Home Improvement

How to Get Out a Key Stuck in the Lock

Well, this doesn’t happen that often and in fact, you may never experience your key getting stuck in your door lock. But if it does happen, isn’t it good to know what options you’ve got?

So, instead of getting into a state one day outside your front door when you’re in a rush to get to work with your mind racing over…  “oh, my key’s stuck and it won’t come out”, read our helpful article and see what you can do!

3 ways to remove a stuck key out of a lock

You see, there could be different reasons for your key to get stuck in the lock. From loose components in the locking mechanism to sharp edges of your key, catching on the pin tumblers – these types of faults will result in your key getting captured in the lock.

So, let’s find out below what you can try, in order to remove your stuck key without snapping it in half and this way, causing more damage than good.

1. Use a spray lubricant

As we’ve mentioned above, the teeth of the key (especially if it’s new), might lodge against the lock pins. To get the key out, you can gently jiggle it up and down, while slowly pulling it outwards. If this doesn’t do the trick, go and fetch a spray lubricant from your garage or car if you have one (WD-40 spray would do), or ask your neighbour to lend you some sort of a degreasing product.

Then, spray the lubricant into the keyhole (above the stuck key) and repeat the up-and-down-wiggling and outward-pulling motions. Do not apply too much force so that you avoid breaking the key in half.

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2. Try the ice method

This technique may work in hot weather only. Get some ice from your local store (if close enough) or ask your neighbours for a few ice cubes placed in a bag. Hold the ice next to the key for about 30 seconds and then, carefully jiggle and pull the latter outwards.

This method can save the day, due to the common properties of metal – it contracts in cold temperatures, which might “prompt” a stuck key to disengage if the burrs got lodged against the lock pins.

3. Push the locking mechanism

As we implied earlier, your key may get stuck inside the lock if, say, the lock cylinder plug has become loose inside the cylinder. Sometimes, the screws that hold the plug in place loosen over time. So, if they are not tight enough, when you try to pull out your key as you’d do normally, the plug, encased by the cylinder, also moves in the same direction as the key. The result – you can’t get the key out.

The simple trick here is to hold the key with one hand and pull it while with the other hand, you firmly hold and push the plug in the opposite direction. Again, be careful not to break the key by making sure that it is straight and in a vertical position when you’re pulling it out.

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Closing tips

While it’s a frustrating situation to find yourself in, you should try to remain calm as you try to remove the key. If you break the key by being too rash with your movements, you could find yourself in a worse situation than you did originally. While there are a number of ways to get a broken key out of a lock, it’s still a situation you don’t want to be stuck in. 

The best idea is to be patient and if you feel as if your key is on the verge of snapping, getting a professional locksmith will probably be your best option. Nobody wants to get a new key cut or replace a broken lock, so get a locksmith if you’re making no headway by yourself! 

Better be safe than sorry – call a locksmith to fix the problem!

And last but not least, there’s always the option to leave the job of getting your stuck key out of the lock to a professional locksmith. This way, you won’t risk snapping the key inside the lock, creating even more problems for yourself that can cost you money and undue stress. The price of hiring a locksmith is definitely worth it if you’d like to have peace of mind.

So, if you live anywhere in Greater London, you can always rely on our emergency locksmith 24/7 assistance, and have the issue resolved professionally and without any damage caused to your lock. Fantastic Services works with fully-qualified and equipped local locksmiths and door repair specialists, who simply know what they are doing and stand by the quality of their work.

Having troubles getting your key out of the lock?

Our emergency locksmith service can help you right away.

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  • Never apply too much force when trying to get your stuck key out of the lock!
  • Did you know that you may be able to disengage a stuck key inside a UPVC door lock (patio doors with a broken cog inside the lock, for instance) by just lifting gently the door while turning carefully the key back and forth?
  • If you’re unsure about what you’re doing, just call a professional locksmith to help you out!
  • Things have gone from bad to worse and you’ve just snapped your key inside the lock? Then, check out our tips on how to get a broken key out of a lock or call a locksmith!


Did you find the post helpful? Then, why not share it with your friends? And if you’ve got your own tips on how to get out a key stuck in a lock, then do let us know in the comments below!

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