Gumball machines evoke memories of childhood. These machines dispense an individual gumball for a nominal fee, often 25 cents. The machines, which contain multi-colored, flavored gumballs, have been around since 1907, according to Due to their popularity, some people even buy gumball machines for home use. It is not difficult to dismantle and operate the machine and requires only a bit of time and patience.

Things You'll Need

Filling the Machine

Grip the top of the machine, at the globe, firmly with one hand. With your other hand, take the 25-cent coin or screwdriver, insert it into the groove in the top of the screw plug and turn it counter-clockwise.

Remove the screw plug and the cap, setting both aside.

Pour the gumballs gently into the globe, placing them in handfuls with clean hands if it is completely empty. This keeps the glass from chipping or breaking.

Place the cap back on the top and insert the screw plug.

Take the quarter or screwdriver, insert it into the groove and screw the plug back in by turning the coin clockwise clockwise.

Removing Coins

Make sure there are no gumballs left in the machine. Repeat the initial process for filling the machine, stopping before the addition of gumballs.

Lift off the nut, retaining ring, glass globe and brush plate from the body. Set all of them aside carefully.

Place one hand firmly on the body and with the other lift up the adjustable wheel. Set it aside.

Remove the coins from the body by tilting it. When all coins are gone, place each object back in opposite order with which it was removed, ending with the cap.

Place the screw plug back in the top and place the 25-cent coin or screwdriver in the groove. Turn it clockwise to secure.


  • While removing the coins, it is a good idea to refill the machine with gumballs after placing the globe, retaining ring and nut back on the body.

  • This technique works on most common gumball machines from standard makers; however, there are special variations that will require different methods to open.