Revolar is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Unlock a Push and Twist Door Lock: Fastest Ways to Get Out?

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to unlock a push and twist door lock

Undoubtedly, it is not easy for anyone to be stuck inside a locked bathroom or bedroom for a couple of hours.

The good thing is rather than security locks, on bathroom doors in the US, there are privacy door knobs acting as a standard household tool. That is why you need to learn how to unlock a push and twist door lock in case of any emergency.

Most people think of reaching out to a locksmith in such kinds of situations. But you can definitely twist door lock knob and get out with the necessary tools and some effort, especially when somebody is outside to assist you in unlocking it.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial


Before getting into the detailed instructions, prepare the following essential equipment that is basic but highly efficient in helping you open a push and twist type of door lock. They might be small but promise to work wonders for this task.

Each line below lists the tools for a different method.

  • A credit card
  • A screwdriver or substitute key
  • A paper clip with tension wrench
  • A coat hanger made of metal
  •  An Allen wrench & a paper clip
  • A butter knife
  • A cord
  •  A flat-head screwdriver & a hammer
  • A screwdriver
  • A hammer

Step By Step Instructions


Step 1: A credit card

A credit card can be helpful in unlocking latch bolt knobs, spring locks, lever-type door knobs, but it is not the best unlocker for deadbolt locks.

Be careful with your choice of card because you may cause damages to credit cards, identification cards, or debit cards. The finest options should either be flat, flexible cards, or stiff and laminated ones.

Slip your card between your door frame and its lock. Bend the card back, then push the deadbolts from inside.

Step 2: A screwdriver or substitute key

One of the most practical ways to get out in such a situation is to find the spare key for your locked door. However, it is alright to look for an alternative if you have no substitute key.

A screwdriver will work well to unlock a privacy door handle. Do not forget to turn this handle as you open the door. After determining the small hole on the handle’s side, insert a flat head screwdriver as far as possible into the lock.

Keep in mind that thick ends do not fit into this key lock. In order to capture the grooves quickly, turn and wiggle the screwdriver a little. When a click sound comes up, it means the job is done successfully.

Step 3: A paper clip with tension wrench

In case of an emergency to unlock a door, many people immediately think of using a hard paper clip.

You would be better off with 2 paper clips to simplify the procedure: bend one, then fold out the second for a complete straightening. Put the bent clip into the lock’s keyhole, at the same time, stick your straight one below. Move the latter piece around this area until the door opens.

On the other hand, you can consider adding a tension wrench for extra help. It is similar to a minor hex key, which you can easily get at most hardware stores. This item performs brilliantly to create tension in the door lock.

Identify the lock’s bottom to insert this wrench. Rotate it to make tension. After the paperclip is wiggled for a while in the lock at its top, you will unlock the door with a click sound.

Step 4: A coat hanger made of metal

A coat hanger made from metal is another wise choice to unlock a door because you can drag the latch bolt in your push-and-twist door lock with this item.

Bend this hanger according to the shape of a hook and a handle at the other end. Identify the edge between the wall and your door to put the clip in. Fold the item around the latch bolt. Use your other hand to twist the door knob while pulling this hanger to you.

Step 5: Pick your lock

There is a high chance that you will not be able to complete this complicated procedure without detailed instructions. Take an Allen wrench, put the shorter end into the lower edge of your lock’s keyhole. Constantly add pressure, then slightly twist this lock.

You want to know the 2 different fundamentals to get the job done with this tool.

  • Pin by pin

Exert pressure on your Allen wrench while slowly pushing a paper clip. Catch, then bend this clip, as well as lift the item upward until there is a sound of a click.

  • Scrubbing

Push your Allen wrench in a gentle manner at your keyhole. Lift the tool upward to create circular motions.

Step 6: A butter knife

Although it is hard to believe at first, you can certainly use a butter knife when having to deal with a push-button kind of door lock.

You only need to put this knife inside the keyhole, then turn it to unlock this door. Avoid using sharp knives so you do not cut yourself by accident.

Step 7: Kick the door

Suppose there are no tools around, you can rely on your own strength to unlock a push and twist door lock. This is how you combine the SWAT-style kicking and the third law of motion by Newton.

If the door opens outward and its locking mechanism is weak, rest assured that this method will work. It is not as difficult as it sounds; use your dominant leg to kick the door open at its knob’s weakest point. Repeat with a flat foot if your first attempt fails.

Step 8: A cord

A thick rope or a cord that has a slipknot is incredibly useful in opening a locked door without causing damages to it. It is best if there is a window at your door top for this action.

Make sure your cord is long enough to pick a door lock that is on the outside. Hold this lock either with a line or rope and tug from both directions to open the door.

Step 9: Hinges removal

This is a fairly aggressive but effective way for a push and twist door unlocking.

Place a flathead screwdriver between the bottom of your door knuckle and its pin. Push your screwdriver down using a hammer until you see both the pin and the head leave their position.

After removing all of your door hinges, it is now opened.

Step 10: Remove the handle

In case other methods fail to unlock this kind of door, you can consider removing its handle.

Use a screwdriver as the lever to loosen the door handle’s exterior screws. Place it inside the keyhole, twist in a gentle manner until there is a click sound.

Step 11: A hammer

Trying to unlock your door using a hammer is kind of a desperate last resort since it will certainly damage the door. Hit this locked door with your hammer, break its lock and remove it from the push and twist door.

Check out this video for more information on how to unlock push-button lock: How to unlock a door with a twist knob lock.

Types of Privacy Locks

Twist lock/Turn-button privacy lock

You do not see this type of lock often in bathrooms. Turning the twist lock door knob will help you lock a door from the inside. This twist button lock also allows you to unlock a door without the presence of a keyhole.

Privacy push button lock

This model is a great option for you to enjoy better privacy as you only need to push one button from its knob on the inside and activate the lock. Remember that you will have to do some knob turning from inside to open a push door lock.

Privacy bolt with a lever knob

It is a brand new privacy lock type. Its most amazing advantage is how it does not require an outside key for unlocking. Plus, you can treat it like a deadbolt lock.


As you can see, there are multiple creative ways on how to unlock a push and twist door lock without the need for deep knowledge or professional skills. Follow our tips and guidance above, you will be all set to handle such situations.

What is your opinion on the information provided in this article? Do not hesitate to let us know your thoughts in the comment section. If you find the article helpful, share it with friends and family on social media as well!

Thank you for reading.

5/5 - (2 votes)