How can I avoid frozen locks?


Hey guys,

I had to call an emergency locksmith service recently. The entry door of my house was locked up due to cold and, the usual key couldn't open it. I had to wait outside for a while until my wife reminded me to call an emergency locksmith service. Fortunately, we were able to find one nearby and he opened the door within 10 minutes. Since winter is coming, I am just wondering how can I avoid it happening again. How can I make sure that the door won't lock up again? Do I have to replace the lock with something else?

  7 answers
  • Cindy Cindy on Dec 06, 2018

    Hi Michael. I'm Cindy. I have two different solutions for you. First, put a couple drops of hand sanitizer on both sides of your key. Insert it in the lock gently. Should do the trick. It's the alcohol in the hand sanitizer that will allow the key to go thru the frozen lock. (rubbing alcohol does the same thing.) Second, there is a spray on the market that when sprayed on the frozen lock, will thaw it. I'm not sure if it is sold in Canada. Good luck Michael.

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 06, 2018

    If you have access to a lighter or matches you can use them to heat up the key for the lock you are trying to unfreeze. If you don't have matches your vehicles engine generates an extreme amount of heat so simply place the key on or as close to the engine block as you can and hold it there until the key is hot then try to stick it into the lock

    There is a new handy little deicer on the market today that allows you to not have to worry about damaging your key it is called the The Hillman Group Lock De-icer available at some hardware stores. This device has a self heating pin inside of it that you can insert into the locks to thaw them out.

    Stock up on the lock deicer which is sold at just about every hardware and drug store in the world. A little bottle will run you a few bucks but will save you quite the headache and stress of a frozen lock.

    • UpState UpState on Dec 06, 2018

      Heating the key on the engine ?

      While a novel idea if it's a different car ... if it's the car you're trying to get into ... this may not be a reasonable option.

  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Dec 06, 2018

    Hi Michael, sorry you had problems with frozen locks. Here are some hints so you can avoid the problem next time. Good luck Follow these steps to prevent a lock from freezing.

    1. Make friends with a lock lubricant like WD-40. ...
    2. Try graphite on locks if you can't tolerate the smell of WD-40. ...
    3. Store de-icer where it's easily accessible. ...
    4. Keep moisture out of keyholes. ...
    5. Heat the end of a key with a match or lighter, and then insert it in the lock.

    More items...

    How to Prevent a Lock From Freezing | Hunker

  • Sheryl Gilliland Sheryl Gilliland on Dec 06, 2018

    Like Peggy Burnette said WD40. They have even created small carry with cans! If your locks are frozen and no WD around, try cupping your hands and blowing in the lock, warming the key with body heat if no other souce is around, using liquid soap,squirted in the lock, the lighter and key methoud works well, and carrying a lighter can be life saving in many wintery situations. If all else fails, and you have access under the hood of your car, the radiator antifreeze is quietly waiting.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Dec 06, 2018

    Isopropyl/rubbing alcohol melts ice keep some in small spray bottle for emergency use; if you want to spray lube door locks with wd40 you need to use WD-40 DRY LUBE regular wd40 justs increases dust,dirt,debris to stick in locks causing more issues.

  • Galen W. Yoder Galen W. Yoder on Dec 06, 2018

    All the de-icer ideas are a good backup, but why would you want to continue thawing the lock every time the weather changes? You obviously have a water and moisture problem around the door and lock. Getting it permanently dried out and then find a solution to prevent the water penetration is Key-- no pun intended! If you arrive at home with a frozen lock, you have groceries, you have to use the bathroom, or make an urgent phone call----Do you really want to dig out the box of de-icer, matches, etc , to be able to get into your home?

  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Dec 09, 2018

    You could put a sock over it--literally ( depending on the type of luck.