Instructables
Picture of Open Hard to Remove Lids with Duct Tape

One problem that every one comes across periodically is the tightly closed jar that doesn't want to open. There have been a lot of products developed for just this problem, but you don't always have one available when you need it. So you often have to improvise with the materials that you have at hand. One tool that you can use is duct tape. This may seem counter-intuitive since you normally use duct tape to make things stick together and not to un-stick them. But it actually works pretty well. Here is how to do it.
 
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Step 1: Wrap the Duct Tape Around the Lid

Picture of Wrap the Duct Tape Around the Lid
Tear off a strip of duct tape that is about one foot long. Line up the bottom of duct tape with the bottom of the lid. Apply the tape and wrap it around the lid at least one quarter of the way around. The more tape that is in contact with the lid, the better it will hold. So if the tape slips you need to wrap it around more of the lid. This may be necessary if you have a very thin lid with a small surface area.

Step 2: Fold the Duct Tape

Picture of Fold the Duct Tape
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Take the first few inches of the tape and fold it down onto the top of the lid. This will help it stick better. Then take the rest of the tape and fold it in half. This will help to reinforce the individual fibers of the duct tape and prevent it from tearing.

Step 3: Remove the Lid

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Hold the jar with one hand and pull the duct tape with the other. The lid should come loose. If you have a particularly evil lid and the duct tape breaks, try using multiple layers of duct tape. This should help it hold together. Well, there is one more use for duct tape. Have fun!
valkgurl9 months ago
The Mom Method round here---and mom has VERY weak hand muscles---is to find a flat spot on the counter or (heavy) wood cutting board (think butcher block) and carefully line up the lid so the top surface is parallel to the surface and hold it up a few---6-8"--and WHACK the lid on the counter. Make sure to NOT tilt this.

This somehow disturbs the vacuum and the can lid just turns off in your hand. Does not deform lid so it is OK to put back on if needed.

I have been using this method for well over 40 years and have NEVER had a glass jar shatter or even crack. Some people have tried to emulate this using the heel of their hand---they usually end up hurt with the jar still firmly closed.

You can also run the edge of the jar lid under HOT water to break the vacuum. Just take care to DRY the lid before you then try and twist it off. This is better for small hard to grasp lids like ketchup.
I vote
caarntedd1 year ago
Nice. I will try this.
rimar20001 year ago
When the can is new, it is to say unopened, there is a little vaccum in the inner. If you insert a soup spoon between the lid and the glass, and do a little lifting force to separate the lid from the glass, air can enter and so the lid loosens. Try to not deform the lid!
Vaccum forms again when you close the jar at ambient temperature and put it in the fridge.