Asked on Jan 12, 2015

How do I get two plastic cups apart?

by Barbara
I have two plastic cups stuck small one inside of another and there might be some water in between.
  13 answers
  • Dey K Dey K on Jan 12, 2015
    Hi Barbara, I have this problem when gallon buckets are stacked and are still wet inside. The water seems to create a vacuum. Assuming the smaller cup really fits tight inside the bigger one, I have two suggestions: 1) put a towel or paper towels into the cups so that they are against where the 2 edges meet & can hopefully draw out (wick) the water, and place them upside down on another towel. Give that a day or so & try again. Or 2) run the hottest water you can stand into them, dump the water out, run some dish soap along the edges where they're stuck, and try to twist the smaller one around. If it comes loose, keep twisting & pull up, like a corkscrew motion. Hope something works! Dey
  • ROSALIE C ROSALIE C on Jan 12, 2015
    fill the bucket w/hot water....let soak a few minutes and empty water and pull apart
  • Judy Peters Judy Peters on Jan 12, 2015
    Put it in the freezer for a few hours. Should pull apart when you turn them.
    • Barbara Barbara on Jan 14, 2015
      @Judy Peters Thanks Judy, I tried your idea except when I took it out of the freezer I couldn't get them apart so I left it set for awhile then beat it on the counter a few times and it popped out.
  • Pat Kukachka Pat Kukachka on Jan 13, 2015
    As long as we're talking plastic, not glass, as it might crack, this should do the trick: Fill the cup with ice water and set the cups into a container of very hot water. The heat should expand the bottom cup and the cold will contract the top one. You should be able to pull them apart.
  • Lydia Whitehead Torres Lydia Whitehead Torres on Jan 13, 2015
    I had this problem with glasses when I bar-tended. Put ice in the upper glass and hold the lower one under warm water for a few seconds. This will cause the upper glass to shrink and the lower one to expand. They should pull apart easily within a few seconds. It works like a charm.
  • Victoria Cross Victoria Cross on Jan 13, 2015
    Provided the cups have a coating, try spritzing or dropping a tiny bit of cooking oil in two or three places, evenly apart. You mY need to wait a few minutes for it to seep in. Unflavored oil spray may work too (Imdont use them so I can't say for sure it is works. I did this when I had two Tupperware cups stuck together and it worked like a charm. Wash real well afterward since the inside one will be slippery.
  • Begonia Begonia on Jan 14, 2015
    Water expands when frozen so try cooling freezing and then fill inside cup with hot water. Never tried it but may work.
  • Alanda Alanda on Jan 16, 2015
    What Pat said. the old expand and contract trick.
  • Forshawtink Forshawtink on Jul 04, 2015
    Tap them
  • Robin Datin Robin Datin on Jul 04, 2015
    did you try pouring oil in between the cups?
  • Becky Becky on Jul 04, 2015
    my husband did this with 2 Tervis cups. Put ice and water in the top cup, then put the bottom cup in HOT water, then twist. I couldn't believe it, but it worked!
  • Sara Haleva Sara Haleva on Nov 20, 2020

    I put ice cubes and cold water in the top cup. I put the bottom cup in a bowl of hot water. I think in less than a minute I was able to easily pull out the top cup--great easy solution--my cups were plastics of some sort.

  • Sandra Sandra on Jun 12, 2021

    Put hot water inside the top cup to heat it then dip the bottom in cold water should come apart