The 'Water Hammer' Trick You Can Use To Open A Stubborn Jar

Picture this: you're in the middle of making a delicious meal for your friends and family, like one of these amazing hearty soup and stews recipes. No one has arrived yet, so you're alone in your kitchen, left to your own devices and concentration abilities to successfully fulfill this recipe. Everything is going smoothly — that is, until the recipe calls for a full jar of roasted red peppers

You knew this dreaded time would come. You tightly grip the jar and use all of your strength, but the lid doesn't budge. You try again, this time using literally everything you got. Still nothing. You think to yourself, "Who on Earth could even open this jar's lid — and why it would even need to be so tight?" With as many as 690 billion glass jar containers produced in 2020, you wonder why they make them so hard to open (via Statista). But your friends and family are expecting a delicious meal when they arrive. What are you going to do?

Thankfully, we have the best "water hammer" trick you can use to open a stubborn jar, so you never have to find yourself in a panicked state while cooking ever again.

The 'water hammer' trick to save the day

If you've ever found yourself in a similar situation, then you know how difficult and frustrating it can be. It seems like the struggle to open jars has been an ongoing problem for many people every year. But with every problem comes a solution. After spending minutes tightly gripping that stubborn jar with no hint of easing up the lid, you might feel completely defeated. Before you give up, make sure you try the "water hammer" trick as an easy solution to your stubborn jar problem. 

In order to successfully break the seal of a jar, you'll want to hold your stubborn jar in your non-dominant hand at a 45-degree angle. Make sure the lid is facing down, and with a surge of power from your dominant hand, hit the center of the bottom of the jar with the palm of your hand (via Taste Of Home). With this, you'll (hopefully) be raising the pressure near the lid, breaking the seal and making it possible to unscrew the lid of the jar. You might even hear a "pop" sound after doing this, indicating that you did it correctly.

Cosmopolitan also lists this method as a sure-fire jar-opening hack. Instead of calling it the "water hammer" method though, it is referred to as the "slap tactic" method. No matter what it is officially called, giving the jar a good whack on the bottom should do the trick.

Other ways to get your stubborn jar open

If you tried the water hammer method, but are still struggling to get it to work for you, there are more options. According to CNET, there are several more methods that you can try on your jar, all using things that you have in your kitchen. For example, you can try running hot water over the lid of the jar in your sink. The hot water will make the metal lid expand, loosening the seal and making it easier to unscrew. Additionally, you can take a butter knife or spoon and moderately tap or pry along the inside rim of the lid to break the seal. You can also use a wooden spoon and tap the top of the lid to break the lid threads loose.

Another method that we've personally learned throughout the years is getting a better grip. To do this, you could use a dish towel, rubber gloves, or an extra piece of rubber from the garage and use it as more leverage with your grip on the jar. You're still using a lot of muscle strength to get the lid open, but it does feel satisfying when you finally get it.