How To Open a Locked Door Using Everyday Items

Getting locked out of your house is an extremely frustrating experience that many of us encounter often enough. The reasons for getting locked out are endless; perhaps you forgot your keys at home, broke them, or your key is stuck in the lock and it won’t turn. During this common occurrence, many of us feel immensely panicked and are uncertain of what to do.


However worried you may be, try your best to stay calm and keep a level head. If it’s not an absolute emergency, you can pick your lock using everyday items—items that you likely have on you. Check your belongings to see if you have anything that can help you pick the lock such as a bobby pin or a credit card. The below methods are effective for most pin tumbler locks, require little to no experience, and can help you get out of a sticky situation. 


Picking a Locked Front Door

(For educational purposes only!)


Bobby Pin

Bobby pins are super handy for picking locks. You can utilize the same method using a paper clip instead if you don’t have a bobby pin on you. First, you’ll need to remove the plastic coating on both ends of the bobby pin, creating two sharp points, and then pull the points slightly apart. Insert the bobby pin into the lock and put pressure on it, pressing the bobby pin forward. Jiggle it until you hear a click and then turn the bobby pin in the unlocking direction just as you would turn a key. Your door should now be unlocked!

Credit Card 

Using a credit card, gift card, or ID to open a locked door is actually much easier than you may think, but only works for spring locks. Make sure to use an old laminated card that you don’t mind destroying. You’re going to slide the card in between the door and door frame, then bend it back to force the lock into the door. If there’s no room between the lock and frame, you can force the card above the lock and angle the card towards the frame while swiping downwards. The door should open easily. 


Picking a Locked Bedroom or Bathroom Door

It’s irritating when you accidentally lock your bathroom or bedroom door from the inside and you can’t get in. Fortunately, unlocking doors within your home is even easier and way less stressful than unlocking your front door, since you can use basic household items for your convenience.

Butter Knife

Who knew that a butter knife had more use than just spreading butter on toast? Butter knives will only work on a lock that doesn’t have a deadbolt, so make sure the door that needs unlocking doesn’t have one. For different locks you’ll need to slightly change your method: 


Spring Loaded System: Your objective is to unlock the door by using your knife to push back the latch. You can do this by placing the knife into the keyhole, moving the doorknob while applying pressure to it, and simultaneously jiggling the knife in the keyhole. Listen for a click, and then slide the knife between the door jamb and striker plate so that you can push the latch in. 


Pin Tumbler Lock: This method is very similar to the spring loaded system. The only difference is that when you stick your butter knife in the keyhole, you’ll need to stick it in as far as possible, then continue by following the same steps above.


Screwdrivers are extremely useful tools that you probably have lying around your house. Not only are screwdrivers useful for building and taking apart furniture, but the right screwdriver can unlock a locked door. Use a flat-head screwdriver to unlock the door by sliding the screwdriver into the hole on the doorknob as far as you can. Then, turn and twist the screwdriver until the lock opens.



When Should You Call a Locksmith?

Have you tried all of these methods and nothing is working? Or are you worried that you might end up causing more damage to your locks than it’s worth? Whatever your reasoning, never hesitate to contact a locksmith near you. Locksmiths are professionals who are trained in unlocking all types of doors from cars to office buildings, creating keys, and working with security systems. Professional locksmiths can unlock your front door within 5-20 minutes, so whether the situation is urgent or not they can help you out quickly and efficiently. 



If you need a Locksmith in San Jose or anywhere in the Silicon Valley area, feel free to contact us at Real Time Locksmith anytime!  We provide 24/7 emergency services and can help you in home lockout situations. We are rated one of the best locksmiths in San Jose and provide excellent customer service. Real time Locksmith offers many different locksmith services from automotive to residential. To find out more about the services we offer click here.

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