IT usually happens when you are in a rush, quickly trying to open a conserve or condiment, only to be thwarted by a lid that simply won't budge. Now a group of consumer experts have investigated, coming up with what they say is a solution to liberate your lids.


It’s jarring!

We have all been there, trying to break the seal of a jar that seemingly doesn't want to be broken, twisting with all our might, often to no avail as sometimes, the vacuum seal from the factory seems to be extra strong.



Consumer champion Which? have investigated, testing a range of recommended steps to take to try and break into stubborn jars, looking at eight popular suggestions for opening them using items found around the home, and also testing two jar opening products. One tester who took part suffers from osteoarthritis, to ensure how easy the methods and products trialled were for those with restricted movement in their hands.


The findings?

Among the hacks looked at were the 'tap method', where you knock the jar against a countertop a few times in the hope of breaking the seal, saying the testers 'found it easier to twist open the lid' afterward, but it wasn't the most comfortable method. They also tried the 'slap method', where they held the jar downward and slapped the bottom, listening for the seal pop, saying it did work, but 'left us with a bit of discomfort from repeatedly slapping the bottom of the jar’.


What else?

They said the 'clingfilm method', where you cover a jar lid and the sides of the jar in cling and twist open did work due to giving extra grip, but said it was 'less comfortable' than the rubber glove and more wasteful, while the 'wooden spoon method', using a spoon to tap the edge of the lid a few times around each side before twisting, worked but wasn’t particularly comfortable.



Other hacks looked at were using a specific kind of kitchen scissor with blunt serrations on the inside of the handles to grip and prise, which they said should work but 'doesn't feel like the safest method', and wrapping an elastic band around the lid then using it to grip the jar, which was described as 'fiddly'.


The top tip?

Opening the jar as normal but while wearing rubber gloves, to cushion your hand and aid grip. Which? rated it the ultimate solution as it's 'convenient' with most of us having gloves available, saying it was 'comfortable and safe, even for our tester with restricted hand movement'.


The other hacks?

The experts also looked at the 'hot water method', where you run piping hot water over the jar lid for about 30 seconds, ensuring you turn it to soak all sides, dry the lid and give it a shot. Which? said: "The heat caused the metal lid to expand and loosen, so this method proved super easy, taking almost no effort. Our tester with arthritis had barely any trouble either."


What were the dedicated products like?

Specific products - silicone jar openers and the Brabantia Tasty+ Universal Opener - were both found to work.



Which? said there is no need to splash out: “The successful hacks we tried for shifting a stubborn jar lid worked just as well for our testers as the most popular products you can buy.”