The Practical Reason Salt Shakers Have Ridges On The Bottom

Did you know that salt and pepper shakers often have a series of tiny bumps that typically run around the perimeter of the base of the container? You might never have noticed them because they are on the bottom, hidden from view. Even if you are familiar with these little ridges, you probably never paid them much attention because you didn't think they had a practical purpose. However, they do, and once you learn what that is, you might never expend energy shaking again.

When you flip a salt shaker upside down, only a small amount of salt usually comes out. To get more, you must repeatedly shake the container with at least a moderate amount of vigor. Flipping the salt shaker upside down also exposes those tiny bumps. Thanks to a post on Twitter, it has been revealed that if you scrape the side of a fork back and forth over these ridges, the vibrations unsettle the salt just enough so it pours freely out without any shaking. If you doubt this works, give it a try. In just a few seconds, you will discover how effective this hack is.

Other reasons salt shakers have ridges

While this hack works remarkably well, some insist the tiny bumps are merely a way to strengthen the glass to reduce the chance of breakage. Others argue the ridges prevent condensation from building up and allowing the glass container to slide easily across a smooth surface.

Two arguments back up the idea that this internet hack is a side benefit and not the primary intention of the ridges. First, salt is a seasoning that should be added sparingly to food. This is not only for optimum flavor but for optimum health, as too much salt can be bad for you. This hack creates a deluge of salt that could make your dish both unpalatable and unhealthy.

Second, and a far stronger argument, salt and pepper shakers are not the only glass containers that have these ridges. You can find this feature on the bottom of Coke bottles and other glass jars. Since you do not need to scrape the bottom of a Coke bottle to make the soda pour freely, this seems to debunk the internet's claim. Also, plastic spice containers do not have this feature. Turn over your favorite bottle of McCormick spices to prove this. If freely flowing contents were the goal, wouldn't all spice containers have this feature? While it's a great internet hack, remember these items are called salt shakers, not salt scrapers. This is just a happy little accident.