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Removing a Jammed Glass Decanter Stopper

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My heirloom spherical crystal decanter, with some whiskey in it, has the crystal stopper so firmly jammed that it has been unopened for 20 years. I have tried heat, cold, liquid wrench, etc., to no avail. Even glassware experts decline to try. Can someone advise me of how to remove it safely?

By p.graham from Kamloops, BC, Canada


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This is to thank everyone who responded to the request for help to remove a glass stopper from a glass decanter. Well guys, it worked last evening. We did not expect to ever again to pour wine from this very old bottle. Gratefully, thanks, thanks, thanks!

The instructions I followed are from P.D. Graham. The decanter had just been filled with wine, up to the base of the neck. The decanter was placed in a container of hot water to heat the neck. It had snowed earlier so we had an ample supply of something cold. I took a medium sized plastic margarine container and cut a star in the bottom to allow it to be pushed over the stopper and rest on the lip of the decanter. When we were satisfied that the decanter was warm enough, we packed the marg pot with snow. I then started to gently tap the under side of the stopper. After less than a minute, the stopper popped out of the decanter neck, with no damage to either piece.

A word of warning - the stopper literally popped out of the decanter neck, so be ready and patient!

By Ginnie100011/29/2010

Hello! I was just able to remove a stuck stopper in a very old crystal decanter. A few details: My decanter was filled with water for a very long time and nothing would get it out! So I put olive oil on the area where the stopper was stuck and than placed the decanter on the flat surface of my stove-top while baking chicken at 325 degrees. It did not budge until I raised the temperature to 400 for the last 15 minutes to brown the meat. Be careful! I think what helped in my case was that the decanter was full of water. Hope this helps. I was so pleased with the results, I had been trying just about everything.

By Shirley [1]08/13/2009

Try soaking it in a tub or sink filled with very hot boiling water so that the whole bottle is under the water. You may even try to put some dawn dish soap in it too for a few hours, or until the water cools enough to get your hands in. Try to open in under the water, hold the bottle with one hand and use a wash cloth to try and pull it off.

Shirley, golden7673 AT

By Jackie Blue [1]08/10/2009

Wrap the neck of the decanter in a fairly hot, damp towel and use the handle of a wooden spoon to gently tap opposite sides of the stopper. Then pour two or three drips of cooking oil around the decanter's rim and leave in a warm place.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Eric D.02/04/2015

We had a crystal with stopper stuck for 60+ years. We followed the instructions and placed it in very hot water up to neck. Filled a plastic container with chipped ice and after a few minutes took it out, wrapped a towel around the stopper and tapped very gently with a wooden spoon. After 4 or 5 taps ...POP...the stopper jumped out and I was lucky to have a good hold of it with the towel. Many thanks.

By Cyinda [214]08/10/2009


By P.D. Graham [1]08/10/2009

The combination of WD40 (tried alone, unsuccessful) AND a quite hot, wet dishcloth wrapped around the neck, with previous dipping of the stopper in crushed ice, allowed the tapping with a wooden spoon to free the twenty-year-stuck stopper. Granny's heir-loom decanter lives again. Thank you!

By Myrna [15]08/10/2009

You could also try using WD40 and spray around the stopper and lip of decanter, leaving it set a few minutes if you're not concerned the whiskey is affected.

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