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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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October 21, 2015 Flag
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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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October 21, 20150 found this helpful
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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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June 19, 20160 found this helpful

This method worked after much going back and forth keeping one pot hot and the other cold...waters. We also created a space to allow between the two pots to add hot water to the lower pot to bring to a boil...with a twisting action...top pot going one way bottom pot going the oposite way...the suction released...and the pots separated...easily. Get this part two women losened it for two men to pull apart! Yeah sistergirls for your important part!!!

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October 17, 2015 Flag
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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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October 20, 20151 found this helpful

I would try using dish soap as lubricant, hold the bowl upside down and gently swivel the cup around inside it. When you hit the right spot it should slide out. I don't think force helps.

I had this happen with a ramekin that got stuck in a similar bowl. I tried putting ice in the ramekin and running hot water over the bowl, but I'm not sure if there was enough expansion for it to make a difference.

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October 20, 20152 found this helpful

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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September 22, 2005 Flag
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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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September 23, 20050 found this helpful
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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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September 24, 20050 found this helpful
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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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March 20, 2016 Flag
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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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March 21, 20160 found this helpful

For the boiling water/ice to work, the bottom would have to be hot (to expand) and the top cold (to contract). That is the only thing that I can think of, and I encourage you to try it again. However, what I would do is fill the top pot with ice, and then set the bottom pot in a sink of very hot water. You have to make sure the two pots have different temps. If that doesn't work, I'm out of ideas!! Good luck!

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March 23, 20160 found this helpful

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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December 1, 2008 Flag
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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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December 2, 20080 found this helpful
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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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January 14, 20090 found this helpful
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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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February 15, 2014 Flag
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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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February 16, 20140 found this helpful
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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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February 16, 20140 found this helpful

I don't have the faintest idea what you did. If you want help, you might want to explain what plate, and what vessel...

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October 29, 2015 Flag
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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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October 30, 20150 found this helpful

If you have access to an air compressor have someone hold the pan and shoot air at the edge and see if this works. My husband dislodges stuck buckets this way.

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October 30, 20150 found this helpful

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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