6 Simple Ways to Open a Stuck Jar Lid

Don't let a stuck jar lid deter your dinner plans.
Don't let a stuck jar lid deter your dinner plans.
Ella Olsson, Pexels

After buying your groceries, tying on your apron, and prepping your ingredients, the last thing you want is a stubborn jar lid keeping you from a meal. No matter how confident you are in your dexterity, you may have struggled to open a jar lid that refuses to budge at some point. Luckily, there are plenty of tricks you can try before ordering takeout. From quick fixes to DIY rigs, here are some effective ways to unscrew a jar lid.

1. Run the jar lid under hot water.

You may have heard this tip before, and it really works: If you run a stuck jar lid under hot water for about a minute and dry it off, it should be easier to twist open. This is due to the heat from the water expanding the metal in the lid. According to Spoon University, a hair dryer has the same effect. (Just be careful about making the jar too hot to hold.)

2. Bang the jar lid against the counter.

Without breaking it, try giving your jar a few good whacks against the edge of the countertop. The force of the impact on the spot where the lid meets the jar should be enough to loosen the seal in some cases.

3. Grab a towel for traction.

If you can't unscrew a lid, it may be your hands—not the jar—that are the problem. To counteract wet or greasy hands, grab a paper towel or dish towel and wrap it around the lid. This should hopefully give you the traction you need to get the lid unstuck.

4. Pat the bottom of the jar.

For this trick, forget about the lid for a few seconds. Instead, flip the jar upside down and firmly tap the bottom of the glass several times with your palm. The idea is to move around the contents of the jar, which may change the pressure and make the lid easier to open.

5. Use a utensil to loosen the jar lid.

This tip requires some caution, and should never be done with anything sharper than a butter knife. Shimmy the end of a spoon or butter knife as far under the edge of the lid as it will go and wiggle it around. While this method may not pop the lid off right away, it can help equalize pressure around the seal.

6. Make a duct tape handle.

There's no need to purchase specialized tools for opening jars when you can make your own at home. Just tear off a strip of duct tape and wrap it around the edge of the lid while leaving a few inches of tape hanging loose. Fold the end of the tape itself and give it a good tug. Hopefully, your jar will twist open with ease.

Thursday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Guitar Kits, Memory-Foam Pillows, and Smartwatches

As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 3. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

This All-in-One Storage Solution Can Be Used at Home or Carried on the Go


This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Whether you're looking for a durable storage solution for your garage or a roomy pack for a long camping trip, the collapsible RUX carrier can help keep your stuff safe and secure without taking up much room in your closet when you're done. And until December 10, you can support the project on Indiegogo.

The main idea of the RUX is to serve multiple purposes at once. You can carry it around like a backpack or duffle bag during a weekend trip outdoors, or you can use it as a stationary storage bin for your car or home. Despite being strong enough to hold your bulkiest gear, it only weighs around four pounds and is designed to be collapsible, so you can fold it up and slip it away afterwards. (Unfolded, the RUX comes in at 15.7 by 19.5 by 13.8 inches.)

And if you're looking to use it during more serious outdoor adventures, you can rest assured that its weatherproof construction will keep your stuff dry in the rain. There's even a window that allows you to double-check that your items are safe and sound.


The RUX was created with sustainability and longevity in mind. Not only does the RUX have a lifetime warranty, but each component can also come off and be replaced easily so you can continue using the product no matter the problem. RUX is a member of 1% For The Planet, which is a group that gives back 1 percent of sales to environmental causes, even if they are not profitable.

There is still time to back the RUX campaign and reap the rewards. If you back $196, you’ll get your first RUX along with it. However, if you back $265, you’ll get one RUX, two divider totes, an EDC pouch, and two utility straps. If you back $449, you’ll get all the same things from the second level along with an extra RUX. If you want to back $515 or $725, you’ll get double or triple everything, respectively, from the second level.

The RUX campaign ends on December 10, so there is still time to back this product through Indiegogo. Shipments of RUX will hopefully start by June 2021.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!