Separating Dishes that are Stuck Together

Lids can become stuck to pots and dishes in the sink, such as two glass bowls, can stick one inside the other. This is a frustrating situation and seemingly difficult to resolve. This is a guide about separating dishes that are stuck together.

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I have a steel box lid stuck into another steel box tightly. I tried different ways, but have not been successful. Can someone help me with how to separate these two without any damage to both box and lid?

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    You can try putting ice in the smaller box and running very hot water over the outside of the larger box at the same time. May need several tries to have the large one expand and the small one shrink at the same time.

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    I have a Fiestaware coffee cup stuck in a cup. Any advice on how to remove it without breaking it?

    coffee cup stuck in small bowl or cup
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      The trick was a combination of hot water and dishsoap. Will post the solution as a tip. Thanks for the feedback!

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      I made a mistake and thought I had the double boiler pans, not so. Now they are vacuum sealed together. I got the bottom one boiling then dumped ice in it, that did not work, so I frozen it overnight, dumped boiling water in the top, that did not work. Finally I tried to slide a thin knife between them. Anyone have any hints for this?

      pots stuck together
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        I agree with Louise. Try having the bottom one be hot and the top one cold. I had two pans stuck together a month ago and this worked for me.

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        I have two glass casserole dish lids that are stuck together like glue on paper. I have tried soaking them in hot and cold water, banging them apart, dish soap, oil, and a knife to try and separate the two. I have been unsuccessful so far. Does anyone have the magic solution to this odd and inconvenient problem?

        Nita from Michigan

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        Have you tried cooking oil to try to get them apart ? or the bakeing spray , like pam ,ect . maybe if you spray the lids with that in the area where they are stuck together you can work the apart .

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        Put ice in the top one, that will make it contract. When it gets good and cold, try separating them.

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        Cold will contract (shrink) glass and heat will cause it to expand. It isn't visible, but it is enough to help get stuck glass items apart.

        Cool the inner lid (ice sound like a great idea) and warm the outer one at the same time. This should help. It is the preferred method for separating 2 glasses stuck together, there's no reason it can't work for lids.

        Denise

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        I was warming up some food in a large bowl by putting water in a glass pot and putting the plastic bow on top. Now the bowl is stuck inside my glass pot and I can't remove it. There is still a small amount of water in the pot but the bowl is embedded.

        Staffney from Baltimore, MD

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        I had something similar happen with 2 pyrex baking dishes. I tried the hot/cold water method to no avail. Finally, on a whim, I sprayed both dishes with WD-40 and they slid apart like a charm.

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        Hot water expands fibres in certain materials. You need to shrink them instead. Try popping it in the fridge for a while or fill with icy cold water, and try separating them again.

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        I have a 9" springform pan bottom that got wedged down into my round 9" Wilton cake pan. Since they're the same size the springform pan bottom fell to the bottom of the cake pan and is so tightly wedged in I cannot get it out. I have tried putting the bottom in hot water and ice in the top...nope. I tried freezing them...nope. They are so snug on the bottom I can't get water under the springform pan and I don't think there's any room under it anyway to try and steam it off. There is absolutely no wiggle room between the two. I don't want to ruin either pan, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to sacrifice one to save the other. Any ideas?

        Springform Pan Bottom Stuck in Cake Pan
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          I would try pouring in some vegetable oil and let it seep in between the two pieces for a while, then invert them in the sink and see if the pan bottom will drop out. With a little tapping on the cake pan bottom, or tapping the rim on the sink, maybe the two will separate.

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          I stuck my steel plate in the aluminium vessel, now how do I remove it?

          By Shinu

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          Put ice on the steel plate; heat the outer vessel in hot running water. Outer aluminum vessel should expand enough to let you remove the cold steel plate.

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          I had 2 pans that were stuck together. After trying everything I've heard of, I finally sprayed WD-40 into the sides of bottom pan, put them in freezer over-night, dropped them on concrete this morning, and VOILA! I have 2 pans again.

          Wahoo! I had earlier tried putting ice in the top one and putting them on the stove on low, but it didn't work. So glad I have my favorite pans back again.

          By Patsy from Hadley, MA

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          Two cups stuck together.I was doing the dishes and when I pulled out two of them they where stuck together one facing the other, the openings together. I don't what to break either. We tried everything. Help.

          By SR

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          Try putting them in the freezer for a while and see if that helps.

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          This is foolproof technique.

          1) Immerse the stuck vessels in water by adding weight into vessel, anything heavy.

          2) After water goes into the lower vessel, heat it on a flame, dry heating.

          3) The water in the lower vessel evaporates. The steam pushes the upper vessel.

          4) The vessels are thus separated effortlessly without causing any damage to the dishes.

          menage photo of process

            Source: Mother's experience.

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            How do I remove an aluminum saucepan stuck in a china casserole dish?

            By VLF

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            I would set the china dish in a sink with hot water - not enough to cover - but HOT - you want to heat up the china dish a bit. That might just do the trick on its own. And then add some ice cubes to the aluminum pot, and it should contract enough and the dish expand enough to come apart.

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            How do you get a plate unstuck from the inside of a frying pan?

            By Shasta B.

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            Thank you all for the ideas, my daughter and I tilted the pan and ran hot water over the bottom and eventually the plate slid right out :) Thanks everybody!

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            Any advice on how to remove a dish that fell inside an aluminum pot? Would freezing or just cooling both cause them to shrink and separate?

            Thanks

            Mike

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            Well just cool the dish that fell in and heat the aluminum pot that should separate them.

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            Separating 2 pans that have become stuck together can seem like a daunting problem. But it's not.

            Using either heat or cold on both pans is a total waste of time.

            To separate them use the heat = expand/cold = contract theory in simple physics.

            Put the plug in your kitchen sink and fill it with water you have heated on the stove to not quite boiling and only deep enough to come close to the rim of the lower pan. Then put ice water in the upper pan. The hot water will expand the lower pan and the ice water will contract the upper pan allowing them to separate easily and safely with no damage to either one.

            By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC

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            Home and Garden Repair Other DishesJune 29, 2013
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