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Unsticking stuck dishes

Somehow a cute little tempered glass set-up or sauce bowl got stuck in an equally cute small mug. Neither are costly, but they are among my favourite dishes. (Pretty much impossible to find coffee or tea mugs that aren't grotesquely large in North America, these days). The wee bowl is tempered glass; the mug is porcelain. I tried pouring in a bit of oil. I can flip the wee bowl any way, but I can't ease it out.

Any ideas?

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  1. I would put some ice in the wee bowl, and wrap a warm towel around the small mug.

    The thermal reactions should give you enough space to pop it out.

    1. It must be inverted when applying the temperature differential, or the bowl on the inside will settle deeper and get more seriosly stuck. Try putting ice in a baggie of the right amount to fill the inside bowl, and invert the assembly over it. Room temperature might be sufficient for the outside mug.

      1. If you can wiggle the tip of a thin knife in between the two, that should break the suction.

        5 Replies
        1. re: babette feasts

          More likely that would break one or the other of the bowls.

            1. re: Bigjim68

              or worse, the tip of the knife.

              ask me why I know this. :)

              1. re: sunshine842

                Bummer. It's worked for me, otherwise I wouldn't have suggested it.

            2. A bar trick for stuck pint glasses, is gently tapping the outside glass on wood. This may work and I want to specify gently and on wood. I've tried it on granite and it will fracture one of the glasses.

                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                  No, I'm an antiquity without a portable phone (though I'll give in soon) or camera. I could do a drawing, but would have to upload it.

                2. Put both in the freezer overnight.
                  In the a.m., tap the outside (several times LIGHTLY)
                  with a wooden spoon and the two should separate. HTH.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                    I'll try that - I was thinking that might work. I have lots of wooden spoons, including a very large one, and several cutting boards. Thanks!

                    I just can't find the mugs I like here. They are a European size, a bit larger than espresso cups. Mugs have increased exponentially over the past few decades in North America, and I drink strong coffee (like an espresso lungo) in the morning.

                    1. re: lagatta

                      it's called a demitasse....that might help a bit.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        It isn't exactly what I want - I'm referring to little mugs like this one: http://www.blokker.nl/nl/blknl/mok-bl...

                        I have demitasse cups. They are a little smaller.

                        1. re: lagatta

                          I knew what you were referring to -- but in the US, looking for demitasse will get you closer than looking for mugs.

                          (for the record, I have a few sets of proper demitasse cups -- tapered, like small teacups -- but as usage varies...)

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            I'm looking for smallish mugs, but I think I'll have to buy them when I'm next in Europe. It isn't worth ordering them; the shipping would be far more than their value.

                            I don't live in the US, but that is one European thing hard to find here in Montréal (unlike many others).

                            1. re: lagatta

                              William Ashley has some nice smaller mugs. Keep an eye out for warehouse sales!

                  2. A trick that I have not tried that might work. Apply a little oil in the gap between the two containers and let stand for a while. This should reduce the friction at least a little.
                    Then set the cup in boiling water about half way up the glass.
                    The heat should expand the enclosed air enough to break the seal and push the inner glass up.
                    Repeat: I have not tried this, but it is simple physics.

                      1. re: josephnl

                        No, I stuck the nested things in the freezer. The little bowl is easier to move around, but I couldn't tap or pull it out. So I put them back in the freezer and will work on them later.

                      2. I'd immerse in a tub of warm dish soapy water and see if you can ease them apart.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: akq

                          Of course that is how they got stuck in the first place!

                        2. Don't give up!

                          I had this happen last year. It took several weeks but eventually they parted. I tried heat, ice, dish soap, tapping with a wooden spoon...not sure how/why they eventually separated. It was very slow going but it did happen!