How to Open Frozen Car Doors

It is common for car doors to become frozen in cold climates. Frozen car doors can be challenging to open, but there are a number of ways to get your car doors open without damaging them. Follow these steps for how to open frozen car doors.

Push on your car door. Apply pressure by leaning on your frozen door. Push as hard as you can against the door. The pressure could break the ice around the door’s seal, enabling you to open the door.

Use warm water to melt the ice on your car door. Fill a cup, bucket or another container with warm water. Pour the container of warm water around the seal of the door and on the door’s handle. This will thin out the ice. Depending on how thick the ice is on your door, you may have to pour a few containers of warm water on it. Break or pull away the ice after pouring water over the door. As the ice thins, it will become easier to break or pull off of the car door.

Chip away the ice. Break the ice on the seal around the door and handle. Use an object like an ice scraper or small hand tool to break the ice.

Utilize a commercial de-icer product to open your car door. Spray a de-icer on your frozen door. De-icers contain chemicals that help melt the ice. How thick the ice is on your car will dictate how much de-icer to use, and how long it will take for the ice to melt. On average, it takes about 10 minutes for the de-icer to melt away enough of the ice so you can open your car door.

Use a hair dryer to open a frozen car door. Blow hot air from a hair dryer onto the frozen areas. Place the hair dryer’s setting to the highest temperature to help melt the ice quickly


  • Prevent a frozen door by spraying de-icer on the car before the freeze hits and/or covering your door with a sheet of cardboard.
  • Sometimes the whole car doesn’t become iced over. Check the other doors to see if you might be able to open them. If you can open one of the other doors, then crawl through your car and push the door open from the inside.
  • Windshield washer fluid make a good substitute to use as a de-icer. It contains alcohol that helps the ice melt.
  • Hair dryers are available as battery-operated units. It is more convenient to use a battery-operated hair dryer to melt the ice on your car door, rather than an electrical hair dryer that requires a cord.


  • Be careful when pouring hot water over the frozen door. The water may burn you if it splashes or comes in contact with your skin. Also, pouring hot water on very cold glass can cause the glass to shatter or crack. Be judicious about water temperature and placement.
  • When attempting to chip away the ice along the seal of the door, make sure you don’t scratch the paint job on your vehicle.




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