Friday, June 19, 2015

Ikea DOLD Sugar Shaker Review

Got another load of coffee and I've always wanted a sugar dispenser or shaker. Seriously, I've never had a sugar shaker. There were salt and pepper shakers that came into and out of my life across the years, but never was there a sugar shaker. I kind of saw why when I started looking for one. Scouring online stores produced very few results that agreed with me. What I found were mainly ceramic sugar and cream sets that came with a spoon. The cylindrical, glass, restaurant style sugar shakers were somehow not as easy to find. I actually found this option at Ikea before I started looking everywhere else. However, it was skipped because I didn't want to make the one hour trip to the store for a $6 item.
Empty Ikea DOLD Sugar Shaker
Ikea DOLD Single portion sugar shaker - USD$ 3.99 (CAD$ 5.99)
There was no packaging, I picked it up at Ikea from a shelf with a bunch of other DOLDs lined up. I only had to peel a sticker with the barcode on it off before washing the item -- the sticker actually came off very cleanly from the glass. Then I gave it about a day to dry before pouring some white sugar into it. Fitting the lid on was difficult at first because I was trying to ram the hollow steel tube into the sea of sugar. It would only go so far, well short of the lid meeting the threads on the jar, until I used a rotating, screwing motion to drill the thing in.

Assembly Time:  24 hours?
Cap of Ikea DOLD Sugar Shaker
It didn't have any issues standing up and had a good weight to it, like it wouldn't blow away in the wind?

Expandability / Customizability
Looks good beside other kitchen container things?

How was it?
Got off to a rough start. The initial few attempts at pouring sugar out of the spout were done a day after I filled the DOLD up. It sat for a day during a hot summer day inside a cupboard. Over time, moisture had caused the sugar in the entire container to seize up. There's a chance that this problem was isolated to my kitchen due to the design, environment, or climate. Regardless, I spent a minute over the sink trying to break things up by tapping the bottle with my palm -- in retrospect, that probably wasn't the best idea with a glass container. It looked most jammed up at the bottom near the tube. The opening probably allowed moisture to accumulate in and around the area. Things eventually started pouring out once the clog in the tube was cleared.

The quantity of sugar that came out of the DOLD looked pretty consistent after the first two or so portions. I was happy with this quantity because each portion appeared small enough to allow for fine-tuning but large enough to not be tedious.

However, the fact that it froze up was pretty annoying. I imagine that it'll probably be a recurring problem since my DOLD doesn't have a completely sealed lid (i.e. the tube that produces the portion is always open). Putting in some popcorn kernels like I did with my salt shaker could work, but the tube seems wide enough to allow kernels to come out. Not sure that I want to make it a habit of fishing corn kernels out of my drinks. The solution I'm going with for now is to keep the DOLD half-filled so I have some break-up, shaking room. Otherwise, I'll keep a chopstick or stirrer handy to unjam the tube. This will require more frequent topping up of the container, unfortunately. Or maybe I'll try to keep it inside an air-tight container.

I was somewhat pleased with the DOLD sugar shaker. It worked well when it wasn't jammed up. Having to worry about unjamming the bottle on a regular basis isn't the best. However, this should have been expected since salt and sugar love moisture. I think I know why sugar and cream sets are designed to be used with spoons now...

So I may have given up on this thing after using up what it would allow me to from the first fill-up -- the bottom eighth of the container was rock solid by the end. It didn't seem to like my kitchen. To be fair, the stove was close to the closed cupboard I was storing it in. On the other hand, I had no issue with the capped salt and sugar bowls, or the salt shaker with popcorn kernels stored in the same cupboard. The DOLD could probably use a cap since everything around the spout inside the bottle was locked-up. I ended up having to unscrew the lid slightly to unfreeze the sugar every day before being able to pour anything out. Having to put a separate cap on the DOLD or put it in a Tupperware container seemed to defeat the purpose of having a sugar shaker: convenience. Moving it to another cupboard may have worked but I wasn't in the mood to try that. Let's see if I can find a different use for it that doesn't involve filling it with a desiccant.

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  1. Thanks for the review! I've been looking for a sugar shaker and had eyed this one, intending to pick it up on my next trip to Ikea. Sounds like I should stick to a spoon and a small mason jar (capped when not in use; plastic lids available everywhere, I think I got mine at Canadian Tire) instead

  2. I buy two and I just hate this, now I am trying to do something with this but this probably go to trash