Can't Open A Stubborn Jar Lid? The Best Solution Is In Your Wine Bar

The stereotype of arthritic elderly hands struggling to open a jar of pickles might seem amusing to a healthy 24-year-old. Still, one need not have stiff, painful hands nor be of advanced age to occasionally wrestle with a stubborn, unyielding jar lid. You tried the usual methods to open the unwavering jar lid — first with your dominant hand, then the other hand, and using a rubber jar gripper. You might have even handed the offending item off to a roommate or family member who was then met with a similar wall of obstinance from the jar. 

Science might explain the tight lids — vacuum, air pressure, and whatnot — and you might be able to take comfort in knowing that nearly everyone has encountered the same maddening frustration. But one simple method of nullifying this nemesis might be quietly hanging out on your wine bar or in a kitchen drawer: Your wine bottle opener, which opens your bottles of crushed grapes, can also pop the lids of grape jellies and jams.

Wine bottle opener solution to tight jar lids

Tight jar lids can defy all your efforts to open them, but in a TikTok video, unlocking a tightly sealed jar appears almost comically easy. The clip features a woman using the hooked part of the wine key or sommelier knife type of wine bottle opener. You could also use an ordinary beer bottle or beverage opener with a hook, but not a closed-loop opener. They're given away as promotional items or are inexpensive finds at discount stores and gas stations. You might have one on your wine bar, key rack, or junk drawer.

With little effort, the woman in the video places the bottle opener against the sealed jar lid, flicks her wrist, and there is a little "pop," allowing the cover to open easily. It uses a science principle where breaking the vacuum seal is the key to unlocking the jar lid. Place the wine opener against the jar lid with the hook of the wine key or sommelier knife under the lip of the cover. Press down firmly with your thumb on top of the opener and index finger underneath it. It shouldn't take much pressure before you hear a slight pop that releases the vacuum seal of the jar. You should then easily be able to unscrew the jar lid.

Other jar opening options

Other options for opening stubborn lids of any kind include using a round rubber disc, wearing a rubber glove, or wrapping the jar in one or more thick rubber bands. Each option is designed to give the person a better grip on the lid. Thwacking the edge of the cover with something such as a butter knife or spoon can sometimes loosen the cap. Likewise, hitting the bottom of the jar, often at an angle, can do the trick for some people, as can turning the jar upside down and whacking it firmly on the counter.

If the stubborn jar lid was previously opened, stickiness might be preventing it from giving way. Running it under hot water can expand the lid enough to create the gap needed to open the jar. Finally, for some people, the best answer is to buy a jar-opening gadget, which will reduce your frustrations and save you valuable minutes.