How to Dissolve a Cork in a Bottle

By Patrick Hutchison

Accidentally pushing a cork into a wine bottle is a common mistake. If you want to remove the cork and don't care about destroying it, you can dissolve it in a solution of nitric acid. Nitric acid breaks down natural cork over time and is commonly found in many cleaning products available to consumers.

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Strong acids attack and dissolve the materials in natural cork.

Step 1

Pour enough of a cleaning product containing nitric acid into your wine bottle to cover the cork. The cork will eventually stop floating and submerge in the acid.

Step 2

Set the bottle, uncovered, outside or in a well-ventilated area -- away from pets and children.

Step 3

Allow the nitric acid to dissolve the cork which may take several days, depending on the concentration of acid in your cleaning product.

Step 4

Pour the out the nitric acid -- once the cork has dissolved -- and dispose of the solution as recommended by the guidelines in your cleaning product's Material Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS.