Why Are Pickle Jars So Hard To Open

Why Are Pickle Jars So Hard To Open

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You are on your way to grab your favorite pickles only, to be stopped by the stubborn pickle jar that stands in your way. You desperately try everything but, this is tougher than it seems. Frustrated and tired, one only thought races through your mind.

Why are pickle jars so hard to open?

Well, you are not alone. Pickle jars have been designed in a way that opening them seems like an arduous job for many. The Research reveals the complexities of individuals when it comes to opening pickle jars, also mentioning new innovative ways of dealing with them.

Reasons Why Are Pickle Jars So Hard To Open

In this article, Not only shall we find out the various reasons why pickle jars are so hard to open, but also solutions to each of them so that it becomes easy for us to tackle this problem.

So without further ado,

why are pickle jars so hard to open

1.  Gripping Issues

Gripping the jar with the proper hand position seems to be quite a complicated task. The cross-sectional area of the head of the Jar does not provide suitable holding space. Due to less space, having a solid grip becomes a daunting task.

Gripping needs traction, but with much less space to work in, having enough traction does not remain a possibility. The head of the jar is constructed in such a way that the area is kept fairly small due to which it does not have enough space to hold, making it a hard nut to crack for the consumer as he struggles to open the lid.

Way to Deal with it:

The presence of modern-day grippers has proved to be a blessing for the consumers. They relieve the consumer of the pain and strain of opening pickle jars by providing external support. Strong steel jaws retain a tight grasp on the lid, and a sturdy mechanism removes it with reasonable ease.

2.  The concept of Vacuum seal

The concept of generating a vacuum seems to be another essential principle that accounts for the stubbornness of the lid of the pickle jar.

The process of having an oxygen-free container involves increasing the temperature of the food present inside the jar through heating. As a reaction, the food begins to expand, which alters the internal pressure. Consequently, the temperature inside the container is lowered as compared to the atmospheric pressure. The variation in both temperatures causes the lid to be firmly attached to the pickle jar, forming a vacuum seal.

Way to deal with it:

The best way to open a pickle jar is by using a bottle opener, a knife, or maybe a wooden spoon. Place one of them between the Pickle jar and the lid. Following the concept of the liver, pry the lid with a force that will eventually cause the vacuum seal to break, releasing all the pressure.

Another way is by whacking the bottom of the jar two to three times gently until the vacuum is broken and the lid opens. When you hit the bottom of the jar, this provides a little extra pressure to the jar inside which counteracts the pressure outside and the pickle jar remains not that hard to open.

why are pickle jars so hard to open

3.  The Role of friction

 Let’s dive into some physics, shall we?

Friction is that property that resists the change in motion. The same methodology applies to bottle jars as well.

People often find it easier to close pickle jars than to open them. The reason behind this lies with the mechanism of the lid and jar. When you turn the Pickle jar in an anticlockwise direction to close it, it’s in a state of motion. This type of movement further leads to the generation of kinetic friction, which aids in closing the lid of the pickle jar and maintaining a tight grip.

On the other hand, while opening a pickle jar, static friction comes into play. As the lid is in a resting position, A lot of effort has to be put against such friction to keep the lid of the pickle jar moving.

Food crumbs and particles stick on the jar’s lid and dry, increasing friction and adding to the consumer’s difficulties.

Way to Deal with it:

To counter such a problem, you might want to have a firmer grip on the lid of the Pickle jar. Rubber gloves, plastic wrap, or a hand towel can serve the purpose of providing the necessary traction.

When it comes to opening a pickle jar, using hot water might be helpful. Because the majority of the lids are made of metal, they expand when exposed to warm water. As a result of this occurrence, gaps appear between the lid and the jar. The vacuum seal is broken as a result.

4.  Lack Of Upper body strength

Yes, Upper body strength matters!

Upper body strength is the measure of a person’s capability to exert force on an object through the use of muscles of arms, shoulders, and back.

People, mostly women, find it quite hard to cope up with the required strength needed to open up a pickle jar. Research reveals that about 52 % of women (as half as men) have upper body strength as men primarily due to large muscle fibers men have.

It may not always be the physical anatomy or gender that serves as the scale of upper body strength. Men have trouble opening jars too. This strength is only dependent on how strong your muscles are.

Way to deal with it:

There are various exercises that you can do to build on your muscle strength. It will not only help you in your daily tasks but also keep your body fit. Following are some of the exercises mentioned and their benefits to the human body.

  1.  Chest Press: Chest press helps with the pectoral muscles and building muscle tissues.
  1. Biceps Curls: Bicep Curls tend to benefit the front of the upper arms and develop the muscles of the lower arm.
  1. Triceps Kickbacks: Tricep kickbacks can alleviate the performance of your muscles by increasing their stability and agility.
  1. Assisted Pull-Ups: Assisted push-ups with the help of a machine or a ball can help a great deal in tightening the muscles around the neck and shoulders.

You may also read: Why Is A Can Opener Called A Church Key

why are pickle jars so hard to open

5.  Slippery Hands

Slippery surfaces can make it hard for you to open a pickle jar and to have a tight grip. During the day you apply all sorts of body ointments such as creams, serums, and toners which makes your hands clammy. This exposure to different sorts of chemicals makes your hands dry and rough.

When you try to open a pickle jar, the slipperiness of your hand does not allow you to build up enough traction in your hand. Consequently, you are unable to apply the required force.

It becomes hard to build up a solid grip, and the need for external help kicks in.

Sweaty hands can also be another cause of slippery hands. This can be due to over-exercising, stress, or any other significant factor. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that involves sweating of hands continuously and without any apparent reason which makes your daily task difficult to perform.

Dehydration may also be another essential factor that accounts for your hands being slippery most of the time. Your body lacks water and is incapable of supplying it to the hands that cause your hands to be dry and slippery.

Way to deal with it

  1. Moisturize: It is beneficial to moisturize your hands once in a while to make up the water deficiency
  2. Use gloves: Gloves may provide firm support
  3. Decrease stress: stress can cause sweating which can cause slippery hands.
  4. Take medication: Medications can help.

6. Arthritis and similar conditions

Arthritis can also make it hard to open a pickle jar. It is a condition that involves burning accompanied by a dull sensation followed by swelling and stiffness.

The bones in your fingers and hands are pretty delicate. When you are constantly overexerting yourself in opening the pickle bar, they can get damaged and, you might start to experience sharp pain.

The most affected part of the hand is the thumb, as many people have complained about deep thumb pain while opening a pickle jar.

Way to deal with it:

  1. Try out a suitable gripper.
  2. Adjust a pop-up handle.
  3. Have a jar opener at home.
  4. There is no harm in carrying a portable jar opener.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is it necessary to seal pickle jars?

Answer: Pickle jars are sealed to protect the food from rotting. The seal provides an oxygen-free environment beneficial for the content inside.

How much refrigeration time can Lidless Jars of Pickle survive?

Answer: They can survive up to three months to provide the best quality.

Does Hot water help in opening pickle jars?

Answer: Yes!, washing the Lid of the jar of Pickles can help. The metallic lid expands creating spaces between the jar and Lid which breaks the vacuum seal.

Does whacking a pickle jar at the bottom really helps?

Answer: Yes!, Whacking a Pickle Jar at the bottom creates an additional pressure which acts against the atmospheric pressure cousin the Lid to open.

How long can a Jar of Pickles be kept before it expires?

Answer: A pickle Jar can be kept for as long as 2 to 3 years.

What does the best Pickle Jar include?

Answer: The best Pickle Jar includes fresh pickle juice and a mesmerizing combination of okra and cabbage.

What are butter pickles?

Answer: Butter Pickles are pickles that are trapped between slices of buttered bread.


A Troublesome pickle jar can give you a headache, especially when you are short of time. Pickle jars are designed to be hard to open. No, No, It’s not that they don’t want their pickles to be eaten! The concept lies in the preservation of food. Exposure to air rots the food inside. It is always necessary to keep in mind the various reasons that have been mentioned above and try to figure out better and more time-savvy solutions to them.

Come on, it isn’t that hard!

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