How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck – Tips!

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck – Methods and Tips!

There has got to be a better way how to open a jar that is stuck without straining your wrist and without struggling to open it. Imagine the frustration of not being able to complete what you are cooking because of a stubborn jar lid. You even tried twisting with all your energy but it seems impossible to open with just your bare hands.

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck – Methods and Tips!

A jar with tight lids can often be tough to open. The rule is to give it to someone next to you and let them open it. But even if you try getting help from someone, there will be times they cannot open it no matter how strong they are, too, especially if the jar got solidly stuck it will make your life hard for a moment. In this case, this becomes not a question of your or their strength, but rather a matter of physics.


Why Do Jar Lids Get Stuck

Knowing why jar lids get stuck and hard to open can give us an idea of how to open jars with tight lids that are stuck no matter how much effort you put in twisting them to open.

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck – Methods and Tips!-2

A reason why the lids of jars are sometimes hard to open is because of the vacuum in the jar. The natural pressure in the atmosphere is pressing on the lid from the outside. This helps in keeping the seal tight. Also, this pressure pushes the lid to the jar, adding to the seal making the lid to become difficult to twist and open.

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck – Methods and Tips!

Another explanation is because warm air takes more volume than cold air. If the content in the jar is warm at first, it will suck in the lid down when it cools down. So when the contents cool down, the air inside takes up a lesser volume causing the lid to be sucked in.

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck

Another possible reason is that, if the jar has already been opened before, there might be traces of food stuck in the mouth of the jar that is sticking to the lid, making it hard to open.

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck

Ways on How to Open Jars with Tight Lids

We know for sure that the food companies intentionally tighten the container lids – to the point of needing extra effort to open them – for safety purposes.

You already know the reasons why it can be hard to open a jar lid, you can now try some of these different methods on how to open jars with tight lids, even the almost impossible-to-open ones. These methods are based on physics and some only need the common things found in our home. 

  • By Using Heat

Metals and glass have different expansion properties when exposed to heat. For this reason, using heat on the jar lid might work because the lid expands more than the glass. Also, by using heat, it will melt possible food residue that has dried up and stuck in the mouth of the jar.

1. Run It Under Hot Water

Check the contents of the jar first. Some contents cannot be put under hot water. Then, run a stream of hot water. Turn the jar on its side and place the lid of the jar under the stream of hot water. Make sure to move the jar around to wet all the sides of the lid. This will loosen the lid on its own.

2. Submerge In Hot Water

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck

Another option is to fill a dish or a basin with hot water. Turn the jar upside down and submerge its lid in the hot water for 30 seconds.

3. Hairdryer

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck

If putting the lid under hot water does not work, you can use a hairdryer instead. Yes, you read that right. The hairdryer we usually use to solve our hair problems can also be used to solve how to open a jar that is stuck.  

Warm up the hairdryer and aim it to the lid of the jar. Heat the rim of the lid. The heat will help the lid expand and loosen the seal. Then use a cloth to twist the lid off once it is heated up.


4. Lighter

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck

You can also heat the lid by using a lighter. It uses the same concept as the first three. Drive the flame from the lighter around the rim of the lid. Drive it slowly to distribute the heat. Use anything to protect your hands from heat when twisting the lid off. The lid will expand the hotter it gets. Be careful when using the lighter because this will make the jar lid hot.

  • By Traction or Improving Grip

Some jars can be slippery and can lessen our grip on them. So another way on how to open a jar that is stuck is by having an increased grip on them. This is probably the best method to use because this does not include using sharp objects or heat that can hurt your hands. 

Wrapping the lid (or your hand) with something to improve your grip might be a big help. Hold the jar with your non-dominant hand then twist the lid off with your dominant hand with the help of some traction. The following can be used for an increased grip:

1.Towel or Rough Cloth. Try wrapping a towel or a piece of rough cloth around the jar lid. Then twist the stuck lid open. You can also wet the towel if the dry ones do not work. 

2. Rubber Bands. Stretch rubber bands on the lid can also help strengthen your grip. The wider the rubber band, the wider the area you can grip on. You can stack more bands around the lid if you do not have a wide rubber band.

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck

3. Plastic Wrap.  A roll of plastic wrap gives more traction because of the way it can cling to things easily. Put a layer of plastic wrap to completely cover the jar’s lid. Put it on top and press on the sides. Let the plastic cling towards the rim of the lid. 

4. Rubber Gloves or Silicon Oven Mitts. If wrapping something around the jar lid for traction will not help, try wrapping something around your hand to help get a good grip on the jar. You can use just one glove if you think you can hold the body of the jar with a bare hand.

5. Duct Tape. The jar lid will come loose with the help of duct tape. Tear a strip of duct tape about a foot in length. Wrap the duct tape about a quarter around and on top of the lid. The bottom of the duct tape should be in line with the bottom of the lid. Hold the jar and then twist the lid of the jar.  

Duct Tape

  • By Breaking Or Weakening the Vacuum Seal

Tight vacuum seals are standard to preserve pressure if the jar bottle is new and breaking these seals is one of the most effective ways on how to open a jar that is stuck and can ease opening the lid. Here are ways in targeting the jar lid. 

1.Using the Palm of your hand. Tilt the jar 45 degrees with its lid facing down. Smack the bottom of the jar firmly using the palm of your hand. This will raise the pressure on the lid and will loosen the seal. Some also call this the ‘water hammer’ method because of the abrupt change in pressure. If you hear a pop, this indicates that the vacuum seal is now broken. 

2. Bottle Opener or Butter Knife. Tilt the jar where you can easily access the lid. Pry open the jar by inserting a bottle opener or the tip of a butter knife into the lid. Use the part with a hooked edge and insert it under the rim of the jar lid and push it upwards while moving around the rim carefully. Remember that you are only removing pressure inside and not popping the lid off (this may cause damage to the lid). If you hear a hiss of air or pop, it means you have broken the seal and you can now twist the lid off easily. 

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck – Methods and Tips!

You can also wedge the tip of a metal spoon if you do not feel confident in using sharp objects for prying open jar lids. 

3. Wooden Kitchen Spoon. If you have a wooden kitchen spoon around or anything heavy, you can use it to tap the jar. The heavier the object, the better but wood works best. Tap it around the rim and on top of the jar lid to pop the seal.

4. Punch A Hole. If the previous ones do not work on breaking the vacuum seal, you can punch a tiny hole on top of the jar lid. But only do this option if you do not plan on storing the jar again.

  • Using Jar-Opening Tools

If opening jar lids had become a consistent problem in your home, you may consider buying jar-opening tools. There are commercially available tools made solely for opening stubborn jar lids. These tools are useful when your hands are weak or you have trouble opening jars on a usual basis. Technology enables these devices to grip and twist open jar lids without straining your hand. These must be costly and not very necessary especially when you can do ways on how to open jars with tight lids. But if you have the extra cash and you don’t want to waste time and energy struggling to open a jar, then why not have it! 

What to Keep In Mind When Opening Stuck Jar Lids

  • Avoid using direct heat if it is made of glass. If the jar is made of glass, and you just got it out from the refrigerator, DO NOT let the hot water get in touch with the glass. This might cause the glass to break.

  • Avoid using hot water or direct heat on jars made of plastic. These plastic jars typically have screw-on caps. You can loosen these caps by running them under warm water, not hot water because this will melt the plastic.

How to Open a Jar That Is Stuck

  • Make sure that the jar is clean. It can be hard to maintain a grip on a jar that is dirty.

  • Now you know how to open a jar that is stuck, make sure to do it near the sink. So if anything spills out from the jar when the lid comes off, it will be easy to clean.

How to Open Jar with Safety Button

To know how to open jar with safety button, we must first describe what is a safety button in a jar and why does it have one. Safety buttons are the raised part on the lid of jars and bottles. They can help tell you if a jar has been opened before. In the case of food, these can help in identifying spoilage. Jars that were sealed under pressure have safety buttons as a safety feature. 

If the lid was not sealed properly, got broken during delivery, or the product was opened, the pressure inside the jar will be released and will cause the raised part on the lid to pop. In addition, if bacteria get into the jar, it will produce gas as it feeds and the gas it forms will cause the safety button to pop. So if you bought a new jar of food that did not pop when opened, there is a chance that the food is spoiled.

The steps on opening jars with tight lids by breaking or weakening the vacuum seal can also be used on how to open jar with safety button.


Tight lids on jars are annoying and are hard to open but they are made that way for consumer’s safety. Understanding the explanations why lids are tight helps identify ways on how to open them easier. These methods, however, also have their limitation depending on the material of the jar that is why it is important to read the things to keep in mind when opening stuck jar lids.

The techniques on how to open jar with safety button are pretty much the same in opening tight jar lids so these tips can help on both. We hope this solves your problem on how to open a jar that is stuck and other difficult jar-opening-related matters.


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