How to Separate Salt and Pepper


If salt and pepper get mixed, it's hard to know which seasoning is which. However, by using static electricity, you can quickly separate the seasonings to create a pile of each. Whether you've knocked over your salt cellar into some ground pepper, or simply want to demonstrate the principles of static electricity, this time-honored trick separates the seasonings easily. Create an electrical charge to collect the lighter seasoning.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic comb
  • Rub a plastic comb against your clothing or rub it against an inflated balloon, if available. The rubbing creates an electric charge.

  • Hold the comb 1 inch above the mixture of pepper and salt, until the pepper clings to it. Don't lower the comb too much or the salt will also cling to the comb.

  • Brush or knock the pepper off the comb into its own pile. Repeat as necessary to remove the rest of the pepper from the mixed pile.

Tips & Warnings

  • This process makes a fun science experiment for kids.
  • Do you really want to use that salt and pepper for anything, now that your dirty hands have been all over the pepper?
  • And I'm pretty sure the dog licked the table too. Gross.
  • Too much sodium is bad for you anyway.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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