I'm talking about grated cheese, the crumbs at the bottom of a pack of chips, you get the idea. Basically anything that gets stuck on your fingers and/or falls to the ground when you try to put it from your hand into your mouth.

Is there a nice trick, preferably without tools, to get this kind of stuff inside your mouth without making a mess?

  • 2
    What do you do now with what remains that you can't remove; discard the pack? Eat "Properly"? Does this call for a lifehack as defined in our tour or help center?
    – Stan
    Jul 19, 2019 at 22:11

4 Answers 4


For the crumbs at the bottom of a bag of chips, hold the bag with the opening on top, make it (almost) flat, and slowly rotate it about 45 degrees it while shaking it a little bit, so that the crumbs end up in a corner. Continue to rotate and shake it, while forming a small lip which easily fits into your mouth. Once the bag is rotated slightly more than 90 degrees, the crumbs will start to roll into your mouth. No tools needed.

I guess this works less well for grated cheese since they tend to stick more; maybe you have to shake a bit harder.


The crumbly stuff is in a container, whether it's in a bag, a bowl, or on a plate. I always tip the container up to my lips and pour the crumbs in! (You need your hands for that process but your hands never need to touch the messy food.)

Bonus lifehack: For anything at the bottom of a bag, like the last few tortilla chip crumbs, I always cut off the top of the bag. You just need a couple inches of bag above the level of the food in order to keep them from spilling.

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  • I have a pair of scissors that rips bags like that, too.
    – Stan
    Jul 21, 2019 at 17:16
  • 1
    @Stan I guess I could have made the cuts look straight! But I was having fun in MS Paint and ... I can't remember the reason I drew it that way. Jul 22, 2019 at 0:47
  • 2
    Good luck with the moderator elections, Brett.
    – Stan
    Jul 22, 2019 at 2:06
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    I don't qualify as a moderator. I got upset with a student wanting easy answers to a homework question in another site, called them out for it, got suspended from that stackexchange. Maybe after some anger management treatments in a parallel universe. Thanx for asking. All of the nominees are impressive. I think you'll be an asset.
    – Stan
    Jul 22, 2019 at 16:58
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    @Stan Got it! I'm not a fan of students looking for easy answers either. Jul 22, 2019 at 17:37

I debated long and hard before deciding to add my answer to this challenging call for a satisfying lifehack eschewing the use of any apparatus beyond one's essential corporeal being.

I sincerely feel that the only proper way to finish a bag of finger food when you're munching with your fingers is to… (wait for it)… use your fingers; but, technique is key (yet again) to success.

To wit:

When you pull your finger from the container after tactile feedback confirms only crumbs remain, and visual inspection validates this, remove the material from your appendage(s) by placing it/them in your mouth directly and suck the material from it/them until satisfied with your efforts at success.

Avoid any extraneous movement that might dislodge larger particles that might be tenuously held from failing oral insertion en-route.


Select a finger as your choice and re-insert it still damp from the saliva in your mouth to the container bottom. More crumbs will stick to it. Retrieve your finger from the container and place it into your mouth and repeat the lingual extraction of the material from your finger.

Repeat this behaviour until the desired amount of material has been withdrawn.

And, as always, I wish you Good luck.

  • 1
    I wrote this when I was in a silly mood. I humbly request your indulgence in this grave matter of international import and great urgency.
    – Stan
    Jul 21, 2019 at 19:32

Something that's been suggested to me is to use chopsticks. You can eat all kinds of sticky food without it sticking to your fingers. I don't know if that counts as a "tool", though.

Chips with cheese/chive/etc flavoring, fries, small crumbs, you name it. The Chinese say that a master with chopsticks can pick up a single grain of rice.

  • This is true. I've witnessed this myself.
    – Stan
    Jul 25, 2019 at 22:27

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