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

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

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

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

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

Step 5: 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!

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!



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    37 Discussions

    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.


    Reply 3 years ago

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


    1 year ago

    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.


    2 years ago

    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!


    2 years ago

    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 :)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    4 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

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


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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!!!

    Eric Rocher

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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!

    2 replies