Getting bungs out of bottles

Discussion in 'Top Tips' started by Emma, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Was prompted to share this one on a technicians' email group today and thought it might be a good tip to put here, so here goes:

    I don't know if anyone has ever seen the 'cork in a wine bottle' trick, but this is basically the same thing applied to the prep room, when a rubber bung has been pushed too far into the neck of a reagent bottle or flask.

    If the bung is still in the neck of the bottle, give it a push so it falls inside. If you can't get it all the way in, this trick won't work for you. Now follow these steps:

    1. Pour any liquid in the flask or bottle into a beaker, the bottle needs to be empty except for the offending bung.
    2. Health and safety time- if your flask or bottle has had something unpleasant in it, please give it a bit of a rinse.
    3. Insert a plastic carrier bag partway into the bottle, closed end first, keeping the end with the handles outside the bottle
    4. Tip the bottle upside down so that the bung is near the bottle opening and the plastic bag extends past the end of the bung.
    5. Inflate the plastic bag, it should inflate around and behind the bung.
    6. Pull the bag out of your flask/bottle. The bung should come out with it, wrapped in the bag. (This may take a bit of force depending on your particular bung/bottle combination. It may help to have one person hold the bottle and the other pull the bag.)
    I have rescued many a bung with this method!
    Smiff12, Carolyn Miller and Sue Boyd like this.
  2. What is a bung? I am assuming it is a rubber stopper. Going to have to try this one, but what exactly are you calling a plastic carrier bag?
  3. Dod


    Stopper, bung, cork, plug, wooden as in whisky/ beer barrel, pretty much anything that plugs a hole.
    Heather Evans and Emma like this.
  4. It's essentially a rubber cork? Best way I can describe a bung without using the word bung. :p
    ^ That.

    A plastic carrier bag= any of the cheap flimsy bags you get from the supermarket to carry your shopping in. The kind of thin transparent bag you buy a roll of and put sandwiches in would also work for this trick.
    Heather Evans likes this.
  5. Ben_SLT

    Ben_SLT Science Learning Tech, not Senior Leadership ;)

    If I'm in a rush, then it's "wrap it in a bag and smash it with a hammer" - usually for test tubes where they have put too small a bung in and pushed it to the bottom.
    Heather Evans likes this.
  6. I do the same, the plastic bag trick doesn't work on test tubes. :(
  7. [​IMG]
    Emma likes this.
  8. That's the one! XD
  9. You lot are amusing me today - thanks :)
    Heather Evans and Emma like this.
  10. LOL (only just found this thread - summer hols - bored, now amused!)...may I also suggest safety glasses at this point!

  11. Isn't it simply easier to bin the said object (unless of course the contents are required for analysis)?
  12. Not really, because then you have to buy more and more bottles (which adds up and wastes money you need for other things).

    George from the posts of yours I've seen you seem to work in a school where money is Not. A. Problem. You're vastly in the minority though, as most of us are watching every penny.

    You get to do some awesome experiments which are great to see posted on here, but because you don't seem to have to worry about it you also often comment with a generous helping of budget-blindness, which is pretty disheartening to those of us who have to "mend and make do".
    (Been hanging around teachers too long; got my WWWs/EBIs going haha.)
    GeorgetheScienceTech likes this.
  13. Not a School Emma. Very little of what I do could be done in the majority of Schools in the land but there are a few exceptions in the Cantabury area who are acheiving great things,:);)
  14. Well exactly then. ;) Most of us on here are school techs and our budgets are practically non-existent, so suggesting creating extra waste and buying new stuff isn't very constructive for us. Of course we'd throw more away if buying replacements was all that easy, but it's not.
  15. Only in George's mind.
  16. Carol Taylor

    Carol Taylor Footsore

    Hence the washing of disposable pipettes and used visking tube. Ditto lack of blue-roll.......yes still.
  17. Get your Bursar to sign for your Wish List Carol.:);)
  18. Sorry, spelling mistakes irritate me - Canterbury, achieving (I should be a proof reader, I can spot one a mile off). Unless there is a Cantabury somewhere in the country :)
    Smiff12 and Techno like this.
  19. I thought the idea of the forum was to share helpful tips and advice?? Lots of techs on here are new to the game or lone workers so the help given can be invaluable - particularly if it saves money. It may only be a bottle here or there but it all helps. There's more to this job than just fancy experiments. Thank you Emma for the tip.
    Emma and Helen J like this.
  20. Ooh, we're in Canterbury, I wonder if it's us? :D
    Helen J likes this.