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I had a decanter half full of vodka that has sat in my basement for about a year unused. Now the stopper is stuck on the decanter. How can I get the stopper off to get the sweet sweet vodka out for consumption?

liquor decaner

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I would recommend not immersing the decanter entirely, but placing it up to the neck in hot water. This will expand the glass of the decanter slightly, but not the stopper. That might be enough to let you coax it out.

The shape of your stopper is also convenient for making a little noose for it out of cord/thin rope, to allow you to get some extra purchase on it, to help you prise it out. So you could hang the decanter and stopper from a beam or similar, and use your weight to pull down on it. On reflection, and in light of Doug's comment, I'm not convinced this is great advice and should be followed only with serious consideration of the effect on you and the decanter, should the stopper rapidly become unstuck!

As Wayfaring Stranger said, a gentle tap around the sides should help, but be VERY careful not to break the glass, or scratch it. Something not too heavy would be best, and plastic or wooden would avoid scratching - or cover a small hammer with a cloth.

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    I'd be rather worried about the pulling from a beam suggestion. Just fills my mind with bad possibilities. Under hot water and tapping together is your best bet. – Doug Dec 9 '14 at 14:18
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    Partial submersion in hot water was enough to free it. It worked! Thanks! – dpollitt Dec 25 '14 at 4:44
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You can live without the vodka, right? Best chance is to sink the bottle in a bucket/sink of warm water and let it soak. Water often will make its way into the fitting and loosen whatever crud is holding the bits together. A little dish soap will lessen surface tension and speed the process. The warmth of the water will raise the temperature of the vodka within, thus raising the pressure so as to push the stopper out. Getting the stopper loose may take 5 minutes, it may take an overnight soak. If the later, change out the water for warm/hot on day two to get that pressure effect again.

Whacking the stopper sharply around its sides sometimes works, but solid glass stoppers like to break off when you do that, leaving a glass plug in the bottle that can only be removed with a hammer and punch, or a masonry bit. It's worth it spending a day or two trying to ease it out with a water soak first.

If you really want that vodka bad, run some water over the fitting so it can soak into the joint. Wait a while, then try partially immersing the decanter in hot water, or hot running water and wiggling back and forth on the stopper from several directions, alternating with pulling. If lucky, the stopper'll come out and you can sample the contents.

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