Yes Ike Can
The Hypocritical Oath

I'm Too Embarrassed To Accurately Title This Post Because STUPID

Have we established that our household is especially prone to really weird-ass homeowner-related crises? From multiple extended power outages whenever there's like, wind or a slight drizzle to OVEN FIRES to ZOMG BIRDS/MICE/SQUIRRELS, our house really seems to enjoy forcing us to confront our dazzling lack of adult coping skills. 

Last night I made some homemade chicken tenders for dinner, and served them with a dazzing array of absolutely not-homemade dipping sauces. (Exotic foodie stuff, like "honey mustard" and "ketchup" and "I think this is BBQ sauce that's been in the fridge since 2008 but the label got pulled off but I'm sure it's fine because bottled condiments last forever like Twinkies, right?") I put everybody's favorite respective dipping sauce into small food-prep bowls, like this one:


You may notice the ridge of this particular bowl is a tad beat-up looking. That will be important later.

You may ALSO notice (or not, because we sure as hell didn't) that this bowl is almost EXACTLY the same size of the average kitchen sink drain. That will also be important.

One of our delightfully helpful children deposited his dinner dishes directly into the sink. Jason proceeded to run the water and the garbage disposal, failing to notice that this bowl was floating around in there, until...


The bowl settled directly into the drain, where it got stuck. Like, perfectly, completely stuck. It sealed up the drain and was completely immovable and ungrabbable, like a concave drain-stop.

Huh. Okay. Now...what?

After trying (and failing) to dislodge the bowl using 1) a butter knife, 2) an oyster shucker, 3) a fondue fork, and 4) a goddamn mini-crowbar thing and a giant rubber mallet, I decided to turn to the Google.

And wouldn't you know it, despite this extremely, almost painfully specific problem, I discovered that lo, we were far from the only people in the world to get a prep bowl lodged in our sink drain. Yahoo Answers was full of advice, as were several message board threads. Use a plunger! Fill the sink with ice so the bowl will contract! No, hot water! No, use cooking oil! Run the dishwasher! 

(Speaking of service-y advice, this blog still gets a shocking number of search referrals re: iPhones dropped in toilets. Happy to help, Internet!)

Unfortunately, the thing that ended up working for most people was breaking the bowl. Which is doable if you're talking about a glass Pyrex bowl, but we were dealing with a melamine bowl. Which I had bought instead of the Pyrex because these came in a variety of pretty, Martha-Stewart-approved colors. 


And this time, Googling "how to break a melamine prep bowl that is currently wedged in a sink drain under four inches of muck-water" did not return any results. We were on our own, out in Idiotville. We were going to have to call a plumber and get the stupid garbage disposal stupid disconnected so we could push the stupid bowl out in the other stupid direction and it was going to cost stupid money because STUPID.

The plumber came this morning. He repeated our futile attempts to dislodge one side of the bowl with a screwdriver and a hammer. Then a different mini-crowbar. He really didn't feel like disconnecting the garbage disposal either, which was a nice thing for us to have in common. We bonded a little bit there, in our joint bafflement over how the FUCK to get this stupid bowl out of the drain. 

Finally he went back to his truck and came back with a giant-ass drill. 

Fast-forward to now, when we're down 95 damn dollars and one prep bowl*, and I would just like to contribute this tiny bit of knowledge to the universe, or at least the portion of the universe that may currently be searching for a solution to their melamine-prep-bowl-lodged-in-sink problem: Get a giant-ass drill and drill a hole in that motherfucker. BOOM. 


Once it's sufficiently shattered, you can finally get a grip on the bowl and pull it out. Then wash your hands. That standing muck-water of leftover condiments was no joke. 

*We're actually down six prep bowls, because I promptly chucked every single one of those suckers and ordered some silicone prep bowls instead. Look at me! Learning and stuff and shit. Baaah. 


Kate Myers

Drilling is fucking brilliant. Wow.


This happens to me with canning jar lids, but they aren't nearly as hard to get out. I always have to make my husband pry them out with a butter knife because I can't seem to do it, though. When the plumber got the drill, did you hit your head and go "DOH"? It sucks when you have to pay someone to think of a really simple idea, doesn't it?


The silicone prep bowls are the best. You will love them forever and ever. They will not clog your sink.


Bah. Stupid New Year's resolutions. I read "oven fires" as "oven fries", and got really excited b/c I thought the link would be to a recipe for oven fries.


That must have been a seriously long drill bit? You didn't get a sneaky iPhone photo?
Sorry about the bill. That sucks :(


Hah! I've had prep bowls and other things seal up my sink before, but we always managed to pry them out thanks to my husband's policy of "brute force and ignorance" when finesse and smarts don't work. Oh well, at least you get some cute new bowls out of the deal right? And a new life lesson!

Mom In Two Cultures

If it makes you feel any better, I once locked my keys in my trunk one very snowy New Year's Eve. The keys were in my coat pocket. I was wearing the coat. (And, no, I couldn't recreate the scene if I tried.) In the end, at about 12:15 that New Year's Day, the locksmith just yanked my coat really hard, tearing it in the process but rescuing my keys just the same.


Can you just ask for a $10 donation from anyone who saves the $95 plumber charge, thanks to your blog post? Also I would have been so set on saving the damn bowls, I wouldn't have thought of drilling/breaking it either, but from now on, silicone FTW!


I once had the bottom of my springform pan get wedged inside my stock pot. I tried hot water, cold water, butter knife, steak knife. I wound up bending the crap out of both pans to get them apart and then wound up throwing them both away anyway.


Why couldn't you borrow a drill from a friend and do it yourself?


See, I would have also gone with toilet plunger. It kind of worked when my rubber standard-issue garbage disposal drain-stopper got turned upside down and vacuum-sealed into place, so instead of a little knob to grab you had a whole lotta nuthin. It sucked. (Ha! Sucked.)

This is the lesson I'm taking from this: Martha + melamine = MWAH HA HA.


We had that happen one day with an unopened can of tuna. Luckily, my husband was able to pry it out because what the hell else can you do to remove a can of tuna from your sink drain?


Same thing happened here, except the Target brand prep bowls must be a teensy, tiny bit smaller than the Martha Stewart ones, because after about an hour and two sacrificial butter knives, and countless other "oooh, try will work" random household pointy objects, we were able to finally free the bowl. Obviously, I'm not as smart as you...I still own the bowls. [heads over to Amazon to search silicone prep bowls]


@dogs We own a drill. We even own a pretty big-ass drill. It simply never occurred to us to use a drill.

When I called Jason to tell him that the plumber used a drill he was like, "...dammit."

Ashley // Our Little Apartment

Yes! I have done that! With the yogurt jars from my yogurt maker (like this)

I, too, Googled like crazy and bemoaned how it was the EXACT size of our drain. Terrible fate!

We tried a million things, but eventually we used a suction hook think that our dish scraper was hanging on to get it out. So random and odd.

I hope this post is useful to people like us who have the misfortune of drain-sized-dishes!


The EXACT same thing happened to me a couple of years ago, and I'm not sure, but I think drilling a hole was how they got it out, too. Fortunately I was in a rental and wasn't charged for the appointment, but I was still bewildered at how this seemingly innocuous bowl could get lodged in there so forcefully.


Learning and stuff and shit. Man, adulthood and its stupid ass requirement of thinking and creativity and...thinking...or worse, PRE-EXISTING KNOWLEDGE OR KNOW-HOW is a bitch that serves up its own cute bowls.

Brigid Keely

ooooh, you need to break a melamine bowl? Here's how! Get two of them totally stuck together while you're washing dishes, so they're all oily from food but also slick with hot water and soap. Try to pry them apart. Have them slip out of your hands and strike your enameled cast iron sink and fly apart into a bunch of sharp shards. FUN TIMES. Fucking bowls.


Thank you. Thank you. That WILL happen to us. Because I am NOT chucking my cute cute prep/dip bowls. PERFECT solution! Thanks!


Have you seen this?

Your blog is getting tossed in the discussion because it's supported by FM. I also read GOMI, but you're almost always listed when people ask about SOMI mommy blogs!

Jennifer G

Last night we bathed our wee one in the sink. Upon trying to let the water drain out, the dohickey-clogger thing turned upside down and got stuck! Just like your darn bowl. But, a butter knife got her out!
You could also get one of those catchy things for the drain, I thought we may need that when the baby gets older.

Suzy Q

The things I learn on this blog! I am mourning your cute Martha-approved melamine bowls, though I understand why you tossed them.

PS: I also read oven fires as oven fries. Am hoongry.


couldn't you just superglue/hotglue/sillyputty a handle to the bowl and pull it out once the glue/putty sets?


I swear to god, I'm not trying to be an asshole, but would getting most of the water out of the sink (say, by scooping it with a bucket and dumping & flushing it in a toilet) not be an option? Because I think it's the pressure of all the water on top of it that kept it jammed in there. Water be HEAVY. Heavier than you think (I worked in baseball, have you ever tried to pull tarp during a downfall, even with 25 other people? Impossible.

Maybe you tried emptying the sink with a bucket. Please answer, I'm dying to know.


Our cute little glass juice glasses do this and I always hand that job over to the husband. Too freaking hard and too much gross water. And now I want some silicone prep bowls...


This has happened to us (TWICE) with small juice glasses, and after many other ideas failed to pan out, we Googled "how to remove garbage disposal". (NB: my husband is the least handy man in the history of ever, and I'm only slightly more handy than he is.) Anyways, we successfully hand-bailed out the sink, REMOVED THE DISPOSAL, pushed the glass up from underneath, re-attached the disposal (that part was key), and swore to be vigilant about those damn juice glasses. Which we were, until it happened again.


Oh dear. Here's an awful design flaw. I did what you did once... with our drain stopper. It flipped over and got wedged in upside down. And it's metal. The husband finally pried it out but lord I felt stupid.


This is an amazing story, because I use pyrex prep bowls for my son's baby food, and every day cleaning up I have this huge fear of the EXACT SAME THING happening to me - it hasn't yet, but thankfully now I know what to do should it occur. Wow. What a night you guys had...

Lynda M O

so... drains won't suck when you want them to and won't let go when they should. Hmmmm.

Stupid drill idea-and a hundred bucks-shit, mama, that's a run thru the grocery store here in LyndaLand. My sink is sooooooo old that the drains are flush and it's hard to get stuff stuck but "I have been where you're hanging and I think I can see how you're pinned" (thx LCohen) and I don't envy you a bit. Hope the month calms the hell down for you--this could be a long winter.


You have THE most interesting problems. Seriously!


I am totally congratulating myself because I thought of the drill before getting to the punchline. Probably because I am a builders daughter.


I am totally congratulating myself because I thought of the drill before getting to the punchline. Probably because I am a builders daughter.

Erica Hettwer

Those grapefruit cups from Costco fit perfectly in our sink drain. ;)


Still funny. HA! HA!


See, this is why you should take to the internet before you call the plumber. And by "take to the internet" I mean write a blog post that says "Guuuuuuuuys, help." With pictures of the problem. Because this happened to me 2 months ago, and I pried and bailed and wiggled and got frustrated and finally solved the problem with a hammer and a chisel.

In retrospect, the drill would have been better. Though pounding that $#%&&% bowl with a hammer felt pretty dang good.


I can totally see that happening here, if not for the fact that my mom worked in restaurants when I first moved out on my own and gave me a crap-ton of restaurant monkey bowls.

You found another reason Martha is evil...


So sorry...but Lord girl you make me laugh:-)


Tuna cans are also similarly annoyingly sized. Fortunately I have always managed to be able to pry them out. Glad to know there is another option other than calling a plumber if something else gets stuck and I can't get it out!

Mary Ostyn (Owlhaven)

We once had a melamine plate get stuck like that in a large pot. After a LONG struggle, my hubby got out the drill and had that puppy popped out in 30 seconds. I bet the plumber was aggravated it took him so long to think of that solution. (Then again, I suppose he gets paid by the hour...)


I've never had something stuck like that, but I have lost many a shot glass to the garbage disposal when I forgot to check for random objects before running it. Fishing out glass shards is always such great fun.


Too bad you threw away all the remaining bowls...I was looking forward to a "...STUPID (Reprise)" in a couple months!


This is also how I discovered that my kitchen sink drain is the exact same diameter as a Le Creuset ramekin. I only just barely got it out. :)


Silicone bowls, because it's more fun to have them sucked ALL the way into the garbage disposal and chewed up to be unusable and jam the motor so you have to pay to have it replaced, or just "eh, whatever" and never have a disposal again? :)


I have done this. Exactly this. With a ramekin.

We are effing brilliant.


Wow, it never occurred to me to use a drill, and I'm an engineer! Thanks for the PSA; I'll bust this out someday in my time of need.


Ugh, this happens to me all the time. Such bullshit!

Good call on the silicone.

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