Top 10 Proven Methods for Opening Stubborn Jars

How to Open Jars

How to Open Jars

Everyone has come across that stubborn jar lid that refuses to budge, leaving you with that aggravated weakling feeling.  The truth is one of the reasons that jars of food have such a long shelf life is a vacuum seal that keeps the lid tightly closed, thus preventing the contents from exposure to the air that would spoil it. What this means for us, though, is that occasionally these seals are a little too tight, causing us to struggle to get them open. Here are a few top tips for getting that jar open, from the mildly tight to the seemingly impossible.


To Get a Better Grip


1. Put a rubber band around the lid

2. Put plastic wrap around the opening, grip and turn

3. Grip the bottle with a dryer sheet

4. Use a rubber glove such as those used for cleaning

5. Try using your left hand or non dominate hand

For The Really Stubborn Jars


6. Take a wooden spoon or table knife and hit around the edge of the jar to loosen the vacuum seal

7. Take a butter knife or bottle opener and lodge it as best as you can in between the lid and jar. Wiggle it a bit back and forth until you hear a “pop,” which will be the sound of the seal breaking. 

8. Turn the jar upside down and hit the bottom of the jar with your palm a few times – this should also loosen the seal

9. Put the jar upside down in a pie plate or something similar filled with hot water (just enough to cover the lid) – after 30 seconds it should be easier to open

10. If the jar is already cold try running hot water over the lid (Do not run it over the entire jar, though). The hot water will make the lid expand temporarily.


Head over to Americas Test Kitchen to see some of these methods of how to open a jar demonstrated and pick up on some other great kitchen tips.

how to open stubborn jars

1 Comment

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply

    this really helped thank you

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