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There is an easy solution to un-stick 5 gallon buckets and keep them from sticking again. Set a hair dryer on highest heat and airflow. You want to warm up the bottom bucket to make it expand. Slowly, move the hair dryer around the top rim of the bottom bucket. It should only take a minute or so. Works like a charm!
To keep the buckets from ever sticking again, put something in the bottom of the bucket before adding another bucket. I used a small 4 inch tall container from a purchase made at the "Deli" as spacers. Maybe cottage cheese, yogurt or similar would work, too. This will prevent a vacuum from occurring causing that frustrating stuck bucket syndrome.
By Linda from San Diego, CA
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Does anyone know of a FOOLPROOF way to treat 5 gallon plastic buckets before stacking and storing them so they will come apart easily when I need one. I like to keep a few around but getting one released from the other is a major problem.
I have never done this with buckets, but have on other things such as glasses. Use paper in between, like several layers of newspaper on the side of the buckets as you stack them together. (07/01/2005)
Wow - what a good question! I'm wondering if spraying the outsides with Pam would work? (07/01/2005)
Try taking a strip of heavy corrogated cardboard and making a triangle that will fit into the bottom of the bucket. It needs to be just tall enough to prevent the buckets form "sealing" together. The top bucket be supported by the cardboard, and prevent them from "sticking". (07/02/2005)
Put the bottom of each bucket into a brown grocery bag and then into the bottom bucket. I stack them 6 high and never have a problem seperating them. (07/04/2005)
How do get the buckets apart once they are stuck together.
Editor's Note: There is probably some suction built up. Take a knife or a thin blade and try to fit it in between the two buckets to break the suction. (07/16/2008)