What Should You Do When Your Key is Stuck in the Lock?

We all use keys every day of our lives. We use them so often we rarely think about what we are doing. We take our key from our bag or pocket, insert it into the lock, open the door, and that’s it. Process complete.

But what happens if you put your key into the lock and nothing happens? Worse still, what do you do if you cannot get the key back out again?

A troublesome lock

Door locks work very well most of the time. However, they can get clogged with dust, debris, and dirt – all of which could eventually lead to the very problem we’ve mentioned here.

The first step to freeing your key

The first thing you should do is NOT what you probably want to do. Most people will become annoyed and start forcefully wiggling the key around, trying to free it as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, this only puts excess pressure on the key. Since it is already stuck in the lock, this is a good method to use if you want to break off the key and leave the rest of it stuck there. Not ideal.

Instead of doing that, try gently moving it around in the lock. As you do so, pull it slowly towards you. This may be enough to move the lock pins into a loose position, enabling the key to be removed from the lock.

The next tactic: WD-40

If you cannot remove your key using the above method, the pins are likely to need some more attention. WD-40 is a lubricant that comes with a small straw to direct the spray exactly where it is required. Tn this case, you will need to attach the straw and direct the spray into the lock.

This won’t do the lock any harm. Quite the opposite – if anything inside the lock is stuck or jammed with grit or dirt, causing your key to stay in there, the spray should loosen it. Give it a few minutes to work and then try the above wiggling tactic again.


If all else fails…

If neither of these methods works, chances are you are going to require some help to remove your key and ensure the lock is back to full working order. Something may have broken off inside the lock, in which case it might need replacing.

Calling a local locksmith will ensure whatever problem you have is fully resolved. A locksmith can check the condition of your lock, find out what the problem is, and either resolve it for you or replace the lock if necessary.

If a replacement is the only available solution, this is a great opportunity to upgrade your lock to get a better and more secure one. You might also wish to ask for free advice on whether you should upgrade the locks to any other external doors you have in your home.

Whatever happens, you’ll be back to a full working lock in no time.