Can a Door Knob Freeze? (Using This Trick Prevents Freezing)

can a door knob freeze

Winter weather can bring a variety of challenges, including the possibility of frozen door knobs. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to encounter this issue, but is it really possible for a door knob to freeze?

A door knob can freeze in extremely cold temperatures, specifically when the temperature drops below freezing. When this occurs, the metal or plastic material of the door knob can become so cold that any moisture on the surface of the knob can freeze, rendering the door knob difficult or impossible to turn and open the door.

There are ways you can prevent this from happening and ways to fix a frozen door knob when it does happen. In this article, we will look at those ways and when you should start thinking about prevention when it comes to freezing door knobs and locks.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

There are plenty of ways to de-ice a door knob or lock, but some products make it easier. Heat guns, de-icing spray, and different WD-40 products are great de-icing products. 

Here are our favorites from Amazon:

1. Prestone De-Ice Spray: This spray contains alcohol, a powerful de-icer. It will melt and remove the ice and it will not refreeze. It’s fast and powerful and can be used on a car, or door knob.

2. WD-40 Specialist Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant: The specialist version of WD-40 is a fast-drying solution that won’t leave a sticky residue. You can use it on most surfaces and in gears and other tight spots. 

3. SEEKONE Heat Gun: This heat gun has temperature control and overload protection so that it will not overheat. It’s perfect for de-icing things, drying leaks rather than pushing the water elsewhere.

Freezing Weather and Your Door Knobs

Freezing weather can cause a lot of issues. One of them is that it can make door knobs and locks stop working. In this section, we talk about why a door knob can freeze, and things you can do to prevent it, or undo it. 

Can House Door Locks Freeze?

House door locks can freeze. When the warm moisture in the air from inside meets the freezing air from outside, the water droplets can freeze and therefore, freeze the outside door lock. The same goes for car doors.  

To prevent this, spray WD-40 on the lock. It’s an oily substance that will not freeze and will prevent locks from freezing up to two days. If a lock does freeze over, just pour warm water over the lock.

However, do not pour hot water over the lock as the drastic change in temperature could harm the lock. 

Can Key Locks Freeze?

Key locks can freeze because moisture in the air can get inside the keyhole. The moisture will freeze, making the keyhole difficult to impossible to use. To unfreeze the lock, simply pour warm water over it.

You can also spray vinegar over a frozen lock, and you can prevent freezing by using an oil-based spray like WD-40. 

If you are using warm water or other heating elements to unfreeze the lock, be sure it is not overly hot. The drastic change in temperature can hurt the lock. 

Can Car Key Locks Freeze?

Car key locks can freeze and make it impossible to unlock. Also, if the lock is frozen the handle and the door probably is too. The best thing to do when it freezes is to pour warm water over it. 

To prevent car key locks, or any kind of locks from freezing, lubricate them with an oil solution. WD-40 is a good option and will last for two to three days. Also, you can cover a car with a waterproof car cover to keep it from freezing. 

Why Do My Door Locks Freeze?

A door lock can freeze because of the moisture in the air. When the warmer air from the inside meets the cooler air from the outside, it collects as condensation. Then the condensation freezes and therefore freezes the door lock. 

Frozen condensation is what we call frost. In other words, when the air at ground level, and at the level of your door, is below freezing, it causes any condensation to freeze on the ground, around cars, and in door knobs. 

Are There Weatherproof Door Knobs?

The most weatherproof door knobs are called exterior door knobs. They are made to be used on the outside of the house. This means they are more weather resistant than interior door knobs. However, they can still freeze if not installed properly. 

Keeping the air out of the door knobs and locks will keep the moisture out as well, which will prevent freezing. It’s much like preventing pipes from freezing. You can also spray WD-40 solution on outside door knobs or locks.

How Temperature Can Affect Your Door Knobs

Temperature can change drastically and when it does, it changes other things. One example is a day that is 50 degrees fahrenheit during the day and 25 degrees at night. In this section we go over how temperature can affect locks and door knobs. 

Can Cold Weather Affect Door Locks?

Cold weather does not affect door locks unless the temperature suddenly cools off to below freezing, then frost will cover things. When this happens, holes, like keyholes will fill with condensation and then freeze when it touches the freezing air.  

To prevent this from happening, you can use WD-40 on exterior locks on your house and your car. Also, make sure your door lock is an exterior door lock and that it is properly installed. A badly installed door lock can leave more gaps between the inside and outside.

At What Temperature Do Locks Freeze?

32 degrees fahrenheit is when water freezes, and so when condensation collects inside a lock due to the change in temperature, the water freezes in the lock. This often makes it impossible to use the lock until the water is melted.

If you know it will be below freezing, you can take preventative steps to keep your locks from freezing over. You can use WD-40 on the locks which will last up to two days. And if it’s your car lock you are worried about, you can use a car covering.

Can Temperature Affect Locks?

Temperature can affect locks, but mostly when it gets below freezing. Moisture is inside locks and will collect more when the temperature starts dropping. After it gets below freezing, the moisture will turn into frost and the lock will not work. 

To get a frozen lock working again, melt the ice. You can do this by heating up the key with a flame and then sticking it inside the lock, or by pouring warm water over the lock. 

Do not pour boiling water over the lock! It can damage the lock, and possibly the person pouring the water. 

Does Cold Weather Affect Key Fobs?

Cold weather can affect key fobs, especially when the battery is low. Keep your key fob in a warm place, like your pocket, or inside an insulated building. You can also use your body heat to warm up a key fob. 

If your key fob freezes, it could become damaged and the battery may not work as well. Most newer cars have key fobs that can last in freezing weather, but not all of them.

Contact your car’s manufacturers if you want to find out if the key fob can be frozen and still work after thawing. 

How to Fix a Frozen Door Knob

There’s more than one way to skin a cat – or unfreeze a lock or door knob.  In this section, we will go over multiple ways to fix a frozen car door, lock, or door knob and how to prevent freezing to begin with. 

Will WD40 Unfreeze a Lock?

WD-40 will unfreeze a lock because it displaces water.  This means the frost, or frozen water, will move from around the mechanics of the lock. Just remove excess build from the lock because it can build up over time and create a goo inside.

 Additionally, WD-40 is good for preventing a lock from freezing because it will not give condensation the chance of collecting and therefore it will not turn into frost. You can also use WD-40 on bike chains, door knobs, and car locks. 

Will Rubbing Alcohol Unfreeze a Lock?

Rubbing alcohol will unfreeze a lock. Hand sanitizer will also do the trick because it contains alcohol. Just rub the sanitizer or rubbing alcohol on the key and insert it into the keyhole. Wait a minute and turn the key. 

Rubbing alcohol works well because it evaporates after use and will now build up into a goo like some de-ice sprays or WD-40. You can use WD-40 to prevent a lock from freezing though – alcohol won’t do that. 

What to Spray on Locks to Prevent Freezing?

You can spray WD-40 on locks and door knobs to prevent freezing. The WD stands for Water Displacement. This means, condensation will not build up in a lock and therefore will not freeze and turn into frost. 

Another way to prevent a lock from freezing is to cover the lock. If it’s a car lock, you can cover your whole car. This will also protect your doors and windows from freezing or fogging. 

Additionally, you can buy a car with a keyless ignition and remote settings to heat the car before stepping outside.

What Can I Use to De-ice a Lock?

The cheapest solution to de-ice a lock is warm water. It will de-ice a lock immediately. If you do not have access to warm water, you can use hand sanitizer and place it on the key and enter it into the keyhole. 

You can also use a lighter and heat the key with a flame before putting it in. Also, you can try heating the lock with your breath. However, this will be less effective in severe freezing temperatures. 

What to Do if My Car Door Latch Keeps Freezing?

If you live in an area that gets below freezing often, you may want to invest in a keyless car that will remote start and heat itself before you need to get in it. However, if that is not an option for you, put a cover over the car when it’s parked.

You can also use WD-40 on the latch to prevent freezing, but it only lasts a couple days before it starts freezing again. 

To quickly de-ice a latch use a de-ice spray, or warm water. 

How-To Unfreeze a Door Knob

To unfreeze or de-ice a lock or door knob is fairly simple and there are many options you can use. In this section, we will go over how to thaw the ice around door knobs and lock in a variety of different ways. 

How Do I Unfreeze a Doorknob?

The fastest way to unfreeze a doorknob is to pour warm (NOT BOILING) water over the exterior door knob. It will unfreeze immediately. However, you can run the risk of it refreezing quickly, so dry the door knob if you have time and add WD-40.

WD-40 will displace any water which will keep it from refreezing for a couple days. You can also use a de-ice spray or a heat gun. A heat gun will dry the door knob as well to prevent refreshing. You can also use it to unfreeze the door knob.

How Do You Fix a Frozen Lock Mechanism?

To unfreeze a frozen lock, take hand sanitizer and gloss it over the key. Then place the key into the lock. Wait a minute or so and turn the key. Additionally, you can heat the key with a lighter and insert it into the lock. 

You can also use WD-40 on the lock. Or.pour warm water on the lock to immediately de-ice the lock. You should not pour boiling water over a lock because it can hurt the mechanism. Pouring warm water will not prevent it from happening though. 

How Do You Keep Door Locks From Freezing?

To keep door locks from freezing, make sure you are using an exterior door knob and lock over an interior knob and that it is installed properly without any gaps. Additionally, you can spray some WD-40 on the door lock. 

If it’s your car lock that keeps freezing, you can either invest in a car with a keyless lock, or in a cover for your car. Keeping a car in the garage will also keep it from freezing and a garage will protect it from sun and rain too. 

Related Questions

How Do You Fix a Doorknob That Won’t Turn?

Try using WD-40 first. It could be that it’s rusty or just needs lubricated. WD-40 will help with both. However, it could be that there is something wrong with its mechanics and may need to be reinstalled. 

If it’s below freezing outside, it could be that condensation built up inside of the doorknobs mechanics and then froze and frosted over the door knob making it impossible to turn the knob. In this case, use a heat gun, or warm water. 

Why Does My Door Not Close in the Winter?

Doors made of wood may expand in cold weather and the mechanics may freeze over making it difficult to open and close. To remedy this, try to keep the door dry and use a heat gun or WD-40 on  knobs and locks. 

To keep the wooden door and wooden hinges from expanding due to water in the humid air, spray the door down with a silicon based spray. Solid soap and wax rubbed over the wood will help too. You can also buy a wax sealant. 

Does Wet Weather Affect Door Locks?

Wet weather can rust door locks and, if it’s below freezing, the wet weather can freeze water around the door locks. In cooler weather, condensation builds inside locks and door knobs and then turns into frost and makes in nearly impossible to open a door. 

To prevent rust or frost from creating issues in a lock you can use WD-40 spray. WD-40 is a water displacement solution that prevents water from collecting. Therefore rust will not form and condensation will not be there to turn into frost. 

Final Thoughts

Do you know plenty of ways to de-ice a door knob or lock? Or to prevent freezing? We hope you do and that you found this article helpful and that it makes getting to work, school, the grocery store, or wherever, much easier on those cold days.  

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