Introduction: How To: Get a Cork Out of an Empty Wine Bottle

Picture of How To: Get a Cork Out of an Empty Wine Bottle

Getting a cork out of an empty wine bottle is not only easy, it's a fun parlor trick to share with everyone. 

Every once in awhile, in the pursuit of a glass of wine a cork breaks or perhaps you've found yourself without a corkscrew and pushed the cork into the bottle yourself--no matter what the case, you now have a cork in your wine bottle. It may seem impossible to remove it, but with one simple item--a plastic shopping bag--you can remove the cork in a matter of minutes. Keep reading to find out how.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You'll need:
  • Plastic Grocery Bag (without holes)
That's it! Simple. It can be an old produce bag, a take out bag, whatever you've got laying around. The only requirement is that it doesn't have any holes. 

Step 2: Insert the Bag

Picture of Insert the Bag

Starting with the closed or sealed end of your plastic bag, feed it into your empty wine bottle. Continue to push the bag inside until the portion of the bag thats inside the bottle is longer than the cork.

Step 3: Orient the Cork

Picture of Orient the Cork

Maneuver the wine bottle until the cork is sitting vertically--parallel to the neck of the wine bottle. Your cork should be nestled in the bottom of the opening. 

Step 4: Fill Your Bag

Picture of Fill Your Bag

Blow air into the bag, inflating the bottom of the bag inside the wine bottle around the cork. 

Step 5: Pull

Picture of Pull

Grasping the bottom of the bag that is sticking out of the wine bottle, pull gently. As you pull the bag out of the bottle, the pressure will increase in the end of the bag, around the cork. Your air filled bag should grab the cork and pull it out of the bottle with the bag. 

This step can take some patience. Go slow and make sure your air filled bag is grabbing the cork. 

Step 6: You're Done!

Picture of You're Done!

Congrats!  You can also perform this trick with a napkin, but it's a little harder without the air pocket to grab on to the cork. Recycle or up-cycle that wine bottle however you'd like!


moraisecastro (author)2014-04-09

What's the point of this??

I've been making my own wines, so I reuse/recycle wine bottles. I've only accidentally pushed the cork inside the bottle once so far, but hat to throw a bottle way when I can reuse it.

brreed (author)moraisecastro2015-11-11

To get a cork out of a wine bottle. Sheesh.

moraisecastro (author)brreed2015-11-11

That's only useful if you are going to use the bottle again. Otherwise is a sterile exercise...

synthdust (author)moraisecastro2014-04-12

This is pretty, neat, but I agree with 'moraisecastro' here, what is the point?

stereo123 (author)synthdust2014-04-13

The point is being able to do it. I had the need once, wish I knew about this :/

mauriceh (author)2017-02-22

First try. got the cork to the neck of the bottle, and at that point the bag broke.
Then I just took a corkscrew and the cork came right out.

DeborahW53 (author)2016-05-08

This was so helpful! I poured out all the rest of the wine, filtering all the tiny and not-so-tiny bits of cork through a coffee filter set over a strainer set over a pitcher. But I really wanted to pour the rest of the wine back into bottle, "recork" with a reusable wine stopper, and enjoy the rest of the wine with tomorrow's dinner (duh! I really can't understand those who don't see the utility of this trick/never consumed less than a full bottle at one sitting). At sny rate, I guessed that there was a physics-based solution to this problem. Thank you so much!

JasmineB31 (author)2016-04-23

hey! this was a great idea! we had a beautiful wine bottle and we qanted to use it but couldnt because of the cork inside it but we tried this and it works wonders! thanks :)

mattclary (author)2014-04-07

I'd like to try a little Vaseline in the neck, put the bottle in the freezer. Take the bottle out, ensuring the cork falls into the opening of the neck. Warm the bottle, that should force the cork farther into the neck. Once far enough that it will stay in place, put the bottle in boiling water.

stephenp5 (author)mattclary2016-03-16

I thought this was going to be the way it was done to be honest. Great party trick :-) Thnx

Kinnishian (author)mattclary2014-04-08

Talk about glass bottles have a low pressure threshold, be careful.

CEVMarauder (author)Kinnishian2014-04-09

If the pressure from shoving the cork into the full bottle didn't blow it, it's not likely to explode before the cork gives way.

But we won't know until we test it. Lemme go get a couple bottles of wine and my goggles. FOR SCIENCE!!!

Anarchaic (author)mattclary2014-04-08

Try that as a bar trick!

Eric Rocher (author)2014-10-29

I made this bottle to keep absinthe in. The cork had a wooden topper that cracked off and I accidentally pushed the remaining cork in all the way. I thought that this bottle that I had worked a very long time on and love was finished. On the third try, I was able to get the old cork out. Thank you so much.

ve6cmm (author)2014-05-03

I have been doing this sort of thing for many years. It is easier to use a cloth napkin than a plastic bag. Just feed a corner of the napkin into the bottle, shake the cork into the corner of the napkin and pull the cork out. I have done this at a dinner table many times without having to get up! It amazes everyone.

dmreddy (author)2014-04-09

Awesome... Simple and neat trick...

Comanchegyrl (author)2014-04-08

I recently read where a mechanic from Argentina performed this little trick, and afterward teamed up with a doctor to invent a similar device for extracting babies during difficult births. Ha!

my wife had the same ob/gyn.

I saw this on a show on Science, or Nat Geo. Crazy.

gdex (author)2014-04-08

impressive trick !
thanks a lot

kmathes (author)2014-04-08

I have a rubber stopper in an Erlenmeyer flask that I want to get out. I'll try this method.

Light_Lab (author)2014-04-08

I have done this trick many times with a loop of string. Even if you can't get the loop to go over the back of the cork often the friction of the string on the cork is enough.

louijp (author)2014-04-08

I used an easier trick. Instead of a plastic bag, I use kitchen twine and a #4-40 nut. I tie the twine to the nut and drop it into the bottle. Then I tilt the bottle until the cork come stuck to the neck, Then I just pull the twine that I secured to the handle of a spoon, and the cork come out fairly easily.

slohcooker (author)2014-04-08


vladivastok (author)2014-04-07


Abeytj (author)2014-04-07

Napkin cannot retain air. How it will grab the cork. You have also mentioned that the plastic bag should not have holes in it

man1919 (author)2014-04-06

great idea!

amalkhan (author)2014-04-06

that's awesome!

Mr_o_uk (author)2014-04-05

This 'party trick' inspired someone to create a birthing aid to replace forceps!!

I read the amazing story but I was wandering how you found it!?

random916 (author)2014-04-05

lol... when i was 8 or 9 my dad showed me this when we were on vacation one summer, and i went around to all the tables in the restaurant performing this trick for a buck a table...

togo1919 (author)2014-04-05

Hooray! Very cool!

Stan1y (author)2014-04-05

must try that

Costarus (author)2014-04-04

Interesting way. But usually enough rope with a knot at the end.

tinkerology (author)2014-04-04

This also works with a dinner napkin.

Wow, fun trick! I've never seen that before!

About This Instructable




More by kelleymarie:Cauliflower RiceCoconut Lime PopsiclesHomemade Marshmallow Peeps
Add instructable to: