How to Unlock a Bathroom Door Without a Lock Key
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Unfortunately, locks tend to jam when we least expect it. You can go along about your morning or day and quickly find yourself locked out of your bathroom. No worries, we'll teach you how to unlock a bathroom door from the outside.
This can be an extremely stressful moment, especially if you’re following a schedule and have places to be. However, sometimes it can be a simple solution by just using a card to slide between the doors.
The credit card method is typically one that works for a lot of locks. However, this technique may not always work, depending on the lock you have.
How to Unlock a Bathroom Door That’s Locked From the Inside
Thankfully, this isn’t the only way to unlock a bathroom door. There are quite a few ways to get back inside your bathroom if you find yourself locked out from these interior door types.
Paper clips are the perfect mechanism for unlocking a bathroom door. They’re very flexible, allowing you to bend them to your desired shape. This is how to unlock a door with a hole most easily.
You can even use two clips to make the process easier. For example, to unlock the door, you want to bend one paper clip into the lock hole.
Then, take the second paper clip and straighten it out. Finally, put the bent clip into the lock hole, placing the straight clip beneath it. Wiggle the straight paperclip around in the lock until the knob unlocks.
A credit card will only work for sure locks, including latch bolts, doorknobs, and spring locks. However, it will not work with a deadbolt.
Using a credit or debit card isn’t a good idea. Instead, the best kind of card to use is a laminated one that is flexible yet stiff enough.
Please take the card and gently slide it between the door frame and the lock. Then, bend the card backward, pushing against the bolt. Leaning against the door will help to add weight and prompt the lock to pop.
Butter knives are easy to use when trying to unlock from the outside. You put it inside the lock hole and twist. It’s best to use a butter knife instead of a sharp one. Although a sharp knife may provide more precision, it can easily cause serious injuries. You can also use it in the same way you would a credit card.
Remove the Doorknob
If none of the methods you have tried works, removing the handle or door knob is probably best. Remove the screws with a screwdriver or a drill. You can then use the screwdriver for popping the lock. Gently put it inside the lock and turn it. It should unlock instantly. This is the most fool-proof answer to how to unlock a bathroom door.
While bobby pins are perfect because they’re small enough for this task, this method may take some time. Bend the bobby pin at a distance of 0.4cm, so it’s perpendicular to the ends. Put the bent end inside the bottom keyhole.
Next, move the bobby pin around while turning the knob. Again, this may take a few minutes, but it will eventually pop the lock. The stiff nature of a bobby pin makes it a great solution to how to open a door with a hole lock.
Pick The Lock
You can pick the lock by using an Allen Wrench. Take the wrench and put the short side inside the lower part of the keyhole. Gently turn the lock while adding pressure. Then, you can prompt it to unlock using the scrubbing method or a paperclip.
Keep the pressure on the Allen wrench while lifting the paperclip upward. Once you hear a clicking sound, you have successfully unlocked it. As for the scrubbing method, you put the Allen wrench inside the lock and move it in a circular motion until the lock pops.
Kick The Door
While this method should also be a last resort, this is another way to get inside a locked bathroom. Just ensure to exercise as much caution as possible. Of course, this method takes a lot of strength. So you must ensure the door isn’t made of super strong materials.
It would be best if you also had a door that opens in an outward direction, not inwards. Next, you want to locate a weak spot right above the doorknob. With a flat foot, kick the door in the weakest spot in the door. Make sure these kicks are solid and sturdy.
Take Off The Hinges
This particular method may also take some time, but it does help significantly if you can’t unlock the door. Simply unscrew or un-tap whatever types of door hinges are in place one by one and remove them. Removing the hinges takes off the door and allows immediate entry into the bathroom.
This method should be the absolute last resort. It’s best not to obliterate your doorknob. Instead, gently apply pressure when hitting it. Ensure you’re hitting in a downward motion, and it should easily fall off the door.
The Different Kinds of Bathroom Locks
These are the most common bathroom locks you’ll find installed on a bathroom door. When it comes to how to unlock a bathroom door, some of these can provide a greater challenge. These are only some of the total number of door locks available, but not all are suited for a bathroom entry.
Deadbolt locks are usually created with a nonlocking door handle, with the lock placed inside the doorknob. These locks are often used in public bathrooms. The door also consists of thumb-turn parts which allow others to see that the toilet is occupied.
Passage locks aren’t equipped with locking systems and are best for households with kids or elderly people. They don’t take much effort to get in or out of a room which also makes them perfect for these types of households.
Handleset locks are typically a pair of locks with the handle on the bottom and the lock and keyhole on the top. Usually, the keylock consists of a deadbolt lock. Handleset locks can typically be found on the front doors of homes.
Privacy Function Locks
This type of lock is probably the most common among door locks. Like its name, these locks function specifically for privacy.
If the bathroom is unoccupied, you can open and close the door. However, if someone on the inside of the bathroom presses the button, it locks the door.
These locks typically require the doorknobs to be turned to unlock them from the inside. This, unfortunately, can be challenging for the elderly or small children.
How to Change a Bathroom Lock
If you have tried the specific methods above regarding how to open a locked door with a hole and they didn’t work, you may need to change your locks.
- Unscrew and take off the old doorknob
- Remove the latch off the door panel
- Take off the strike plate
- Put the latch inside the door hole, ensuring the strike plate and curved tip are in the same direction. Screw the latch once everything is in place
- After pressing the latch bolt, screw the door knobs or handles into place
- Ensure the latch is screwed tightly into place, and make sure the strike plate is also in place
This procedure assumes the screw heads are on the outside of the door. Otherwise, they’ll be locked on the inside where you can’t reach them.
One way to manage this is to make sure you have a key available, use a door knob that doesn't allow for locking and instead opt for an "occupied" bathroom sign, or look into these bathroom door alternatives.
Causes of Being Locked Out of the Bathroom & Preparation
Getting locked out of the bathroom is never fun, but luckily the methods mentioned above can help you get back in with no problem. Of course, anytime you’re dealing with locks in general, it’s best to remain attentive and careful.
Sometimes locks can suddenly become jammed due to debris, rust, dirt, or grime. It may help to keep your locks clean to help avoid the buildup of debris.
If you have a lock that requires pins to unlock it in an emergency, always keep the pin close by. One of the fastest ways to open it, as previously mentioned, is with a credit card.
However, it’s best to use an old card in case it becomes scratched. Some of the methods above aren’t as easy and can, unfortunately, lead to damage being done.
In such cases, you can always just call a locksmith to avoid any potential damage to your home. Otherwise, it’s best to prepare for cases like this by keeping the proper tools or hardware nearby.
If for some reason, this is a recurring issue, you can always change to a completely different lock model. In addition, some locks are much easier to utilize than others. Depending on your household, it may be best to switch to a lock that isn’t as complex.
That’s 9 Ways to Unlock a Bathroom Door
When deciding upon which method works best, only try techniques you’re most comfortable with. Luckily. Most of these methods have proven to be quite effective. Again, you can always call a locksmith to take care of it. Apart from this, it’s best to take time to learn about your locks.
Learning about the type of bathroom locks you have can help you better prepare for if it jams up. Doing so can also help you to prevent getting locked out. And that, my friends, is how to unlock a bathroom door from the outside.