How to remove a stuck glass stopper from a bottle

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing a stuck glass stopper from a bottle can be tricky. If too much pressure is applied, the bottle could break, resulting in injury and even the loss of a treasured antique. You need to be careful when drawing out the stopper, as it could break off inside the bottle, and you will have to carefully smash the remains of the stopper to clear the bottle entrance, which will decrease the usefulness and value of your decanter or perfume bottle.

Slip on pair of leather gloves. The leather will allow you to get a firm grip on the glass without slipping. It will also allow you to apply a bit more pressure without breaking the glass. Additionally, if the stopper or bottle break while trying to remove the stopper, you will have some added protection against broken glass.

Rock the stopper gently back and forth to try and loosen it. If the stopper budges, attempt to slowly draw it out of the bottle.

Lay a cotton towel over the stopper and bottle. Use a crescent wrench to gently grasp the stopper through the towel. Apply pressure while turning to the stopper. Do not let the metal from the wrench come in contact with the glass of the bottle or the stopper, as this could scrape, nick or break the glass.

Soak a stubborn bottle and stopper in 473ml of Coca-Cola overnight. Pour the soda into a basin and allow it to soak for at least 8 hours. Rinse the bottle in warm water and dry with a towel. Put on leather gloves and rock the stopper back and forth to pull it free.

Breaking the stopper is a last-ditch alternative to removing it. This can only be done with hollow glass stoppers. You will need to gently tap the stopper with a nail positioned over the top of the stopper. As the glass begins to chip and break away, continue to lightly chisel it away with the hammer and nail until all of the stopper is freed from the bottle. Wash the bottle thoroughly before using again, and do not use it for anything you plan to consume, as you could accidentally ingest harmful glass particles.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather gloves
  • Towel
  • Crescent wrench
  • 473ml bottle of Coca-Cola
  • Wash basin
  • Hammer
  • Nail
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About the Author

Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.