Skip to content

How to Unfreeze a Door Lock on Your House

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

Learn how to unfreeze a door lock on your house with these easy steps. You’ll be able to get back into your house in no time!

Assess the Situation

If you find yourself in a situation where your door lock is frozen, the first step is to assess the situation. Depending on the temperature outside, determine whether the mechanism of the lock is frozen due to ice buildup, or if some other factor is at play. If it’s due to weather conditions, consider the time of day and the temperature outside. If it’s particularly cold and windy, the chances are higher that the lock is frozen.

Determine what type of lock you have

Determining what type of lock is used on your door is an important part of the process in unfreezing a frozen door lock. It’s critical to have an understanding of what type of lock you’re dealing with as different locks require different methods to fix them.

The most common type of door locks are cylinder locks. These locks are usually affordable, reliable, and easily installed into metal or wooden doors. They come with a body (the main part on the outside) and a tailpiece (on the inside) that requires keys for opening and closing the door. Cylinder locks generally take a single key that fits both parts of the lock.

If you have a deadbolt, then it needs two keys: one for inserting in the exterior portion, and another turned inside to operate the latch and slide deadbolt bolt into place. Deadbolts often come in three types: single cylinder, double cylinder, and propped-open panic exit devices – each requiring a key or knob to unlock or open the inner or outer sides.

It is also important to note that some older homes may not use traditional locking mechanisms but instead employ latch systems, which utilize gravity and pressure rather than two levers connected by springs. Latch systems generally involve pushing down levers on either side in order for doors to close properly without needing extra locking mechanisms such as deadbolts or cylindrical locking mechanisms . Understanding what kind of system you have will help you determine how best to unfreeze your frozen door lock before any permanent damage occurs.

Determine if you have the right tools

If you are dealing with a stuck door lock, it’s important to first assess the situation and determine what type of lock you have and which tools you will need to unfreeze it. Knowing these details ahead of time can help you solve the problem quickly and effectively.

There are a few different types of locks that are commonly used in residential homes. If your deadbolt is the cylindrical type (commonly known as “key-in-knob” or “KIK), then you will want to purchase a graphite lubricant spray. This product is widely available as an aerosol at hardware stores, home improvement centers and online retailers. In addition to the lubricant spray, you may also need a small Phillips screwdriver.

If your deadbolt is a mortise type (a type of locking mechanism that uses two flat steel plates on either side of the door, rather than the cylinder), then you will want to use a light tool oil or graphite powder instead of the graphite lubricant spray in order to keep from over-lubricating and potentially jamming up the mechanism. Additionally, for this style lock, a flat blade screwdriver might be necessary for disassembly and access into tight areas within the mechanism itself.

Each situation is unique when dealing with frozen locks, so it is best to come prepared with any necessary tools before beginning your troubleshooting process. Once you have taken stock of your supplies, move on to step two: applying lubrication in order to unfreeze your door lock!

Prepare to Unfreeze the Lock

Freezing door locks can sometimes be a problem during cold weather. In order to unfreeze the lock, it is important to take the right steps and to use the right tools. Before you start, make sure to prepare the necessary tools and materials and to understand what you need to do in order to unfreeze a door lock on your house.

Gather the necessary tools

You’ll need some basic materials and tools in order to unfreeze a door lock on your house. Before you begin, make sure you have the following items:
-Lubricant specifically for outdoor locks and knobs, typically sold in hardware stores
-Plastic bag
-Small container
-Gloves (optional)

Once you have gathered all of the necessary items, you can begin your project. Begin by addressing any external obstructions that may be preventing the key from entering the lock. After that, spray or apply lubricant into your lock in both directions while turning the key back and forth as much as possible to make sure it is getting lubricated properly. If this does not work, then it’s time to take further measures.

Place a plastic bag filled with ice cubes over the lock and then use a small container to apply hot water over top of it for 5 minutes. This will help thaw any remaining ice inside of the lock mechanisms making it easier for you to open it. Lastly, if none of these methods work, call a professional locksmith who can safely repair or replace your frozen door lock without causing damage to your property.

Put on protective gear

Before you attempt to unfreeze a door lock to your house, it is important to protect yourself and your property. Make sure you are wearing protective gloves, eyewear and clothing in order to protect yourself from potential burns or cuts due to the use of harsh chemicals. Also, make sure that you put down something on the ground where you are going to be working in order to protect flooring or any nearby furniture from potential spills of the frozen lock thawing agent.

Unfreeze the Lock

If your door lock is frozen and you can’t seem to open the door, fear not! Unfreezing the door lock is a relatively simple process that can save you a lot of time and money. In this article, we will look at several different methods that can be used to unfreeze a door lock on your house. We will discuss the risks and rewards of each method, and provide a detailed guide on how to successfully unfreeze a door lock.

Use a lubricant

If your house’s door locks are frozen due to cold weather, you can use a lubricant to help open it. To do this, try spraying a lubricant like silicone spray into the keyhole of the lock. This will help break through any ice that has formed and make it easier to turn your key. Additionally, if you have a cylinder lock, use an aerosol lubricant such as WD-40 to break the ice buildup and unstick internal components of the lock that may have been frozen together. If your lock is still stuck after spraying it down with lubricant, you may need to leave some exposed parts of the lock in warm air for a while or apply warm air directly using something like a hairdryer.

Try a hair dryer

Using a hair dryer is the first action to consider when trying to unfreeze an exterior door lock on your house. Before you attempt doing this, it is important to make sure that your lock has not been internally frozen in the cylinder. To check this, insert the key and then try to turn it counterclockwise as you normally would do when unlocking the door. If the key will not turn completely or is stuck, then your lock may be internally frozen and it’s best to call a professional locksmith for assistance.

If the key does turn freely but you are unable experience any success with unlocking your door, it is likely that moisture has caused surface freezing of the parts inside the lock. To deal with this situation quickly, use a blow dryer set to low heat and blow warm air gently into and around both sides of the locking mechanism until everything has thawed out. Once thawing occurs, you should be able to unlock your door using normal manipulation with a key or thumb-turn knob as usual.

Try a heat gun

Using a heat gun is one of the best methods for unfreezing a door lock on your house. This tool releases hot air at an adjustable temperature and can be used on frozen door locks, checking to see if the air is enough to break up any ice that may be present in the mechanism. The key benefit of using a heat gun is that it will not damage your lock in any way. To use, begin by setting the heat gun to its lowest temperature setting and hold it about six inches away from your lock. After several minutes are passed, gradually increase the temperature, being careful not to raise it too high since you risk damaging your lock if you become too aggressive with heat. Once some more minutes pass, try your key again; if it still won’t turn then give the heat gun more time or use one of the other methods listed below.

Prevent Future Lock Freezing

Unfreezing a door lock on your house is a hassle, but it’s possible with the right tools and know-how. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to prevent future lock freezing, you’ll just find yourself in the same situation again and again. To avoid this problem in the future, here are some tips on how to prevent lock freezing.

Lubricate the lock regularly

To prevent your door lock from freezing in the future, it is important to lubricate the lock regularly. Once a month, spray a lubricant such as WD-40 or graphite powder into the keyhole and wipe away any excess with a soft cloth. If your lock has visible screws, it is also important to periodically tighten them and check for corrosion. Additionally, to reduce the amount of moisture that enters your lock, consider investing in a weatherproof cover that slides over the exterior of your lock. This can help keep out excess moisture, snow and ice and may help slow down further damage if it has already occurred.

Install a weatherproof lock cover

Door locks are integral features of any home and should be cared for properly if you want them to operate correctly for years to come. One way to protect your door lock from freezing over in cold weather is to install a lock cover made from waterproof material. These covers provide complete protection from the elements, so that moisture can’t seep into the lock and freeze it shut. There are several different types of weatherproof covers available, including plastic, metal, and powder-coated steel options. Most covers come with instructions that explain how they should be installed onto the face of your existing door locks. It is important to take extra precautions to ensure the weatherproofing works correctly so that your locks remain secure in even the harshest of winter climates.


If you’re having trouble unlocking your door and it seems frozen, don’t panic! There are a few things you can try in order to get the lock working again. In this section, we’ll go over some troubleshooting tips and tricks that may help you unfreeze your door lock. Let’s get started.

Check for other causes of lock freezing

Before attempting to unfreeze your door lock, it’s important to check for other potential causes of its freezing. For example, the freeze might be caused by problems with condensation buildup or an accumulation of dirt.

If condensation is the cause of the frozen lock, you can try wiping down both sides of the keyway with a dry cloth to absorb any moisture and keep your key from sticking. Alternatively, if dirt is blocking the keyway and keeping the tumblers from turning properly, use a can of compressed air to blast it away.

If neither of these solutions solve the problem, then you may have no choice but to attempt to physically unfreeze your door lock using one of the methods outlined below. Please make sure to follow all safety precautions when dealing with locks as they may be jammed shut and there may be risk of injury or damage to property.

Contact a locksmith if necessary

If you are unable to unfreeze the door lock on your house, it may be time to contact a locksmith. Experienced locksmiths will be able to provide a variety of solutions depending on the particular mechanism of your lock. Some of these solutions include lubrication, disassembly and replacement of damaged components.

Be sure to research local locksmiths and read customer reviews before contacting one. Always ask for pricing up front, as some locksmiths may charge an extra fee for emergency services or unlock attempts that take a long time. When consulting a locksmith, provide them with detailed information about the type and age of your lock so that they can determine the best course of action for you.

How to Unfreeze a Door Lock on Your HouseCheckout this video:

Share this Article