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Ziplock bags are intended to be resealable, and most of the time they work just great, but sometimes they can become obstreperous and refuse to open. If you try to pull the two sides apart by grabbing the center and pulling straight out, you will almost always fail. The trick of pulling from the insides by grabbing down about two inches into the sides of the package on each side and pulling straight out will usually work for ripping open non-ziplock sealed packages, but that technique usually fails with the better quality ziplock bags. Trying to physically tear open these packages by brute force quite often doesn’t work either. Using a sharp pair of scissors or a knife always works, but it destroys any possibility of fully resealing the package.

Ziplock_opening

Opening a Ziplock bag using thumb and forefinger friction.

So, here is a simple technique which works if the packages or your fingers are not too slippery with water or oil. Grip the end of the package between your thumb and forefinger with your thumb pointing away from the package. Squeeze your thumb and forefinger together tightly and forcefully push your thumb forward. A gap will form at the top; do it a second time to make a bigger gap. Put a finger into the gap and slide it back along toward the center. Enjoy the contents. If your finger on the plastic is too slippery, put your thumb tips together to the very end of the zipper and pull to the sides.

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