how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

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rjbraun
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how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

Some 1/2-gallon paper milk cartons have the more conventional opening where one opens the sides to form a spout. Others come with a capped plastic spout, from which one uncaps the spout to pour milk.

We typically buy Whole Foods 365 and Trader Joe's milk, depending on which store happens to work for a particular grocery run.

I find that the 365 milk spout is almost impossible to open without having the carton tear some (seemingly due to excessive glue use to seal the carton), enough that when I go to pour milk from the carton it will not come out in a neat stream. Without a "clean" pouring spot, the milk will ricochet off the pieces of torn cardboard (carton) protruding in different directions. The net result is milk landing not where I intended.

This has been my experience for a few years now. I'm not sure if this is an issue with every carton, but as it just happened this morning I find it hard to believe I am alone in dealing with this challenge and wonder what some solutions may be. The couple of youtube videos I watched weren't helpful. I suppose I could buy other milk brands for sale at Whole Foods (and do, actually), but I would still prefer to have the option to buy their 365 milk at times, too.

I've thought of using a knife or scissors to form the spout but am concerned that the need to kind of awkwardly position things might lead to cutting my hand.

Any others experience this issue and have a solution to offer? :happy

Thanks.

Problematic carton design:

https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/a-bla ... 33-2876350

Carton with built-in spout design:

https://www.istockphoto.com/vector/flat ... -401817234
Last edited by rjbraun on Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SmileyFace
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Re: how to open milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by SmileyFace »

Childhood nightmare - I was the kid in 1st grade that stopped buying school milk because I couldn't open it cleanly.
I would avoid those cartons at any cost.
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JupiterJones
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by JupiterJones »

Maybe something like this would help?

http://www.brixdesign.com/422/tiptop-carton-opener
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rjbraun
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

JupiterJones wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:54 am Maybe something like this would help?

http://www.brixdesign.com/422/tiptop-carton-opener
Interesting. Thanks, but it's largely (though not exclusively) the second part (of forming the spout) that is the issue. So, the first part of just separating the carton top to begin with can lead to a messy opening already, due to the excess glue cited in OP. By the time I go to form the spout, it can be so hard, especially if the first part did not result in a clean separation. And then when I go tugging on the carton to form the spout, the carton inevitably seems to get frayed and misshapen, which leads to a spout that doesn't have the sturdy triangular design needed to pour effectively.

It's wild that Whole Foods seemingly can't get this right - unless I am just incredibly unlucky and always buying the carton with the excessive amount of glue (or just plain incompetent at this task, though it's really only in this one instance of packaging design that I seem to have this one particular issue consistently).

Eta: I don't think I've encountered this issue so consistently with other paper cartons of beverages (though, admittedly, I probably buy more of the 365 milk than of the other products, so it may not be a totally fair comparison.)
Last edited by rjbraun on Tue Mar 26, 2024 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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rjbraun
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Re: how to open milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

SmileyFace wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:26 am Childhood nightmare - I was the kid in 1st grade that stopped buying school milk because I couldn't open it cleanly.
I would avoid those cartons at any cost.
Gosh, that really sounds potentially traumatic. I'm sorry to hear that! :beer
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SmileyFace
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Re: how to open milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by SmileyFace »

rjbraun wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 10:29 am
SmileyFace wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:26 am Childhood nightmare - I was the kid in 1st grade that stopped buying school milk because I couldn't open it cleanly.
I would avoid those cartons at any cost.
Gosh, that really sounds potentially traumatic. I'm sorry to hear that! :beer
Funny the types of memories some of these discussions spark :)
I remember trying to open one side - and having it a complete torn up mess that I couldn't drink from then trying to open the other side and having an equal mess. I remember trying to drink from some weird corner of a box shape so as not to spill it. I never thought to bring a straw to school. Back when I grew up getting milk with lunch was kind a weird thing. It was 5 cents and our teacher would collect everyone's nickel first thing in the morning (Some students where on the list for Free milk and would be called out and asked if they wanted their's today). It was weird - some type of separate accounting program than buying lunch. The same students that got free milk also got free lunch - but that was handled separately for some reason. And buying lunch versus buying your milk was separate. (many of us had our super-hero lunch boxes with lunch of course - when we got older those needed to be replaced with a brown bag)
Please don't bring up anything about recess - LOL.
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by andypanda »

"where one opens the sides to form a spout."

I haven't seen one of those in 20 or 30 years or more. And I'm a milk drinker. I actually prefer them to the twist off cap.
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Mopar440 »

Really
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anagram
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by anagram »

Mopar440 wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 11:51 amReally
Indeed! I thought the lawn mower thread was the last straw but "How to open a milk carton" beats it. :sharebeer
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SmileyFace
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by SmileyFace »

anagram wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 11:57 am
Mopar440 wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 11:51 amReally
Indeed! I thought the lawn mower thread was the last straw but "How to open a milk carton" beats it. :sharebeer
I thought Mopar was saying "really" to the last post whereby someone prefered the glued-shut opening that must be used.
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by livesoft »

I use such cartons for my soy milk. I start by using the screw cap, but at the end when carton is nearly empty, I open the paper part for the last of the milk and let it drain into a glass. Then I add a little water to carton, shake it a little bit to rinse the inside, and then pour that into my uncooked oatmeal (as a water or Dr Pepper substitute), then cook the oatmeal (with all the other ingredients).

Anyways, I just open the carton the way I learned more than 60 years ago in grade school. Youtube shows it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcgYEh5PtlM. but this is only after the carton is mostly empty after using the screw cap over the previous week to get the milk out.

But one could open as in the video, THEN use a scissors to cut the edges cleanly. I cannot tell from the OP if they tried that or were just trying the much more difficult cutting open an unopened carton.
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anagram
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by anagram »

SmileyFace wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 12:03 pm
anagram wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 11:57 am
Mopar440 wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 11:51 amReally
Indeed! I thought the lawn mower thread was the last straw but "How to open a milk carton" beats it. :sharebeer
I thought Mopar was saying "really" to the last post whereby someone prefered the glued-shut opening that must be used.
I see that now. Oh well, I thought the title was fun.
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tetractys
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by tetractys »

The old style paper cartons are far less wasteful than the new style with the plastic cap insert. The only real advantage of the plastic cap is the re-seal it provides; but a properly opened all paper carton can be sealed well enough and as well with a clothes pin.

I can imagine packing the old style cartons might a somewhat lost art, struggling with old equipment and modern glue. That would be interesting to look into.

I used to enjoy opening the old milk cartons. Trading a nickel for a half pint was a source of pride. It was a bit of a challenge to open them perfectly. The trick was at the start with the thumbs, making sure the sides of the spout were folded all the way back as far as they could go. And then making sure the point of the spout was started evenly. If it was collapsing or tearing near the point it needed extra babying.
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by 9Iron »

tetractys wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 12:35 pm The old style paper cartons are far less wasteful than the new style with the plastic cap insert. The only real advantage of the plastic cap is the re-seal it provides; but a properly opened all paper carton can be sealed well enough and as well with a clothes pin.

I can imagine packing the old style cartons might a somewhat lost art, struggling with old equipment and modern glue. That would be interesting to look into.

I used to enjoy opening the old milk cartons. Trading a nickel for a half pint was a source of pride. It was a bit of a challenge to open them perfectly. The trick was at the start with the thumbs, making sure the sides of the spout were folded all the way back as far as they could go. And then making sure the point of the spout was started evenly. If it was collapsing or tearing near the point it needed extra babying.
I use binder clips instead of clothes pins … especially good for closing rolled up bags of chips. :D
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somewhatentertained
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by somewhatentertained »

The last time I was as confounded as OP by milk containers was when I saw bagged milk in my in-law's fridge. :confused
ReadyOrNot
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by ReadyOrNot »

I think I saw a YouTube video saying everyone was pouring liquids from cartons wrong. He said it was better to tilt the carton in the opposite direction, so the liquid pours from the open corner opposite to the usual open corner. The liquid pours from the middle of the top of the carton instead of at the side. You get to tilt the carton more before the pouring starts that way, and the air flows in better. If that open corner near the middle of the top is in better condition than the normal pouring open corner, it might work.
Probably should test this an empty carton filled with water first.
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by JupiterJones »

rjbraun wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 10:27 am
JupiterJones wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:54 am Maybe something like this would help?

http://www.brixdesign.com/422/tiptop-carton-opener
Interesting. Thanks, but it's largely (though not exclusively) the second part (of forming the spout) that is the issue. So, the first part of just separating the carton top to begin with can lead to a messy opening already, due to the excess glue cited in OP. By the time I go to form the spout, it can be so hard, especially if the first part did not result in a clean separation. And then when I go tugging on the carton to form the spout, the carton inevitably seems to get frayed and misshapen, which leads to a spout that doesn't have the sturdy triangular design needed to pour effectively.
The video doesn't really show it until the end, but it's designed to help with both parts.
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clanky
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by clanky »

Think outside the box - if opening a standard milk carton doesn't work for you - just stab it on top with a steak knife and twist it to make a portal.

Turn upside down and squeeze your preferred amount of milk. :beer
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Parkinglotracer »

My wife is an ex kindergarten teacher asst who teaches 5 yr olds how to do it. her secrets are to first pull the two wings apart and bend them back as far as you can. That will enable the opening in the middle where the spout forms to start to separate when you push the wings together. If it doesn’t separate she recommends using your pointer finger and thumb to grab the place where it should open ( spout ) and pull it open.


Then she said who the H$&@ doesn’t know how to do that? How did they get out of kindergarten? lol.
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by lgerla »

If you like the brand of milk, I would open it as best you can, pour it all into a lovely, covered, easy to pour carafe or container of your choice for the refrigerator, and throw away the cartoon.
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rjbraun
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

JupiterJones wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 4:23 pm
rjbraun wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 10:27 am
JupiterJones wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:54 am Maybe something like this would help?

http://www.brixdesign.com/422/tiptop-carton-opener
Interesting. Thanks, but it's largely (though not exclusively) the second part (of forming the spout) that is the issue. So, the first part of just separating the carton top to begin with can lead to a messy opening already, due to the excess glue cited in OP. By the time I go to form the spout, it can be so hard, especially if the first part did not result in a clean separation. And then when I go tugging on the carton to form the spout, the carton inevitably seems to get frayed and misshapen, which leads to a spout that doesn't have the sturdy triangular design needed to pour effectively.
The video doesn't really show it until the end, but it's designed to help with both parts.
Thanks, I actually did watch the video to the end, but my reply could have been clearer.

What I meant was that when I go to form the spout (part 2 of the process, after folding back the sides (part 1)), there is so much excess glue on the carton it would likely be impossible to insert the product in the video (at least not without a lot of poking and work on my part). I've tried in the past to use a knife or scissors to separate the carton layers (to form a "V" for the spout) and I couldn't do it, at least not cleanly and without risk of cutting myself (as the seal is that tight).

Admittedly, the video makes it look so easy to insert the opener, but the carton seal in this particular milk brand is sealed so tight as to be virtually impossible to open.

As chance would have it, I just poured myself a glass of milk before sitting down to read Bogleheads and seeing your post. I literally had to hold the milk carton so that the milk poured out of the side of the (triangular) spout and into my glass, as the "V" portion is too tattered to produce a clean stream. The good news is that I've gotten pretty good at doing a side pour, so I think maybe this will need to be the solution when I can't get a clean enough split in the carton to produce a proper "V". :beer
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

clanky wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 5:20 pm Think outside the box - if opening a standard milk carton doesn't work for you - just stab it on top with a steak knife and twist it to make a portal.

Turn upside down and squeeze your preferred amount of milk. :beer
Haha, I've actually thought of that. With my luck, I will get badly cut by the steak knife (and end up bleeding into the milk :shock: )
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rjbraun
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

Parkinglotracer wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 5:34 pm My wife is an ex kindergarten teacher asst who teaches 5 yr olds how to do it. her secrets are to first pull the two wings apart and bend them back as far as you can. That will enable the opening in the middle where the spout forms to start to separate when you push the wings together. If it doesn’t separate she recommends using your pointer finger and thumb to grab the place where it should open ( spout ) and pull it open.


Then she said who the H$&@ doesn’t know how to do that? How did they get out of kindergarten? lol.
Admittedly, I may not have been stellar in kindergarten, but I eventually got the hang of things as I progressed in elementary school and managed to find a way to open my milk carton. :wink:

That said, I am always open to learning and will try bending the two wings back as far as I possibly can. Even with that, I suspect there is SO much glue that will prevent the separation needed in the carton to form the spout. When I have in the past used the pointer finger and thumb technique advocated by your wife, I was unable to separate the carton. As my hand dexterity and strength are fine, the issue was the excessive glue. So, with a lot of prodding I can separate the carton to form a spout, but it will be tattered. :twisted:
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

lgerla wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 9:40 pm If you like the brand of milk, I would open it as best you can, pour it all into a lovely, covered, easy to pour carafe or container of your choice for the refrigerator, and throw away the cartoon.
Thanks, I've considered that but I think it is likely best for me to keep the milk in the original container to minimize the chance of spoilage. I'm the only one drinking the milk, and it takes me a while to go through a 1/2-gallon. On occasion, the milk turns or will at least be past its use by / best by date, so I kind of feel like I need to do what I can to keep the milk as fresh (and uncontaminated) as possible (which I figure means not messing around with different containers).
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

My rule has always been: if the packaging frustrates me, I won't buy the product.
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by H-Town »

rjbraun wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:24 am Some 1/2-gallon paper milk cartons have the more conventional opening where one opens the sides to form a spout. Others come with a capped plastic spout, from which one uncaps the spout to pour milk.

We typically buy Whole Foods 365 and Trader Joe's milk, depending on which store happens to work for a particular grocery run.

I find that the 365 milk spout is almost impossible to open without having the carton tear some (seemingly due to excessive glue use to seal the carton), enough that when I go to pour milk from the carton it will not come out in a neat stream. Without a "clean" pouring spot, the milk will ricochet off the pieces of torn cardboard (carton) protruding in different directions. The net result is milk landing not where I intended.

This has been my experience for a few years now. I'm not sure if this is an issue with every carton, but as it just happened this morning I find it hard to believe I am alone in dealing with this challenge and wonder what some solutions may be. The couple of youtube videos I watched weren't helpful. I suppose I could buy other milk brands for sale at Whole Foods (and do, actually), but I would still prefer to have the option to buy their 365 milk at times, too.

I've thought of using a knife or scissors to form the spout but am concerned that the need to kind of awkwardly position things might lead to cutting my hand.

Any others experience this issue and have a solution to offer? :happy

Thanks.

Problematic carton design:

https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/a-bla ... 33-2876350

Carton with built-in spout design:

https://www.istockphoto.com/vector/flat ... -401817234
I mean I drink a gallon of milk every week. I never buy half a gallon...
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Parkinglotracer »

rjbraun wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 10:02 pm
Parkinglotracer wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 5:34 pm My wife is an ex kindergarten teacher asst who teaches 5 yr olds how to do it. her secrets are to first pull the two wings apart and bend them back as far as you can. That will enable the opening in the middle where the spout forms to start to separate when you push the wings together. If it doesn’t separate she recommends using your pointer finger and thumb to grab the place where it should open ( spout ) and pull it open.


Then she said who the H$&@ doesn’t know how to do that? How did they get out of kindergarten? lol.
Admittedly, I may not have been stellar in kindergarten, but I eventually got the hang of things as I progressed in elementary school and managed to find a way to open my milk carton. :wink:

That said, I am always open to learning and will try bending the two wings back as far as I possibly can. Even with that, I suspect there is SO much glue that will prevent the separation needed in the carton to form the spout. When I have in the past used the pointer finger and thumb technique advocated by your wife, I was unable to separate the carton. As my hand dexterity and strength are fine, the issue was the excessive glue. So, with a lot of prodding I can separate the carton to form a spout, but it will be tattered. :twisted:
Even with my wife’s expert guidance, I have resorted to barbaric methods with knives, forks, and scissors. The struggle is real.
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by JupiterJones »

rjbraun wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 9:44 pm What I meant was that when I go to form the spout (part 2 of the process, after folding back the sides (part 1)), there is so much excess glue on the carton it would likely be impossible to insert the product in the video (at least not without a lot of poking and work on my part). I've tried in the past to use a knife or scissors to separate the carton layers (to form a "V" for the spout) and I couldn't do it, at least not cleanly and without risk of cutting myself (as the seal is that tight).
Ah, I see now. So what we need is some way to bypass the whole overglued spout situation entirely.

Maybe one of those safety cutters, where the blade is inside an enclosed hook area, making it easy to cut through the carton but hard to accidentally cut yourself? (Like those emergency seat belt cutter tools have) Here's one example.

Or, worse comes to worst, one of those old-fashioned metal spouts we used to poke into oil cans back in the day? :D
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by MathWizard »

I buy half gallon cartons with a screwtop cap on the side of the top.
I suspect because the problem you have is common.
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KlingKlang
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by KlingKlang »

I actually had someone at the work lunch table about 45 years ago compliment me on opening my half pint milk carton because no one else could do theirs. My technique was to do the initial spout fold out then use one tine of my fork to pull the rest open. I doubt that I have that kind of manual dexterity any more.
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Beensabu
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Beensabu »

rjbraun wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:24 am I would still prefer to have the option to buy their 365 milk at times
If there's that much excess glue (or the glue used is that gnarly), do you really want to drink milk that's been poured out over it?
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Alkali Ike »

Using a box cutter or razor knife, cut a V-shape on one of the top angled sides of the carton. Bend the bottom of the V upward to make a pouring spout. Purchase a half-gallon Rubbermaid liquid container and pour the milk into it. If your hands are unsteady, a funnel can be your friend.
clip651
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by clip651 »

I think if it's really as bad as you say, and you can open other cartons (does 1/2 gallon orange juice come in a similar style carton that you're able to open, for example?), then it's time to send a letter to the manufacturer. Or at least mail a print out of this thread and hand write on top that even with all the suggestions below, you're still unable to open their milk cartons in a normal fashion.

Maybe it's so bad on this particular product because no on else has taken the time to let them know.

Meanwhile it's probably best for you to buy a different milk product, unless you enjoy and take pride in battling through this issue over breakfast. :D
shess
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by shess »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 10:26 pm My rule has always been: if the packaging frustrates me, I won't buy the product.
This.

There is an underlying problem of "you are not the customer", at least so far as the sealing goes. For sealing, the customer is all the people between you and the source who have to handle things, because all of those people have better ways to complain than you do. So if you complain about not being able to open the carton reasonably, they basically ignore you, but if a grocer complains about a pallet of cartons that got set down askew and half of them popped open, they'll 100% work to make the seal more secure.

Likewise, if they can shave 5% of the material off the walls of the cartons, that drops right to their bottom line. So you end up with super-strong glue and super-thin walls.

This kind of horrible design also applies to cold-cereal packaging (thing cardboard glued together with space-shuttle glue), "saran wrap" packaging (the cutting edge cannot cut the actual plastic wrap, but it can gouge the heck out of my finger, go figure), electronics and other things that are in impossible-to-remove vacuum-molded packages, etc. The retailer is the customer of the packaging, and the final customer doesn't have a seat at the table. Technique can only take you so far when the materials science is optimizing against you.

[Personally, I generally buy plastic cartons. I grew up on a dairy farm and find that carton milk tastes like milk cartons. I can handle it on cold cereal, but not direct.]
Silverado
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Silverado »

Not sure how we made it this far without this being posted.

https://youtu.be/-jUW1QvVQyQ?feature=shared

In general I agree that packaging is an area that lacks often times. I don’t stray away from things, but I think about it!
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by muffins14 »

First there was soy milk, then almond, oat, pistachio…

I can’t believe there is paper milk now
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Abe
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Abe »

The Dairy Shoppe 2 Qt Heavy Glass Milk Bottle with Handle & Cap, 64 Oz, 1/2 Gal.
https://www.amazon.com/Dairy-Shoppe-Bot ... merReviews
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rickcrna »

Hard to believe this is a serious conversation. BH Personal Consumer forum is stooping pretty low.
bombcar
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by bombcar »

If this is a continual problem, just get some nice glass containers (like above) and open the carton and pour it into the container once. Then it won't matter how you open it (use a funnel if necessary).

Around here we can spend more to get milk in actual glass jars you have to bring back. Or in bags. Or in normal milk jugs.
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nisiprius
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by nisiprius »

I am so very very very old that I remember when the peaked-roof containers were introduced. Before that, the top of the container was flat, square with the sides, with a round hole in it. The hole was plugged by a stopper formed out of waxed cardboard, hinged to one side, that it pivoted down to close the hole and pivoted up to open it. My recollection was that there was no seal other than the friction fit of the waxed-cardboard stopper in the hole.

It was sufficiently long ago that I am not having any luck finding a good picture of one.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

I can find frustration with nearly all milk carton opening designs, but I haven't opened a carton like what OP is describing in several years. BUT,

If I only had one shot at a carton with a stubborn reputation, I would use my thumbs to make the initial separation and push those flaps back as far as possible. Then I would use a pair of needle-nose pliers to grip the very top of the fold to be pulled outward (where one ordinarily would use their thumb and index finger) to form the spout and pull slowly but firmly.

For full disclosure, I have never attempted this or seen it in action, so be aware that all milk may break loose!
cs412a
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by cs412a »

nisiprius wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 2:18 pm I am so very very very old that I remember when the peaked-roof containers were introduced. Before that, the top of the container was flat, square with the sides, with a round hole in it. The hole was plugged by a stopper formed out of waxed cardboard, hinged to one side, that it pivoted down to close the hole and pivoted up to open it. My recollection was that there was no seal other than the friction fit of the waxed-cardboard stopper in the hole.

It was sufficiently long ago that I am not having any luck finding a good picture of one.
Is this https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/61447.jpg what you meant?
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Random Musings
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Random Musings »

Take a shower beforehand.

Or if in a rush, at least wash your hands thoroughly.

RM
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tooluser
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by tooluser »

This might help? :confused

"Watch it! He's got a broken milk carton!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC92wx86z84

Or you could move to Canada, where milk comes in plastic bags.
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Mopar440
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Mopar440 »

Haven't we milked this thread to death already. :oops:
Parkinglotracer
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Parkinglotracer »

Mopar440 wrote: Sat Mar 30, 2024 6:19 am Haven't we milked this thread to death already. :oops:
I find this topic udderly delightful.
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Abe
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by Abe »

nisiprius wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 2:18 pm I am so very very very old that I remember when the peaked-roof containers were introduced. Before that, the top of the container was flat, square with the sides, with a round hole in it. The hole was plugged by a stopper formed out of waxed cardboard, hinged to one side, that it pivoted down to close the hole and pivoted up to open it. My recollection was that there was no seal other than the friction fit of the waxed-cardboard stopper in the hole.

It was sufficiently long ago that I am not having any luck finding a good picture of one.
I remember when milk came in glass bottles and the milk man delivered it to our front steps early in the morning. It had cream on top and my parents would put the cream in their coffee. That was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.
Slow and steady wins the race.
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rjbraun
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

Beensabu wrote: Thu Mar 28, 2024 12:28 pm
rjbraun wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:24 am I would still prefer to have the option to buy their 365 milk at times
If there's that much excess glue (or the glue used is that gnarly), do you really want to drink milk that's been poured out over it?
Right, I also considered that. Well, I assume (hope) that the glue is non-toxic, at least. Also, I'm not sure the milk actually comes in contact with any glue. I would think the milk is primarily, and perhaps, exclusively, only in contact with the paper milk carton. Also, probably only about one-quarter, or so, of my milk consumption comes from the problematic milk carton style I posted about. The rest comes from the containers with the plastic caps. Ha, those plastic spouts could open up other toxicity issues. :(
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rjbraun
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by rjbraun »

clip651 wrote: Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:06 pm I think if it's really as bad as you say, and you can open other cartons (does 1/2 gallon orange juice come in a similar style carton that you're able to open, for example?), then it's time to send a letter to the manufacturer. Or at least mail a print out of this thread and hand write on top that even with all the suggestions below, you're still unable to open their milk cartons in a normal fashion.

Maybe it's so bad on this particular product because no on else has taken the time to let them know.

Meanwhile it's probably best for you to buy a different milk product, unless you enjoy and take pride in battling through this issue over breakfast. :D
OP here.

Yeah, this is the sort of thing I have in the past sought to pursue with a vengeance with companies. Not necessarily a product design issue but where I felt strongly enough about my point of view and the "value add" I thought that I could offer the company.

I am gobsmacked that absolutely no one else on this thread has experienced the same issue with Whole Foods 365 milk cartons. (In my experience the 365 milk I buy has come with the conventional spout design, but when I look at the online image, it's got the plastic cap. So, maybe my memory is off or maybe it varies, including by region.)

In any case, I feel like I have mastered the 'side pour' approach I cited earlier. I will also try pushing back the flaps as far as possible the next time I open a container to see if that helps (as one or more have advised). Not sure I will use sharp implements to form a nice spout, as in my experience given the somewhat awkward positioning involved I feel that the risk of badly cut fingers or hands outweighs the reward of a nicely-formed spout.

Thanks for all the feedback (and humor too)! :beer
JoeyJoeJoe
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Re: how to open paper milk carton "cleanly"?

Post by JoeyJoeJoe »

Parkinglotracer wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 5:34 pm ...first pull the two wings apart and bend them back as far as you can. That will enable the opening in the middle where the spout forms to start to separate when you push the wings together. If it doesn’t separate she recommends using your pointer finger and thumb to grab the place where it should open ( spout ) and pull it open.
No need to use the pointer finger. Just spread the wings very far back (as indicated above) and apply even, steady pressure to the wing "edges" for longer than you believe is necessary while pulling slightly away from the carton. Eventually the glue will give and you'll get a nice spout. Introduce a finger and you'll introduce weird spout tributaries and messes everywhere.

This board is amusing sometimes.
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