Every year, a massive amount of bottle openers are sold because most of us manage to lose the ones we buy. A scary amount of openers seem to go missing wherever I’m living, and I can’t imagine where they go. Since I can never seem to find one when I need it, I’ve had to become a little more resourceful.

Trust me, there are a ton of tools at your place to open that beer. There’s one simple trick that will allow you to open a bottle and never need to look for that opener again. So here’s how it’s done:

1) Grip the neck of the bottle with your non-dominant hand. If you’re ambidextrous, just choose one of your hands. Make sure your index finger is wrapped tightly above the lip of the bottle.

The first item we use is commonplace.


Photo by Kathleen Lee

2) Take a Bic lighter and grip it lightly in your fist with the bottom half of the lighter exposed.


Photo by Kathleen Lee

Here’s the physics lesson, or more of a “physics for poets” lesson:

3) Create a fulcrum with the knuckle of your index figure wrapped around the lip of the bottle, and push the lighter tightly in between your knuckle and the bottom of the bottle cap. With the bottom of the lighter pressed firmly against the bottom of the cap, push the lighter over the fulcrum (your knuckle) and the top will come off swiftly.

Congratulations, you’ve just created a lever!


Photo by Kathleen Lee

The trick to using this lever is to hold the bottle firmly, so the lighter doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. Use this grip and you’ll be able to use pretty much anything to open your bottles. Whether it’s a wooden spoon in the kitchen, a spoon, fork or butter knife (use the handle of the knife, obviously so you don’t cut your hand open). You’ll soon discover new items around your house that you can use to substitute for your elusive bottle opener. Meanwhile, more bottle openers around the world will continue to disappear.