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How to Open a Frozen House Door? – 8 Easy Ways

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to open a frozen house door

Winter is a refreshing season since it brings a cooler temperature, lots of seasoned fruits & flowers, and several fun outdoor activities to enjoy. However, this season also brings troubles such as burst pipes, poor driving conditions, and frozen house door lock, to name a few.

The reason why a door lock sticks in cold weather is because when the humidity level becomes high, the moisture gets trapped inside the lockset producing ice that freezes the door.

Read here to know how to open a frozen house door, and you’ll save yourself from the service costs of seeking help from a locksmith.

Use Home Remedies


1. Apply an alcohol-based hand sanitizer


The alcohol in the sanitizer will break down the ice and would also be helpful in killing all those germs that thrive on your door key.


  • First, put a little amount of the sanitizer on your key.
  • Second, insert the key into the frozen door knob.
  • Third, wait a few seconds before pulling it in and out. Then turn the key, but make sure you’re not exerting too much force as this may break the key inside the knob.

2. Smear petroleum jelly


Lubricants like petroleum jelly have the capacity to reduce friction on two touching surfaces. So applying petroleum jelly to your key will help unfreeze a house door lock.


  • First, spread enough petroleum jelly to the key for it to be fully covered.
  • Second, carefully insert the key into the doorknob.
  • Next, wait for a few minutes, giving enough time for the petroleum jelly to unfreeze the ice inside.
  • Lastly, turn the key slowly on the door knob with enough pressure to open it.

3. Make use of a WD-40.


WD-40 is a commonly-used organic solvent and degreaser. It contains alcohol-based ingredients that prevent moisture buildup from anything you apply it to.

Its defrosting mechanism will make any lock defrosted for several days. It’s readily available in the market and costs an average of $ 10.

Furthermore, by using WD40 frozen house door locks will be prevented. It is advisable to spray a small amount of WD-40 directly on the lock once or twice every week.

Steps to unlock the frozen door:

  • List ite
  • First, use only a small amount since too much of it may wear down the lock and eventually lose its lubrication.
  • Then, clean the lock and remove any traces of WD-40 before the warm season to avoid dirt and debris buildup that may prevent the lock from fastening.

4. Try white vinegar


This is probably the easiest ingredient to find since it’s common in every household. The vinegar’s acidity will serve as unfreeze lock spray that will melt the ice and refrain it from accumulating more.

Mixing it with water will lessen the vinegar’s concentration and thereby minimize its strength to avoid wearing off the lock.

Besides white vinegar, you should have a spray bottle to make application easier.


  • First, mix 1 part of vinegar with 3 parts of tap water.
  • Second, put the solution on a spray bottle and shake well.
  • Third, spray directly on the lock and wait a few minutes before inserting the key.

Use Heating Methods


1. Utilize a blow dryer.

This heat-producing item can unfreeze a lock outside your home. The heat will thaw the ice formed inside the lock mechanism letting the key glide smoothly.

However, this method usually takes a lot of time, and you most likely need an electric outlet for it to work.

Materials needed:

  • A blow dryer
  • A toilet paper tube (optional)


  • First, find a secured electrical outlet to plug the blow dryer. Be extra careful in using electrical devices in a wet environment.
  • Second, position the blow dryer six inches away from the frozen lock. Swept side by side the blow dryer to allow its warm air to permeate the insides of the frozen lock.
  • Third, you may opt to use a toilet paper tube if your blow dryer doesn’t have a nozzle.
  • Fourth, put the toilet paper tube between the blow dryer and the frozen lock. With this, the concentrated warm air will flow directly into the frozen lock making the ice inside melt quicker.
  • Fifth, put the key inside the lock and gently turn it to open.

2. Use a match or candle.


Another way to unlock a house door lock frozen from severe cold is by using a match or a candle. These are great options if you don’t have a blow dryer with you.


  • First, use a match, lighter, or candle to apply heat to your key. Make sure that you did not put any chemicals on the key beforehand to avoid the flame.

Do not overheat the key as this may damage the key, and it would be hard for you to insert it inside the lock.

  • Then, after applying enough heat to the key, insert it immediately into the lock.
  • Wait a few seconds to let the heat melt the ice before turning it open.

3. Submerge the key in a hot liquid.

This is an excellent alternative if you don’t have the above-mentioned materials with you. A heated key from a submerged liquid may thaw a house door lock stuck in ice from the insides.

Materials needed:

  • Warm water
  • Towel


  • First, prepare hot water (not boiling) and pour it into a container.
  • Second, submerge the key in hot water for a few seconds.
  • Third, get the key from the hot water, then pat it dry using a towel.
  • Fourth, carefully insert the key into the lock and let the key melt the ice inside the lock mechanism before turning it open.

4. Take advantage of your breath.

This is the easiest way to unfreeze a house door lock and, not to mention, the cheapest way, too, since you don’t need any materials to do it.


  • First, put the key on your palm and cover it with both hands.
  • Second, blow warm air to the key so it will be heated.
  • Third, do the same to the lock by blowing warm breath into the frozen keyhole.
  • Fourth, repeat the same process until you are able to turn the key inside the lock.


There are different methods on how to open a frozen house door. You have the option of choosing between using home remedies and using heating methods. Whatever resolution you choose, always remember to perform the methods carefully and patiently as some of them require time to unlock your house door lock.

And if ever you get tired of encountering such a dilemma, you may try switching to a keyless lock. It eliminates using a key-lock mechanism and uses a touchpad combination for your own choosing. This option makes it impossible for you to have a keyless door lock frozen.

If you find this article helpful, feel free to share it with others. Thank you for reading!

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