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How to Get a Door Lock Stuck

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

In this post, we’ll show you how to get a door lock stuck. This can be a frustrating problem, but with a little patience and the right tools, it’s easy to fix.

Gather Necessary Tools

If your door lock is stuck, you will need to gather the proper tools in order to attempt to fix the problem. There are several tools that may be useful in your attempt, depending on the type and brand of door lock you have. Basic tools such as a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a lubricant could be necessary. Additionally, you may need more specific tools and supplies depending on the type of door lock. In the following sections, we’ll discuss the necessary tools and supplies for different types of door locks.


Often times when a door lock is stuck, it has become jammed due to loose screws. A screwdriver should be your first tool of choice to eradicate this issue. If you do not have one readily available, purchase one at any local hardware store. Generally, the ideal sizes are Phillips #1 and #2 or flatheads that range from 1/8″ – ” in width.

When using a screwdriver make sure to start loosening the screws counterclockwise – unless otherwise stated. Additionally, ensure that you have the right sized head for your specific screws so you don’t end up further damaging them by forcing them in place with an improper fit. Once all of the screws on the door lock mechanism have been adjusted properly, try turning the key again as it may now be fully functional without any further assistance!


WD-40 is a water-displacing lubricating spray and solvent that can be used to help you remove a stuck door lock. It is also helpful for rust, corrosive build-up, as well as sticking or squeaky parts.

Directions for Use: Start by spraying WD-40 onto the keyhole and the lockset mechanism. Then use a rag or paper towel to turn the key back and forth in order to distribute the lubrication inside of the door lock. If necessary, you can spray more WD-40 directly onto the rag so that it is saturated with lubricant before turning the key again.

With persistence, you should eventually be able to free up the stuck door lock and prevent future problems by regularly treating your locks with WD-40 every three months. Additionally, for proper maintenance of your lockset, you should use a penetrating oil specifically made for them on an annual basis.

Lock lubricant

If you are having a problem with a stuck door lock, one of the items that you should have on hand is some lock lubricant. Applying a small amount to the parts of the lock can help to loosen and prevent rusting, which can cause the lock to become stuck or unresponsive. Make sure that you use a lubricant specifically designed for locks or for metal surfaces, as other products could damage the delicate locking mechanism. Depending on the type of material used in your locks and if there is still debris present from a previous jamming attempt, it may be necessary to get an extra coat of rust preventative oil onto the area beneath the keyhole before applying any other lubricants.

Inspect the Lock

If your door lock is stuck, the first step you should take is to inspect the lock. Check the area around the lock for any signs of damage . If you see any signs of wear and tear, you may need to replace the lock. Otherwise, check to see if the key is stuck or if it is not inserted properly. The next step is to attempt to remove the key from the lock.

Look for any visible signs of damage

When faced with a stuck door lock, it’s best to inspect the lock closely for any visible signs of damage. Common signs of possible damage or wear are: rust spots around the edges, chipped or broken parts, or misaligned pins and springs (inside the cylinder). If you find these type of damages on your lock, then you should replace it before attempting further steps to remove the stuck lock.

You should also prioritize safety over any locksmithing attempts. Before attempting to remove a stuck door lock, ensure that all areas around and inside of the locked door are safe and secure. This includes but is not limited to properly securing all exposed wiring around the area, ensuring there is no chance of electrical shock during this process, and making sure nothing in or around the area will cause further damage to the lockset when being manipulated.

Check to see if the key is stuck in the lock

If you find that the key is stuck in the lock, there may be a physical obstruction of some kind inside the lock. Usually you can gently move the key back and forth to dislodge any obstruction. If your key turns but won’t open the lock, chances are that something has caused a jam inside. Inspect the keyhole with a flashlight and look for any sign of an obstruction that may cause it to not work correctly. Use a thin screwdriver or other small tool to remove any dirt, lint or dust that might be preventing the lock from opening properly. If you still can’t get the door open, it’s possible that you may need to tap on or lubricate the outside of the lock in order to loosen dirt and debris from within. You should also check and make sure all of your locks are compatible by trying different keys before changing out parts such as latch assemblies or cylinders; incompatibility between locks could also be causing your issue.

Attempt to Unlock the Lock

Before attempting any other methods, you should always try to unlock the lock on your own. If you have the key, insert it into the lock and try to turn it. If the key turns properly, the lock should open. However, if the key won’t turn or the door won’t open, there could be an issue with the lock itself. We will look into potential causes and solutions for this issue in this article.

Insert the key and try to turn it

Turning the key in the lock is often the first step to unlocking a door lock. To do this, first insert the key and make sure that it is fully inserted into the hole in the center of the lock. Once you have inserted it, apply slight and gentle pressure in a clockwise direction to attempt to turn it. If it will not move and resists movement, then it is likely that your door lock has become stuck.

If turning your key does not open up your door successfully, then there are some additional ways that you can attempt to unlock your door lock before calling a locksmith. If there are any visible obstructions sticking out from inside of the lock, gently press against them with an item such as a nail file or butter knife until they stop sticking out. In some cases, these items may be wedged so firmly in place that force must be applied to separate them; however take caution when doing so as too much force may cause further damage to your door lock.

If none of these methods work then you can use lubricants such as WD-40 on or near the part of your door lock where the key enters if visible dirt or rust can be seen – just make sure to avoid over lubricating and creating excess mess around your home or office! As long as all of these steps fail to unlock your stuck door lock then you should call a locksmith as soon as possible who will be able to safely remove it without damaging any other parts that surround it.

Apply Lubricant

Lubricating the door lock can often be the easiest and most effective way to unfreeze a stuck lock. There are different types of lubricants that you can use depending on the type of the lock, so you should check the documentation of your lock to make sure you’re using the right one. Applying the right type of lubricating product can help the lock mechanism move smoothly and free it from any dirt or debris that might be causing it to jam.

Spray WD-40 into the keyhole

Spraying WD-40 into the keyhole of the door lock is a quick and easy way to try and get the lock unstuck. This can work for both interior and exterior door locks of any kind. To apply, simply put WD-40 into a spray bottle, insert the nozzle of the spray bottle into the keyhole, and spray generously. Then turn the key in both directions back and forth to help try to release any built up debris in the mechanism of the lock. If this does not work, it is time to move onto more drastic measures.

Apply lock lubricant to the key

Once you have your lock lubricant, insert the key into the keyhole and turn it back and forth in both directions several times. This will help spread the lubricant throughout the inner workings of lock. Wait five minutes before attempting to use the key again.

If you have a spray lubricant, hold the can about six inches away from the lock and spray directly into it for two to three seconds. Allow the lubricant to sit for at least five minutes before attempting to unlock the door with your key again.

If you don’t have working locksmith tools or lubricants handy, you can try using candle wax, graphite from pencil lead or vegetable oil as substitutes. While these solutions are not generally recommended due to possible damage that can arise from their use, they may still be options in a pinch if you don’t have any other choice.

Insert the key and try to turn it

To start, insert the key into the door lock and attempt to turn it. If turning becomes difficult, or if it gets stuck, you may need to apply lubricant to the lock. This could prevent further mechanical damage and make the job a lot easier. Types of lubricants include graphite powder, which is available at most hardware stores; silicone spray lubricant, which is also readily available; or oil such as WD-40 which can be found in any auto parts store.

Before applying any type of lubricant, remove any dirt or dust from around the lock by gently blowing or brushing away all debris. Make sure not to use too much pressure when cleaning around the area as this may damage sensitive components in the lock. Once your area is clean and clear of dirt, then you can apply a thin layer of lubricant with a cotton swab or small brush. Rotate the key inside the door lock several times for even coverage throughout all mechanisms within it.

In some cases where extra help is needed, a door hinge can be opened to provide improved access when attempting to remove a stuck key from a door lock. It’s best however to do this with an assistant who will hold both sides – particularly where heavier doors are concerned – while you apply any necessary force needed to turn and pull out the key with minimal disruption (e.g., using pliers).

Try a Screwdriver

Sometimes a door lock can get stuck due to a buildup of dirt or rust. The easiest way to get it unstuck is to try a screwdriver to loosen the mechanism. All you have to do is insert a thin flat-head screwdriver into the keyhole and gently twist the screwdriver clockwise to loosen the mechanism. This should cause the lock to become unstuck and work properly again.

Insert a flat head screwdriver into the keyhole

If you are dealing with a stuck door lock, one tool that may be of use is a flat head screwdriver. Before you attempt to do anything else, it is important to make sure that the door is unlocked since attempting to force the door open could damage its locking mechanism.

When your key won’t go into the lock and doesn’t open it, inserting a flat head screwdriver into the keyhole may help break loose any material or dust that has collected in the lock. Wiggling and twisting the screwdriver can help create enough force in the keyhole that will loosen any stuck material. If this does not work for you, proceed carefully to try other methods as greater force could damage your inner workings of your door lock.

Try to turn the screwdriver to unlock the lock

If you are trying to unlock a door lock and the key will not turn, one of the most useful approaches is to try using a screwdriver. By inserting a small, flat head screwdriver in the lock and applying gentle pressure, you may be able to manually turn the locking mechanism and get your door open.

It is important to choose the right sized screwdriver for this task. Start with one that is a bit too small rather than one that is too large, since using incorrect tools can cause more damage. Gently apply pressure to the outside of the lock while inserting and turning the screwdriver at an angle in order to avoid potentially damaging it or any nearby structural components of the door or frame.

Once inside, move slowly around in a circular motion until you hear an audible click – this means that you have successfully unlocked your door. Be sure to look out for any binding or obstructions as these can also prevent successful unlocking of locks. If you run into difficulties at any point during this process then it might be better left to a professional locksmith.

Call a Locksmith

If you have a door lock that is stuck and you cannot get it open, it is important to call a professional locksmith. A locksmith has the proper tools and experience to deal with a stuck lock. They can also advise you on the best course of action to get the lock open and keep it functioning properly. Let’s look at why calling a locksmith is the best option when you have a stuck door lock.

Contact a professional locksmith

If you have managed to push the lock too hard, or if the specific mechanics of your lock are not suitable for you to fix yourself, then it’s wise to contact a professional locksmith for help. Reputable locksmiths will be trained to use a variety of tools and techniques in order to get your lock unstuck without causing further damage.

A professional locksmith service uses an array of methods designed to open different types of locks, including padlocks and door locks. Using their experience and skill, they will usually be able to remove the stuck part that has broken inside your lock thereby allowing it to open again. With insight into the different locking mechanisms, they can diagnose any issue correctly in addition to being well equipped with the right tools to fix it.

If you’re looking for a fast and reliable solution, calling a locksmith is certainly your best option. They can provide services such as rekeying or replacing old locks, changing combination codes on combination locks, or cutting duplicate keys for cylinders which require special key blanks A reliable service level ensures customer satisfaction regarding their quality of workmanship and precision assistance in unlocking all kinds of locking systems repair.

Have the locksmith come out and assess the lock

Getting a locksmith to come out and assess the stuck door lock is the best way to ensure that all of your options are fully evaluated and you get the best and safest solution. The locksmith should be able to tell you which tools can be used on the door lock, their cost and approximate time it will take to install. In most cases locksmiths carry standard tools that may not be able to fix your specific model of lock, but they might have specialized tools available in their van which might help. When contacting a locksmith, inform them as much information as you can about the issue with your door lock, as this will enable them to bring all necessary tools with them in order to provide a quick service. Depending on what type of lock is stuck, the locksmith may need some time for preparation so it may take up to an hour for them arrive and assess the problem depending on their availabilities. Once they arrive, they should carefully inspect both external parts of the door like metal handles or interior components like latches or Bolt mechanisms before drawing upon any conclusions about what has caused it or how it needs to be fixed in order for you not only regain access but also make sure that it won’t re-occur anytime soon.

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