How To Unlock A Bathroom Door Twist Lock? (Step-by-Step Guide)

How To Unlock A Bathroom Door Twist Lock

Doesn’t your bathroom door have a habit of locking itself, or has your child locked themselves inside by accident? If you’ve had a challenge dealing with such a situation, you’re probably asking how to unlock a bathroom door twist lock.

There are numerous reasons for your bathroom to suddenly get locked from the inside. But whatever the reason, you’ll need to find a way to unlock it without phoning a costly locksmith.

Here we’ll teach you how to unlock the bathroom door on your own. And the good thing is, you’ll only need to use the items that are already in your home! Let’s check out our four different methods.


Before we give you detailed instructions, it’s better to prepare the tools needed to help you open a twist-lock bathroom door. These may be small and simple tools, but they work efficiently for the task.

Each tool listed below functions for a different method:

  • Credit card or a thin sturdy plastic card
  • Metal coat hanger
  • Bobby pins
  • Paper clips

Step-by-Step Guide for Pushing the Bolt

Step-by-Step Guide for Pushing the Bolt

If your bathroom door uses a latch bolt mechanism, you can push it using a thin plastic card. Something like an expired credit/debit card or any kind of ID to help you pop the lock. It’s ideal to use on latch bolts with angled edges that face you.

Before you start, make sure you aren’t using a usable, functional, and important card because the process can damage it. It’s a method similar to the pulling process, but the difference is you have to use the plastic card’s edge. You need it to push the latch bolt’s angled edge until it pops open.

Step1. Position and Alignment for Proper Retraction

The first thing you need to do is set the card above the bolt, then angle it a bit. Make sure you’re angling it toward where the bolt will retract. Slowly turn the handle while simultaneously pulling the card down sharply.

Pro Tip: Slightly bending one end of the card is a good move. Just bend the tip before setting it above the bolt. Then, you can slowly slip the bent portion into the spot between the wall and door just above the doorknob.

Step2. Lock Disengagement

You’ll probably make a number of attempts to get this process right, but the goal here is to disengage the lock. Do this by turning the door handle while pushing the card down to hold the bolt away from the door frame. Doing so will let the lock retract, allowing you to open the door.

You have all the advantages when using this method since the plastic card is flexible enough to bend and wiggle through the gap. Even with a jamb that’s blocking it, the card can get through. Here’s a quick video to give you an idea of how to do this.

Step-by-Step Guide When Pulling the Bolt

Another way to effectively unlock your bathroom door is by pulling the bolt. The only tool you’ll need is a wire coat hanger. The angled edge faces the opposite direction, allowing you to hook it using a wire hanger. This is how it’s done:

Step1. Bending the Hanger

First, you’ll need to bend the hanger. Make sure it ends up looking like a hook with a handle.

One of the easier and better ways to bend hangers is by using pliers. If you look at the video below, you will see how much control you have when bending certain parts. It’s much more convenient than when you do it using your hands.

Step2. Slipping in the Hook

Now, you can position the hanger in between the door’s edge and jamb. This will allow the latch bolt to hook around.

Step3. Turn the Handle to Open

Once you position the hanger correctly, firmly hold it with one hand and hold the doorknob with the other. Now, start applying force to see which way the knob naturally turns, and turn it in that direction.

From there, pull on the hanger and allow it to tug on the latch. Doing so will force the knob to withdraw and then turn.

Pro Tip: During this method, turn the doorknob continuously in semi-circular motions. Do this until your bathroom door unlocks. At this point, the door should unlock. However, if there’s any blockage in the space between the door and wall, this method won’t likely work.

Step-by-Step Guide Doing the Bobby Pin Technique

The next method is the classic bobby pin technique which you often see in the movies. However, the only difference in real life is it will take you some time to unlock the knob using these bobby pins.

Check the video below to see what happens to the lock mechanism when using bobby pins to unlock a door.

Step1. Straighten Your Bobby Pins

You’ll need to straighten two bobby pins to work as substitute keys. Stretch the first pin until it forms a 90-degree angle, then remove the rubber from the pin’s tip. This will create a smoother surface that you can slightly bend after.

The next pin shouldn’t be stretched out. Instead, you’ll need to bend it in a crosswise manner. You can insert this second pin inside the lock, but make sure to hold it sideways to apply pressure.

Using the first bobby pin, use the bent end to enter the lock. Generally, most standard locks consist of six pins, where one is more rigid than the others.

Wiggle the pin that’s straightened around the lock while applying pressure using the other to find the rigid pin. Continue applying pressure until you hear that click on the lock.

Step2. Bobby Pins Working as Keys

As we mentioned earlier, continue wiggling the pin until you feel pressure or hear a click. From there, redistribute the pressure you feel by moving the pin against it. Do this by using the pin as if it were a key and continuing until you unlock the door.

Just keep in mind that realistically, using these items to unlock a bathroom door twist lock takes longer than in movies.

Step-by-Step Guide with the Paper Clip Method

We consider this the easiest method to use if you’re wondering how to unlock a bathroom door twist lock. So, we’re sharing simple step-by-step instructions to get the job done.

Step-by-Step Guide with the Paper Clip Method

Step1. Work that Paper Clip

The first thing to do is find a paper clip and then bend it to get a long, straight section. This part will be slipped into the knob’s small hole.

Step2. Search for the Doorknob Hole

Next, find that hole in the doorknob, which is often at the center of its handle. However, you can also find it at the top of the metal curve that meets the door.

Step3. Slip in the Paper Clip

For this step, just put the paper clip in the hole, then move it around until a clicking sound is heard. If there’s nothing, do this simultaneously until it grabs onto something.

Since we’re talking about a twist lock, you’ll need to slip in the paper clip with a slight twist. Once you put it in the hole, the tip can mold across the twist with a bit of pressure.

Your goal is to have the paper clip hit the locking mechanism within the doorknob. And once you do this correctly, it will release the lock to unlock your bathroom door.

That’s it. You’ll only need to insert your paperclip, search for the push button, then press it to unlock the door. If you can’t picture how the process works, take a look at this video to give you an idea of how it works.

Extended Tips

Here are some extra tips you should consider if your bathroom door gets locked occasionally.

  • Before anything else, stay calm. Remember that the more you panic, the more you’ll end up losing focus. Instead, think of the solutions we just mentioned and consider the best method to use for unlocking your door.
  • If your bathroom door tends to get locked, it’s best to have the knob fixed. But if you can’t do that immediately, try keeping some tools inside the bathroom. These will greatly help in case of emergencies.
  • Also, it’s better to get door locks that can be opened easily with the tools we mentioned earlier.

Tips for Lock Maintenance

Tips for Lock Maintenance

To prevent your bathroom door twist lock from getting accidentally locked, you can follow these lock maintenance tips:

  • Clean the locking mechanism and remove the dirt. But never go overboard, and avoid using harsh cleaning solutions that can damage the parts of the lock. Use damp water to wipe off dirt or very mild detergent if you need to use soap.
  • Lubricate the lock once a year to prevent parts from getting stuck or being negatively affected by temperature changes. Move your key in and out of the lock to ensure that it’s fully lubricated.
  • Test your door for poor alignment by opening, closing, and locking it. Due to natural wear, doors can sag on their hinges or get misaligned from the strike plate. These issues can prevent your locks from functioning properly.
  • Tighten the screws of the door’s hinges with a Phillips head screwdriver. Doing so will prevent the hinge plates from getting loose.
  • Avoid bad habits like forcefully pulling your keys from the locks. Also, don’t close your door by pulling on your key when it’s still in the lock.


Getting locked outside your bathroom isn’t unusual and happens occasionally, so it’s best to be prepared beforehand. Be sure that a substitute key and other tools you can use to unlock your door are accessible at all times.

If you don’t have the spare key, you can try the different methods we’ve discussed above. Just remember that you can unlock the bathroom door twist lock by:

  • Pushing the bolt with a thin plastic card
  • Pulling the bolt using a wire coat hanger
  • Using bobby pins as keys
  • Using paper clips

If you’re worrying about breaking the door and don’t mind the cost, you can call a locksmith to solve the issue.

If you’re still having problems with your locked bathroom door after trying these techniques, drop your questions in the comment section. We’ll do our best to help you out with your concerns, and get that bathroom door opened!

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