Pouring drinks safely

There is a wide range of strategies and equipment (both high and low tech) that can help with pouring drinks safely and confidently.

On this page

Getting set up

  • Only pour the amount of water you need into the kettle as this will help reduce the weight.
  • To catch any spillages, place your cup/glass in a tray with a lip or in a low bowl, or place some kitchen towel under it.
  • Consider your positioning – try standing sideways (at right angles) with your feet slightly apart as this will help stabilise you. Placing your hip against the solid work surface will also give you support, but avoid leaning on a surface that moves.
  • Use the smallest available bottle or carton of milk or milk jug.

If you have some remaining vision

  • Consider how colour contrast might help you. For example, you may be able to see the liquid rising if you have black coffee in a white mug. Wearing glasses with a tinted colour to them may also help you see liquids more easily.
  • Use a task lamp to concentrate the light onto where you are pouring.
  • A Dycem mat (non-slip mat that is usually a bold colour) can help to secure the cup to the surface. This should stop the cup from slipping and can also provide colour contrast.

Pouring technique

  • Ensure the lip of the container you’re pouring from is against the rim of the container you’re pouring into.
  • When you’re pouring, avoid holding the cup in the air so that you don’t accidentally pour hot liquid onto your hand.
  • Finger method – recommended for cold liquids only – place your index finger over and slightly into the top of the mug/glass to measure and gauge the depth of liquid as you pour.
  • Hand method – place your hand around the mug and as you pour, feel the change in temperature, which will help you gauge the depth of the liquid.
  • If you can’t see the level of the liquid, try using something that floats e.g. a cork or ping pong ball in the cup. As you pour the liquid in and the level rises, the item will float. You can then either see or feel it rise to the top before the cup overflows. 
Our blind hack for pouring liquids using a ping pong ball!

Useful equipment for pouring drinks

I use a one cup dispenser. It’s similar to a kettle but there’s no need to pick it up or pour hot water. You put the cup on a tray and press the button – which lights up blue when pressed. It saves on energy too.
Margaret, guide dog owner