You finally decided to try that new beer or fancy soda you’ve been eyeing at the store, but lo and behold, it’s not a twist off cap and you’re not anywhere near a bottle opener. No problem — there’s a lot you can do to separate that lid from your beverage. Bottle openers come in all shapes and sizes, which makes everyday objects just fine for popping the cap off. The most important tool in your arsenal is leverage, the force that will ultimately pry the bottle top from your bottle.
Look for objects around you that are sturdy, that you can easily grip and has an edge — these are the best for removing the bottle cap. Often, you’ll start by placing the edge of the object under the lip of the crown cap and pry away slowly, working your way around the cap. Eventually, the cap will release.
So instead of smashing off the top with a rock and hoping for the best, or — God forbid — using your teeth or any other body part to pry off the bottle top, try one of these other methods to get that stubborn cap off when you don’t have a dedicated bottle opener on hand.
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A countertop or table
Use a countertop or table to pop the cap off, just not your gorgeous granite or marble countertop. You’ll want to make sure it has a sharp edge, rather than a rounded edge so you can position the lid just right. Place the lip of the cap on a sharp corner of the counter and hit down on the top of the lid while gently pulling the bottle down. It’s quick, easy and gets the job done without using any tools.
You always have your sunglasses on you, right? Get a pair that also serves as a bottle opener. William Painter makes a great pair of bottle opener sunglasses, or you can opt for a cheaper version to pop the lid.
Use anything metal that you have on hand. If you’re outside, pop it off with any metal railing or a metal bumper (if you have one). If you’re inside, use a metal handle on your dresser or cabinets. You would pop the top off the same way as with the countertop — by placing the lip on the edge and smacking down on the lid while pulling the bottle down.
There are some cool sandals out there that have a built-in bottle opener. Reef makes sandals that come equipped with a bottle opener on the underside of the shoe. All you have to do is whip off the flip flop, pop your cap off and put your shoe back on. Just make sure to clean it every once in a while as it can get clogged with sand or dirt.
A house key
A house key will certainly work. It’s typically thin enough to place under the lip of the crown cap, but it works best if you leave it on your key chain, as the other items attached to your keys will give you more to grip. Grip the neck of the bottle and position the key sideways under the cap (make sure the ridged side is under the cap). Move the key up and down until the cap comes off. You will have to work at it for a minute.
Scissors are usually made of steel and come with handles, which provide grip and leverage. But they’re also sharpened, so be careful not to cut or slice your finger as you pry the cap off the bottle. There are two ways to do this — with the scissors opened and with the scissors closed. The closed option (and probably safer) has you placing the scissors under the cap and prying upward. The opened option (a bit sketchy) has you place the scissors around the bottom of the cap and wiggling up until the top comes off.
Have a lighter? By gripping the bottleneck with your non-dominant hand and positioning it over your index finger knuckle and under the rim of the cap, you can use the leverage to easily remove the bottle cap. With some practice, you can send the cap flying using nothing but a lighter.
A fork also works pretty well. It’s usually easier to get it inside the grooves of the cap, and you can pry it loose with less force by using an individual prong of the fork.
If you’re at someone’s house and they can’t find a bottle opener, chances are there’s at least one spoon around that you can use to your thirsty advantage. It may take some practice to get the grip just right. Try grabbing the neck of the bottle as close to the cap as you can get with your non-dominant hand. Position the spoon under the lip of the cap and, using the base of your thumb as leverage, pry the cap loose.
A butter knife
The very tip of a butter knife can be used to bend just a small section of the cap away from the bottle. Then position the tip of the knife under the lip, so that it’s between the cap and the glass rim. In a careful and swift motion, tap the handle of the knife on the counter to pop off the cap.
A flathead screwdriver
A flathead screwdriver works just as well with the same general instructions. Position the screwdriver head underneath the lip of the cap and use the leverage to pry it loose. You can also tap the handle of the screwdriver on a countertop to pop the lid off.
A claw hammer
A claw hammer can also be used. Flip it upside down and position the claw end (now facing upward) under the lip. Use the extra leverage to peel away the cap.
Smartphone and tablet chargers
Smartphone and tablet chargers have been used to open bottles, as well. Position one of the two prongs from the wall plug end under the cap and pry upward. This method will take more work than others, but who doesn’t have a charger on them?
MacBook or iPad chargers
A MacBook or iPad charger can be used very much like an actual bottle opener. The circular crown that holds the two-prong adapter or extension cord in place is shaped in a way that it can be used to remove a cap. Just be careful, as, and it’s usually cheaper to just buy a bottle opener than to replace a charger. It’s probably a better idea to explore other options before resorting to this one.
This one’s a little iffy, because a lot could go wrong to damage you or your ring, but if you’re confident, it’s an option that’s been said to work. While wearing a wide-band ring, place the edge under the bottle cap. Get a good grip on the cap with your hand and tilt the bottle in the opposite direction until the lid pops off. Again, if you do this, please, please be careful.
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