Hold it with your first hand and open its cap with another hand using a wet rag. That helps me a lot.
Use a small square of damp neoprene (or rubber) to grip the lid.
Knocking or tapping the lid on the worktop while turning it can help unstick really tightly sealed lids.
First, run hot water over the lid while soaking the bottom in ice cubes (you can skip the ice if it's cold). Be careful not to let the hot water touch the base. After that, don some rubber gloves and start twisting.
First, make sure the jar (and lid) are clean. A dusty jar can make it hard to maintain a firm grip. Then make sure your hands are clean, for the same reason.
If your hands are too dry, you may also struggle to maintain a firm grip. That said, you don't want them to be wet (or covered in grease / lotion / corn husker's friend) either - if rubbing your hands together feels rough, cup them and breathe into them - the moisture in your breath should suffice to let your skin grip the (clean) surface.
Make sure you're not using your wrists to break the seal. That's a good way to hurt your wrists, but a bad way to put any real force on the lid. Keep your wrists straight and use your arms to apply force to the jar and lid.
Finally, if you find that your hands are too weak to grip the lid firmly, invest in a couple of cheap hand grips.
Turn the jar upside down over the counter. Then rap the entire surface of the jar lid sharply on the counter. This breaks the seal on the jar. Now just open it as you normally do.
Usually jars with stiff lids are fresh from the store and have been packed with the contents under lower pressure than the outside air i.e a vacuum. This pressure difference can increase the resistance presented by the thread and can make opening a jar for the first time difficult.
This approach that can be taken if a little damage to the lid is acceptable and requires only tools that are readily available in most kitchens.
With a little practice and a light touch it is possible to release the seal without permanently changing the shape of the lid. I am happy enough keeping any food remaining in these jars if refrigerated but would avoid reusing the jar for projects with sterile requirements like making jam or preserves.
Put a spoon under the lip of the lid, and lever it up a bit (you're not popping off the lid, just depressurizing the vacuum). You'll be able to unscrew the lid now.
My grandmother originally taught me this trick but I found a step by step guide (along with a photo) on Lifehacker:
Put the jar on a piece of wood (or other material that is soft enough for the buttom knobs of the glass to sink it, but not too soft to provide grip). Then lay your hands (both!) on top of it and lean with your wight on the glass, start with a little and intensify carefully. Then twist it with you whole body, keeping your arms rigid. The glass part should stick to the wood as the knobs on the bottom are pressed into the wood, the lid moves with you. Then the glass is open.
You have to make sure that the wood can't move away. Your wood will have glass markings on it afterwards.
Hold the jar tightly in one hand and firmly punch it’s bottom side with your fist or wrist. You should hear a distinct sound somewhere between hissing and popping. Afterwards the jar is easier to open. Repeat, if necessary.
Be sure to hold and punch the jar in such a way that you do not break your own fingers but at the same time do not lose your grip on it. As a further safety precaution, place a blanket on the back of the jar to avoid slicing your hand in the unusual event that the glass breaks.
My personal guess is that this somehow briefly lifts the lid and thus allows for an adjustment of pressures. However, I remember having heard a university lecture on this which involved gases dissolved in liquids contained in the jar, but unfortunately I fail to find any publications or other sources on this.
Try tightening the lid first.
I realize how that sounds, but it has worked for me on occasion. My wife heard someone suggest that idea years ago. I was doubtful at first but it does seem to work on some lids.
I think it just helps break the seal much like banging the lid on the edge.
I've had ones where I've tried everything and cannot get the lid to come off. The final solution was a large pipe-wrench. Tighten it up around the lid and give it a twist (so that the teeth grab into the lid).
For all your lids on jars/pots/etc that you'll empty straight away and you won't be reusing, there's one simple and easy trick:
Use a sharp knife/object and poke a small hole in the lid
It's the same effect as with the spoon, you're letting the air pressure equalize, but this could save you a bit of fiddling around.
Tap the side of the lid with the back of a knife.
I have no idea why this works, but it does, and it is way easier than some of the other proposed methods.
I've tried this technique multiple times with success every time using my marble kitchen counter as the hard surface. In case it doesn't budge, try tapping the edge of the lid a few more times.
This technique will allow you to reuse the lid after the jar has been opened.
Is it cheating to invest in a jar opener. Here are lots of them --- pick one. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/176-5905764-2208615?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jar+opener
My personal favorite -- a bit pricy but works great --- is:\Swing-A-Way 711BK Comfort Grip Jar Opener, Black
I have severe arthritis and this always works for me with little strain.
As you and others have already pointed out, the problem is the lack of grip.
Instead of using rubber gloves or duct tape to increase grip, another hacky substitute is a non-lubricated condom. Yes, a condom. They are actually useful for various other things. The following animated picture should explain everything.
This only works with metal lids on glass jars!
Have no idea how this works but it has every time and its an old solution my grandmother passed down. Tap the lid with the handle of a knife or some such implement a few times in various positions around the side of the lid [not the top]... and you should be able to open with relative ease from there.
If the above does not release the lid, place the lid under a hot water running from a tap... try to keep the glass bottle out of the water - so tip the jar over so that the water is running predominantly on the metal lid. While the lid is still hot, place a tea towel or the like over the lid so you don't burn yourself and twist. Good luck!
I bought a bunch of circular non slip rubber pads in a UK supermarket, since then I haven't had to use any other trick.
Make sure the lid and the jar are dry. Cover the lid with the pad, tightly grab the jar with your weaker hand (use a cotton cloth if needed) and then just twist the lid with your strong hand through the rubber pad.
The lid will be released effortlessly.
I see they sell these pads online, if you can't find them locally, and they are worth every cent they cost.
I am surprised.
My dad used to go mad with her. It's not good for the door.
Wouldn't work for full sized jar lids though.
I consume a lot of food in such jars and almost always they just won't open. Two methods that I find most effective:
If you have to open those glasses more frequently, such a device could help you:
It's a rubber band with a plastic lever arm, that fits on most common glasses:
For occasional use, built one made of things you have at home, like a leather belt and a lever arm made of a hammer, a cane or a boomerang - you name it:
Apply the force gently in order not to damage the belt. And maybe protect the hand that holds the glass with a glove or similar.
Simply, strike the bottom of the jar with the heel of your hand. It shunts the contents forward, adjusting the pressure. The lid will come off then with an easy twist. That's how you open a jar.
Just bang it on the counter a bit. Solved.
Counter-intuitively, press down on the lid while twisting - it gives you a much better grip.
Also, a variation on the hot water trick for the impatient/foolhardy: I invert the jar over a small gas burner for a few seconds. Take suitable precautions.
I've seen so many people (sometimes) having a hard time opening using Kelly Thomas trick. I know that it works, but from my grandmother, I learned easy and in my opinion better method. With a little practice, I was able to open any jar in less than 5 seconds.
*by banging something hard, I do not mean to bang a glass board or tiled floor. ;)
As a last resort get a hammer and a screwdriver and punch some holes in the lid. Transfer the contents to another jar that will open.