Martha Stewart's Trick For Loosening A Stuck Jar Lid

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart - Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Whether it's how to make the best Thanksgiving stuffing or why a food processor is a must-have appliance for homemade pie crust, Martha Stewart has taught us quite a few valuable lessons over the years. She even has a clever trick up her sleeve for effortlessly opening tight jars.

There are several techniques people swear by to unfasten stubborn jars — some of which involve a bit of elbow grease and a solid amount of time. One strategy, for instance, involves giving the jar a hot bath. Submerging the jar in hot water or running it under hot tap water for a minute or two can cause the metal lid to expand slightly, therefore making it easier to pop off. Gently tapping the edge of the lid with a spoon or the back of a knife (Be careful!) can help release the pressure, too. If you happen to have rubber gloves lying around, they can come in handy when you're craving pickles or salsa. Just slide on the gloves for extra grip, though you may still find the lid too tight.

Martha's tried and true method, however, simply involves a trusty office product — rubber bands. So, how does this work, exactly?

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Tight Jar? Rubber Bands To The Rescue!

woman opening a pickle jar
woman opening a pickle jar - Centralitalliance/Getty Images

Using a couple of rubber bands to open a fussy jar is rooted in sound scientific principles. The key to this method lies in understanding the fundamentals of friction and grip. When a jar's lid is squeezed shut, it creates a strong vacuum inside. The pressure essentially creates a seal that can feel almost impenetrable. Rubber bands, with their elastic properties, provide excellent grip and traction. When wrapped around the lid's rim, they enhance the friction between your hand and the jar, which is crucial for loosening the seal.

As you twist the lid counterclockwise, the rubber bands conform to the contours of your hand, increasing the surface area in contact with the jar. This improved grip allows you to apply more force with less effort, ultimately breaking the vacuum seal with ease. The rubber bands also absorb some of the pressure you exert when turning the lid, thereby reducing the strain on your hand and wrist. This means you're less likely to slip or accidentally injure yourself in the process. And, as many of us know, kitchen injuries are no fun.

Each and every one of the tactics to open a stubborn jar relies on principles of thermal expansion, mechanical advantage, or grip enhancement, but the domestic goddess's rubber band shortcut remains a smart and effective choice, making the often dreaded task a breeze. Thank you, Martha.

Read the original article on Mashed.