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AshlynM's avatar

Does anyone know how to get the top off of a McCormick Sea Salt grinder to refill it?

Asked by AshlynM (6157 points ) June 5th, 2012

Seen here.

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I’ve been trying and trying to get the top off to refill it but nothing has worked so far. I managed to get the smaller lid off no problem.

I’ve tried squeezing and twisting the main cap, nothing. I’ve tried using a butter knife, to no avail. I’ve looked underneath the lid while I was forcing the top up a little and it looks like it COULD be pried off with quite a bit of force.

I’m thinking I’ll have to use pliers or something to force it off? I don’t want to have to buy another sea salt grinder just to have another bottle.

Any suggestions?

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20 Answers

bewailknot's avatar

It is not designed to be refilled, they want to sell you another one. Some people have managed to pull the top off straight up, but they were pretty strong. My son-in-law managed to do this for me. I have heard warming it in a low oven can help since it softens the plastic top but you would have to be careful that it doesn’t get deformed. Forcing it using tools? You need to be careful you don’t break off some of the glass rim of the bottle.

JLeslie's avatar

If you don’t like the idea of a disposable salt grinder then you have bought the wrong thing. You can buy an inexpensive refillable grinder at a kitchen store, a place like Bed, Bath and Beyond, or possibly even your supermarket depending on the market.

Throw the one you have out. It is sold like any other spice McCormick sells, to be used and by a new one.

Aethelflaed's avatar

You aren’t supposed to be able to refill McCormicks. But, Kroger sells salt grinders that are refillable for a buck.

jca's avatar

If you want a “disposable grinder” that lasts longer, Costco sells salt and pepper in disposable grinders. Not sure about Sam’s Club or BJ’s. I would say probably but not positive. The whole thing about McCormick’s is they don’t make money if you refill it with refills. They make money when you purchase another one. @JLeslie is right – you can buy a regular salt or pepper grinder in any store that sells home stuff – Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, any department store at a mall near you.

wildpotato's avatar

I have tried before by twisting and pulling and I think it is impossible. I like bewailknot’s suggestion of heating it a bit; I’m going to give that a go next time. Maybe you could try needle nose pliers? Good luck!

@all The problem with the refillables is that they don’t grind as well as the McCormick’s disposables do. It took me years to find good ones – I think I ended up with Martha Stewart brand.

jca's avatar

@wildpotato: Check out the ones at Costco. Costco has a reputation for good products and they stand behind them, so if you don’t like, it’s not a problem to return them, even without a receipt.

Sunny2's avatar

I successfully removed the top using a wrench. I now have an empty grinder that I can re-use, but haven’t decided what to put in it. Any suggestions?

Fly's avatar

Sorry, but those salt grinders are disposable and are not meant to be refilled. And, going through all that trouble just to get it open seems a little bit ridiculous to me. Just buy a new one, or buy a refillable one, which is what I would recommend. Target has really good refillable salt mills if you decide to go that route. I think we have this one, and it works just as well if not better than the McCormick salt grinder (and it’s certainly prettier)!

Ponderer983's avatar

Ditto on everyone who says they aren’t refillable. I have these and love them. I used to have problems with my pepper mills not working after a while, so I finally decided to splurge on good ones. I got them at Williams Sonoma for $50 but both the pepper and salt grinder works great.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

bewailknot's avatar

I have heard the “disposable” salt grinder from Trader Joe’s is threaded and can be opened easily. Don’t have one so not sure if this is true.

Fly's avatar

If you don’t mind my asking, (@bewailknot @AshlynM and others) why the need to reuse a disposable salt mill? I just really don’t see the reasoning behind trying so hard to find ways to open disposable ones or to find the perfect disposable grinder. There are plenty of high quality and low cost refillable grinders out there. Why not just save the time and effort that you’re putting into refilling a non-refillable salt mill?

bewailknot's avatar

For me it is sort of a reduce, reuse, recycle thing. I didn’t buy the thing in the first place, but once someone brought it into my house I just hated to toss it. My son-in-law is very big on recycling and is always willing to help.

Fly's avatar

@bewailknot I can kind of see where you’re coming from, but throwing away one disposable salt grinder in order to buy one refillable grinder that is meant to be reused seems to promote the same ideas.

Sunny2's avatar

Seems wasteful NOT to reuse what you can. How you feel about wastefulness is probably due to when you were born. We used to darn socks. I don’t, but it’s still hard to just throw them out.If you wonder about rubberbands on your grandparent’s door knobs, that’s part of the save, save, save generation. Nothing should go to waste. Nowadays it’s called recycling.
P.S. The one I opened was from Trader Joe. I envisioned using more whole spices and grinding my own.

qaz111111's avatar

WAIT! Hold the BUS!!! There is only one thing disposable about the salt grinder. That is the inability to open it. I bought it specifically because I liked the way it looks and it was inexpensive. I cannot imagine why it should cost more to have a screw top instead of this fixed one. It certainly cannot be a diference of $30 to $40 for a wWilliams Sonoma set. (PS, you better like it because they are laughing that pople pay that much.) So stop the discussion about the discussion. If you know how to open the bottle speak up. Everybody else shut up.

hayfy's avatar

Submerse the top in hot water and it will come right off :). It works, I did it. You may have to pull a little, but it will come off.. You can also microwave hot water and submerse the top for a few minutes. It just needs a little give and it will pull off.
Oh, and btw, it snaps right back on really easy. I am not buying another one. :) ridiculous to waste money if you ask me

BrooklynBabe's avatar

I just did this last night. Why? Because I wanted to reuse it…period! I do own other grinders so I do purchase rock salt, pepper corns, & mixed herbs for salads. McCormick makes these great grinders filled with sea salt, pepper corns, Italian spices, etc. and I felt it was a total waste to constantly throw these out. So I tried opening them – Here’s what I did.

I put 2 empty grinders in the oven at 250 degrees for 5 minutes. Using two oven mitts, I pulled the caps right off! I refilled one with pepper corns & the other with rosemary/sage/thyme as a poultry seasoning, snapped the caps back on, and felt very satisfied having accomplished that small feat! Nothing melted and the glass did not get so hot as to pose a danger of cracking or of burning me.

Hot water also works, but I didn’t want to get the inside wet.

wildpotato's avatar

@BrooklynBabe Cool idea! But doesn’t the plastic top piece melt slightly and release fumes?

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