#57: Less lees

I remember once reading that various foodstuffs manufacturers only make a profit because people routinely fail to extract the last few drops of produce from the container. It’s particularly true of viscous fluids like mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, mustard etc but it might apply equally to higher value produce -especially shampoo/conditioner and related cosmetics.

My invention today is simply to repurpose the old magnetic stirrer device (or perhaps the magnetic window cleaner) in order to speed the evacuation of the bottle concerned. Obviously, it still makes sense to invert the container so that gravity can assist, but life’s too short to ensure that all the contents eventually come out -especially when sandwich urgency has set in.


Each household could have several PTFE-coated magnetic beans (colour-coded to avoid getting shampoo in the honey). They could all be driven by a single powerful, handheld rotating magnet unit.

It might be useful to induce some eddy currents in the bean in order to warm it slightly and reduce viscosity. Even without spinning magnets, rolling a spherical ‘bean’ up and down inside the container, using an external magnet, would be a good way to ‘spoon’ out any residue…especially for bottles with complex internal shapes (these might be supplied each with a captive, rolling bean). This technique would also be useful for clearing out coffee grounds and other hard-to-get-at stuff.

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