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How to Oil a Cuckoo Clock

Learn how to oil a cuckoo clock.
cuckoo-clock image by Fata-Morgana from Fotolia.com

A cuckoo clock is a charming addition to any home, whether you are a clock collector or just enjoy unique decorations. The mechanism of the clock causes a decorative bird to come out of a door above the pendulum each time the hour strikes. Cuckoo clocks require a certain amount of maintenance, which includes cleaning the gears and then oiling them. Every time you oil the clock, you will need to clean away the old, used oil first.

Place the clock on a table with the clock face down.

Turn the three tabs holding the back panel in place. There will be one tab at the top of the panel and one on each vertical side. Open the panel.

Wrap a piece of cotton wool around the end of a rod of pegwood.

Run the cotton and pegwood along the internal workings of the clock anywhere you see dirty, greasy buildup.

Turn the gears to expose any parts of the clock that you couldn’t reach yet.

Apply cuckoo clock oil to the gears and joints in the clock. Use a bottle with a very fine-tipped applicator to keep the oil from dripping away from where you apply it.

Close the clock by returning the panel to its original position and turning the tabs to keep it in place.

Things You'll Need:

  • Cotton wool
  • Pegwood
  • Cuckoo clock oil
  • Fine-tipped applicator


Replace the cotton wool often during the cleaning to get as much residue off as possible. Maintain your clock every few years to prevent the parts from wearing down.

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