How to Balance a Salt Shaker




This tutorial will explain how to balance a salt shaker.
A seemingly useless skill, this is a great party trick and especially entertaining at the bar.

Note: This talent takes a great deal of patience, but with persistence and a steady hand, you too can master the art of "cool when drunk" party tricks.

Step 1: Set Up

The first thing to do is pour some salt from the shaker on to a flat hard surface (the table.)
Use plenty, after you do this a few time you'll know how much to use.
After pouring the salt out, bunch it into a little clump as shown. (fig.2)

Step 2: Balance

This is the tricky part, you are now going to balance the salt shaker on the salt.
The first time I tried this it took about 15 minutes, DON'T GIVE UP. Unless you want to.
Some tips you can use are:
Be sure you're on a flat surface
Push the salt shaker down into the salt (to get it to stick)
Breath in through your nose, out through your mouth (slows down the body to provide a steadier hand.

Step 3: Impress!

You have successfully balanced a salt shaker on its end.
Now blow the salt away from the base (carefully) and nobody will know your secret.
Watch out for pool cues and drunken brawls and be sure to show off you skill to all you know.



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    21 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    can anyone please explain this scientifically? please...

    Sweet! (or perhaps salty). I used to balance Coke cans, by drinking some of the Coke and then balancing the can on its angled part near the bottom. Loads of fun. Sometimes I like to leave tips for bars and restaurants balanced on their edges. Works really well with Canadian dollar coins, with their flat-sidedness, not so impressive with bills.

    10 replies

    Everybody knows it, 'cuz I's the 1 that started it. I was balancing Coke cans i' th' early 90's. I remember 2 button pop cans. I can pull the tab & leave the wee ring whole. I'm the Canmaster, so deal...

    If you were the one that started it in the early nineties, howcome I was doing it in the mid eighties? Answer me that you gramatically incorrect little buffoon with a silly name that thinks "2 button pop cans" were all the rage, and who the heck says "pop" these days? that went out when I was three years old, back in the early eighties. Be quiet next time.

    Grammatically incorrect, huh? Please specify where. I could point out the legion of grammatical, spelling and factual errors in your own post, but choose not to, because: 1) It's considered impolite in some circles. 2) You would probably fail to appreciate such an effort. 3) I have better things to do. As for your attitude, one can only hope, that with the maturity that comes with growing up, you will develop an aptitude for civil discourse, as well as a sense of humour. Good day to you, too.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    you can do it very easily with a half drank soda can. if I'm at a somewhat calm place and i have a can of soda, i always do it.


    10 years ago on Step 3

    I do this trick all the time, to the point where my friends have made me balance everything else on the table as well. You can do it with bottles of A1 steak sauce, half full plastic drink cups, creamer jugs, and even the sugar packet box. I find it helps to make a little pile, then to place the object next to the salt pile. Then I use the flattest edge of a sugar packet to push the salt and wedge it into the corner of the shaker. Also, square objects are the easiest. Round ones take practice. Nice instructable!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Just a way to add some showmanship: Try the trick without piling salt first. it should tip over and spill some. you can then gather that salt and say something like "Ha ha, just kidding..." You'll have to be kinda subtle with putting it in a pile, maybe act like you're clearing the table, enhancing the illusion that you need a clean, smooth table...


    11 years ago on Step 3

    I had a friend who did this regularly in bars. He won a lot of money doing it. I don't think he hid the salt because he did it in front of whoever challenged him. Of course they saw the trick but couldn't reproduce it.

    I first saw this trick on "Mr. Wizard's World". Sometimes I do it at restaurants to try and impress the waitresses :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This same thing happened to me once by accident. I was a busboy at my first job (Bob's Big Boy!) and I was wiping off a booth table that was loose, and sure enough, the salt shaker tipped over and got stuck on a single grain of salt. Thankfully I had a witness or two, or else I probably wouldn't have believed it myself.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    What the heck? That's insane! Great job, great trick, very funny and cool, great job once again, so awesome. +1 rating. (added to favorites)