and then. It's especially recommended for the older grandfather clocks. Every 2 to 3 years, a good servicing by an experienced clockmaker will help to keep a grandfather clock functioning properly. 

Keep the Door Locked

The excess of dust can settle on the parts of a grandfather clock which will slow it down or might cause some damage. To avoid this, it’s recommended to keep the door closed and locked. When you lock the door, you also prevent pets or children touching the delicate parts. 

Check the Levellers

In order to keep a grandfather clock functioning at a high level, from time to time, you need to check whether the levellers are balanced. If a grandfather clock is unbalanced, it will  throw off the pendulum and the weights inside and can cause inaccurate timekeeping. 

How to Take Care of a Grandfather Clock

Keep the Grandfather Clock Clean

A grandfather clock requires a special cleaning. There is a set of tricks on how to clean a grandfather clock to avoid causing any damage. 

  • For the exterior of a grandfather clock, it’s essential to use a soft slightly damp cloth (not wet!). Use polish that does not contain any silicones. To clean the glass parts of a grandfather clock, it’s better to use a clean paper towel and spray the glass cleaner on the towel, not on the glass.
  • Cleaning the inside of a grandfather clock, it’s better to leave it for a clock expert. But if it’s impossible then you can try using a lightweight vacuum cleaner but do not ever use a blowing instrument.
Cleaning the Grandfather Clock Movement

Every five to ten years, a grandfather clock should undergo a deep cleaning of the movement. The servicing should only be done at a clock expert. DIY repairs could result in lost parts or screws, or even damage to the movement, causing more harm than good.

Check the Oil

You need to check regularly if a grandfather clock is lubricated just enough to move easily. It doesn’t mean that you have to oil every time you check. Most grandfather clocks require to be oiled once in two years. Oiling a grandfather clock can be tricky as it should be not too much or too little oil. 

  • Put oil in small amounts to avoid having any oil drip down onto the clock plate, but yet just enough to ensure proper lubrication that’s needed for accurate movement of the parts. 
  • When adding oil to the movements, remember to wear latex gloves and specialty clock oil to prevent damage to the parts during the process.
  • If you aren’t confident to do this process by yourself, we recommend seeking help from a professional that offers cleaning and oiling services.

More about Grandfather Clocks:

➤  Can a Grandfather Clock be a Family Heirloom?
➤  The Terminology and Parts Of A Grandfather Clock


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