What Is the Best Way to Unscrew the Metal Lid off a Glass Jar That Won't Budge

Updated on July 15, 2010
J.A. asks from Salinas, CA
25 answers

What is the best way to unscrew the metal lid off a glass jar that won't budge no matter how hard I try to loosen it off?

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D.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Use the handle of a regular butter knife and dent the metal around the edge of the lid in a few places. This breaks the seal and then you can easily twist the lid off.

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2 moms found this helpful

V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Take the heavy end of a butter knife and tap around the edges. Then hold the jar sideways and run hot water across the lid metal only.

Sometimes just the knife will be enough. Sometimes just the water. Sometimes both... but I also use one of those rubber disks to get a good grip sometimes too.

The absolute WORST thing to try to open is a jelly jar lid (like Goober, that has a wide lip on the lid) that someone has slopped the sticky stuff around the rim before closing it back tightly.

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1 mom found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Running the lid under hot water gets the metal to expand slightly. Use a rubber or silicon hot pad to get a good grip on the metal and twist. My husband has large strong hands. He'll get it off if all else fails.

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D.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Use the handle of a regular butter knife and dent the metal around the edge of the lid in a few places. This breaks the seal and then you can easily twist the lid off.

2 moms found this helpful

A.G.

answers from Houston on

i always tap it with a butter knife around the rim, or turn it upside down to hit it on the bottom, forcing air upwards then use a rubbery glove to open it

1 mom found this helpful

S.K.

answers from Kansas City on

I turn it over completely upside down and tap it on the counter a few times, but not too hard. Then it comes right off.

1 mom found this helpful

V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Take the heavy end of a butter knife and tap around the edges. Then hold the jar sideways and run hot water across the lid metal only.

Sometimes just the knife will be enough. Sometimes just the water. Sometimes both... but I also use one of those rubber disks to get a good grip sometimes too.

The absolute WORST thing to try to open is a jelly jar lid (like Goober, that has a wide lip on the lid) that someone has slopped the sticky stuff around the rim before closing it back tightly.

1 mom found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Running the lid under hot water gets the metal to expand slightly. Use a rubber or silicon hot pad to get a good grip on the metal and twist. My husband has large strong hands. He'll get it off if all else fails.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Stick the end of a butter knife under the rim and pry up until you break the seal. You'll hear a little pop.

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J.R.

answers from Sacramento on

hit the edges of it on a counter top over and over...

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D.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Several people mentioned using a rubber grip - I don't have one of those, but what sometimes helps for me is putting one or two rubber bands around the lid. It works similar to a rubber grip. If the jar itself is slippery, you could also put rubber bands around it to improve your grip.

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R.W.

answers from San Francisco on

This just happened to my husband---he has a very strong grip b/c he works with his hands, but he couldn't open the jar. He looked at it and said, "Are you kidding me??" =)
I put the lid under hot water for a while and then dried it off and tried, and it came off.
I have sometimes also done the "prying" thing, with a table knife under the edge of the lid. And I have the rubber grip---but it did not work on the jar my husband had.
If this happens often, you can also look for tools designed for people with arthritis, to open jars. They work.

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B.R.

answers from Sacramento on

If you tap the lid, try not to tap it on the edges or sides, because this is more likely to break the glass rim. Rather, turn the jar totally upside down and give it a solid rap straight on the top of the jar. This will help loosen the lid. Using the hot water method works sometimes too. Then there are the rubber grips. I have a jar opener that has a 'v' shaped section with teeth in it.... got it from Pampered Chef. That works really good for me. And of course there's the old stand-by... hand it to hubby and say "help me with this please!" LOL! Of course when he gets it open you have to say "well, I loosened it for you first!"

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J.B.

answers from Denver on

I jam a butter knife or flat head screw driver between the glass and lid and pop the lid open... usually they won't budge because they're "suctioned" on too well.

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A.B.

answers from New York on

I also tap on all sides of the lid on the counter , normally loosens up. If that and hot water doesn't work then it is a company defect and you gotta toss it.

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C.V.

answers from San Francisco on

A couple of ways...1) Turn the jar upside down and hit it on a counter once-that sometimes loosens the lid and 2) run it under very cold water. The jar or lid may have expanded due to heat.

Good luck!

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

I whack the lid on the floor to break the seal. The little "button" pops and I'm good to go.

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J.R.

answers from Sacramento on

If it is a new jar that has been factory sealed, I've always just put the tip of a spoon under the edge of the lid and popped it up a little to break the airtight seal - you'll hear the pop of the lid and then you can unscrew it pretty easy. However, if you have a jar that is stuck because of dried jelly around the egde or something, then you just have to use your muscles. LOL Pampered Chef sells a jar gripper that is really handy and works. It has metal teeth that give you more gripping power to get the stubborn lids off. Good luck!

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D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

J., I have limited use of my hands at times, so I have learned to run a jar lid under a warm water faucet for a few minuets and that helps to loosen it or the tried and true method of tapping the entire lid all the way around and getting it to loosen up.

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A.S.

answers from Sacramento on

bang the rim on the counter to help break the seal

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C.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I put a thick rubber band on the lid. It gives your hand some traction as you twist.

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A.C.

answers from Detroit on

bang the edge of the lid on the counter

run it under hot water

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K.W.

answers from Stockton on

I always tap the "heck" out of it with a knife ha ha...pop's the seal. If you don't do to much damage, the lid is usually still worthwhile.

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J.P.

answers from Sacramento on

hit the edges of the metal lid with a butter knife all the way around the jar, this should loosen the seal.

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W.H.

answers from Phoenix on

What I do - run the lid under hot water (not the glass, only the metal lid) then twist. Run it under some more hot water if needed. Take the handle of a knife and tap tap tap it all around. Twist. If that STILL don't work, I hand it to my husband, ha! then he simply repeats all the above steps, and twists and it pops and I tell him I loosened it up for him ;-)

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N.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hit it on your cutting board and it will loosen up

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M.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I use this rubber grip. It works like a dream and never fails. Sometimes I will bang the lid w/the back of a butter knife first to help loosen the lid. You should be able to buy one of these rubber grips at Wal-Mart in the kitchen aisle. In the meantime, use a dish glove (the kind you wear while washing dishes) if you have one.

L.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Heat it well under really hot water and use a rubber grip. The metal will expand a little with the heat and the rubber will give you traction to get it open.

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