5 Effective Ways To Open A Jammed Door From The Outside

Jammed doors create lots of problems especially if you live in a rainy, humid area. I understand the frustration that arises when you cannot access a particular room due to a jammed door.

I live in a humid and rainy area and have faced this problem many times. Here in this article, I have a comprehensive guide to assist you in overcoming this predicament.

A Brief Overview: 5 Possible Solutions to Open a Jammed Door from the Outside, Followed by Detailed Explanations

MethodMaterials NeededProcedure
Use LubricationLubricant spray (WD-40), thin tube or nozzle attachment1. Spray lubricant into the keyhole, gaps around the door frame, and hinges.
2. Wait for a few minutes to let the lubricant penetrate.
3. Try turning the key or sliding the door gently.
Utilize a Thin Card or Plastic StripPlastic card (credit card) or thin, sturdy plastic strip1. Insert the plastic card between the door and frame at latch level.
2. Wiggle and push the card down while pushing the door handle or turning the key.
3. Be patient and gentle.
Tap and Jiggle the DoorNone1. Firmly tap around the door handle and hinges.
2. Simultaneously, jiggle the door handle while trying to turn the key.
3. Apply gentle force to dislodge misaligned parts.
Use a ScrewdriverFlathead screwdriver1. Insert the screwdriver between the door and frame at latch level.
2. Apply slight pressure and wiggle it while turning the key or pushing the door handle.
3. Be cautious not to damage the door or frame.
Remove the Door HingesScrewdriver, hammer, helper (if possible)1. Unscrew the hinges on the side of the door using a screwdriver.
2. Tap the bottom of the hinge pins upward (outward opening) or top downward (inward opening) using a hammer.
3. Lift the door carefully once hinges are removed.

5 Effective Ideas To Open A Jammed Door From The Outside [Detailed Explanation]

1. Use Good Lubricants To Slide the Jammed Door From The Outside

The first and easiest step you can take to open a jammed door is to take a good lubricant spray (WD-40) having a thin tube or nozzle attached and spray lubricant between the surface of the floor and the door. You can also use natural graphite for this.

If the door knob is stuck then gently spray the lubricant inside the keyhole to free up the jammed parts of it. You can also spray the lubricant around the door frame and hinges to allow them to move with less friction.

Caution: Don’t use those lubricants that come with grease, and also avoid using oil because it will make the jam worse after getting dried.

Also Read: Shed Door Won’t Open: [Possible Reasons & Solutions]

2. A Thin Card or A Plastic Card

You can use a normal plastic, old credit card, or a sturdy plastic strip for this method. This method is beneficial to open a jammed door if it’s stuck badly.

You have to insert a plastic card between the door and frame at the latch level. Wiggle and push the card a little bit simultaneously push the door handle or try to turn the key.

Note: This method is only beneficial if your door lock has enough space to insert a plastic card or a credit card otherwise using a plastic card or a credit card is useless.

Also Read: Why Put Foil On Door Knob When Alone[Things To Know]

3. Tap and Jiggle The Door

Sometimes misaligned parts around the door hinges also make your door jammed. In this scenario, what you can do, is tap firmly around the door hinges and frame. This will help to adjust the misaligned parts of your frame, and hinges and make it easier to open the jammed door from the outside.

Keep in mind that jiggling the door handle while moving the lock key patiently and gently would help a lot.

Also Read: Garage Door Won’t Close With Remote But Will Open [Solved]

4. Use Screwdriver

If you have a flathead screwdriver then it could be used to open a jammed door if you’re locked out of the room. Just insert the screwdriver between the door and frame at latch level.

Now wiggle it by applying a slight pressure and also try to push the door and move the key simultaneously.

Note: Don’t apply too much pressure on the door when you are using a screwdriver, otherwise it will damage the door and frame and could create a big problem.

5. Remove the Door Hinges (Required Expert help)

If you are familiar with DYI work and have the proper tools then you can remove the door hinges. If you don’t have such DYI experience then must take expert help for this.

Methods to Remove The Door Hinges On Your Own Are Mentioned Below:

  1. First, take a screwdriver and unscrew all the door hinges.
  2. Now tab the bottom of the door hinge pins upward, if your door is open outside or tab the top downward, if your door is open inside. You can use a hammer for this stuff.
  3. Once all the hinges are removed, lift the door carefully.

How To Open Stuck Door Knob From The Outside

Here are some easy methods to open a stuck door knob from the outside. Try them before resorting to more drastic measures like breaking the door or calling a locksmith.

1. Check The Misalign Parts of Your Door

First, check if your door is truly stuck. Sometimes misaligned door frames or swollen wood due to humidity can be the result of your door becoming stuck.

You can lift the door slightly by the knob side to release the pressure and this would help to open the stuck door knob from the outside.

2. Use Lubricant

Sometimes rust and lack of lubrication will also result in a stuck door knob. You can use a silicon-based lubricant like WD-40 or any penetrating oil and spray it into the keyhole and around the knob.

Wait for a few minutes after applying it, it will penetrate the mechanisms, and then try to turn the knob again.

3. Use a Flat Tools

Use flat tools of your household such as a putty knife, credit card, or a sturdy plastic card, and insert it between the door and frame. Now gently wiggle the tool while turning the door knob. It would help to dislodge the latch in most of the cases.

4. Use the Bump Key or Pick The Lock

Using the bump key or lock pick set requires the necessary skill and legal permission. This way you can manipulate the lock and open the door.

Note: This practice is only applied by a homeowner with the help of authorized individuals.

5. Call Locksmith

In most cases, the above-mentioned methods work but if nothing works for you then don’t waste your time and call a professional locksmith.


Opening a stuck door from the outside is indeed a daunting task, but you can try the 5 effective methods mentioned in this article to open it on your own. In most cases, using lubricant, a credit card, or lifting the door would work. However, if you’re unable to open the door using the above-mentioned methods, you must seek the help of professionals.


Q.1 How can I open a jammed door from the outside without damaging it?

Ans: You can use lubricants like WD-40 on the hinge and mechanism of the door, or you can insert a flathead screwdriver and use a hammer to gently tap the door along the edges to loosen it.

Q.2 My door is stuck due to extreme weather conditions. What can I do to open it from the outside?

Ans: Rainy weather and Humidity can cause doors to swell and contract. To open such stuck doors you can use a dryer to remove the moisture from the door edges, allowing the wood to expand.

Q.3 The key turns, but the door won’t open. What could be causing this issue, and how can I fix it from the outside?

Ans: Sometimes a misaligned mechanism of your door, or a faulty lock mechanism causes your door to not open after turning the key. You can use graphite powder or a silicon-based lubricant in the keyhole.
If the problem persists, the issue might be with the door’s alignment. In this case you have to adjust the strike plate or hinges.

About The Author


Adam is here, I'm an Editor and writer on guidingpapa. I love to share home improvement tips and new ideas in this blog. I have been doing this from couple of years and I'm very passionate about it.

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