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How to open a tight jar

Make sure you can always get into your food with our tips for how to open a jar with a tight lid.


a person organising vegetables in glass jars

Trying to open a tight jar can feel like a workout at times - but it doesn't have to. There are plenty of solutions to how to open a jar with a tight lid so why not see which one works for you - from butter knives to metal spoons, you might just be surprised at the different ways you can open a tight jar. 

Run the jar under hot water or wear rubber gloves to get a better grip when opening tight jars.

How to open a jar with a butter knife

If you have a butter knife nearby, this can be great to open a stubborn jar.

  1. Hit the knife against the top edge of the jar, turning the jar as you do it. Be careful not to hit too hard or you may break the glass. 

  2. Use the smooth edge of the knife and make sure you put enough force behind the knife to loosen the seal. 

  3. The lid should then come off easily after a few taps round the edge.

How to open a pickle jar with better grip

Find your hand is slipping on the glass of a jar of pickles or some other treat? You might need to add a little extra grip to get the lid of.

  • Try wearing your washing up gloves to open the jar. The rubber-style fabric can give you more grip.

  • Grab a damp dishcloth or towel if you don't have any gloves to hand - they work just as well when learning how to open a tight jar.

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How to open a glass jar with water

It may sound odd, but water is actually great for opening jars!

  1. Run the seal under hot water.

  2. Leave it for up to 1 minute and tilt the jar downwards so the hot water can get to the lid’s underside. 

  3. Dry and twist the lid off once done.

  4. Combine this with the butter knife method for a fool-proof solution for how to open a glass jar.

How to open a stuck jar with a spoon

Sometimes a stuck jar can be caused by something as simple as food sticking the inside of the lid to the main container. Handily, a spoon is all you need to release it.

  1. Remove any stuck food or resude from the outside of the lid first.

  2. Hit a metal spoon against the lid a few times with some force (but not enough to break the jar). 

  3. Try the lid again and see if it opens.

  4. Reapeat as necessary until the lid comes off.

Of course, it's not just jars that can be difficult to open - cans can also pose a challenge too. Read our tips on how to open a can, both with and without a can opener, and keep these tips handy for whenever you next need to know how to open a jar with a tight lid.

Originally published