Frozen Door Lock: 8 Ways to Thaw Frozen House Door Locks

Fatima Buzdar

January 1, 2023

A metal door handle frozen over with a thick layer of ice is attached to a frosty door. The door and surrounding metal surfaces are covered in frost and ice, signaling the need for a skilled locksmith to navigate these extremely cold weather conditions.

The cold winter is raging once again and bringing tons of issues, including frozen house door locks and frozen car door locks. Any locks that are exposed to a freezing cold weather outside are prone to having ice forming within their cylinders. An excessive amount of ice inside the lock cylinder makes it a hassle to operate the lock, or it can even make the lock completely frozen and make you unable to lock or unlock the door.

Being unable to open the front door of your house and getting stranded out of your cozy house in an absurdly cold weather is definitely the very, very last thing you would want… And having to leave a door lock open for burglars to leverage is not ideal either.

So how can you prevent this ordeal from happening? Well, you need to nip in the bud. If your area is going through a very cold weather, then try to regularly thaw the ice within the lock so that it does not accumulate excessively. If you notice there is a lot of frost accumulated around the lock, then it is best to thaw it as soon as possible too. By taking such precautions, you can prevent it from happening in the first place.

But now that you are an unfortunate victim to your house door locks getting frozen, what can you do? You can rest assured that all hope is not lost, and the lock can be promptly fixed! Fortunately, there are various methods to defrost the lock. You can try some DIY methods or call the services of a locksmith.

Ways to Thaw Frozen Door Locks and Prevent Exterior Door Locks From Freezing

Here are some DIY methods you may try to unfreeze a house door lock. However, keep in mind that you should be very careful to not damage your lock in the process. As a layperson, it can be easy for the troubleshooting to go wrong or take way longer than necessary. When in doubt, call a locksmith to assist with a frozen house door lock! They can promptly arrive to your doorstep and open a frozen lock in a timely manner!

1. Hand Sanitizer

You may be likely to carry a hand sanitizer on your hand or have it in your home due to the pandemic. However, did you know that your handy sanitizer can not just keep viruses at bay, but also ice in your lock? It is effective for defrosting your door lock due to it containing alcohol. Since alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, when it comes in contact with ice, it can lower the temperature of ice and dissolve it.

In order to apply hand sanitizer into the lock, simply dab your key into enough hand sanitizer. Then insert it into the lock, and start twisting and wiggling the key around so that the hand sanitizer spreads within the cylinder.

2. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly thaws the ice by softening it up. You can coat a key into it and then insert it into the lock, and then move the key back and forth and wiggle it around so that the petroleum jelly applies adequately into the mechanisms. It also serves as an excellent deterrence to moisture penetrating the lock, which in turn prevents ice from forming within the keyway.

3. Heated Key

Heating up a key and then inserting it into the lock is definitely an effective method, but also one you should take caution with. Basically, you need to heat your key up through a heat source, e.g. a lighter, candle, etc. And then you can insert the key into the lock so that the heat it emits melts the frost accumulation. Turn the key around in the lock to ensure that the heat reaches the inner workings of the lock.

However, keep in mind to be cautious with this method. Make sure to wear thick gloves so that you do not hurt yourself. Additionally, avoid using this method in conjunction with other flammable solutions like hand sanitizer, petroleum jelly and lubricant.

4. Lubricant

Lubricants are excellent at keeping out and cleaning up the accumulation of disruptive elements, which include ice. Hence, bringing lock lubrication into your regular routine of lock maintenance will help you greatly with ensuring the reliability of your lock.

Aim with a nozzle and spray it straight into the keyhole. Then insert a key and wiggle it within the lock so that the inner components are thoroughly lubricated. As far as the type of lubricant goes, graphite lubricants and other dry lubricants are encouraged.

WD-40 can do the work as well, but oil-based lubricants are prone to causing issues for locks. They can gum up the locks, especially if often used, which is counterintuitive to this purpose.

5. Hair Dryer

Warmth that can penetrate the keyhole will help a lot with dissolving the ice within it. That is what a hairdryer can help with! Blowing the warm air of the hair dryer directly into the keyhole will warm up the lock and melt the ice within a frozen house door lock.

6. White Vinegar Solution

A solution of white vinegar works excellently for dissolving ice within a lock. Make a solution of white vinegar and water with 3:1 solution. Then put it into a spray bottle, and spray some it straight into the keyhole.

7. De-icer Spray

A de-icer spray is extremely effective and the best option to unfreeze a house door lock. Spraying it into the lock instantly dissolves the ice. During the freezing temperatures, it is highly recommended that you keep one in hand so that it can come to use!

8. Magnet Cover

Covering the lock with a strong magnet is an excellent way to keep the lock dry and shielded from ice. The magnet cover helps prevent the lock from freezing in the first place, saving you from the hassle of a frozen lock. Simply stick it over the lock and ensure that it covers the entire keyhole opening.

Call Our Uxbridge Locksmiths to Fix Your Frozen House Door Lock

Being unable to lock or unlock your house door if your lock is frozen is highly distressing and inconvenient. This is why you should make sure to thaw your house door lock regularly through methods like spraying lock with de-icer or white vinegar solution to de-ice, or applying graphite lubricant, petroleum jelly and hand sanitizer. You can also warm up the lock with a hair dryer or operate the lock with a heated key. By regularly taking care of your house door lock, you can avoid potential troubling lockouts.

However, your door lock could have frozen beyond these solutions and may require extensive repair. Additionally, the components could have gotten damaged due to the excessive ice accumulation, which may also require extensive repair or even a lock replacement. A locksmith can handle the necessary repairs and replacements in order to get your locks back to working reliably.

If you are seeking a locksmith to help unfreeze a house door lock, give a call to our Uxbridge locksmiths! We will arrive to your doorstep in a matter of within 30 minutes and with our tools and expertise, we will have your lock fixed up in no time. Additionally, we are available 24/7, so even if you are unfortunate to be locked outside your house at a weekend midnight, you can count on us to fix your frozen house door lock!

Safeguard your property with our expert locksmith solutions. Get in touch with our approachable, knowledgeable team.