How to Pick a Lock With Household Items

by Contributor
Picking a locked door can damage the knob if done incorrectly.

Picking a locked door can damage the knob if done incorrectly.

If you've locked yourself out of your home, or if an interior door in your house is locked and can't be opened, you might be able to solve the problem with any of several common household items. All techniques for picking door locks require caution, though, because they can damage the interior mechanisms of the doorknob.

  1. Use a metal coat hanger or a paper clip if the lock is a simple lock. Simple locks are those that just require that you push the release in. These are by far the easiest locks to pick because there are no keys required to get in and out of the room.

  2. Insert the two points of a bobby pin into the lock if you're trying to pick a lock that requires a key. Turn the bobby pin, which simulates turning the key in the door.

  3. Slide a credit card into the slot of the closed door if the door has an older, less-complicated lock. With some jiggling and tweaking, eventually the lock should release. This trick does not work on locks that require keys.

Items you will need

  • Paper clip
  • Coat hanger
  • Screwdriver
  • Bobby pins
  • Credit card/gift card


  • If none of these options works, you may need to consider taking the door off its hinges if you're not willing to pay a locksmith.

About the Author

This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below.

Photo Credits