When you’re trying to open a lid on a jar that’s completely stuck shut, here are a few ways you may not have thought of to get the job done.
1. Use rubber bands. Thick rubber bands, like the ones that come wrapped around some fresh produce, can sometimes get a jar lid unstuck. The rubber band will help you get a better grip on the stuck lid. If you don’t have a large rubber band, try using several smaller ones wrapped around the lid.
2. Try using pliers. For smaller lids, that is. If the pliers can fit around the lid, they can usually get it off.
3. Hot water. Hold the stuck lid under hot running water for a minute or two. Especially with home canned foods that might have liquid stuck under the lid, this method will loosen it enough so you can twist the lid off. Remember to wear a pot holder glove, or wrap the jar in a towel to keep yourself from getting burned if the glass gets too hot.
4. Try poking a hole in the top of the lid. Be careful that you don’t poke a hole in your hand as well. A hole punched into the top of the lid can release air pressure, which may be the reason the lid won’t come off. You might try using a can opener or an ice pick. A knife is a more dangerous choice and should be avoided.
5. Use a damp sponge. You might be able to get a better grip on the lid with a damp sponge. Make sure the sponge is only damp, and not too wet, otherwise it might just slip off the jar lid instead.
6. Use a non-skid rubber pad. They actually make a type of rubber pad just for this purpose. If you’re cheap, you can try any old piece of rubber material that will fit over the lid.
7. Try using a dish towel. Wrap it tightly around the lid for a better grip. Try it dry first, then if that doesn’t work, try dampening the towel.
8. Use a jar opener. If you like one purpose only kitchen gadgets, or you have weak arms, this one is for you. These metal jars openers have a vice-like grip that will easily open the toughest jar lids.
9. Ask a teenager. Or anyone around the house with stronger hands than you. This is a good choice for those with teenage sons. They are often found scrounging around in the kitchen with their insatiable appetites, plus they seem to enjoy showing off their amazing jar-opening strength .
10. Prevention. In those situations when you are able to prevent getting your jar lids stuck in the first place. Don’t screw lids on so tightly. Make sure all food or liquid is wiped off the jar before you put the lid back on, or when you are home canning. Let warm foods cool before you put the jar into the fridge or freezer (which will create more air pressure, making the lid tight).
These are just some easy tips to help you in your quest to remove those pesky, stuck on jar lids.