I have two Pyrex measuring jugs (this type) that have got jammed together, one inside the other, I'm looking for suggestions on how to separate them again.

I've already tried

  • washing-up liquid around the edge
  • putting ice water in the upper jug, then dipping the bottom jug in hot water

but neither of these has worked.

What else can I do to separate them?

  • 5
    I'm wondering about filling the bottom jug with water and then freezing the whole lot together so the water pushes the upper jug out as it freezes Mar 10, 2012 at 11:21

4 Answers 4


Filling the lower jug with water and then putting the whole thing in the freezer worked. I checked it after a couple of hours and didn't think it had worked as I still couldn't separate them, but it mustn't have finished freezing at that point because when I looked again a bit later the ice had travelled up between the two jugs and then at some point the inner jug must have popped free.


Fill top jug with ice cubes. Fill bottom jug with hot (not boiling) water. Let sit for a few minutes. Take a rubber mallett and gently tap the lower section of the handle of the top jug. I had previously squeezed a little dishwashing soap around the rim of the lower jug, and maybe that helped to release it also. Works!


It worked! Ice in top jug, hot water in bottom. Took a wooden spoon to tap handle of top jug, it moved slightly then turned allowing me to remove it!


This is a common problem. You can deal with this easily if you have a source of compressed air. Simply blow an intense jet of air right where the containers connect and it should blow them apart. It works on stuck buckets too. The other ideas are excellent but I usually have compressed air available and it’s surprisingly effective at dealing with these vacuum based issues.

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