How do you get two stuck 5 gallon buckets apart?

I know, seems like a no-brainer huh? So much so that why would someone write an article about it!

Well, from my experience, sometimes those buckets have a mind of their own.

When you place one bucket inside the other, usually you can get them apart quite easily. Other times, you want to smash the crap out of them because no matter how hard you pull, they just won’t budge.

Here is a method I have found that will usually get those stubborn buckets apart.

Fill a larger container with warm/hot water. This container must be large enough to sit the buckets into.

Next, fill the top bucket with cold water. the colder the better!

Now, sit both buckets into the container with the hot water. You want just the bottom bucket in the hot water.

Wait a few minutes and then try to pull the top bucket up and out of the bottom one. Usually, the expansion of the lower bucket by the hot water and the contraction of the upper bucket filled with cold will allow you to get them separated.

Good luck!

Do you have a different way of getting 5 gallon buckets apart?

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2 Responses to How do you get two stuck 5 gallon buckets apart?

  1. John Barnett says:

    Dwayne, I use 5 gl buckets to lower my winter power bill. I save 20% off heating my green house this way.

    I spray paint the outside of 100 buckets with flate black.
    Then filled with poting soil, water up to the top and put the lid on.
    They are set all around inside my green house some stacked 4 high.

    Black paint heats up the buckets durning the day, poting soil helps retain heat longer into the cooler nights.

    Come spring they’re dumped into a pill and stacked 10 high.

    Early fall most are stucked in stacks of 10.

    I put them in the green house and shut all of the vents “green house is empty now” they get hot as hell being they are black.

    I take one stack out at a time and with a misting head on my hose I spray the inside of the first bucket till it chills a little then it pulls right out, I do the same untill the stack is apart. Then onto the next stack. Once the buckets are hot geting 100 apart takes all of 20 minuets. Some times I have to put a stack back into the green house to get hot again if they cool too fast.

    Same expand and contract method just much easier and faster for those with lots of stuck buckets. I never have just 2 stuck buckets.

    Works for white buckets too, but it takes them half a day in the green house to get hot enough to get them apart.

    John B

    • Dwayne says:

      Thanks for the tips on heating your greenhouse and your method of getting the buckets apart.
      I used to fight and fight getting them apart. I even played tug-of-war with my son at times…LOL.
      Cooling off the inside of the bucket sure makes thing alot easier, and heating the entire stack in the greenhouse is genius!