Don’t Let Your Locks Freeze This Winter! Learn How To Prevent Locks From Freezing

Key Takeaway

  • To prevent your locks from freezing, you must lubricate the locks using either WD-40 spray, weatherproofing spray, or petroleum jelly.
  • Covering up the locks with socks or other protective objects can help you prevent the locks from freezing.
  • You may defrost your locks by spraying compressed air or twisting a heated key in the lock.

Winter weather can be beautiful, but it can also take its toll on your locks. When temperatures drop below freezing, it can cause your locks to freeze up and break, leaving you stranded outside or locked out of your home.

One task that often gets overlooked is preventing your door locks from freezing. Not only can frozen door locks be incredibly inconvenient, but they can also be a security risk if you can’t unlock your door. 

In this blog post, I’ll provide some tips to help you prevent freezing and broken locks during the cold winter months. I’ll explain why locks freeze, how to prevent freezing, and what to do if a lock does freeze or break. Read on to learn more!

Why Do Locks Freeze?

Why Do Locks Freeze?

The cold winter weather can cause your door locks to freeze. This is because water molecules in the air tend to stick to cold surfaces, and when temperatures drop below freezing, these water molecules can form ice and cause your lock to become frozen. In addition, any moisture that has been left inside the lock (due to condensation or humidity) can also freeze, making it harder to turn the key in the lock. This is also the reason why you car door locks also freeze.

When temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), it’s a sure sign that you need to take measures to prevent your locks from freezing.

How To Keep Door Locks From Freezing

In this section of the article, we will discuss 8 ways to prevent your locks from freezing. If you are looking for how to keep house door locks from freezing, you can choose a preferred option from the list of choices given below.

Smear Some Petroleum Jelly On The Lock

Smear Some Petroleum Jelly On The Lock

One of the simplest and most effective methods for preventing locks from freezing is to smear some petroleum jelly on the lock. Petroleum jelly works as a lubricant and helps to prevent moisture from sticking to the lock and freezing it up. 

Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to all exposed parts of the lock, including the keyhole, hinges, and other moving parts. It’s important to apply the petroleum jelly before temperatures drop too low, so it’s best to start doing this when the weather starts to get cold. 

Make sure to also reapply it periodically throughout the winter months, as petroleum jelly can wear off over time.

Spray Locks With WD-40 Spray

Spray Locks With WD-40 Spray

WD-40 spray is a silicon-based water displacement formula that lubricates, waterproofs, and protects metal and nonmetal surfaces such as rubber, plastic, and vinyl. This solution dries quickly and leaves behind a clean, non-staining layer that won’t stick or create a mess, preventing it from drawing dirt.

To apply the lubricant, simply spray it on the keyhole and mechanism of the lock, as well as any exposed metal surfaces. This will help keep moisture out and reduce friction, helping to keep your locks working smoothly and preventing them from freezing up. 

Simply insert the nozzle of the spray inside the lock and spray. I suggest doing this 1-2 times a week to avoid the freezing of locks. To lubricate combination locks, you may spray in the gaps of the rotating dials. 

Spray Compressed Air Into The Lock

Spray Compressed Air Into The Lock

If your lock has already frozen, the best way to unthaw it is by using compressed air. Compressed air will create a stream of cool air to force the ice out of the keyhole and help unstick the locking mechanism. 

Here’s how, 

  • Step 1: Start by holding the can of compressed air 6-12 inches away from the lock. 
  • Step 2: Aim the nozzle directly into the keyhole and spray in short bursts.
  • Step 3: Move the nozzle in a circular motion, and be sure to cover all sides of the keyhole. 

Keep spraying until you see no more moisture coming from the keyhole. Be careful not to use too much pressure, or you may damage the lock. 

Cover The Lock Opening With A Magnet

Cover The Lock Opening With A Magnet

Another simple way to prevent your locks from freezing is to cover the lock opening with a magnet. The magnet will create a thin layer of air between the metal of the lock and the outside temperature, thus preventing water droplets from forming on the lock. Additionally, the magnet will block out some of the cold air that can cause locks to freeze.

To use this method, all you need to do is place a thin magnet over the opening of the lock. Make sure that the magnet is centered and covers the entire opening before you close the door. You should also check periodically to make sure that the magnet has not shifted or come off of the lock.

Using a magnet to cover the lock opening is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent your locks from freezing in cold weather. By following these steps, you can help ensure that your locks remain functional throughout the winter season.

Use Weatherproofing Spray

Use Weatherproofing Spray

Using a weatherproofing spray is another way to prevent your locks from freezing this winter. The spray creates a protective coating on the outside of the lock, reducing the risk of moisture getting inside and causing it to freeze.

In general, waterproofing spray refers to any type of coating that keeps moisture out. Sprays are frequently produced with a silicone or fluoropolymer basis, both of which are good waterproofing components that don’t leave stains or lingering odors. However, they aren’t always safe to inhale, so the at-home application may be a delicate art.

  • Step 1: To apply the spray, first make sure the lock is clean and free of dirt and debris. 
  • Step 2: Then spray a generous amount of the weatherproofing spray onto the lock. 
  • Step 3: Once it’s completely covered, use a cloth to gently rub it in and ensure that all the surfaces of the lock are well-covered. 
  • Step 4: Allow the spray to dry before using the lock.

Cover Up Your Locks

Cover Up Your Locks

An easy home remedy to prevent your locks from freezing is to cover them up. Doing so helps protect the locks from the elements and keeps them warm. You can use a variety of items to cover your locks, such as socks, scarf, hat, or hood. Make sure that the material you use is thick enough to keep the cold air out but also breathable to avoid trapping moisture inside.

One simple way to do this is to wrap the lock in a sock or two. The fabric of the sock will provide some insulation, keeping the cold out and making it harder for moisture to enter the lock and cause it to freeze.

When wrapping your padlocks in socks, make sure that you don’t leave any gaps where air can flow through. For the best results, opt for thick woolen socks, as these are more likely to retain heat and keep the lock warm. If you don’t have woolen socks, a pair of thick cotton socks should still be enough to keep the lock protected.

Another option is to use plastic covers for your locks. These are specially designed to fit over your locks and help protect them from snow, rain, and extreme temperatures. They’re also great for keeping dirt and debris away. The plastic covers are easy to put on and take off, so you can quickly change them when needed.

Cover Up Your Locks

If you don’t have the time to cover up your locks with a scarf or plastic cover, another option is to seal them with tape. This will help keep moisture out and keep the locks warm. Use waterproof tapes like duct tape or packing tape. Make sure to wrap the tape tightly around the base of the lock to ensure a secure seal.

secure seal.

Use Weatherproof Locks

Use Weatherproof Locks

If you live in an area that is prone to extreme winter temperatures, you should invest in weatherproof padlocks. These locks are designed to be resistant to freezing, and they can provide a secure and reliable locking solution. Weatherproof padlocks usually have some type of insulated covering, such as a rubberized coating or plastic covering. Additionally, they may have rubber seals or O-rings to further protect the lock from moisture and cold.


When buying a weatherproof padlock, make sure to look for a product with a UL rating, as this indicates that the lock has passed stringent testing standards. You should also ensure that the weatherproof padlock is rated for the temperature range of your area. If you’re not sure, contact the manufacturer for more information. I highly recommend Yale weather proof locks as they served me for a long time with no complaints.

Installing a weatherproof padlock can provide peace of mind, knowing that your locks won’t freeze in the winter months. 

Dip Your Key In Hand Sanitizer To Melt Ice

Dip Your Key In Hand Sanitizer To Melt Ice

Dipping your key in hand sanitizer is a quick and easy way to melt any ice that might be causing your lock to freeze. The alcohol in the sanitizer can quickly dissolve any remaining water droplets, allowing you to open the door. Make sure to wipe the excess sanitizer off of the key once you’ve inserted it into the lock. This will prevent any further issues with the lock sticking.

If none of these methods work, it might be time to call an expert locksmith who will know exactly how to deal with frozen locks without causing any further damage. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. Can I defrost my lock using hot water?

Answer – While hot water can defrost the lock by melting the ice, I do not recommend the approach because if water gets stuck inside the lock, moisture may quickly lead to erosion, making it challenging to open and close the lock. In fact, rusting of the lock can completely damage the locking mechanism of the lock.

Q2. How to keep padlocks from freezing using a heated key?

Answer – To keep the padlocks from freezing, you may heat the key with a lighter until it’s pretty hot and then insert the key into the keyway and twist it a couple of times to defrost the lock. Avoid heating the key under hot water, as the moisture may cause your lock to corrode. 


It is annoying and unpleasant when your lock freezes in cold temperatures. But because everyone has gone through this at least once, especially in areas with cold climates, preparing yourself in the fall before winter arrives is wise. 

I’ve given useful tips and tactics in the article on how to prevent door locks from freezing. I hope you found the information helpful. If you used any of the methods mentioned in the post to prevent locks from freezing, post your opinions in the comment section below.

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Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.