Door Latch Stuck? 6 Ways To Keep A Door Latch From Sticking

by Daniel on

If you have a door latch stuck, whether it is keeping your door locked or preventing it from closing, there are a number of solutions you can use to solve the issue. When we talk about door latches sticking, we are talking about the spring-loaded latch used by door handles. 

These types of locks can be used on interior or exterior doors, and do not necessarily have locks. If this is the type of stuck door latch you have, here are six ways to keep the door latch from sticking.

1. Adjust The Strike

A misaligned strike plate can be the reason your door latch is stuck in the open or closed position. With a door latch stuck, for this reason, there is no reason to address the door lock. Instead, pantomime closing the door and making sure that the door latch is going to fall into the hole in the strike plate.

If the latch does not line up correctly with the strike plate, widen the hole in the strike to the necessary degree, or take the strike plate off and re-secure it properly. If you are re-securing the strike plate, be aware of how close the set screws will be to their previous position. 

When the set screws are not far enough away from the other set of holes, you run the risk of widening the set holes so the strike plate will come loose. You may also take this time to use longer set screws as a general security upgrade for your door.

2. Remove Rust

A door latch stuck due to rust is most common with older door locks, especially in climates with a lot of moisture. Rust can be removed through several means, including using a basin and vinegar, or the more complicated process of electrolysis. No matter how you choose to remove rust, make sure that you do not harm yourself or corrode the metal of your lock.

You will need to take your lock apart, to clean each part individually, which means you need to be able to put the device back together. Rust will also re-form quickly and easily if the lock is not properly polished after the rust is removed. If you cannot prevent the rust from reforming, you may need to change the lock.

3. Replace Broken Parts

In order to replace broken parts, you need to be able to diagnose which parts are responsible for a sticking door latch. Fixing a door latch stuck for reasons relating to broken parts also requires access to replacement components. 

Some pieces are too minor to be available, and even when available, you will need to know what the part is called to search for it. For this type of lock repair, you need to have access to the part of the lock that is broken, even if it means fabricating the part yourself. 

Without a good understanding of how your lock was supposed to work, it can be near impossible to determine what is missing or failing. But if you can find the issue and the replacement part for a door latch stuck open or closed, simply take the lock off the door. Then take the lock apart, replace the broken component, put the lock back together, and reinstall it in your door. 

4. Fix Connections

When you have a door latch that is perpetually in the extended or retracted position, it might be because the door handle is not retracting or releasing the spring-loaded latch. These are connections in the handle that are not interacting in the way they were designed to. Something may have come loose so that the latch is no longer being controlled by the handle.

A door handle might be visibly loose, so you can see that turning it will not interact with the through-spindle to actuate the latch. You can also have a door latch stuck because these connection points are jammed, preventing the extension or release of the latch. Look for how the lock works and where the issues in the connections are.

5. Change The Lock

With a door latch stuck, if the problem is just with the lock, you can change the lock fully. Whatever is wrong with your lock will no longer matter, and there will now be a brand new device that is not suffering from any of the previous issues. The trick is that the trouble with the door latch sticking has to be relegated solely to the lock hardware being replaced.

In cases where this does not solve the issue you were already experiencing, then the issue was not with the lock. Using this valid troubleshooting method, you can change out two locks (one working and one that is not) and see if the issue persists. This is a good way to know if a complete lock change will be the right investment.

6. Call A Locksmith 

A locksmith is the solution to any issues you are experiencing with your stuck door latch. Not only do you not need to determine the issue with your lock, you also don’t need to find the remedy, the locksmith will take care of everything from start to finish. You can also be sure that the work will be done properly as long as you hire a reliable professional company.

For any door latch stuck in Los Angeles, Locksmith Pros USA is your best solution. There is no one better at finding out what you need to get your door lock back in working order. Anyone of the technicians we send to your location will have the tools and knowledge to solve your door problem.


The strike plate on your door jam has a lot to do with the effectiveness of your door latch, but a door latch can be stuck for a multitude of reasons. Finding out what is wrong is necessary to fix your stuck door latch and keep your door latch from sticking in the future. 

You can do this yourself if you are handy, or leave the work up to a professional locksmith. Always do what is best for your home security.

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