If you've properly maintained and cared for a lock and key, it should last you approximately 7 years. However, sooner or later, you're going to run into some problems with either the lock or the key due to normal wear. One common situation that many people run into is being unable to turn the lock even when the key has been inserted. If your key gets stuck in the lock, here are 3 tips you can try that might fix your problem.
Clean the Key and Remove Any Accumulates Stuck in Its Crevices
Take a good look at the key. There might be particles, like dirt, dust and other debris, stuck on the surface or inside the nooks and crannies of the crevices. These accumulates may prevent the key from properly complementing the lock. Wipe your key clean using a soft towel and some water. You can even use a toothpick to get into the nooks and crannies to remove any gunk that you see. Insert the lock again once you've cleaned it to see whether it works.
Clean the Inside of the Lock
Although the key may be clean, the inside of the lock may not be. Over time, it's not unusual for dirt, dust and other particles to get trapped in the nooks and crannies inside the lock and on the cylinder. You can try spraying an electrical cleaner into an auto lock or a normal cleaner into a residential lock, and simply slide the key in and out of the cylinder multiple times. This might help dislodge any particles that were stuck inside and help remove them.
Jiggle the Key to Get a Different Angle
Over long periods of time, the key can get worn down or bent. Try jiggling and wiggling the key a bit while you try to turn it in its lock to see if this helps the key reach all of the cylinders. If this works, you should highly consider having a locksmith recut a new key for you, as there's a good chance that your current one will either break or no longer work in no time. If you notice that the key is bent, you can try to straighten it yourself using a non-metal hammer.
If the problem continues to happen periodically, don't rely on temporary solutions any longer. Instead, call a licensed locksmith and have them inspect the situation. They'll have the ability to give you a better diagnosis and determine whether both the lock and the key are still salvageable and repairable or whether either of them needs to be replaced.