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Metal measuring cup stuck on mason jar -- HELP!!!

See photo. HELP! I tried running the measuring cup under icy water, I tried using a knife slipped underneath the edge of the cup, to no avail.

I honestly don't know how this happened. Was pouring some powdered sugar into the cup and I just let it slip a little. Really don't want to sacrifice this measuring cup.

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  1. Not sure why photo didn't come through.

    1. Try running the cup under hot water. Metal expands when heated.

      1 Reply
        1. re: TOChowgirl

          That's my last resort option...was hoping to not have to do that.

        2. The problem is that you must expand the metal at the rim. If you pour hot water on it as shown, you are just heating the bottom. The rim won't get hot enough.

          Pour boiling water in a pan, then Invert the jar and put the measuring cup into the water, but not so the water reaches the glass of the jar. Or better, stan the jar inverted, then add hot water to the necessary level.

          3 Replies
              1. re: arielleeve

                Try it again, but first refrigerate the whole thing for awhile, then dip the cup into simmering water while the glass is still cold.i

            1. If it were me, I would wrap the jar with attached measuring cup in two layers of plastic shopping bags, then wrap it in an old towel and then put it on a cutting board, or the floor of the garage, and then smack it with a hammer right on the shoulder of the jar. If it is struck too low, the threaded portion of the jar might remain stuck on the metal after the jar is broken.

              9 Replies
              1. re: John E.

                I was hoping to salvage the jar, too. I guess that was wishful thinking. Also, NYC = no garage...

                1. re: arielleeve

                  I think Alan might be onto something, however I usually have little patience to solve these sorts of problems I and jump to the quickest, and usually

                  1. re: arielleeve

                    I agree with JohnE and Alan. Invert your photo, and put the cup and the jar inside a pan fill with water. Now, boil the water.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I'm still thinking smashing the jar is the way to go. My thought is, get it done already.

                      1. re: John E.

                        <I'm still thinking smashing the jar is the way to go.>

                        We are men. We think differently. :D

                        1. re: John E.

                          Perhaps this will be my only option. I'm not in a huge hurry to use the measuring cup. If I have to do that, it's gonna have to wait until my husband gets home :)

                            1. re: arielleeve

                              As a husband, scratching his head, I gotta ask, how did this occur?

                              You were pouring the sugar into the measuring cup, the jar slipped a little, and bam! It's stuck in the neck of the jar?

                              It is entertaining how these little problems in our lives end up taking up much of our thinking prowess.

                      2. pack the jar in ice.

                        wrap a hot rag around the measuring cup

                        1. How about inverting it. Drizzle in some oil. See if you can gently turn or jostle it to distribute the oil to lubricate all the contacting surfaces. Continue until you can get enough movement to "screw" the jar out of the cup.

                          1. While you've been given many tips, the one that should work is the one involving hot water.

                            It's not the metal you need to heat, but rather the air between the glass and the metal. That's what allows us to open jars.

                            Good luck with it!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: DuffyH

                              Er - no! It's NOT the air you need to heat. You need to heat the metal and, as far as possible, chill the glass. If you have one of those jar opening gizmos, use it after you've done the heating/cooling trick and before the metal gets cold.

                              1. re: kagemusha49

                                WTF? The metal needs to CONTRACT, y'all

                                1. re: EWSflash

                                  have another look at the photo -- the metal cup is on the outside of the shoulders of the jar.

                            2. Way to much effort for a $3 problem.

                              How much is your time worth versus replacing the items? I have a buddy who is an aerospace consult. (Rocket Scientist) He charges $250 an hour. And I have watched him spend billable hours on his own car repair, rather than paying a mechanic $100 an hour who will be finished in an hour or two rather than a couple of days.

                              If there was a family heirloom involved, then the criteria would be different.

                              1. Put it in the oven set to about 200F and let everything warm up for about half an hour or so. The measuring cup should lift off fairly easily.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Try heating the edge of the cup with a propane or butane torch, or rotating it on top of the stove burner.

                                  1. I am going to deviate from the popular up onion that says the glass jammed itself into the metal cup that had to have a slightly larger interior.

                                    I'm going to say they are stuck together by air pressure alone.

                                    1. At work in this situation we just run it through the dishwasher and it solves everything. Not sure if a residential machine would be as effective.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. It's been a couple of days now, anything new to report?

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: John E.

                                          Ugh, nope. Tried the oven at 200 for 20 minutes, with no change. I've resigned myself to smashing the jar, just haven't gotten around to it yet :(

                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                I think a metal punch point on the shoulder might be more effective, but maybe not as much fun.

                                            1. re: arielleeve

                                              I would submerge the whole thing in ice water. Let both contract a little without creating suction on one side or the other.

                                              1. re: elegraph

                                                Typically speaking, the thermal expansion coefficient of metal, like steel is greater than glass. Thus, it makes more sense to try to expand than to contract. Nevertheless, I think the original poster has tried enough. Time to Man-Up. :P

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  I don't agree that the OP has tried enough. I don't think the OP has tried my last suggestion, which was to chill the whole thing before heating the metal cup.

                                          1. Hi, arielleve:

                                            Ham-mer, ham-mer HAM-MER!

                                            Then pass it around so we can all hit ourselves in the head to feel better.


                                            1. Am I the only one who feels like this thread indicates that chowhound has pretty much hit rock bottom?

                                              I mean that in the nicest way possible.

                                              14 Replies
                                              1. re: alarash

                                                I hope so. One thread does not define Chowhound, and not every thread need be to your liking. Why shouldn't someone with such a problem solicit the opinions of others on how to deal with it?

                                                1. re: alarash

                                                  The OP is trying to save some valued cookware (measuring cup), and presents an interesting (and rather amusing) problem. Not sure how that's "rock bottom" but we all see through our own lens, I guess. :)

                                                  I was quite hoping for a scientific save via physics/thermodynamic principles, or perhaps an elaborate MacGyver solution involving a paperclip, rubber band, and 15 cat hairs. Ah well.

                                                  1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                    Not entirely sure. Alarash could have meant so many things.

                                                    It hits rock-bottom because CHOWHOUND discusses how to remove a measuring cup from a jar -- which he may think has nothing to do with cooking. However, this is not the first time (or even the first 50 times) that similar topics have been posted.

                                                    He may think that CHOWHOUND has hit the bottom because some of us started to tell the original poster to break the jar -- which he concludes that we are giving up and therefore rock-bottom.

                                                    So many possible ways to read this.

                                                  2. re: alarash

                                                    Well, if this is the "rock bottom" of CHOWHOUND, then we have a lot of to be proud of. This is like someone saying "I have hit my financial-bottom last year for only pulling in a 1 million profit for myself" It is damn good if this is the rock-bottom.

                                                    Alas, I wish this is the rock-bottom, but it is not. There are far worse posts in CHOWHOUND, like many screening, yelling, self-righteous posts in Not About Food.

                                                    1. re: alarash

                                                      You want to see rock bottom. Epicurious has a recipe for salted boiling water, with a boat load of reviews.

                                                      1. re: mike0989

                                                        That seems like a valid, albeit prosaic, topic to me. One should have consistently salted water to cook pasta, and consistency requires a formula (recipe). It is reasonable to want to know the optimal salinity of pasta cooking water, and want to stick to it.

                                                        1. re: mike0989

                                                          GH is absolutely correct.

                                                          The website's subtitle is "For people who love to eat". Doesn't say anything about knowing how to cook as a prerequisite to admission. And we all need to start somewhere. It *is* important to know how much salt to add to water for pasta. I don't think the information is genetically encoded in humans.

                                                          And if you still think it's a frivolous recipe, let's not blame Epicurious. The recipe is from the Nov. 2001 issue of Gourmet. I'm sure there's a publishing agreement in place that requires Epicurious to add it to the website.

                                                          The reviews do make for fun reading, rather like my favorite reviews on Amazon, for the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer. With 4500 reviews, it may just be the most-reviewed item on Amazon.

                                                            1. re: wekick

                                                              wonderful recipe and comments, but I wish they had given the ratios in weight not those archaic imperial volume measures. I bought a damned expensive kitchen scale, and they give measures in tablespoons and quarts.

                                                                1. re: mike0989

                                                                  We have a set of those mesuring spoons in our kitchen as a little reminder of my mother. nShe liked anything miniature and a little playful like that. She was excited when we gave them to her and now that she has died, it's nice to have them in our kitchen.

                                                                2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                  I had the same problem! My solution was so elegantly simple, I'll share it with you. First, up, you're gonna need an iPad, but a Mac will do in a pinch. I'll wait if you need to go out and buy one.

                                                                  Okay, now update the software and check back in tomorrow. Done? Cool. Go to the App store and download Paprika. It'll set you back $5, $15 on the Mac. It'll be worth it, you'll see.

                                                                  Launch Paprika, go to the Browser and input the URL for the Epicurious recipe. Save the recipe. Pretty cool, huh? Now look at the toolbar and you'll see that there's a handy unit conversion tool, plus a recipe multiplier tool. You may now use the recipe with complete confidence. You're welcome!

                                                                  Disclaimer: Although not an employee nor paid representative, I'm a total shill for Paprika. It's simply the best Mac recipe software I've found.

                                                                3. re: wekick

                                                                  That recipe is for amateurs.Real chefs make their water and salt from scratch. Take 10,000 liters of hydrogen and mix with 5,000 liters of oxygen and gently ignite. If you survive that we'll get into combining the sodium and chlorine.

                                                              1. re: alarash

                                                                Hi, Ala:

                                                                Oh yeah. It's a flipping Mason jar, not Excalibur.

                                                                How about we send it up to ISS with a team of specialists? Microgravity and in a differentially-heated vibrating vacuum chamber ought to do the trick. Or, what about fitting a special overpressure collar over the measuring cup before it goes in the chamber? Rapidly alterating vacuum with overpressure and submersion in a good nano-lubricant *while* it's vibrating?

                                                                We *must* save this jar!


                                                                PS: Plan C: Glass is really a very viscous fluid. Sit the jar perpendicular in the pilot training centrifuge for 400 years until the jar neck subsides under gravity.

                                                              2. If you have access to a bench vise or a large pipe wrench you might be able to hold the measuring cup in place enough to twist and wiggle the jar out from the cup's hold on the jar. of course in so doing you risk scratching or gouging the cup. I would first wrap it in painters tape to give it a minimum of protection.

                                                                There are some other tools, like ones plumbers use to take apart really stuck together pipes - but unless you happen to know a plumber, or happen to have one there to fix your diswasher or unclog your toilet or something, its not worth the investment. The going rate for a plumber is in the $80 - $120 per hour, with a one hour minimum. Maybe you could go down to the plumber's office, show up with a plate of cookies, or a box of doughnuts and play the helpless woman (or clueless guy - in which case bring beer not cookies) and prevail upon their professional experience. Maybe send your grandmother to do it for you. Who can resist the woes of a little old lady with a plate of cookies? Maybe the nearest fire station, they have those huge wrenches they use to open fire hydrants . . .

                                                                As far as breaking it, I'm guessing that even if you hit it with a hammer, you will end up with a largely broken jar, but that the "collar" at the top of the jar will remain intact, and it's going to be a difficult and dangerous job to extract the collar from the cup without cutting yourself on the sharp edges of the broken glass. Unless the measuring cup has great sentimental value, or is a part of an expensive set of cups, I think I'd spend the $10 - $30 to buy a new set of cups. It is a whole lot cheaper than a trip to the emergency room to stitch up your palm.

                                                                In the mean time, just tuck the existing one into a corner of a cabinet as a curiosity, maybe bring it out at a party some time when there is one of those "know it all" guests. "Hey Pat, you're real smart and handy. I've got this jar . . ." Let him (or her) take it home and amuse himself with it and end up in the emergency room instead of you.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                  If the neck of the jar remains intact after breaking the jar, it can be removed by heating it with a torch until the glass is soft and pliable.

                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                    Good God, just tap it again with the hammer or a punch if that happens. All the glass will just fall out. 8oz Mason jars are 79 cents apiece.

                                                                2. I would put in on a coffee table and call it art. Challenge your friend to get it off, kind of like a foodie Rubiks Cube.

                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Augieang

                                                                      I tend to think you have the right idea. However, if King Arthur does come around, that powdered sugar is going to be flying everywhere.

                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                        Do you think King Arther will pull the metal cup or the glass jar?

                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                          I think he would grab each one, If he's right handed, the measuring cup will be held in his right hand of course.

                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                            I should phrase it better. I should have asked "Do you think he will (in his mind) trying to pull the cup out or the glass off?" On one hand, the metal cup is metal, so he may think of it as a sword. On the other hand, it is glass jar being insert into the metal cup, not the other way around.

                                                                            WWKAD? What would King Arther Do?

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              Being a young man of his era, and not particularly well-schooled in the culinary arts, he'd likely attempt to pull the handle off the cup, mistaking it for an eating knife.

                                                                              He might also note the metal and glass fused together and wonder if the local glassblower and metalsmith had been ensorcled, and to what purpose. He'd ask Merlin to figure it out, as King Arthur wasn't noted for his brains.

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                I think he would pull them apart simultaneously, thus achieving my mental image of powdered sugar flying everywhere... : )

                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                  <thus achieving my mental image >

                                                                                  :) That would be what YOU want. But what would the real King Arthur do? :P

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                    I'm still gonna go with my Mel Brooks version.

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      I think he would go to Roger the Shrubber and purchase a . . . shrubbery.

                                                                                    2. re: John E.

                                                                                      I think that's the Black Adder solution.

                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                        And it all ends in the field of poppys.

                                                                          2. Put it in the freezer for a while so that the glass contracts.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                              as pointed out upstream, the metal will contract more (and faster) than the glass will, just as it will expand more as it heats up. The glass has more thermal mass, meaning it takes more energy to change temperature, and has lower coefficient of expansion than the metal.

                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                Yes, but you could try sitting the glass on a block of ice. It should cool down prior to the the metal.

                                                                            2. Seriously, this has taken so many comments. Break the freakin' jar. Wrap it in several newspapers, and dispose of it. All this drama, and it's not even the family crystal. Hmm, what happens when Uncle Clumsy breaks the wine glass you got from your grannie?

                                                                              Chill. (I even wonder if this is a real post, and if it is - I'm sorry for your loss.)

                                                                              34 Replies
                                                                              1. re: breadchick

                                                                                Hi, breadchick:

                                                                                Well, we Hounds are nothing if not codependent.

                                                                                I'm surprised no one has given the OP OSHA-approved instructions for safety while breaking and handling broken glass, sent her a link for respirators, eyewear and Kevlar gauntlets, etc., etc.

                                                                                Henceforth, my replies will be limited to your acronym: BTFJ.

                                                                                (My name is) Kaleo (and I'm codependent)

                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                    Hi, Kaleo:

                                                                                    I guess that makes me codependent too - since I've read all the posts!! LOL.

                                                                                    I promise to deliver such comments only during Snarkweek.

                                                                                    (standing up) My name is breadchick and I promise to be snark-free 51 weeks of the year.

                                                                                    1. re: breadchick

                                                                                      <My name is breadchick and I promise to be snark-free 51 weeks of the year.>

                                                                                      (standing up) My name is Duffy and I'm selling tickets.

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        And I'm picking the pockets of all who stand up...

                                                                                  2. re: breadchick

                                                                                    I was never melodramatic about this, nor did I invite all the dozens of responses. Of course it occurred to me to break the glass if necessary, but I also wondered if maybe someone out there had a trick that I didn't know about, saving myself the hassle of having to smash the glass, plus saving the jar and possibly even the contents inside. That is why I came to chowhound instead of just immediately breaking the glass.

                                                                                    No, it's not a family heirloom, but is it so terrible of me to want to try to avoid having to sacrifice it? And, as I had hoped for, many people had a lot of good suggestions, like putting it in boiling water or the oven, which would not have occurred to me on my own. I knew vaguely about heating things up and cooling them down in order to solve problems like this, but I didn't know exactly how to apply the science to the jar/metal cup (i.e. what people referred to about heating up metal vs cooling down the glass in some above posts).

                                                                                    Unfortunately these tricks didn't work, but now I know something for the future. This is exactly why a place like Chowhound exists. I don't know why so many people are so upset by all of this.

                                                                                    1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                      In my household, this would have long turned into A Challenge, and there is no way we'd "give up" now and just break the glass.

                                                                                      We'd leave it around and offer it to guests as a pre-dinner puzzle.

                                                                                      1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                        A lot of ideas that recommended heating\cooling. Sounds fine in theory, but they didn’t work for you. The only other one thrown out (other than BTFJ) was the one involving a Plumber. The tool he was referring to is probably a strap wrench. If you are old enough to remember changing your own oil on your car. This is similar to an oil filter wrench. If you happen to have a couple lying around, you could give twisting it off a shot with a pair of them.

                                                                                        1. re: mike0989

                                                                                          I'd pour a little oil all around the interface first. A strap wrench could work; good idea.

                                                                                          1. re: mike0989

                                                                                            I stole my husband's strap wrench from the garage--it now lives in the kitchen, for use on stubborn lids and such. A godsend, since I have arthritis and the hands aren't so strong any more. Great idea.

                                                                                          2. re: arielleeve

                                                                                            "I don't know why so many people are so upset by all of this."

                                                                                            Upset? Who's upset? If any one is tired of reading the comments, then they shouldn't. Period. I'm totally getting a kick out of this post and all of the comments and am waiting to find out what happens. It would be fascinating to see which suggestion works, if any. Or, if you end up having to break the jar, will the measuring cup necessarily be salvaged?

                                                                                            I own a pizza cutter that I got from a 99 cent store. For whatever lucky reason, it's both the perfect size and it does a phenomenal job of cutting pizza. I would desperately try to salvage it if anything were to happen to it. Who cares what others think?

                                                                                            1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                              I guess we are divided between those who would 'just get the job done' and those who are obsessed with finding a way to get the lid off. I'm more in the 'get the lid off' camp, even if it takes 2 or 3 years. And no, I don't think there is anything wrong wtih wanting to save the container, the cup, or the contents. I think because the cup and container were not designed to mate that you aren't going to get enough expansion through thermal differential, that pretty much leaves mechanical means. If you got it stuck on there, it can be pulled off, jsut a matter of how much time and effort it is worth to you. Good luck with whatever you end up doing. And never mind that some of us get over excited about things.

                                                                                              1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                I'm sorry some of the responses bothered you. I did not intend for that to happen with my responses. I can understand you wishing to save both the jar and the measuring cup, why not? I would attempt to do the same. The only reason I sad to smash the jar is because I have little patience, it was never intended to be a reflection upon you. I ended up thinking that it would make an interesting conversation piece to have in your home. It still amazes me that they still have not come apart.

                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                  Oh, your responses weren't bothering me, they were helpful! I was referring to the people who acted annoyed that I was asking for suggestions in the first place. In any case, we are having a party tomorrow so I may take the advice of asking people who come by if they have any ideas...will keep everyone posted! Otherwise, I really am ready to just smash it already. Sadly.

                                                                                                  1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                    Hi, Ariel:

                                                                                                    OK, I won't just say BTFJ.

                                                                                                    I don't think anyone here was annoyed that you asked the question. Or that you wanted to save the jar and cup.

                                                                                                    You got a lot of suggestions, and it reads as if you've tried many of them, all with no luck. It's been 5 days. And counting. I would have needed my measuring cup back long before now.

                                                                                                    I was poking good-natured fun at the *process* of devoting all this time, Hound Power (95 posts!) and your effort to saving a 79-cent Mason jar. It has become Seinfeldian.

                                                                                                    No offense intended, but you are likely to be egged on here to keep trying ad infinitum. If that's the way you choose to spend your free time, great. But--in case you've never experienced it--there's an emancipating satisfaction that comes when you swing a hammer to solve a problem...



                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                      <there's an emancipating satisfaction that comes when you swing a hammer to solve a problem...>

                                                                                                      That is a true dude solution.... get a bigger hammer. ;)

                                                                                                      Speaking just for me, I like all the suggestions and arieleeve's attempts to free that cup. It shows a dedication to purpose, and group initiative. Sort of 'we're all in this together'. This is just the sort of thing that keeps my faith in people high.

                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                        Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                        If the only hope of Apollo 13 returning safely to Earth was successful intact separation of the CM (Cup Module) and the MJM, this would make sense. [Suppresses urge to snark].

                                                                                                        Otherwise, just BTFJ.


                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                          Ah, but it does make sense. Where is it written that only big actions can be an affirmation of the human spirit? Most of us never have the chance to participate in something monumental. But we can, and as this thread shows, often do work together to solve life's small problems.

                                                                                                          IMO, BTFJ is simply defeatist thinking.

                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                            we all know that the simple answer is BTFJ.

                                                                                                            It takes considerably more ingenuity (and dare I say, familiarity with the properties of the physical world) to find a solution that doesn't involve BTFJ.

                                                                                                            We all want to know how this ends up being solved....and each of us who has offered a solution is secretly hoping that OUR solution ends up being THE solution.

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              I'm such a jughead, I actually goggled BTFJ before I figured it out. BFH I knew right away.

                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                so long as you're not the J we're all advocating breaking :)

                                                                                                              2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                Hi sunshine & Duffy:

                                                                                                                It should be possible, with enough time, ingenuity and cooperative/codependent problem-solving, to launder and re-use paper towels, too. We might as well be suggesting to the OP how to do that.

                                                                                                                Personally, I think BTFJ is less defeatist than leaving the locked-together assemblage laying around to mock her. I mean, if you lock your only keyring in your car and can't get in after exhausting 27 different ways, what, you just wait around in a parking lot for a new solution to appear in the fullness of time? I say cut your losses, fix the (in this case a 79-cent) problem *now*, and move on. The sooner she does that, the sooner she can put her measuring cup back in service.



                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                  Not too long ago my brother had to call AAA to get his truck unlocked. He left his keys in his unlocked truck, but he also left his 9 month old black lab in the truck as well.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                    Perhaps Ariel is enjoying this as much as we are? :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                      totally different situations.

                                                                                                                      There's no sense of urgency to getting the cup off of the jar.

                                                                                                                      Can't say the same for locking your keys in the car. That's what AAA is for.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                        Hi, sunshine: "There's no sense of urgency to getting the cup off of the jar."

                                                                                                                        LOL, that's true, unless you ever want to use your measuring cup... Or you're tired of screwing around... Or people are laughing at you for tolerating such a cluster@#$k... Or you have something meaningful to do...

                                                                                                                        I can't wait to find out what the committee achieves at the OP's party.

                                                                                                                        Here's an idea: How about dropping the mess off at a No-Kill kitchenware shelter?


                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                          I think everyone would find humor in the situation and not laugh AT the person caught up in the situation. Doing the latter would just be sad for the person laughing.

                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                            Hi, John:

                                                                                                                            Well, yeah, but how funny can the situation be for 5 days and counting?

                                                                                                                            I once had the pleasure of returning to a remote trailhead from a grueling climb to find my buddy's keys dangling from the ignition of his locked car. AAA was 40 miles away, 20 of those miles being gravel logging roads--which we would've had to *walk* all footsore night to even call anyone. Oh, how we laughed at our situation!

                                                                                                                            My buddy didn't want to break out his wing window at first, but then realized what a dithering ninny he was being, and just did it. I think it helped when I pointed out that unless Uri Geller arrived soon to pop the lock, I was first going to kill him and THEN break his window. Very smart move--best $200 he ever spent.


                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                              Many years ago a buddy of mine and I found ourselves in a similar situation. Instead of breaking out the window of his pickup, we pulled the rubber from around the rear window, popped the glass out unbroken and he climbed through.

                                                                                                                              The difference between your situation and the OP's situation is the downside.There is no downside in not finding a quick solution to this somewhat interesting predicament.

                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                The downside is not being able to use your measuring cup/car/whatever. Or having to replace a 79-cent jar/$200 widow/$50 window seal.

                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                  In my case, we have more than one measuring cup. We also didn't have to get a new window seal, we just put it back in. This was long enough ago that we could do that. I'm sure the trucks made today would not allow for that.

                                                                                                                                  I think you're looking at this thread too seriously. Of course the jar can be broken. I was the second person to suggest that course of action. I don't have enough patience to try the solutions posted, so I would have broken the jar by now as well. I just don't think it's a big deal to have the suggestions for a solution to continue.

                                                                                                    2. This is really just another of Google's tests for employment applicants, right?

                                                                                                      1. Find a friend who is a scuba diver,,or going on a high altiude flight... the change of pressure.. should pop it right off

                                                                                                        1. I think heating it in the oven may have tightened it, by expelling some of the air, then lowering the pressure as it cooled. Perhaps a vacuum bell jar, like they have in high school science labs, would help.

                                                                                                          1. Have you tried the method that gets stubborn jar lids off?
                                                                                                            Get a heavy dinner knife and strike the cup at an angle. I would think that, once you break if free a bit, it'll thread right off.

                                                                                                            And, yes, I'm in the camp of keep trying until you succeed*. A lot of folks have said the jar and contents aren't worth much. So, it shouldn't be too much bother to replace both as you work at the challenge. Besides, you'll need to replace both anyhow if you broke it.....

                                                                                                            *-I've also been accused of being stubborn and pig headed.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: zippypinhead

                                                                                                              It appears to be stuck on the shoulder, not the threads.

                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                That is what I saw and why I earlier suggested it was 'stuck' by air pressure

                                                                                                                1. re: JayL

                                                                                                                  75% of solving a problem is the proper & exacting nature of describing said problem.

                                                                                                                  I'm anti BTFJ and I know it might not even solve it but make it we. I'm glad my metal cups are oval, but I also own at least tthree sets. :-)

                                                                                                                  I'd use the bullet puller trick. Lay it on its side. With some carpec/towels three feet below the jar. Now place a two by four on top of the metal cup, whack that with a dead blow hammer or heavy rubber mallet....hammer if you do not have the s. It may need several whacks but I'm guessing the force that pushed the cup down on the jar can e reverse by using inertia (via the jar's weight that wants to keep travelling).
                                                                                                                  Ever seen an axe or hammer handle loose be retightened by holding it upside down then hammering the wooden end?

                                                                                                                  It also works, better than hammering the head end back on, and it wworks wonderfully!

                                                                                                                  Same inertia principle.

                                                                                                                  BTW, they make a cheaper version of those rubber strap wranch's jUST for home use. I gof a pkg of two sizes for like ten bucks.... ànd you WILL reuse them plenty.

                                                                                                                  BTW as a totall noobie here this thread really helped me get a good bead on the
                                                                                                                  quality of the usebase. Nev surrender!

                                                                                                                  If the original poster would redefine this it could hrlp entiate if it is a chim issue or tion fit or d on. Did anyone else come in the roomm? Did a cannister of flour or something heavy come in contact with this?

                                                                                                                  1. re: JOHN45

                                                                                                                    "Ever seen an axe or hammer handle loose be retightened by holding it upside down then hammering the wooden end?"

                                                                                                                    Did you ask this question because that is the way you would get the handle tight into the axe head again?

                                                                                                                    I will say the way to get the axe head tight again is to pound the butt of the axe handle on a hard surface so the axe head will fall down onto the handle and tighten up. Small wedges might also need to be pounded down into the end of the handle. Or, do what my dad says and put the axe head and handle into a bucket of water for a couple of days.

                                                                                                            2. Seems everyone suggests mechanical means. Have you tried rubber gloves and buff manliness? Or something else with good grip - maybe bring it with you to the home improvement store and try their gloves. Maybe with the right grip, and some time, it'll come apart. I'm thinking

                                                                                                              If they have tools available, an employee *may* help you, although it's a liability thing because of the glass, but there are always employees that DGAF about the rules and just want to get things done. I used to work at Home Depot and was there when our night crew guy accidentally ran his forklift into the carpet cutter. He broke the pipe that kept the electric cord out of the way. He denied it, of course and I wasn't about to rat. Anyway after a few days we got tired of it, so two of the guys busted out the blow torch while I stood keeping customers out of the way. Technically we were supposed to wait for a guy from the carpet cutting tool manu to fix it but that would've been weeks.

                                                                                                              1. Ariel, you have to love the process. With over 100 posts so far, your question has surpassed more than 90% of the contributions to Chowhound.

                                                                                                                If you can ever achieve separation, please let us know how and when. Inquiring minds want to know.

                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                  I know! I am feeling very flattered by all the responses. Tonight we're having a party and I may try to see if anyone who comes by has any bright ideas. Hopefully we don't end up with any party guests in the emergency room.

                                                                                                                  1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                    Please let us all know what happens! I have been very entertained by this thread.

                                                                                                                    1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                      I was of the school that said cool the glass and heat the metal. Someone mentioned that air pressure may be sealing it shut - I don't really believe that. But if that is true then what you should do is put the whole shebang in the oven and heat to 400 degrees. If air pressure is sealing it, heating to that level should pop it back open.

                                                                                                                      1. re: kagemusha49

                                                                                                                        I tend to agree with the cool glass / warm metal theory myself.

                                                                                                                        What about putting the jar down in a bowl of ice or ice water about halfway up and let it sit a while. Then put another measuring cup with boiling water in it on top of the metal cup. Let them sit a few minutes and see what happens?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                          You have to chill the whole assembly to get the shoulder of the jar cold enough, then heat the cup quickly at the rim while the jar is still cold.

                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                            Makes me want to get myself in just such a predicament to try out all of the suggestions for myself.

                                                                                                                      2. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                        Have a wonderful party, and good luck to you!

                                                                                                                      3. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                        Team Salvage vs Team BTFJ. You have to love CH. :)

                                                                                                                      4. Dear arielleeve,

                                                                                                                        Please do it again so there is one to break and one to mess with. that should make everyone happy - but no one completely happy. In the meantime we are appreciating the diversion.

                                                                                                                        1. Has anyone seen the photos or videos of a skunk with a jar stuck on it's head? The only reason I bring it up is because our cat found herself in a similar situation this evening. Our cat is fixated on water. She puts her paw in the water dish and licks it off. She licks the shower door. She will lick the patio table after a rainstorm. Tonight there was a plastic cup sitting on our coffee table, it had about an inch of water in it. She stuck her head in the cup, got her head stuck in the plastic cup, and then ran off with the cup stuck on her head. It was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Does anybody have any ideas on how to get the cup off her head? Right now I'm looking for some old oil filter wrenches.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                            We had a cat who found himself in that sort of predicament so often we nicknamed him "Cuphead". Once he calmed down, he'd stop and push the cup off. Easy peasy, you've just got to wait until she stops tearing around the room.

                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                              Can't help you with that. Before someone tells you to kill the cat, I'll share my story. <said in jest!

                                                                                                                              Once my cat, who loved cheese more than anything, jumped up to the kitchen sink and stuck her head down in my box grater at the handle end. I was out of the room at the time and heard the commotion. Then she sauntered into the room where I was with the grater stuck on her head as if nothing was amiss. She was Callie Graterhead to me ever after. RIP Callie Graterhead.

                                                                                                                            2. Is the measuring cup magnetic? Perhaps an induction plate is the way to heat it. Except that the size might be a problem. So, instead of using simmering water, use oil in a pan to get a higher temperature.

                                                                                                                              1. I think you probably have little grains of powdered sugar acting like gritty little boulders in the thread of the jar. Try soaking the whole shebang in the sink for an hour or so (lukewarm water) to dissolve the sugar, swish it around now and then to get the water into the threads, and I bet it will come off.

                                                                                                                                1. I am dying to know, did you get them apart? Or did I miss pthat part of this thread?

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Augieang

                                                                                                                                    No! It will ruin it if she separates them. The cup and jar make an unlikely couple (and certainly their families were against it), but it *must* be love itself that is keeping them together. Let no Hound tear them asunder!



                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                      You're really having fun with this, aren't you?

                                                                                                                                      ; )

                                                                                                                                    2. Take it down to your local high school and show the science teacher. Let them get it loose as a class project.

                                                                                                                                      1. HOly cow- put ice in the cup and set the jar in warm water up to the rim. Then heat up the water. The measuring cup needs to contract, for heaven't sake, and the glass needs to expand just a tad.

                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                          What picture are YOU lookin' at??

                                                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                            See the photo EWSflash. You've got this backward. Cup is (or perhaps by now "was") upside down over top of jar, so there's no way to put ice inside the cup, or anything else inside the jar. Cup needs to EXPAND or jar needs to CONTRACT, or both.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                              Hey, MTT:

                                                                                                                                              Or the hammer needs to fall. BTFJ.

                                                                                                                                              "For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."


                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                It's a Buddhist thing... the cup has to WANT to separate itself from the jar. And with half the posters here chanting "BTFJ!" that will never happen. The karma is all wrong.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                  The stars certainly aligned themselves tonight!! This has served as an important lesson in patience and nonviolence.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                Hey, they have NAMES you know.

                                                                                                                                                (Sheesh, "cup" and "jar" ! As if they have no personality, no humanity.)

                                                                                                                                                I hear they're getting their own show on Food Network...

                                                                                                                                            2. Having just re-read the description and realising there's no jar lid involved, soaking in boiling water should do it. Then get on the handle of that cup and show it who's boss.

                                                                                                                                              1. This reminds me of the time we had a squirrel who worked his way into a large glass bottle (with a concentrated sugar solution inside, which presumably attracted the animal). The glass bottle was something like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Corning-1596-19...
                                                                                                                                                We tried everything we could think of to get that squirrel out - but even with the bottle tipped at any angle we tried, it was too slippery for the wet squirrel to manage to wriggle out. Someone suggested breaking the bottle. I won't describe the outcome. Suffice to say - not good.

                                                                                                                                                1. IMPORTANT UPDATE:

                                                                                                                                                  So, this thing has been sitting next to my sink for days. I had resigned myself to the BTFJ method, but we just haven't gotten around to actually doing the deed. Every now and then I would pick it up and fiddle with it, to no avail. I tried soaking the whole thing in water for a bit based on someone's suggestion that maybe there were grains of sugar stuck in between the jar and the cup. That didn't work, and then the jar became filled with sugar-water-sludge.

                                                                                                                                                  Which leads me to tonight: this upside down jar of sugar-water-sludge stuck in a metal measuring cup is sitting in an empty sink. I'm making a hard boiled egg and pouring off the hot water. On a total whim, without really thinking, I poured the boiling water directly over the upside down jar. And voila, it literally POPPED off. Made an audible popping noise.

                                                                                                                                                  I have no idea what this means about the science behind it all, since the boiling water was poured on the glass and not the cup. BUT, whatever it was, I'm in total heaven right now. Really glad I didn't actually break the glass, if only for the sheer sense of satisfaction I have right now.

                                                                                                                                                  Seriously, feeling great.

                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                    Do you mean to say you poured the boiling water on the 'bottom' of the jar? Or was the jar with stuck on measuring cup on its side?

                                                                                                                                                    I am both happy for you that you were able to resolve this to your satisfaction, and sad that it is over too soon.

                                                                                                                                                    You mentioned that you were having a dinner party last weekend, did you bring out the jar and if you did, were there any suggestions as to how to take them apart? Did any of your guests attempt to bring them apart?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                      My thoughts: Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

                                                                                                                                                      A) You soaked it, and water got in, so it wasn't sealed, it was stuck. Thus any attempt at heating it, the air just squeezed out.
                                                                                                                                                      B) After soaking it and getting it wet, you had a lot of water inside. This would have aided the sugar in sealing the lid.
                                                                                                                                                      C) Due to the excess water, when you poured the boiling water on the glass, a couple of things happened. Glass transfers heat very well, so the water inside got hot. Quickly. This would cause evaporation and also rapid expansion of the air, much quicker than heating the air directly via the glass.
                                                                                                                                                      Because it was now truly sealed, and the speed of expansion was great, the cup was blown off the top of the jar.
                                                                                                                                                      Well done. I'm glad you got it sorted!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                        The entire "unit" was inverted with the jar upside down in the measuring cup. So yes, I poured the boiling water directly over the bottom of the jar.

                                                                                                                                                        I didn't end up bringing it out at the party -- my husband was worried that someone who had had too much to drink would end up in the ER trying to impress everyone :)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                        You liberated them!!!! Congrats

                                                                                                                                                        Just keep an eye, they might have an affinity for each other after so many days together. Maybe keep them in separate drawers.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                                                                          Seriously. These situations are where shot glasses and measuring spoons come from.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                                                            Hi, DN:

                                                                                                                                                            Which is precisely why every jar should be neutered, every cup spayed. Why do you think all the airport schlock shops are full of unwanted shot glasses?

                                                                                                                                                            The worst part is the deadbeat jars that pay no support!


                                                                                                                                                        2. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                          I'm starting to think "What if this was just an elaborate hoax?" Perhaps a frustrated science teacher testing the class....
                                                                                                                                                          All we have to go on is two pictures.... One shows the cup 'n jar separated the other showing the cup on top of the jar... How do we know that it's actually stuck or just sitting on top of a jar?

                                                                                                                                                          Seriously, congrats on the separation.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: zippypinhead

                                                                                                                                                            How do we know that the jar and cup in the second picture are the same jar and cup in the first?!?!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                            As I said a while back - if it truly was sealed all you had to do was heat the whole shebang and air pressure would do the trick. My suggestion was to shove it in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kagemusha49

                                                                                                                                                              I had tried that -- put it in the oven for around 20 minutes. That didn't work.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                              <I have no idea what this means about the science behind it all, since the boiling water was poured on the glass and not the cup.>

                                                                                                                                                              <it literally POPPED off. >

                                                                                                                                                              If it popped off, then it means you made an air-tight seal before. As you pour the hot water in the jar, the air expanded and push the two pieces apart. I am surprised that it didn't work until now. I remember you said that you have put this unit in water and brought the water to boil. That should have done the same thing. Regardless, it is good that you have finally separate them.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                When I had tried hot water before, I had simply put the metal measuring cup in the water, up to the top edge, not the entire thing. I was trying to keep the glass part cool and the metal hot so that the cup would expand but the jar would not. So that is probably why it didn't work in that instance. Although I did put the entire thing in the oven and that didn't work, either -- maybe the temp wasn't high enough.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                                  In the case of the oven, maybe it wasn't hot enough. Your oven itself maybe hot, but it takes a long time for the oven to heat up the object inside.

                                                                                                                                                                  I am happy that all works out for you.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                                  Some relationships just aren't meant to last. *sigh*

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                                    I opened the thread out of curiosity, then had to read all through the responses to see if you got them apart!

                                                                                                                                                                    so my only comment is "tada!"


                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: arielleeve

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm a believer that's it never just one thing that causes something to happen, so here's my theory:

                                                                                                                                                                      1) The sugar water got a little fermentation going, which created CO2.
                                                                                                                                                                      2) The sugar / water where the cup was stuck dried and created a seal, allowing the pressure to build up.
                                                                                                                                                                      3) Then the boiling water heated everything up. The water and CO2 in the sealed jar would create much more pressure than any of the previous attempts (which due to a lack of a seal likely created no internal pressure). In addition, the hot water dissolved the seal as the pressure built up (now becoming a lubricant ) and expanded the measuring cup (more that the glass as the coefficient of thermal expansion for metal is much larger than glass).

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Told you it sou ded like air pressure. Good job!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I've been following this thread since the beginning--so glad the situation resolved favorably.

                                                                                                                                                                        Then there's the matter of the Picardie glass that is stuck in my garbage disposal. Still waiting for the perpetrator to get it out. I'm afraid I'll have to shatter the glass.

                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't shatter that glass as long as it is still in the disposal. As I understand it, that glass is made from quite thick glass. If you break the glass, and attempt to grind it up using the disposal, you'll likely end up with large shards of glass that will not go all the way through the pipes. If the perpetrator is your husband, and he cannot get the glass out the way it went in, I would tell him to pull the disposal out, and take it apart to get the glass out before reinstalling the disposal. I put a new one in at my father's house last November, it's not too difficult.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                                                                                                              It's actually fairly easy to uninstall most garbage disposals. It'll take a little time - perhaps 30 minutes from beginning to end - but all you usually need is a pair of big pliers (or a plumber's wrench) to loosen the drain pipes and a screw driver to remove the disposal. Remember to disconnect the power first, tho.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                                                The wrench that looks sort of like an allan wrench that came with the disposal is helpful as well. I have always used duct tape to tape that wrench to the back side of the disposal.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. with the entire assembly upside down AND the jar filled with water when you heated the whole thing the water would want to expand much more than the air would, so it became pressurized. the pressure eventually overcame the friction, also probably somewhat lubricated by the wet sticky - yet slipery sludge. And all helped along by the increased diameter of the cup vs. the glass as the cup would still expand faster. Fascinatin stuff this science business. And yes, some people up-thread already said these things with fewer words.