Alton Brown's Brilliant Egg Carton Trick To Avoid Mustard Water Forever

If you love condiments, you may be familiar with that feeling of horror that washes over you when you go to your refrigerator, pick up a bottle of mustard, and find that it's nearly empty. You might try to shake it forcefully so you can use every last drop in the bottle — only to squeeze out a dab of mustard with a puddle of "mustard water" around the edges. 

And if you accidentally squeeze that watery, barely-there mustard onto your sandwich, burger, or hot dog? You're in for one soggy sandwich — and a disappointing lunch to boot. Per The Orange County Register, this is a common problem. But is there a solution?

Thankfully, Alton Brown, Food Network star and problem-solver extraordinaire, has just the trick to save your sandwiches from the dreaded end-of-the-bottle mustard water (via YouTube). His easy strategy requires nothing more than a nearly-empty mustard bottle and an item you probably already have in your kitchen.

Everything you need to solve the mustard water problem

Alton Brown's little-known trick for kicking mustard water out of your life only requires an empty egg carton and a pair of scissors. (So the next time you use all of your eggs, be sure to save the carton instead of throwing it out.)

If you struggle to avoid mustard water, you may have tried tipping your bottle upside-down in your refrigerator, only to have it topple over. Fortunately, Brown solves that problem, too. In a short YouTube video, he cuts an egg carton at the hinges to separate the side that holds the eggs from the lid. He then tips several bottles of mustard over and places them lid-side-down in the egg carton. (Brown is clearly in good company — chef Carla Hall recommended the same condiment trick on "The Chew.")

Brown's creative strategy for storing nearly-empty mustard bottles (and reusing egg cartons) is a must-try. If you tend to overstock or you don't clean your fridge regularly, you might find that your mustard bottles knock into other containers and flip over onto their sides, which doesn't help you avoid squirting mustard water all over your sandwich. An egg carton has a steady enough base that your mustard will stay securely upside-down when you keep it in your fridge. Just make sure that you have plenty of space in your refrigerator for the egg carton and enough height for the mustard bottle before you try making this nifty little "mustard caddy."

There are plenty of other ways to avoid the dreaded mustard water

Per The New York Times, Alton Brown's hack is just the tip of the iceberg if you need to get those last few squirts of mustard — or any other condiment — out of the bottle. 

If you don't feel like making Brown's egg carton condiment holder just yet but still want to get the most mustard out of your bottle, keep the bottle lid on and shake it with all the force you can muster. This extra force will keep your mustard moving down toward the lid. (And according to The Sydney Morning Herald, it's science-backed!) 

For a twist on Brown's advice, you can also turn the bottle upside-down and whack it a couple of times or give it one strong downward shake. If necessary, you can also take the cap off of the mustard bottle, tilt the bottle until the mustard starts flowing, and pour out the amount of mustard you want. You'll get all of the mustard without the mustard water. And as one YouTuber suggests, you can snap the mustard cap into place to keep it out of the way while you squirt the condiment out.