Pouring things from a mug or similar container almost always seem to end up in dripping; some containers fare better than others, though.

A mug is terrible, most coffee pots are okay-ish, but I've had some terrible ones. Thermos cans are also a mixed bag.

Is there a way to pour things with no or less dripping?

  • I'm trying to figure out how this is a problem. It must be technique, as I never have this problem. Mugs and cups are well designed to not drip.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 10:31
  • 1
    The less liquid in the cup, the more horizontal the cup must be before any liquid pours out. If a mug is full to the brim, then its hardly turned at all when liquid begins to pour out, and because its hardly turned, the water will just run down its side.
    – pau
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 19:25
  • Also see: lifehacks.stackexchange.com/questions/24250/…
    – Stan
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 22:04

5 Answers 5


Always pour from a height.
Hold the container which contains the liquid approximately 10 cms high above the empty container into which you are pouring it.

Tilt it quickly
Tilt the container containing the liquid quickly when you start pouring it. This will prevent the liquid from dripping along it's sides.

Use a spoon as a guide, if required
Hold a long handled spoon vertically in the centre of the empty container into which you want to pour the liquid with one hand. Using the other hand, gently start pouring the liquid along the handle of the spoon, so that the liquid will slide down the handle and fill the empty container.

  • 1
    You can just pour over the end/bowl of the spoon, no need to get the handle dirty. Then you can still use the spoon to mix or eat with.
    – sirjonsnow
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 15:10

The faster the liquid is moving, the less likely it is to drip. If you're pouring, say, from a mug into a pot, just dump it out, and hope it doesn't all splash out. If you can't reasonably dump it out, tilt the cup as much as you can, so that the liquid will move faster.


My mom pours water from her mug into her teapot by pouring it toward herself. Oddly enough, it works - no spills.


Some background on 'why does it drip so much':

This depends on the shape of the rim. A mug usually has a thick, rounded rim. The liquid tends to adhere to the mug and goes around the corner and down the outside of the mug.
A coffee pot is usually from thinner material, so it has a sharper rim and the liquid tends to let go.

The material used to make the container also plays a role. I have a steel teapot with a very sharp rim that always makes a mess. Another teapot (glass) never drips.


In my high school chemistry class, we were taught to pour liquid from a beaker using a cylindrical glass stirring rod placed across the top of the beaker. You would hold the beaker with four fingers and use your index finger to hold the stirring rod in place. Then tilt the beaker so the stirring rod goes from horizontal toward vertical. Liquid will tend to stick to the stirring rod on its way out of the container due to surface tension. You can use the stirring rod to guide the liquid into another container.

Since you probably don't have a cylindrical glass stirring rod, I suggest you try using a chopstick. Very cheap, if not already in your kitchen.

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