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7 Ways To Loosen A Jar Lid That’s Stuck Tight

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:42 AM
  • 23 Replies

Most times we can open jars of food with little to no problem, a bit of pressure is applied as we’re twisting and then “pop”, the seal is broken and the lid comes off with ease. Occasionally though it just won’t budge, even after bringing some serious muscle power to the job…so how does one remove them?

Here are a few different ways you can conquer the problem:

A Rubber Glove Will Give You Extra Gripping Power

  1. Take a butter knife and give the lid a few good wacks along the top edge (turning the jar incrementally while you hit it), this should help break the seal and make the lid come off easily. Use the smooth edge of the knife (or the handle) against the lid and you’ll need to whack it (not light taps), but not so hard you shatter the glass. This is the method my grandmother taught me as I was growing up and it’s my “go-to” fix when problems arise, I’d say it has a 99% success rate.
  2. Put on rubber or latex gloves so you can grip really well when twisting.
  3. Lightly moisten a dishcloth or towel and use that to grab hold of the lid and twist, this also gives you more gripping power.
  4. Try breaking the seal by running the jar under hot water for up to a minute (tilt jar down so the water can reach the underside of the lid). Giving the lid a few wacks with a butter knife while doing this can also help speed up the process. You can also put the jar upside down in a bowl of hot water (just an inch or so deep to cover the lid edge) and leaving for up to a minute before trying again.
  5. Rubber bands will do the trick too! You’ll need a wide one to place around the lid edge then grab hold of it to squeeze and twist. Not working? Try another wide rubber band, this time placing around the glass jar so you have two firm places for gripping.
  6. Keep a square of rubberized non-slip drawer and shelf liner in with your kitchen gadgets, this can also be used to give you more gripping power (drape over jar before twisting off lid).
  7. Try breaking the seal by giving the bottom of the jar a good wack with the heel of your open hand. You may need to do this a couple times. You could also wack the bottom on the countertop (cover with a towel first to prevent damaging the surface), do so with enough force to break the seal without shattering the glass.

If the jar has been opened previously and the air-tight seal isn’t the problem, it’s likely stuck because syrup or sauce has crusted underneath the lid and around the glass rim. To fix this, a hot water soak should do the trick (as mentioned above) since it will help soften the crusted goo. You may also need something for extra grip when twisting (such as a rubber glove, elastic band, etc.). To prevent this problem in the future, wipe rim with a clean damp cloth before sealing.


A cut piece of inter tube from a automobile tire. use this to open jars cut  emergency vacuum belts from a medium size inter tube. Cut a seal for a garden hose, out of a piece of inter tube this is a washer that goes in the part of the hose that connects to the faucet. keep a few inter tubes for emergencies of all kinds.

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:42 AM
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by Ruby Member on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:45 AM


by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:50 AM
1 mom liked this
Buy a jar popping gizmo. They're a couple of dollars, take a couple of seconds to use, and mine has never failed me yet. Far safer than whacking the rim which means the jar no longer seals properly and risks little pieces of glass in your food.
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 8:00 AM

I've always used my grandma's trick - that has never failed me.  Take the jar on it's side, and whack it on the coutner a few times, turning the jar each time.  Opens easy-peasy each time.

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 8:22 AM
im a counter whacker lol
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by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 8:46 AM
Love this thanks for sharing!
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 8:49 AM



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by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 8:50 AM
I tap it on the counter a few times. Thank you for the tips! I've tried some a few times!
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by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 9:10 AM

I smack the bottom myself....of the jar that is !! he he

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 9:40 AM

 omg. tyvm for this info!   :)

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 9:41 AM
Good tips!
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