Containers for products such as wood finish or glue often have screw on lids that can become clogged with dried material, making them hard to remove. To make twist off lids easy to remove:

  1. Cut a piece of wax paper an inch or two larger than the container lid.
  2. Put the wax paper over the top of the container.
  3. Screw the lid on over the wax paper.

The wax paper will serve to separate the threads on the lid and container to keep them from bonding together.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: There are several home improvement products that come with twist off lids. Now, if you’ve had to use pliers to remove them, here’s the reason why. Often, the product itself, in this case, it’s a wood finish teak oil, will spill out onto the threads. Then when you replace the lid, the material actually acts as an adhesive and seals it on here and makes the lid almost impossible to remove. And that’s not only true of teak oil and polyurethanes but also several kinds of sealers as well that you might use around the house.

Look, here’s the trick. Get a piece of wax paper, about three or four inches wide and then cut off a little square of it. And next time you get ready to replace the lid, just put the wax paper over it and that will protect the threads from that finish, and even if this sits on the shelf for a while you’ll be able to twist it right off without having to use pliers or anything else which can actually damage the lid.

Now, I’ve seen this works really well on all kinds of sealers, but also wood glue, even though it has a dispenser cap, if you put wax paper underneath it, it will seal off air and last a lot longer under your shelf.

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Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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