If you’re looking for a good way to dispose of your leftover over ramen broth, but can’t get Cup Noodle’s powder, try this.

In Japan, everyone is talking about Cup Noodle’s new Ramen Broth Hardening Powder right now. Though at first it seemed like a gimmick, we recently learned that popular methods of dumping leftover broth–pouring it down the sink or flushing it down the toilet–are actually really bad for the plumbing. Other methods, like throwing broth away in a trash can, on the street, or in a park, are just plain inconsiderate, which means, up until now, there hasn’t really been a good way to dispose of ramen broth besides drinking it.

So that’s why people are clamoring for Cup Noodle’s Broth Hardening Powder (and possibly also because the science of it is kind of cool). But Cup Noodle isn’t widely distributing it yet; right now they’re only providing them with online purchases, and besides, they warn that their powder may not work with other brands, or even with some flavors within the Cup Noodle brand. So if you want to eat instant ramen but need something to deal with the broth, what should you do?

Use superabsorbent polymers!

It sounds like something you might have to memorize in chemistry class, but don’t worry, we aren’t going to go into any fancy science details. Just know that it’s a solution that has the power to absorb lots of liquid, and is used in all kinds of every day items like diapers and ice packs.

▼ Those little balls you see in air fresheners are also superabsorbent polymers at work.

For the average consumer, it’s available in powder form, and you can actually buy it in bulk for really cheap from most online retailers like Amazon and Rakuten. In the U.S., you can also find it at construction supply shops. It’s often labeled as “Spill Absorbent Powder” or something similar.

Today, we tried out this Japanese brand called Newsorb, which we got in a one-kilogram (2.2-poun) bag for 1,480 yen (US$13) on Amazon.

But how do you use it? Just like Nissin’s version of the powder! There are three easy steps:

Step one: Eat Cup Noodles.

Step two: Verify leftover broth.

Step three: Add superabsorbent polymers.

To be honest we didn’t really know how much to use, so we put in several spoonfuls…

…Which ended up kind of being too much. We’d intended to stir after adding the powder, but after three spoonfuls we didn’t even need to stir; the powder had already worked its magic and solidified the broth.

Easy, right?

If you just keep some in a Ziploc in your bag, you can eat instant ramen anywhere and have a practical way to dispose of the broth. Based on our experience, you probably only need one or two spoonfuls every time, but since bulk prices are so cheap, you don’t have to worry if you accidentally use a little too much.

Of course, the important thing to remember is that it’s not safe to eat broth solidified with superabsorbent polymers, nor is it safe to return it to a liquid and drink. Also, because it’s a solution that absorbs liquid, it should never be flushed down the sink or toilet. You can safely dispose of it as you would solid trash.

▼ As you can tell from our reporter Tasuku’s Instagram video, the solution expands and becomes pretty solid, so having that in your pipes would be a bad idea.

So if you’re a regular instant noodle eater, whether at home, at work or school, or on the go, consider getting a bag of superabsorbent polymers for your convenience. Remember, you can eat ramen every day as part of a healthy diet, so long as you don’t drink the leftover broth. In fact, it’s easier to resist the broth now that you have a safe way to dispose of it!

Superabsorbent polymer ball image: Wikipedia/Gujamin
All other photos © SoraNews24

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