When I put garlic powder in a shaker, it ends up clumping.

I tried putting in some rice, but it still clumps.

Any ideas?

  • 2
    Does the shaker have a lid that fits closely when not in use? Do you shake it directly over steaming food?
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 7:56
  • No lid. I shake it over just food.
    – fixit7
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 9:55

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you've got at least two problems:

  • First, without a lid, it absorbs moisture from the air.
  • Second, shaking it over hot food delivers steam directly to the powder
  • Possibly third, the holes in the shaker may be small enough to block as soon as the smallest clumps form.

Rice will act as a desiccant and absorb water, but its capacity to do so is actually quite limited. I have a few pre-mixed spice grinders (garlic, chilli flakes, salt etc.) and they specifically say they're not meant for grinding directly over hot food.

So what can you do about it? Using a small shaker (so it doesn't hang around too long) with a lid for storage will help but, maybe not enough . If you really want the garlic powder sprinkled rather than spooned, then you could keep it in an airtight container and spoon some into a tea strainer when needed.

  • 1
    Not worth a separate answer. Putting the clumps in a spice grinder or food processor will help re-powderize them.
    – Summer
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 12:17
  • @bruglesco : it might be useful to keep something larger in the bottle that could be used to shake around to break up any clumps as they form. (but before the whole thing becomes a solid lump). Maybe dried beans
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 15:56
  • What would spooning it into a tea strainer do?
    – fixit7
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 19:28
  • 1
    The tea strainer would allow sprinkling but starting from a more suitable storage container, and without exposing all of the powder to steam. Any remaining clumps could be broken up with the spoon in the tea strainer.
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 20:50
  • I will either buy some shakers with lids and make lids for what I have.
    – fixit7
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 22:26

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