When You Are Locked Out Of Your House By A Frozen Lock

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Kelly's Keys, Locks and Safes Blog: Tips, Ideas and Strategies

Welcome. My name is Kelly. I know a lot about keys, locks and safes, and I want to share that information with you. My father was a locksmith, and as a single dad, he ended up taking me to work with him a lot. Later, I learned more about safes in particular when I studied criminal justice briefly. Ultimately, I decided to take my professional life in a different direction, but I love these topics, reading about them and writing about them. If the info in these blogs helps you -- and I certainly hope it does -- please share these posts with your friends. Enjoy!

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When You Are Locked Out Of Your House By A Frozen Lock

30 June 2016
 Categories: , Blog


During periods of extremely low temperatures, not even the padlocks or locks can escape the effects of the cold. Locks tend to develop ice during the cold season which makes it hard for a key to enter or turn. Trying to open a frozen lock can be a tough and frustrating experience, but it can also be easy if you know the tricks. The following are a few tricks you can try to unfreeze and open a frozen lock.   

1. Warm The Lock With A Lighter

The opposite of cold is hot so anything that dissipates heat will do the job. If you are locked from your house, however, there are very few items you can use to melt the ice inside the lock. One item that may come in handy is a lighter. Use it to heat the metal part of the lock and try your key again.

2. Warm Your Key Using The Heat From Your Car

If you are locked out of your house, heating or warming a key can seem like an uphill task due to the lack of heat sources. The engine of your car may be a real life saver at such a moment. If you have just shut down the engine, it is probably still hot. So hold the key to the engine block and use the key to unfreeze the lock.  Another way out is to use the heat from the radiator system; start the car, place the key around the radiator area to warm up and insert it in your lock.

3. Thaw The Ice Using Hand Sanitizer

You probably didn't know that the value of your hand sanitizer goes beyond cleaning your hands. Cover your key with the sanitizer and insert it in your lock. The alcohol in the sanitizer can melt the ice and render the lock functional once more.

Sometimes, the key may enter into the lock but the effects of cold may render the lock slow in operation. The remedy for such a lock is graphite. Pour a little amount of graphite into the keyhole either by dusting the graphite or by squeezing it into the hole from a tube. Graphite will take care of the deposits that are trapped together with the ice inside the lock. If the lock is proving too resistant, though, the cold may have tampered with the lock's mechanism. The best solution for that kind of lock is an emergency locksmith