Monday, December 30, 2013

PERFUME HACK: Opening a Perfume Bottle with a Stuck Stopper

Have you been frustrated by a stuck stopper on your perfume bottle? Wonder how to open it safely without breaking the stopper?

I use a cotton swab moistened with rum or vodka to rub into the mouth of the bottle and around the stopper plug. This helps to loosen and remove the dried up perfume residue and dries quickly without altering the perfume inside the bottle.

I have searched vintage newspapers and magazines to see how people dealt with this very problem.

From 1939: If the glass stopper in that prized perfume bottle of perfume resists your attempts to remove it simply place a few drops of glycerin around the stopper to loosen it quickly and easily.

From 1949: So you've a new bottle of perfume. There's special technique to opening it. Don't put it under hot water. First cut away all the trimming around the neck. Sever cord which is tightly entwined around the neck of the bottle and the stopper. Then using a small sharp pair of scissors slash the metal cord which is tightly entwined around the neck of the bottle and the stopper. Cut Sealer. To remove the sealer of wax wax paper or cellophane that is on the neck of every original bottle to foil evaporation use a razor blade or a sturdy bobby pin. See the photos below.










From 1950: If a glass stopper cannot be removed from the bottle, hold it under the hot water faucet until the glass if fairly hot. Or wind a piece of string around the neck of the bottle and pull rapidly back and forth until the glass is hot, then give a light tap to the stopper with a piece of metal.

From 1951: There are tricks to preserving the beauty of your perfume bottle. Too often beautiful glass containers are shattered by impatient hands or awkward techniques when the stopper gets stuck. The proper procedure is to avoid banging the stopper against the edge of your vanity or prying at with another glass stopper. Tap the underside of the stopper , turning the bottle was you work, so that the loosening will be even all around. A few gentle blows should suffice to open the bottle.

From 1968: Put three drops of glycerin around the stopper and let stand for a few days. The stopper will then come out easily. Another tip, light a kitchen match and hold it under the neck of the bottle, immediately take a rag and turn the stopper. It will be hot and may smear from the burning match but that will wash off.

From 1981: Sharply tap the stopper area several times with the side of a glass tumbler (never a knife handle). Give the stopper a one quarter turn and remove it.  The force of the  taps "shocks" the top into coming out easily.

From 1982: When the stopper on the perfume is stuck, put the bottle in the refrigerator until thoroughly cold then remove the stopper. Twist the stopper back and forth when re-inserting it, and it will prevent later sticking too.

From 1992: Advice, decades old, comes from a gracious lady who was an executive for Mary Chess, Inc., a perfume/fragrance company. She used this method to open antique bottles: Warm drops of baby oil over a candle or hot water. Drip oil into the rim of the bottle so it can ooze between stopper and bottle neck to soften residue holding stopper. Wait a few minutes before trying to gently twist the stopper. Repeat minutes later. Another possibility: Wrap a hot wet cloth around the bottle neck. Never run hot water over the bottle or hold it long over steam, which may crack delicate glass.

From 1994: Use a piece of string similar to fishing cord of yesteryear. Have a friend give you an assist. Loop the cord one time around the neck of the bottle. While one person holds the bottle, have the second person pull the cord rapidly back and forth for at least three minutes. The neck of the bottle will heat up and swell. The glass stopper will not. If this doesn't work the first time, try it again.

To keep your glass stopper from being stuck again, use this tip from 1963: smear a little petroleum jelly inside the stopper, it will also help keep your perfume from evaporating.

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