Your bedroom is your ultimate private space, where you can always be in control. But there are some instances where you can get locked out of it.
It may be due to a relative, roommate, or a toddler accidentally locking himself/herself inside the room; you, accidentally locking yourself outside, or any other reason. Now you can’t get in.
What should you do?
To help you get through this situation (or if it ever happens again), here are some tips and tricks on how to open a locked bedroom door (without a key).
What to do before opening a locked door?
Doors are made with different materials for various purposes. Usually, a bedroom door isn’t designed for security but for privacy. Which is why it is possible to open them with a bit of force and maneuvering.
But before all the unlocking action, you must first determine the type of lock your bedroom door has. Generally, a bedroom door has a push button in the knob or one that will use a twist button to lock. However, some people install more secure locks (like a deadbolt lock) on their bedroom door; these types are harder to open. So do consider what type of lock you’re going to deal with.
For this article, we’ll consider the standard type of lock for bedroom doors, which are the push button or twist button locks.
Ways to open a locked bedroom door
We compiled a list of different methods on how to unlock a locked door without a key. Some of these may cause some damage to your doorknob or the tool you’ll be using, so keep that in mind.
1. Using a card
If your bedroom door has a latch bolt, with the angled edge is facing toward you, you can pop it free with a card. The card might get damaged/bent during the process, so make sure you’re not using an important card like your debit or credit cards. Use cards that can be easily replaced, like a store rewards card, library card, or other flexible and quickly replaceable cards are best.
- Take the plastic card and slide it into the gap between your door and the doorjamb.
- Begin right above the door handle, and slide the card downwards and in.
- You may have to wiggle or maneuver the card a bit. It could press against the latch assembly and allow you to open the door.
- Some doors may require you to lean against them so that there is a little pressure. That pressure may help engage the lock more securely when you are sliding the card down. If it doesn’t work when you slide the card down, try sliding the card up.
- If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to open it on the first try. But it may require you to do this several times.
2. Using a hairpin
You can also use hairpins or bobby pins to unlock your bedroom door, just like the old trick you see in movies. Hairpins are usually easy to bend and manipulate to the shape you’re aiming for since it’s made of thin metal. It’s not that had to open a door lock using a bobby pin, which is why many people opt for this method. You’ll be needing two hairpins for this procedure.
Note: you can also use paper clips for this method.
- Get one bobby pin. Bend one centimeter or so of the joint end for about 90 degrees, so it is perpendicular to the two free ends.
- Insert this into the bottom of the keyhole and use the two free ends as a handle.
- Take another hairpin and stretch it all the way through, so it becomes a single straight metal stick.
- Add a small upward bend to one straight end. This acts as the “pick,” and it goes into the top half of the keyhole.
- Use your pick to push the spring-loaded pins up. Do this one at a time until the cylinder is free to turn.
- There are two ways to pick the locks in your doorknob:
- Scrubbing Method
With this method, push the hairpin at the lower part of the keyhole and lift it upward. You have to repeat this in a circular motion until you successfully lift all the pins inside the doorknob. Remember to apply constant pressure to the other bobby pin below and turn the doorknob until it eventually opens.
- Pin by Pin Method:
If the scrubbing method does not work, you can try this method instead. Insert your hairpin, and as it comes into contact with the pins inside the doorknob, try to catch it right on the bend and lift the pins upward until it snaps into place. Repeat this with multiple pins until the lock will turn.
3. Using a butter knife
If you don’t have plastic cards, bobby pins, or paper clips around, you might have a butter knife in your kitchen. Don’t use a sharp knife for this method because you might accidentally hurt yourself. This method is very similar to the plastic card method.
- Put the butter knife between the door and the doorjamb, just right above the doorknob.
- Slide the knife down quickly, while leaning against the door.
- Try this a couple of times until the door unlocks.
4. Using a screwdriver
If none of the above-mentioned methods above work, you can try to use a screwdriver to unlock your door. There are two ways on how you can use a screwdriver. Different types are used for these two procedures, so it’s helpful to have a small and a standard-sized screwdriver.
- Use a small and flathead screwdriver and push the screwdriver into the keyhole on the doorknob. Put it straight through for as far as you can.
- Twist or turn the screwdriver until the lock is opened.
- You can also use a slotted screwdriver to open the spring locks if you wedge it between the bolt and frame.
- Then, wiggle the screwdriver until you push the lock back into the door.
- You can also use a larger, flathead screwdriver to remove the door hinges. This will only work if the hinges are exposed.
- Grab a flathead screwdriver and a hammer or mallet (or anything hard that can be used to strike the screwdriver).
- Position the screwdriver at the bottom of the knuckle, and the pin on the door hinge. Tap the handle of the screwdriver downwards using the hammer/mallet.
- Once they are loose enough, remove the head and pin. You must repeat this for all the hinges. This may take some force and effort to finish.
- Or you can also just remove the screws of the door hinges if it’s exposed.
5. Using a drill
This method requires a more complicated tool, but you may have it at home – an electric drill. Unlike the previous ones, this method will leave permanent damage to your lock. You’ll definitely need a new doorknob after this one.
- Use the drill to trill the pins on the lock of your doorknob.
- Drill it just above the top of the keyhole, in line with the cylinder’s threshold and the pins’ position when they are pushed free.
- Experiment with different drill bit sizes. Start with a small one, and try using some lubricating oil to help.
- Once you’ve finished drilling, try using a screwdriver into the keyhole, and you should be able to turn it.
When nothing else works
If you’ve tried everything to unlock the door and nothing is working, then you have some other options. Here are some of them.
- Force the door open by kicking it. This may destroy your entire door, the doorknob, and the door frame. Not only will it shatter your bedroom door, but you can also hurt yourself in this process. This should definitely be the last resort and use it only in emergency situations.
- Use a hammer to smash the doorknob. This will definitely damage the doorknob, and you’ll need to purchase a replacement. Strike your doorknob repeatedly using a hammer, mallet, or any other hard object. A broken doorknob is an unlocked doorknob, that’s for sure.
- Call a professional. When you don’t want to do any damages and are not really sure of what to do, you can just call a professional locksmith to unlock the door for you. These professionals have the needed skills and tools to unlock a door, so it’s a guarantee that you’ll have it opened.
No more locked bedroom doors!
Now you know different tricks to open a locked bedroom door. But remember, do these tips ONLY when you get locked out of YOUR BEDROOM. Don’t ever do it to try and break into someone else’s rooms. These methods take several minutes and very obvious, so you’ll most likely be caught.
You can practice these tricks, so it’ll be easier for you to do it when an actual emergency comes. Nothing or no one could ever lock you out of your bedroom again. Not your toddler, not your roommate, not even your own door.