Stubborn jar lids can be frustrating. Rapping them sharply on the edge the counter will sometimes loosen the seal enough to get them open, but they might crack. Here are some hints and gadgets recommended by chowhounds.


Run hot water around the edge of the lid. This causes the metal to expand a little…and hopefully loosens things up.

Wear a rubber glove, for traction. Mouse pads work, too. Another option is a wide rubber band around the lid.

Use a “church key” type opener to gently pry the edge of lid just enough to break the seal. Just don’t bend the lid!

Tap all around the lid with the handle of a dinner knife.


The The Un-Skru attaches to the underside of a cabinet. It’s worked for bottles and jars for JoanN for thirty years. You don’t have to riffle through your gadget drawer to find it, either.

The Zim Wall Mount opener is similar, but mounts on the wall. Alice Patis has hers in the pantry, where all the jars are stored!

An oldie, but goodie, this vintage gadget sometimes pops up at garage sales.

Swing-Away’s Comfort Grip is another good one, and adjusts to all sizes of containers.

Board Links: Best jar opener?

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