How to Fix Dried Out Wine Corks

Written by kassie kleifgen
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How to Fix Dried Out Wine Corks
Wine corks can break and crumble if they get too dry. (wine corks 2 image by Julia Chernikova from

Wine corks dry out for a number of different reason, one of the most common being improper wine storage. If the corks are dry, either from being stored in the wrong position or other issues, there are different methods you can attempt to re-moisten them. By fixing the dried out wine corks you can avoid pushing the cork into the wine or ruining the wine when air is allowed in through gaps between cork and bottle.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Washcloth
  • Water
  • Small bowl
  • Tongs
  • Two-prong wine opener
  • Cork screw
  • Pan
  • Stove
  • Oven glove

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  1. 1

    Set the bottle of wine on its side to allow the wine to soak the inside of the cork for 24 hours. The cork will absorb a small amount of the wine and bring moisture back into the cork.

  2. 2

    Boil a small amount of water on the stove and soak a washcloth in the water. Put an oven glove on one hand and pick the washcloth out of the water using tongs with the other hand. Hold the washcloth in the oven glove and place it over the cork. Slowly try to twist the cork out of the bottle; the boiling water should moisten it and loosen it up.

  3. 3

    Remove the cork from the bottle using an ah-so wine opener. An ah-so opener has two narrow prongs that slide between the bottle and the cork, you should be able to lift out the cork by rocking the cork back and forth, even if the cork is extremely dry, according to online resource Anything Wine.

Tips and warnings

  • Always store your wine on its side. With the wine resting sideways, against the cork, the cork should never dry out.
  • Store your wine in a humid environment to prevent dried corks. According to Cellarnotes, the ideal environment for storing wine has a temperature between 50 and 55 degress F and 70 per cent humidity to keep the cork moist.
  • If you rehydrate a cork in a wine bottle for easy removal, remove the cork and use the wine right away. According to WineMaker magazine online, soaking dried corks in water may encourage the growth of microorganisms on the cork and spoil the wine.

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