Homemade Survival Equipment

7 Ways To Thaw Frozen Locks | Winter Survival Skills




Extremely cold weather can make locks freeze, which can force you to spend so much time outside your houses or cars trying to thaw frozen locks.

RELATED: Deicer Products At Home To Survive The Freezing Weather

Open Those Frozen Locks With These 7 Easy-to-Find Items

1. Hand Sanitizer


The alcohol content on your hand sanitizer lowers the freezing point of water. It can dissolve the ice inside your frozen locks in an instant.

Squeeze some hand sanitizer on your key before inserting it into the lock. Make sure not to apply too much force as the key might break. Wait for a few seconds and allow the ice to melt before turning the key.

2. Coat Your Key With Petroleum Jelly


Petroleum jelly and other similar lubricants can also thaw frozen locks.

Just stick your key into the petroleum jelly before putting it inside the lock. Leave it for a few minutes, then turn the key slowly, making sure not to break any of the lock mechanisms inside.

3. Match or Lighter

matches-lighter-frozen-locks-SSYou can also simply apply heat to unfreeze your locks. Use a match or a lighter to warm your key before sticking it into the frozen lock.

Remember to be careful when using this method. Wear gloves and don’t flame up your key if you applied sanitizer or petroleum jelly onto it.

4. Hot Liquid

hot-water-glass-frozen-locks-SSYour mug of hot tea or coffee can help melt the ice in a frozen lock. Submerge your key into a cup of hot liquid so the metal would become warm.

Dry your key before inserting it into the lock or the liquid might freeze again in a few minutes.

5. Your Breath


Another thing that you always have with you that can unfreeze your locks is the warm air coming out of your mouth – your breath.

Simply cover the lock with your hands and blow your warm breath onto the frozen lock for a few seconds. If your key won’t still work, just continue blowing and the ice should melt in no time.

6. Hair Dryer


Using a hairdryer can allow the warm air to reach inside the lock mechanism.

Apply it directly into the frozen lock for a few minutes. Afterward, heat up your key before putting it inside. You may also use a toilet paper tube and put it between the frozen lock and hairdryer to funnel the heat to the lock for faster-melting action.

7. WD-40


Putting WD-40 on your locks can keep the ice from building up inside.

Squirt a small amount of this item and apply it in your locks on a weekly basis to prevent them from freezing.

OR, if you’re putting together your own Winter car safety kit, consider adding Liquid Wrench LLD03/6 Lock Lubricant and De-Icer to it for easy de-icing.

Is simply thawing your frozen locks not enough? Watch this video from The Modern Rogue in case you need to break your frozen locks:

Now you don’t need to freeze outside while waiting for a locksmith to save your day. Be prepared for winter and try any of these items to thaw your frozen key locks. Again, make sure not to force anything during the process. You don’t want to break the key or the lock and be left stuck freezing outside.

Do you have other ideas on how to defrost locks? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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  1. Frederick Allen

    January 28, 2021 at 11:35 AM

    Graphite is a dry lubricant recommended for lock use. Has been recommended by locksmiths for years.
    No heat needed, no liquids needed. Vaseline will harden in time and gum the lock cylinder operation.
    Graphite can be used in car door locks, ignition locks, pad locks, combination locks, outdoor locks, any lock that uses lock cylinder and tumblers.

  2. Ellen

    February 4, 2022 at 11:41 AM

    My 2019 Equinox has keyless electronic locks. Today (Friday, February 4, 2022 ) is not the first time in very cold weather that the car would not open with the keyfob. I have had problems with the doors freezing even if the doors did unlock. My remote start does not work in this cold weather either.

    Is it just GM? Are there a lot of problems with these keyless cars? I couldn’t make a doctor appt today because of this. I called my GM service place and they had no fix. Very discouraging!!

    Got anyother fixes? it is not the battery it is the freezing cold weather!

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