Why You Need A Piece Of Paper For This Bottle-Opening Hack

Imagine you're on a lovely picnic, far from home. There's no cell service or nearby civilization to speak of, but you've come prepared with a six-pack of beer, a delicious and nutritious pre-packed deli spread, a friend or two, and maybe a book. Everything is perfect, except for one thing: You forgot your bottle opener. 

Your friend whips out a lighter and after several attempts, blames pour leverage on their failure to master the age-old party trick. Your other friend busts out their house keys and tries to jam the cap off to no avail. With a second wind of confidence, the first friend tries that thing where you finesse the cap from a bottle using another bottle. Still, no luck.

We've all experienced a version of this scenario before, and while it's not the end of the world, it's definitely a bummer. If you try all the tricks in your arsenal and still have the wherewithal for one more, all you need is a piece of paper. It's a good thing you brought that book.  

Folding time

Back in 2015, Cardiff University student Rhys Morgan racked up millions of views on YouTube after posting a video that shows how to open a bottle with a piece of paper. Per the video's description, he says to fold the paper vertically (or "hot dog style," to use an elementary school throwback) "until you end up with only a small amount of paper left." Then, he says to fold that dense strip in half horizontally ("hamburger style") so you have a shape that looks like a pointed V, which you can then use to apply pressure to the underside of the bottle cap. Like all bottle-opening tricks, we imagine this one takes a little bit of practice. "The mistake people make is that if you don't do it in one steady motion, you'll just grind the lever against your hand and it hurts," writes one commenter. 

To state the obvious, using paper to open a beer mitigates the risk of chipping your keys or breaking your lighter. Even better, you can recycle it when you're done. That said, bottle caps are sharp. If you try it out the next time you forget your opener, be sure to mind your fingers.

A few other tricks

If you can't find a piece of paper, you can almost certainly find a nearby phone charger. CNET has some more handy tricks for opening bottled drinks without a proper tool, and one of them involves using a charging brick for a smartphone. "Position one of the two prongs from the wall plug end under the cap and pry upward," says CNET, which notes that this method can be particularly tricky and is best suited to your less-precious backup charger.

If you have a cheap pair of sunglasses, you can position the gap that usually rests on the bridge of your nose against the lip of the unopened bottle. This one's pretty straightforward, as the shape of that curved V shape mimics that of an actual opener. If none of these methods work for you and you always forget your opener, we suggest looking out for twist-off caps.