When All Else Fails….

Email the company.

Last weekend my sisters were in town which meant that our dishes for two, suddenly doubled to dishes for four.

They were good company and helped rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher. That is where the trouble started.

Our two Calphalon sauce pans somehow got forcefully nested in the dishwasher and when we took them out, we could not get them apart.

My attempts:

  • Trying to pull them apart using the handles
  • Banging on a handle to jar them apart
  • Leaving them for my husband

His attempts:

  • Greater brute force on pulling them apart
  • Greater brute force on jarring them apart by using a hammer on the handle
  • Putting them back in the dishwasher and taking them out when both were hot

My sister recommended that we email the company which I did. After I describe our attempts at separation I finished the comment “We are neither stupid or kidding.”

I got an immediate auto-reply from the company saying that would get back to us in a few days but email was currently backed up.

After a few days of no reply from the company, we started looking for replacements pots, but Walmart was out of Calphalon saucepans and only had Calphalon frying pans.

We got home and got a very helpful email reply from the Company,

Hi Patricia,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Calphalon. We apologize if there has been a delay in our reply since we have experienced a backlog of emails. We are working diligently to respond as quickly as possible.

We’re sorry about what happened to your pots. Hope this advise will help.

  1. Fill your sink with hot water. Place the stopper in the bottom of the sink.
  2. Set the stuck pans in the sink, just covering the bottom pan with the hot water.
  3. Place a handful of ice cubes in the upper pot. Wait five to 10 minutes. 
  4. Twist the pots in opposite directions. For instance, you could choose to twist the bottom pot counterclockwise while twisting the top pot clockwise, or vice versa.

To help us make Calphalon the best it can be, we would like to ask for your feedback. A brief survey may be sent on your email to rate the service you were provided. Please take a moment and let us know how we are doing.

We wish all the best for you and stay safe. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns.


My husband tried that but could not get enough contrast between hot water in the bottom pan and ice cubes in the upper pan. He decided to very carefully heat the bottom pan on the stove, being careful not to get the burner too hot. SUCCESS! The pots are now separated

I sent the company an email back telling them their advice was perfect and thanks for getting back to me.

27 thoughts on “When All Else Fails….”

  1. Lovely! Science (and customer service) wins again. From your “before” photo, it’s not clear to me how the two pots were nested so snugly that you couldn’t get them apart, but I am definitely prepared to believe it. I’ve had glass tumblers stuck together like that. Had to toss them out, sadly.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The before picture was staged because I did not want to jam them stuck again. The smaller pot was at an angle in the larger pot and the upper rim was stuck on the three screws that held the handle of the large pot. Sorry, you had to throw out your glass tumblers. I know that heat and ice make metal expand and contract, not sure if it affects glass that way too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does, but glass is a much better insulator than metal so its rate of heating or cooling is lower. More internal stresses. Not only that, but glass is brittle while metal is ductile. When you try the hot-cold trick with two glasses, you end up with a mess of broken shards. If I had thought more clearly, I would have just left my nested glasses in warm, soapy dishwater for a while. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow! Good old hot and cold, expansion and contraction! A perfection solution. I am not sure I would have come up with trying that before I became too angry and tossed the pots in the trash in frustration. Hats off to Caphalon for suggesting it.

    Liked by 2 people

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