I bought a hip flask during my student days in Leeds, as I had always wanted a hip flask for some reason. It’s called a hip flask because it is contoured to fit your hip (if you keep it in your back pocket) or thigh (if you keep it in your front pocket)! I used to keep a small amount of Malibu in it, to keep me warm on those cold winter nights.
It is not uncommon to find hip flasks which have been compressed due to pressure differences between the inside and the outside, or simply squashed due to someone accidentally sitting on it.
A quick search for hip flask online revealed some online auction sites selling a number of hip flasks which are old and squashed.
Well, old would be great since these were presented as vintage items, but if you feel the sale value of the flask could be a lot better if it were at or close to its original shape, then trying what I am about to suggest below may help improve its value or chances of getting it sold. Unless of course, if part of its charm is in its squashed appearance.
Fixing my own Squashed Hip Flask
So I have a hip flask which had crushed from impact (see photo above). Not sure if I had sat on it, or if some liquid inside had “contracted” and caused it to be compressed. Either way, I was determined to get it back in shape.
I tried what seemed like the most convenient thing to do: opened the steel cap and squeezed it at the sides with my fingers to try and pop the front surface back up. This would likely work if the flask were made of rigid plastic. So no, this method did not work. I got my brains to work a little harder, and thought of this, which worked well enough:
Soda with Salt
Some of you may think of adding salt to Coke inside the flask to induce a large amount of gas quickly; I thought of the same but was not sure if that would be too fast, or too much gas beyond my control. Didn’t want to end up with a bulge on the flask that I would have to try and compress back into shape after.
Anyway, without the salt, the time taken to expand it back to shape was under 5 minutes. Best to be patient with this.
The method outlined above should work with any metal canister that can be filled and capped air-tight, so if you find yourself in a similar situation with a squashed canister, go ahead and give it a try! Provided the canister is not squashed to a crease…
Please proceed to use the above method at your own discretion. If your vintage hip flask is of great provenance or of significant historical value, using the above method may cause further damage to the hip flask e.g. over-bloat or leak at the joints and edges and as such, the dent may be best left on its own.
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