Can Bathroom Doors Lock Themselves? (Here Are Eight Workarounds)

Have you ever taken a bath, dried yourself off, and tried to get out of your bathroom only to realize you couldn’t without engaging the door further?

This experience is quite common and may be a result of a few factors, including the kind of lock featured on your door.

For example, when it comes to the choice of lock, most homeowners are often split between

  • security locks
  • and safety locks.

Because you don’t want just anyone to swing the door open and walk on you naked, you’d more likely go for a security lock.

This locks class won’t open the door with a simple twist and push from both inside and outside.

However, because some homes could be at a greater danger for fires and other hazards, you may need a lock that can easily open the door with a simple swing and push.

In such a case, a safety lock would be perfect.

Can Bathroom Doors Lock Themselves?

Yes. It is relatively common for bathroom doors to lock themselves up or jam, refusing to open when you twist the knob. Unless your door is equipped with a safety lock that would easily open up without trouble, your safety lock will almost certainly lock itself automatically behind and even give you trouble when trying to get out, especially if you are not experienced with them.

Assuming we are speaking of security locks with no key, the process of escaping the bathroom can be hard.

However, you need to understand that these locks are equipped with a simple opening mechanism, typically a small tiny push pin or screwdriver that is normally inserted in a small hole that’s placed to face the passageway.

Start by looking on top of the bathroom’s door header trim so as to spot a convenient location to place or find the device.

Odds are it won’t be there; you can use an ice pick to exert pressure or push the button if it’s a type that features a push-button latch mechanism/device.

Seven Ways To Get The Bathroom Door Open Plus One Alternative

Whether you are locked out from inside or outside the bathroom, use these strategies to open the door:

1. When Locked From The Outside (Six Methods)

Method #1: Butter Knife Method

  • Place your butter knife in your keyhole to open the push-button lock.
  • A butter knife is the best tool for use.
  • Place the knife into the lock’s keyhole the same way you would with a key. Twist your knife to gently ease the lock.
  • Proceed to turn the doorknob, and the door will open.

Method #2: Bobby Pin Method

Bobby pins are probably the handiest lock-opening tools out there. That’s not just because they’re easy to find in any home, but also because they can be easily manipulated into the correct shape.

If you can’t open the door with your butter knife, then your bobby pins will most likely do the job

  • Take a bobby pin and bend it to remove the curve in the metal.
  • Get the bobby pin as flat and straight as possible before inserting it into the keyhole.
  • Proceed to turn the doorknob while wiggling the bobby pin the whole time.
  • After a few times of wiggling, the push-button action should unlock your lock instantly and let you in the bathroom.

Method #3: Screwdriver Method

Get a thin rodded screwdriver and use it to open the door. Yes, a screwdriver can be a better alternative if you can’t get some bobby pins or don’t want to ruin your butter knife.

  • Take a thin screwdriver and insert it into the keyhole.
  • Wiggle your screwdriver on the hole until you hear unlock sounds from your lock.
  • You don’t need to turn the doorknob while you are using the screwdriver.

Method #4: Credit Card Method

  • Try using your credit card or any other similar card of the same size to unlock the door.
  • Take your card and slide it in between the frame and the door, just above the location of the lock.
  • Tilt your card towards the handle or doorknob. Proceed to bend the card in the direction of the doorknob so that the card can slip between the frame and lock.
  • Lean on your door as you wiggle the credit card back and forth the slot – your door should unlock.

Method #5: Remove The Door Handle

Remove your door handle completely if you can’t unlock the bathroom door otherwise.


There may be a case when the lock completely refuses to respond to your bobby pins, screwdrivers, or any other object you may choose to use.

Door Handle With Exterior Screws

If the doorknob or handle features some exterior screws that can be easily seen, take your screwdriver or drill to undo them.

Once you’ve removed the screws, insert the screwdriver into the keyhole or lock mechanism, and twist it to open the lock.

Door Handle WITHOUT Exterior Screws

For those handles that come without exterior screws, try to place the flat head of the screwdriver under the opening or slit located on the doorknob’s throat.

Proceed to pull the screwdriver to lift off the exterior and to expose all the screws beneath it. Undo revealed screws using a drill or screwdriver.

It is recommended that you only use this method after trying with a bobby pin, screwdriver, or butter knife as it’s more complex and it takes longer to complete.

Method #6: Lockpicking Method

Try the lock picking method by purchasing a lock picking set.

This invaluable tool is used to pick locks of any kind, mostly security locks.

Each set normally comes with its own manual.

To open the security lock on your bathroom door from outside, follow the directions listed in your lock-picking set’s manual to choose the best pick for your lock.

2. Opening The Bathroom Door From The Inside (Two More Methods)

So you’ve just found out you can’t open our bathroom door from inside – take a deep breath and remain calm.

While it can be a bit frightening to suddenly discover that you can’t get out of your bathroom, keeping calm can help you collect your mind and figure out your way out.

Once you’re calm, determine the kind of lock you have at hand:

Safety Lock

Safety locks are the most user-friendly locks out there, and you are less likely to have a hard time with them.

These locks can be easily opened from inside or outside, whether a person is in the bathroom or not.

This feature can be annoying at times because it means the doorknob on the inner side would easily turn and open your door whether the doorknob is locked or locked.

 Security Lock

Bathroom doors are sometimes equipped with security locks that can be locked while the door is open, then the door can be closed.

So, if nobody is in the bathroom, everyone else will be locked out of the bathroom, and a “key” will be needed to open it.

If by bad chance, say, your 3-year-old gets in the bathroom and lock everyone else from the bathroom, you will have a hard time to get him out.

If your bathroom door features a security lock and has locked you inside, proceed like this:

Method #1: Yell

Shout like hell to attract the attention of anyone in a nearby room. The assisting person may use any of the above methods to open the door.

Method #2: Alternative Exit

Check the room for other alternative ways to exit If your bathroom has a window, climb out of it.

In A Nutshell

When locked inside or outside the bathroom, your approach to opening the door can depend on the type of lock.

Safety locks are easier to deal with because they are designed to easily let you out in the event of danger.

Related: Should You Keep The Bathroom Door Open Or Closed After Taking A Shower?

Security locks, on the other hand, are trouble.

For security locks,

  1. Try placing your butter knife in your keyhole to open the push-button lock. If it fails to work out, try applying the bobby pin method to release your push-button lock in case the butter knife does not work.
  2. Alternatively, get yourself a thin rodded screwdriver and use it to open the door.
  3. Credit cards, too, can prove useful.
  4. Take your credit card or any other similar card of the same size to unlock the door and wiggle it in the space between the edge of the frame and the door as directed above.
  5. Also, you can choose to remove your door handle completely if you can’t unlock the bathroom door otherwise.
  6. Better yet, you can try the lock-picking method by purchasing a lock-picking set.

While it can be a bit frightening to suddenly discover that you can’t get out of your bathroom, keeping calm can help you collect your thoughts and figure your way out.

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