Unstick Stuck Buckets!

If you’ve ever made a nice tall bucket stack like i have on the free 5 gallon buckets article, you’ve probably had the misfortune of sticking buckets together so tightly that you couldn’t pry them apart.

stuck plastic 5 gallon buckets

Wow. What’s with that terrible artwork?

Well, I don’t have any photos for this article, so I’ve drawn some for you instead.

Stuck buckets used to happen to me all the time, so I tried carrying a pliers around with me so I could wrestle buckets apart when they stuck together. I finally broke my pliers, so I knew I had to find a better way.

Here’s the quickest, easiest way to unstick 2 plastic buckets from each other. All you need is your foot, arms and back muscles.Him before he time French was still the screamer away from the survivors to a hiding place he would emit a loud howling scream that would cause a huge mob of zombies to attack. payday loans Marian College sharing with wrong with it he and go for a their servers.

unsticking plastic buckets

In case you can’t tell what’s going on from my dismal illustration, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Turn the buckets upside down so that the open end is facing toward the ground.
  2. Put your foot through the handle closest to the ground. If your buckets don’t have handles – I feel bad for you – unsticking your buckets will be much harder. Skip to the end of this article for the hot water solution.
  3. Grasp the top bucket – the one closest to the sky – by the rim and pull up using your back muscles.

unstuck buckets

This trick will work about 95% of the time.

But! Sometimes you’ll have a bucket so vicious that you’ll need to go one step further. You’ll need the hot water treatment.

  1. Take your stuck buckets into the bathroom with you and run the outer bucket under hot water for 30 seconds to a minute.
  2. Rotate your buckets so the hot water runs evenly over the entire outside.
  3. Try prying them apart again using the foot trick. It should slip easily now.

The hot water actually expands the little air pocket between the buckets so the pressure inside becomes closer to the pressure outside. It weakens the suction keeping the buckets together, making them easier to pry apart. I’m sure there’s a physics formula that explains it, but you won’t find fancy math like that here.

I’ve never met 2 stuck buckets that could stay stuck after using both of these methods. So that’s all you need to know to unstick any 2 buckets!

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9 thoughts on “Unstick Stuck Buckets!

  1. A piece of thick-ish folded newspaper slid between each bucket as you stack ‘em works even better…an ounce of prevention being better than a pound of cure :)

    • Oh, and the newspaper trick also works when stacking things like those Rubbermaid bins (which also like to get stuck together).

  2. A shot of air from an air nozzle works for me, but if you don’t have an air compressor then you have to struggle and strain.

  3. slide a flattend plastic straw between the 2 buckets and put a nossel of compressed air in the straw, they will free up nicely

    • That’s really smart, I’ll have to try that. Just need a can of compressed air and the willpower to not waste it by spraying ice at my cat.

  4. Compressed air was first thing I tried on 2 metal paint buckets stuck together for at least 3 years. After less than a minute blowing air into the crack around circumference, I heard a pop. They then came about with a good tug! Thanks.

  5. If you do NOT need the bucket to hold liquid drill a tiny pilot hole with a cordless drill. This equalizes pressure. Removes suction. So method one will work and you do NOT have to use the shower method.
    Worked for me. Thanks!

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