How to Open A Toilet Paper Dispenser

Where are the keys? The keys! This is often the frustrating question you ask if the keys to the toilet paper dispensers are missing. You feel more infuriated when so much finger-pointing and blame is being passed around. 

Don’t get all worked up, as there are ways to open a dispenser without a key. You can use everything from a paperclip to a screwdriver or nails to get the door open. You may even be able to find a copy key for common dispenser brands.

This article will explore the different ways of opening a toilet paper dispenser—all without a key. 

Why Do Dispensers Have Key Locks? 

Life would be easier without the inconvenience of locked-up toilet paper that you can no longer reach. So, why do commercial toilet paper dispensers have key locks?

Most businesses or departments use locks on their dispensers to prevent theft. Hygiene is also another reason for placing locks on dispensers. Dispensers only expose a small portion of the toilet paper, thus reducing the spread of microorganisms from one person to another. 

It is surprising how often people steal toilet paper from the public restrooms. From employees to visitors, there’s no one exempt from carting rolls away. 

How Do I Open a Toilet Paper Dispenser Without a Key 

It’s surprising how a missing key can mess up your day or bring all activities to a standstill. Imagine working on a floor where the keys to the dispensers are missing.

What’s worse? Imagine you’re in charge of keeping the keys and changing the toilet paper. Thankfully, a missing key is not the end of the world. Here are other ways of opening that dispenser without a replacement key. 

Use a Paperclip to Open the Dispenser 

Finally, you can put those late-night detective movies to use. Get a paper clip, preferably the large metal ones. 

Straighten one end of the clip so that you have a curved and a straight end. Insert the straight end into the keyhole. Hold on! Don’t push in too much. Wiggle the paperclip in the hole, from left to right, and vice versa. 

Keep moving it within the keyhole until you hear a click. Open the dispenser to add a fresh roll of toilet paper. 

Use a Screwdriver to Open the Toilet Tissue Dispenser

Screwdrivers also come in handy in these situations. Note that screwdrivers will come in handy when the holder contains screws. 

Use the right screwdriver to unscrew the dispenser cover and replace the used rolls with new ones. Replace the rolls and screw on the dispenser cover. This is quite a time-consuming process. 

So, take your time and ensure to screw back the dispenser cover in place tightly. 

Use Nails to Open the Dispenser 

This method is quite similar to using paper clips. Insert a nail with a diameter small enough to fit into the keyhole. Wiggle it around until you hear a click. The click indicates that you’ve unlocked the dispenser. 

Get a Copy Key 

Most dispensers like Tork use the same key for all their dispensers. You can find spare keys at the nearest hardware store. 

Tell the clerk the brand name of the dispensers to get a spare key. If the key is not available, visit online eCommerce stores or the manufacturer’s website to get the key. 

What’s the next step? 

toilet paper dispenser

How Do You Refill Dispensers 

Opening the toilet paper dispenser without a key is the first step. How do you refill it with toilet paper rolls before closing the dispenser? You start by following these simple steps:

  1. Open the toilet paper dispenser and remove the spindles. Most spindles have a round cylindrical shape and help to anchor toilet papers to the spindles. Sometimes, they are not firmly screwed to the dispenser. If the spindle is fixed, place the toilet roller on it. 
  2. Load the toilet paper on the spindle. Let the loose end of the roll face downwards. This prevents jamming and makes it easy to pull out the toilet paper. 
  3. Some toilet paper dispensers have two spindles. So, add a toilet paper roll to each spool. Lock the dispenser again, and voila! You’ve successfully reloaded toilet paper rolls in a dispenser. 

How to Get Paper Towels to Roll Without Using a Dispenser 

What if you damaged the dispenser while trying to unlock or install new rolls? Do you get another or create your dispenser? 

  1. Get a paper towel roll still in wrapping. You can choose any brand, from Charmin to Kirkland to Silk’n Soft. 
  2. Next, use scissors to cut a small hole on the top. Make the hole slightly larger than the width of the cardboard tube. 
  3. Press the roll on all sides to loosen the cardboard tube. Gently pull it out without compromising the shape of the roll. 
  4. Now gently pull out the innermost paper roll sheet through that tiny hole. 
  5. Place the makeshift dispenser on the toilet cistern. 

There you have it! Your customized dispenser. Furthermore, the nylon cover on the roll prevents the spread of germs

What Else Can I Use to Dispense My Toilet Paper? 

Dispensers are a hassle, especially if someone keeps misplacing the keys. Although they are a convenient option, you may try out the old rack. 

Toilet paper racks are the earliest version of dispensers. They are easy to install and do not require any gimmick to dispense rolls of toilet paper. All you need is to remove the paper holder, install your paper and put it between the two roller holders. 

Yes, it takes less than two minutes to install a paper holder.

Note: Holders are not sanitary because the paper is exposed and may easily transmit germs from one person to another. 


All you need is the right tools to open a toilet paper dispenser without a key. So, keep this information handy whenever someone misplaces the dispenser key.