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 17, 2015 Flag
1 found this helpful

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

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November 16, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I tried using soap dish as lubricant and it helped!!

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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

October 21, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

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
Best Answer

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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October 23, 20150 found this helpful

Awhile ago someone had a similar problem with dishes, and they used dish soap as a lubricant. That might be a better first choice if the ice/hot water doesn't work right away.

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June 19, 20160 found this helpful

November 1, 2010 Flag
4 found this helpful

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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November 1, 20100 found this helpful

An air compressor will work as well. It will get 2 buckets unstuck as well.

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November 3, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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December 3, 20160 found this helpful

September 22, 2005 Flag
0 found this helpful

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 22, 20051 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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September 23, 20051 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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December 1, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

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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March 3, 20160 found this helpful

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
Best Answer

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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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?

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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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June 10, 2015 Flag
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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.

Source: Mother's experience.

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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?

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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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