How to Open a Stuck Doorknob

Updated February 21, 2017

A stuck doorknob can be frustrating, especially if it prevents you from gaining access to a home or building and you are locked out. Doorknob jams often occur due to a sticky knob or stuck locking mechanism. You can use a putty knife or similar flat object to fix most knobs that become stuck. A spray lubricant available at most hardware and home and garden stores can help prevent the door from becoming jammed in the future.

Insert a putty or butter knife between the door and the door frame at the same height as the lock.

Push in the knife. You should feel it contact the latch.

Push the door open. Remove the doorknob from the door. Typically, two or more screws hold the doorknob in place. Remove the screws and pull out the knob.

Spray lubricant into the doorknob. Allow the lubricant to set into the knob for 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn the knob to make sure it works. Apply more lubricant if the knob is still stuck.

Place the doorknob back into the door and screw into place.


Consult a locksmith if your doorknob is still jammed. Perhaps there is a broken mechanism in the doorknob, necessitating professional intervention.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty or butter knife
  • Spray lubricant
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Diana Braun began her writing career as a consultant and technical writer for a software company focusing on how-to, training, white paper, and internal process documentation. After two years, Braun left to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. Since then, she has launched several startups including a t-shirt business, an online marketing and advertising t-shirt distribution business, and an entertainment site. She currently resides in South Florida.