Introduction: Measure Liquids Without Contaminating the Measure

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…
Nighttime cold medicines come with a handy dosage measuring cup. It would be simple to pour the recommended dosage into the little cup and drink from it. But, a couple of people in a house often have a cold at the same time. Who wants to drink after another from a sticky, dirty measuring device? Just as you are recovering from your headcold, you are suddenly re-infected by the germs of others on the measuring cup. 

Here is a simple solution that can be used with nighttime cold medicines and other fluids, like transmission oil.

You will need some paper cups, juice glasses, or old soft drink cans; a marking pen, a scissors, and water.

Step 1: First, the Cold Medicine

Fill the little measuring cup for the cold medicine with water to the recommended dosage. For an adult that is 30ml. The 30ml line is at the shoulder on the cup about 3mm below the top of the cup. Be as precise as you can.

Step 2: Transfer the Measurement

Pour the water you measured into a clear juice glass and mark its level on the outside of the glass with a sharp-tipped marking pen. We have been using these glasses for years. Originally they contained cheese spread. Each person in the family can have his or her own precisely calibrated glass for measuring and drinking the cold medicine. Just mark the glasses by writing a name on each glass or setting each glass on a small piece of paper with a name on the paper.

Surely someone will write, "Why not just pour the medicine into the supplied plastic measuring cup and then pour it into a juice glass from which it is drunk?" My answer is that the measuring cup becomes coated inside with sticky cold medicine unless washed after each use. That is possible. But, also, some of the medicine measured coats the sides of each container into which it is poured. Pouring it once into a juice glass wastes less medicine.

Step 3: Adapt to Use With Automotive Oils

I replaced the fluid and filter in my automobile's transmission. After a while the pan gasket compressed a little and I needed to tighten the pan bolts again. But, in the meanwhile, a small amount of fluid seeped out between the gasket's mating surfaces. I began to notice a hard 1-2 shift on moderately fast accelerations from a stop. I needed to add about 3 ounces of transmission fluid and all was good again. But, now the hard 1-2 shift has returned. The pan bolts each needed about 1/4 turn to be fully tight again. The pan exterior showed a little oil discoloration. Now I need to add a couple of ounces of transmission fluid again. 

A 4 or 6 ounce paper cup would work very well in place of the juice glass I use with the cold medicine, but I do not have any paper cups. So, I cut the top 1/3 from an aluminum soft drink can with a scissors and used it. I poured 3 ounces of water from my wife's kitchen measuring cups into the can and used a butter knife to press a crease into the side of the can as a marker. Then I poured the water out and swabbed the inside of the can with a facial tissue to remove any water droplets. I poured transmission fluid into the can until it reached the crease. I took my car out for a test drive and the rough shifting is gone. My wife will never suspect the part her measuring cups played in adding fluid to my transmission so it shifts smoothly again!