How to open a plastic jar with a stuck lid

Written by emma lee | 13/05/2017

It has happened to all of us; there seems to be no way to loosen a stubborn stuck lid from the container. Being physically unable to remove a plastic container lid can be frustrating. Cold temperatures from the refrigerator will cause the plastic to contract, making a tight seal. Food that is left around the container will also become sticky, creating a seemingly unbreakable bond. Methods for opening metal lids can also be used for opening lids on plastic jars.

Run hot water over the stuck lid for several minutes to expand the plastic. Firmly grip the lid, and twist it off. Repeat this method if the lid is still stuck.

Tap around the edges of the plastic lid with the blunt end of a kitchen knife. Grip the lid and twist off. Repeat this method if the lid is still sticking.

Hold the container, and tap the perimeter of the lid on a hard surface. Twist the lid to open.

Use the end of a table knife, and slightly insert it between the cap and the container. Pry up gently around the lid until you have loosened it. Grip the plastic lid, and twist it to open.

Wrap a thick rubber band around the lid to ensure a good grip. Twist to open the lid.

Dampen a dish cloth, and place it over the lid. The damp towel will help to maintain a good grip. Twist to open the lid.


Hot water can burn unprotected hands.

Tips and warnings

  • Hot water can burn unprotected hands.

Things you need

  • Hot water
  • Kitchen knife
  • Rubber band
  • Damp cloth

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