A bottle opener is a simple, ingenious invention that no party should be without. Still, we’ve all been in situations where we need to open a stubborn bottle cap but are tragically bereft of tools. You’ve probably tried the T-shirt trick (twisting desperately in vain with your T-shirt in the hopes of freeing the cap), you’ve probably tried using a knife to flick open a cap, and you may have even tried using your bare hands if you were feeling ambitious.
Sometimes you get lucky, but more often than not, the cap won’t budge. The good news is that you don’t need a bottle opener to remove those seemingly immovable caps. Sometimes you just have to improvise.
Keep reading to discover how to open even the most difficult bottle caps using everyday items around the house.
Hack One: Scissors
If you have a pair of scissors handy, use it to make a series of cuts along the ridges of the cap. You’ll need to hold the scissors diagonally and make several cuts until the cap effortlessly releases from the grooves along the top of the bottle. Bear in mind that this will require a good, sharp pair of scissors, so you can keep the safety scissors in the drawer.
Hack Two: A Large Spoon
Take a large metal spoon and wedge it under the cap as firmly as possible. Hold the bottle tightly with one hand, and use the other hand to push the handle of the spoon downward and lift the cap.
If this technique doesn’t work right away, maneuver the spoon around the perimeter of the cap until it easily breaks free.
Hack Three: A Lighter
This technique is great for those who happen to keep a lighter on hand. It may take a few tries to get it right, but it’s an extremely effective technique once you get the hang of it.
Press the bottom of the lighter against the bottle, directly beneath the cap. Grip the neck of the bottle beneath the lighter so that the lighter is firmly wedged between your hand and the cap.
Use your free hand to push the lighter downward at an angle, flicking the cap free.
Hack Four: A Dollar Bill
Not everyone carries a lighter around, but most of us still carry at least a few dollars in cash. Fold a dollar bill vertically in half. Then roll it up as tightly as possible and bend it in half again. The bill should now come to a sharp point. Wedge it into the cap and push it up firmly until it releases.
Hack Five: The Counter
Finally, we have the classic countertop technique. Place the bottle cap firmly against the edge of the counter, and thrust the bottle downward. This is another trick that might take a few tries, but even if you don’t get it just right the first time, you should gradually weaken the cap with each movement.
On the other hand, if your problem is a stubborn wine bottle, you can use these techniques to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew.