How To Open A Locked Bathroom Door (6 Ways To Do It!)

Kirstin Harrington
by Kirstin Harrington
Accidentally locking yourself out of a room is a hassle, especially when it’s a bathroom. Luckily, you can unlock a locked bathroom door in several ways including a bobby pin or removing the door handle. Whether it be a credit card or butter knife, let’s take a look at the 6 ways that you can unlock a bathroom door.

Trying to unlock a locked bathroom can be stressful and even frightening. No matter if you’re locked in a room or outside of it, getting to where you want to be is key. Thankfully, bathroom doors usually have privacy locks, instead of security locks.

This makes it much easier to get in or out if the door is locked. If you find yourself asking how to open a locked bathroom door, there are several fixes. You can use a credit card, a screwdriver, or even a bobby pin to pick the lock.

If you’re sitting outside your bathroom door and really need to get in, you’re in luck. Below there are several helpful ways to unlock a locked door. Hopefully, these help you get the job done.

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Unlocking the Door From the Outside

It’s common to be locked outside of your bathroom. I did this once in an apartment that had a unique lock, and I really needed to use the restroom. If anyone else is in this same situation, there are six different solutions below.

If one of these doesn’t work, move on to the next one. While these do vary depending on what type of lock you’re working it, I’ve included at least one for each type of doorknob.

Before you know it, the door will be open, and you’ll be at ease again.

Method One: Use a Butter Knife

Get a butter knife and insert it into the keyhole to try and open a push-button bathroom lock. A butter knife is an easily accessible tool when you’re outside of the bathroom. It’s durable enough to apply pressure and slim enough to get into the nooks and crannies.

Put the butter knife into the keyhole just like you would a key. Give it a gentle twist to try and release the lock. You’ll be able to hear and feel it if the pins come undone, and you’ll be able to turn the doorknob.

Method Two: The Trust Bobby Pin Hack

If the butter knife scenario didn’t work for you, that’s okay. Try using a bobby pin if you’re working with a push-button lock. If you’ve used bobby pins before, you’ll know they have a way of showing up just about anywhere.

Look around for one if you don’t have one on hand. Bend the bobby pin to get rid of any curves in the metal. Getting the pin as straight as possible is essential for getting it to pick a lock.

Put the bobby pin into the keyhole and turn the doorknob as you’re wiggling the pin at the same time. This should unlock the push-button mechanism, opening the door. Bobby pins are one of the most commonly used tools to open doors due to their malleability.

Method Three: Stick With Tools

Some bathrooms are equipped with twist-privacy locks. If you find yourself working with one of these, a screwdriver may be your best bet. Screwdrivers with thicker rods may not work as well, as they might not fit inside the door handle.

Take a thin screwdriver and insert it into the hole in the middle of the doorknob. Then, wiggle it around until you audibly hear the door unlock. You shouldn’t have to turn the knob while moving the screwdriver.

Method Four: Get a Credit Card

Another classic way to pick a locked door is to use a credit card or something similar. Something many people won’t note about this is to use a card you wouldn’t mind damaging. I’ve had to use a card before and chose to use my license, which admittedly, wasn’t the smartest idea.

There’s a chance that your card can get scratched, bent, and more. This is why I like suggesting using a rewards card or old gift card instead. Slide the card in between the door and the frame, just above the lock.

Then, slightly tilt the card towards the doorknob before bending it to get it to slip in between the lock and the frame. This can take several attempts, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work on the first go.

Next, lean on the door and wiggle the card around. This should release the pins and unlock the door. This method can be applied if you’re locked inside a bathroom. Follow the same steps to get out.

Method Five: Take Off the Door Handle

If all else fails and you have the option of doing so, remove the door handle completely. This is possible if the screws are visible from the outside of the door. You can use a drill or screwdriver to easily undo the screws.

If you don’t have access to the screws, use a flat head screwdriver. You can put it under the slit in the throat of the door handle. Pull the screwdriver up to lift away the exterior and expose the screws.

When the screws are loose, put the screwdriver into the lock mechanism of the door handle and give it a twist. This should undo the lock and give you access to your bathroom again.

Method Six: Use a Lock-Picking Set

I put this as the last option for two reasons: it’s the most obvious tool, and not everyone has one. A lock-picking set is a helpful tool that every household should have. Simply follow the directions on the packaging to unlock your bathroom door.

One of the exceptions to all of these tricks is a skeleton key lock. These can be a pain to try to break into, but it can be done. If you’re working with a skeleton key lock, click here.

Unlocking a Locked Door From Inside

Sometimes locks are on the inside of rooms, and you can lock yourself in the bathroom itself. This can feel scary, and you can quickly become claustrophobic. Follow the steps below to get you out of the bathroom in no time.

Step One: Take a Breath

Yes, the first step of this is to take a breath. As I said, it can be frightening to be stuck inside a room. You don’t need a panic disorder to experience an anxiety attack, and for this reason, it’s good to focus on your breathing

The calmer you are, the faster you’ll get out of the bathroom. Let’s move onto the next step.

Step Two: Call Out For Help

If you live with others or are locked in a public restroom, call out for help. This is the easiest way to get the door unlocked by far. Shout that you’re locked in the bathroom and need to get out.

If your voice isn’t getting the attention of people, you can use something in the bathroom to create noise. Bang the trashcan against the door or kick the wall if it won’t do any damage.

Step Three: Look For Other Exits

Many times a bathroom will have a window, especially if in a residence. If you can safely climb out of the window to get out, do so. This should only be done if the bathroom is on the ground floor; any higher could be dangerous.

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Related Questions

Is there a lock that cannot be picked?

There is one lock that is designed with a special shape that helps to prevent the pins from getting picked. The Bowley Lock comes with a key that is made at a unique angle to get to the shielded pins inside the door. This lock is deemed practically impossible to pick, and many folks have tried. 

Are Master locks easy to pick?

Master locks are incredibly easy to pick, and it’s known amongst criminals. The cheaper the lockset when you buy it, the easier it is to break into that area of your home. An ABUS lock costs around the same and makes it much harder for people to pick it.

What to do if I lock myself out of my house?

It’s not uncommon for a homeowner to get locked outside their home. Depending on your situation, there are a few things you can do. Check to see if there are any reachable windows open that you could crawl through. There’s always the trusty ol’ credit card trick to use. Just be sure to use a card that you wouldn’t mind scuffing up or breaking. If you’re renting, you might be able to get some help from your landlord, depending on the time of day. Lastly, call a locksmith if nothing else works. They can cost a few hundred bucks, but there’s no way around it if you’re locked out.

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Kirstin Harrington
Kirstin Harrington

Kirstin is a passionate writer who loves helping people learn new things when it comes to home improvement. When she's not behind a keyboard, she enjoys DIY projects, crafts, spending time with her pets, and making videos. She hopes that with all she writes, someone is finding a solution to their home improvement needs.

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