How to Dispose of Old Keys

There are things you notice piling up, and there are things you don’t.

Keys happen to fall in that latter category. Think about it. Every time you change houses, jobs, cars, locks, rooms, you end up throwing that old key in some drawer in the house and forget all about it.

And just like that, one day, you might find yourself possessing dozens of old keys.

Now, the question remains, what do you do with them? Keep reading to find out how to dispose of old keys.

How to Dispose of Old Keys

If you’ve got a lot of old keys lying around with absolutely no use, it’s best to dispose of them right away. But how do you do that? It’s easy. Just recycle them.

Most of the keys we use these days are entirely metal or steel. This means that they can be melted down and reused elsewhere.

Now, you probably can’t do this yourself. Therefore, your best option is to take them to your nearest recycling center and put them in the mixed metal bin.

Before you throw them in this bin, make sure you remove any non-metal parts from it, such as any plastic casing, rubber edges, or any non-metallic keychains.

Although the chances of someone finding your key and knowing which lock it belongs to are extremely low.

However, if you still feel anxious about it, you can sand down the edges of the key or bend it so that it is truly no longer usable.

How to Reuse Old Keys

If you can’t find any recycling centers near you, or you can’t be bothered to go down there, or if you’re simply feeling a little crafty, there are several ways you can reuse your old keys around the house.

There are various DIY projects that utilize old keys for practical solutions as well as creative ones. Here is a list of ways you can reuse your old keys.

  1. Make statement jewelry using old keys as earrings or stringing them together to form a necklace.
  2. Use old keys as letter openers.
  3. Use old keys to pop open bottle lids when you don’t have a bottle opener lying around.
  4. Keep old keys by your front door and use them to clean mud from your shoe soles.
  5. Make a wind chime out of old keys.
  6. Frame your old keys for unique wall décor.
  7. Sew old keys at the bottom of your curtain to prevent them from needlessly blowing around.
  8. Use old keys as Christmas ornaments and hang them on your Christmas tree.
  9. Use old keys as zipper pull tabs to give your clothes some character.
  10. Bend and screw your old keys to a piece of wood to make a key holder.
  11. Use some resin and your old keys to make coasters.
  12. Use glue and your old keys to make a bowl.
  13. Nail old keys onto a round piece of wood and attach a clockwork gear to make a DIY key clock.

Switching Over to Keyless Entry Systems

The locks and keys that we so commonly use today were invented more than six thousand years ago, and it seems like its days in the sun are coming to an end.

While they are an effective way to secure entry to various places, manual keys tend to have a lot of problems as well.

For instance, old keys tend to pile up, and it becomes hard to dispose of them.

That’s why many people and organizations as a whole are switching to keyless entry systems instead. In a world where everything is being digitized or turning smart, lock and key systems haven’t been spared either.

And so, we see the rise in popularity of digital locks. Digital or electronic locks use electric current within the locking device and can come with various features.

They can accommodate manual keys along with a keypad for entering a passcode or simply work on the basis of the passcode.

The latest models even have built-in fingerprint identification technology as well. Initially, these were only used in public places such as hospitals and government buildings.

However, a lot of residential spaces are also switching over to these digital locks.

Pros of Keyless Entry Systems

Here are some of the advantages of using keyless entry systems like electronic locks.


Digital locks are much more convenient. How many times have you stood at your door for ten minutes while you search for your key in your pockets, then in your bag, then in your jacket, then in your bag again, and then finally find them in your car?

This can get pretty tiring pretty fast. With digital locks, you can forget about wasting your precious time looking for your keys everywhere.

You can simply enter in your passcode and be inside your house within seconds.

No Chances of Getting Locked Out

Everyone loses their keys once in a while. If you have other people living at home, they can simply let you in when you forget or misplace your set of keys.

However, if you happen to live alone, forgetting your keys means you’re locked out of your home with no way in.

Then, you end up calling a locksmith or your building’s superintendent to unlock your door, which is a hassle as much as it is embarrassing.

With digital locks, you don’t have to worry about forgetting your keys or getting locked out. You simply need to remember the door’s passcode, and you can get in whenever you want.

Monitor and Control Access

If you have one of the more advanced digital lock systems that are synced with your phone as well, you can receive alerts and notifications on your phone any time someone unlocks the door.

This way, you can monitor who is accessing your home and at what time.

You can monitor and spot any unusual activity immediately and take appropriate steps timely. Moreover, along with monitoring the access, you can also control access to your home.

For instance, if you have someone coming in for some repair work, you can give them the passcode to the door.

Once their work is over, you can change the passcode so that your house is secure again. You won’t need to change the entire lock or get new keys made.

Cons of Keyless Entry Systems

Keyless entry systems aren’t exactly perfect either. Here are some of the drawbacks of using keyless entry systems like electronic locks.


Compared to conventional locks, digital locks are much more expensive in cost and installation. They can be three, four, or even five times the price of manual lock and key systems.

The more advanced and fancy lock you go for, the higher the price will be.

And if you plan to install the digital lock on multiple doors, you can just multiply that price by the number of doors.

While that does sound a lot, some people do tend to justify it by the added convenience and security it offers. Not to mention, it doesn’t require constant lock changes and new keys.

Power Failure

These days, most digital locks come with batteries inside, so they should work regardless of power in the house or not.

However, some older models do rely on an active power connection, which is why they are bound to fail if there’s a power failure in that area.

Even if we consider the latest models, they sometimes rely on a Wi-Fi connection, which is dependent on power. Therefore, no power means no Wi-Fi, and no Wi-Fi means no opening your door through your phone.

Memorizing Door Codes

Since most of these digital locks have a security passcode that grants or denies access, you will need to remember that code at all times.

If you’re not great at remembering passwords and codes, it will be a struggle for you to enter your home at times.

You might have to try a few combinations before you get it right. Sometimes, this can be dangerous, though, as some systems might be programmed to freeze after a number of unsuccessful tries, as is the case with our smartphones too.

Security Risks

Digital locks don’t eliminate all security risks. There are some risks that remain still. For instance, just like a lock can be picked, a digital lock can also be cracked to gain access.

Similarly, if your lock is synced with your phone over the Wi-Fi connection, your whole house network, including the lock, can be hacked.

In fact, someone can even simply guess your passcode by just seeing which buttons on the keypad are more worn out. Therefore, if you do install a digital lock, remember to keep changing the passcode every once in a while.


While digital locks are gaining traction, they are still nowhere near as widespread as normal lock and key systems. Therefore, currently, most people would be concerned about disposing of their old keys only.

So, while they refer to the solutions we’ve mentioned above for disposing of as well as reusing old keys, perhaps they can start thinking about making that switch to digital locks as well.

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