Every time I am using black pepper, no matter how little, no matter how I turn my head to avoid sneezing, it still triggers it. I have to run from the work area, release myself and then go back.

Are there any quick fit kitchen masks (I am serious) for this purpose, or at least special dispensers that can reduce this problem? What can I do to avoid sneezing?

3 Answers 3


Your local hardware store or DIY shop will likely have an assortment of dust masks you could try. The simplest ones would be cheap and very quick to put on and remove, and should help.

It seems a little over the top to have to put on a mask for using pepper, but perhaps you're extra sensitive and it's just something you'll have to deal with.

Do you have any reaction at all from eating things with lots of black pepper?

Finally, you might look at how you're physically dispensing the pepper. If you're shaking it from a container you're likely to stir up a small cloud of fine pepper dust. If you're not already doing so, consider trying to use a tiny measuring spoon or even the wrong end of a regular spoon to scoop a little pepper out of the container directly and add it to your food--less sprinkling/shaking, less irritant in the air.

  • Thanks, not really that sensitive, if you happen to be familiar with Caribbean cooking where they use a lot of ground black pepper, even the slightest of disturbance of the pepper will trigger a sneeze,I usually get rid of the little shake bottle that the pepper sometimes come in and dispense carefully, still the sneeze, I think the dust mask will work, maybe I can decorate them to look a little more kitchen-like, I do not care if I look like a pest control worker, as long as I do not sneeze.
    – Simmerdown
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 0:18

I guess you are using already grounded pepper. If you mill your own, I think the resulting particles are too big to fly their way to your nose!


Answering your comment: So I think you could prepare something like Black Pepper Oil (adapting the recipe for grounded pepper, just filtering the resulting oil with care) and suffer your sneezing much less often.

  • Yes, where we live one can only get finely ground blackpepper
    – Simmerdown
    Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 19:37
  • @Simmerdown Thanks for the correct word: "ground"! Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 19:39
  • @Simmerdown Have you considered getting some peppercorns and a mill delivered if you can not obtain them locally? Freshly milled pepper tends to be more flavourful and less inclined to set-off sneezing.
    – Orbling
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 13:12

I think any type of mask/plugs that would stop the pepper dust getting in your nose would work. Perhaps a surgical mask, or a painter's dust mask would help. Swimmer's nose plugs are another option.

My dad makes horseradish fresh every year for Passover, and he actually uses a full military issue gas mask to keep the fumes up. In his defence, the stuff will bring an adult to tears at twenty paces.

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