It's late. It's dark. You trudge through the snow to your car and discover the locks are all iced up. Don't panic! There's a clever way to solve this problem. Just apply a glob of hand sanitizer to the key and wiggle it gently into the lock.
Why does this work? Hand sanitizer's primary ingredient is alcohol, which melts ice clear away in seconds.
I love this tip, especially since I usually keep a travel-size bottle of Purell in my bag anyway. Another plus: hand sanitizer is much easier to come by in a pinch than specialty de-icing products. After all, even if you aren't carrying any Purell yourself, you can probably borrow some from a friend or passerby, right?
A few more clever de-icing ideas:Use a cigarette lighter to heat the tip of the key. It may take a few attempts, but the hot key should gradually melt the ice.
Spray a little WD-40 into the lock. Just remember WD-40 is highly flammable. If it doesn't work, don't try the cigarette lighter method afterwards -- at least not on the same lock!
If your car is parked at home you can also try breaking out the hair dryer. A blast of hot air should be all that's needed to get that lock finally de-iced. If you don't have a suitably long extension cord, try pouring some very hot water over the lock. Hopefully you'll be on your way in no time!