12.How to Open a Jammed Door Lock? Easy Methods [Tested]

Everything surrounding us get rusty or malfunctioned over time and so do your door locks. What if it gets jammed? Do you know how to open a jammed door lock?

Actually, the jam removal process is pretty easy. You must follow a few steps carefully and your lock is jam-free. 

how to open a jammed door lock

You can use dry graphite spray, lubricant, kerosene, screwdriver, metal file, and more. All of these may work differently, but the outputs are the same.

In the following section, we’ll discuss all the necessary steps and elements to open a jammed door lock.

Why do Door Locks Get Jammed?

There’s no specific reason for the door lock gets jammed. But over the past few years of experience, we came to know that broken keys, gunk-filled mechanisms, rust, misalignment, etc. can cause 

How to Open a Jammed Door Lock? : An Easy Procedure 

You can ask “how do you free a jammed lock” or “what do you do when a door lock doesn’t open”. Two different questions but their answer remain the same.

 How to open a jammed door lock step-by-step

Preliminary Step

Before we go deeper, you must know the safety measurements like safety goggles, hand gloves, dust masks, and a few more. Don’t try to skip any of the safety measurements. Again stay cautious about any heat-generating source as you’re going to work with some flammable items.  

Elements You May Need

Here we’ll know a few items that, all of them can come in handy again only one item can solve your problem. But in this article, we’re going to learn most of them. They are:

  • Graphite powder
  • Grease or any working lubricant
  • Kerosene
  • Screwdriver
  • Key extractor
  • Metal cutting rolling tool.

Opening the Jammed Door: The Common Ways

You can use various types of elements and methods to remove the jam in your door lock. Such as: 

Opening the Jammed Door-The Common Ways

Graphite Powder

Cover your key or the keyhole with graphite powder. It’ll act as a dry lubricant and can set free the jam. Now, insert the key if the first attempt doesn’t work. 


This time you must soak the lock with kerosene for 24 hours (sometimes fewer hours of work too). This method is generally used for locks that haven’t been used for a long time and are jammed with rust. Locks from an ambiance with high humidity can also cause a rusty jam.

Key Extractor

A key extractor is a locksmithing tool you can find online. Use a decent amount of grease into the keyhole and insert the barbed head tool. Now hold the stuck key and gently try to twist slowly until it comes off. Next, extract the piece carefully.

Product Recommendation:

You may try out the Performance Tool W80274 SAE T-Handle Hex Key as a key extractor to open your jammed door. It is highly strong. 

If you’re tired of the door opening and closing sounds, under-door noise blocking tricks may help you.

Using Other Methods

Other methods to open jammed door lock
  1. If your lock still remains too much jammed then try to widen the slot on the strike plate. Deduct some metal from the rim and then try some passes to check if the latches work. Now surround a bolt with metal files to leave no extra space. This process may also benefit you in case the lock is in misalignment.
  2. First, remove the faceplate or cover from the lock with a screwdriver. This will open the cylinder and afterward tighten the cylinder screws. This method also enables your lock system to operate properly with re-alignment.

Read More: How To Install Double Drawer Pulls? 5 Steps To Follow

Again, there’s no guarantee of the techniques that can solve your problem for sure. This means that if things get messy, go for a locksmith immediately, or your door lock gets worsen. 

In case your door knob has some other issues and want to remove door knob no screws no slot or to learn how to unlock bedroom door with hole, we can guide you

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Unlock a Frozen Lock?

Just apply heat to your key with a lighter or torch, grab a thick glove set, and then jiggle the key into the key cylinder. Apply this trick 2-3 times and this will unlock your frozen lock.

How to Open a Door When the Mechanism Is Broken?

Most of the cases are broken knobs. In that case, look for a small screw to unscrew the inside set or a slit to insert a straight pin to release the knob. You can use a flat-head screwdriver instead of a straight pin and afterward pull the knob off the spindle.

Final Words

As we said earlier, every machinery part can malfunction over time, and so can your door lock. And if you are a DIY solution lover, then you’ll definitely want to know how to open a jammed door lock. 

In this article, we tried to explain all the very methods and elements including graphite, kerosene, key extracting tool, etc. that can help you out of this trouble. But we have a humble request to follow the instructions properly with safety. Contact a locksmith instantly if you find them difficult or the process gets messy. Best wishes.