Few things are as annoying as being in the midst of cooking and having to deal with a jar that’s glued shut. But stuck jar lids aren?t just tricky or annoying, they can be dangerous, too, as getting them to open with sharp objects or banging them against the table can lead to injuries. But before you just throw that stubbornly stuck jar in the trash, defeated and sad, try these 4 handy and safe methods?of opening a lid that’s stuck.
1. Break the Seal
Not being able to open a jar isn’t a testament of weakness, in most cases. In fact, applying brute force to open a jar may not be useful sometimes, at least not before you break the vacuum seal, especially if the jar is brand new. The easiest way to do so is by simply turning the jar on its side, and then patting the bottom of the jar a few times. If you happen to hear a popping sound, it indicates that the vacuum seal has been broken, and opening the jar now should be much easier.
Sometimes, this method doesn’t work, however. Another good way for breaking the seal of a new jar is taking a rolling pin or any other heavy object and gently tapping the sides of the lid while simultaneously rotating the jar to cover the whole perimeter of the lid.
2. Use hot water
Most jar lids are made of metal, which expands when exposed to heat – a physical property that can help you get those pickles out in no time. You can either heat up the jar by submerging it lid-down into the sink (or bowl) with hot water, or by holding the jar horizontally and running hot water over just the lid, rotating the jar to warm up the entire lid.
Apply heat for a few minutes, then dry completely, and try opening it up once again. Avoid submerging the entire jar into hot water, as the glass could crack or break, and also, the contents of the jar could become warm. Handle the hot jar carefully, preferably using a towel to avoid direct contact and prevent burns.
3. Use a towel for extra traction
It can sometimes be difficult to open a jar because you don’t have enough grip to crack it open. To make sure your grip is the best it can possibly be, make sure that the jar is completely dry and has no oily or sticky residue. Also, make sure that your hands are dry and clean.
To enhance the traction even further, you can also use a towel, rubber dish gloves, or even a rubber band. Wrap the rubber band or dry dish towel around the jar, and try to open it that way, or wear gloves to get a better grip of the lid and jar. Combining this with the other methods we’ve suggested is best, especially if you’re dealing with an extremely resistant lid.
4. A handy hack to open a jar
If you’ve tried all of the above methods, but nothing seems to work, you can also try this lifehack that requires duct tape. Take a long piece of duct tape, wrap it around the lid, leaving a few inch piece of the tape loose – you’ll later use it as a handle.
Now, fold the hanging piece of duct tape in half, and then give it a good tug until you see it twisting open. The video below gives you a step by step visual demonstration of this method.