Martha Stewart's Hack For Opening Stubborn Jars Saves A Lot Of Energy

The kitchen should be a place of happiness. Within its parameters, there is creativity, laughter, and of course, eating delicious things. But, alas, things happen here that can make anyone seethe with anger. For example, oil spilled on the floor is grounds for cursing under your breath; or you grab some aluminum foil to clean your kitchen, and it unravels, and you try to roll it up again (impossible). And the worst, the last straw, the ultimate way to tick you off is not being able to open the lid on a jar. Most of us have been here, and it always seems to happen when there's no one around to help, and your dinner depends on what's in that jar. Don't worry. Martha Stewart has a hack for aspiring home chefs that may help.

However, instead of fuming and stomping around with cramped hands, Stewart has found a solution — one that involves rubber bands. Most of the time when it comes to struggling with stuck jar lids, one's slipping grasp is the issue. Our hands naturally begin to slide and adjust when our grip isn't tight enough to loosen the lid. Once the grip is gone, all we're doing is moving our hand, not the lid. By incorporating rubber bands, Stewart found a way to increase the grip and give us and our poor hands a leg up in the eternal battle of humans versus the jar lids.

No fancy gadget required

There are several jar-opening devices and gadgets on the market that promise to help you open up tight jar lids, and they probably do what they're supposed to do with some success. However, as Martha Stewart shows her fans in a TikTok clip, all that's necessary is something most people have lying around their homes and offices: rubber bands. Her instruction is to place three large rubber bands around the lid. This creates a grippy layer between the smooth metal lid and your hand. The bands latch onto both the lid and your hand, so when you go to twist, you have just the boost you need, and the jar should open right up.


Open those stubborn lids with this easy rubber band trick. #rubberband #kitchenhack #openingjar

♬ original sound – Martha Stewart

Even Stewart herself looks surprised at how easily the lid loosens up when she demonstrates the method in the video. She describes rubber bands as "good things," her signature sign-off on any item, trick, or project that gets her stamp of approval.

Other ways to open a jar

So, if rubber bands will do the trick, will any old piece of rubber do the same? For the most part, probably, so long as you can maintain a good handle on the jar lid and the rubber at the same time. If you have rubber dish gloves or latex surgical gloves, these could help you in opening a stubborn lid, as could a piece of rubber gripping sheet (the kind that's sold in rolls that people usually line their cabinets with, so their dishes stay in place).

There are other methods for loosening up tight jar lids that some people swear work every time. Among them are: wedging a butter knife up between the jar top and the lid to loosen the pressure and break the vacuum seal — though we don't ever suggest shoving a knife, well, anywhere really; running the lid under hot water for a few seconds, which should ease the pressure and thus make opening easier; and placing the jar, lid side down, on the counter and hitting it firmly on the bottom a few times. Of course, if you're a little too good at this, you could end up with a busted jar ... it's a good thing Martha is here to help us avoid these kinds of disasters.