Opening Tough Jars and Bottles for Tendonitis Sufferers

While I was dealing with tendonitis, I figured out how to open a variety of jars and bottles without too much strain. Here are some of the methods I’ve acquired:

Spaghetti jars:
Get a spoon. Wedge spoon slightly under jar lid and jimmy the rim. The safety button should pop. Lid comes off easily.

Gatorade bottles. (This is great for wrist pain sufferers.):
Place a rubber dishwashing glove over the lid to provide grip and torsion. This reduces the force required to break the perforated seal on the lid rim. (Alternative: wear the glove.)

Sauce bottles, frozen shut due to dried sauce:
Run the cap under hot water to loosen dried sauce. This will also dissolve some of the sauce that’s closer to the rim. Next, apply either method described above.

Stubborn jars with metal lids:
Find a doorstop, or any solid protrusion fixed to the ground, and with both hands, slam the jar lid against the protrusion until the dent is fairly deep. This pressurizes the air pocket below the jar lid, supplying extra force for the jar lid to com off. (Also, with additional force, the lid will be effectively destroyed.)

Round cans with pull-keys:
Slip the tip of a screwdriver under the key from the side opposite the key hinge. With the tip of the screwdriver in place (a long flathead is better), pivot the screwdriver handle on the rim and press down hard on the handle.

Square cans with pull-keys (sardines, Spam):
Unlike with round keys, the screwdriver should come in from the side of the key. Pull up the key to partially break the seal. With the tip inserted through the key and firmly on center of the seal, raise the handle to pop off a portion of the lid. Repeat this until the whole lid is off. If needed, work off the rest with a pair of needle-nose pliers.

Soda pop cans:
Use needle nose pliers to raise the tab and pull it off, as you would normally with a thumb and index finger.

All of these methods require some strain. Care should be taken to assess your level of ability before attempting any of these. If in doubt, ask a doctor or physical therapist before attempting any of these methods.


  1. Hohenheim said:

    I had a very stubborn jar from Germany that refused to open, pounded it against the door protrusion and it opened easily, Thanks

  2. Joshua Tucker said:

    Great tips there. Random yet somehow not surprising to find on the site of a techno frisbeetarian 🙂

    Can I steal it all and put it on my site with credit to you as author and link to your site?

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