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How to Make Artificial Sweat and Conduct Testing



Q. We have a question on testing procedures using artificial sweat solutions. The ISO3160 standard and others specify testing in a covered vessel, and if we do this our parts pass 5/5 , but if we leave it uncovered they fail 5/5. Anyone know why the uncovered test is so much more aggressive, and why it is not a fair test of the plating ?

The parts are brass watch parts wet plated with Ni and Cr then vacuum plated with 316 steel and gold.

Hamish Low
- Hong Kong


A. It may be that anaerobic conditions exist between a sweaty watch and the skin that contacts it? It would make an interesting paper, if you were able to run the test both covered and uncovered, and report your results. I don't know.

tom pullizzi portrait
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania


Q. Hello, we manufacture ECG (electrocardiograph) electrodes. Actually we have 3 new prototypes with Ag-Cl surface and we want to compare which one is the best - highest resistance to corrosion. Can anybody help how to simulate human sweat or how to prepare a corrosive environment for comparing? I am not very good in chemistry.


Eduard Sajmir
medical - Prague, Wertyui, Czech Rep

Corrosion Inspection & Monitoring


A. The American Association of Textile Colorists and Chemists, AATCC, has published Method 15 (AATCC 15 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] ) which includes a section on Preparation of Reagent to make 1 liter of artificial sweat.

Most of the ingredients are readily available through scientific supply houses. You might also do a word search through ASTM International test methods at

In addition to checking your parts for corrosion resistance in the presence of human sweat, you should also take into account the conditions encountered in transport and storage. Keep in mind that most corrosion takes place during transitions from moist/saturated to dry to moist, etc., which means that testing an item by keeping it constantly wet is not as good as alternating between wet and dry.

Harold D. Hilton
- Chicago, Illinois, USA


A. You would have thought that there is an universally standard "artificial sweat", but according to the Internet, no such luck! It looks like there are different mixtures for different countries.

The one used by the EU (especially for nickel release work) is defined by EN 1811 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] and comprises 0.5% NaCl, 0.1% urea, 0.1% lactic acid and the pH adjusted to 6.6 with NH4OH.

However, the ISO standard ISO 3160-2 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] comprises 20 g/l NaCl, 17.5 g/l NH4Cl, 5 g/l acetic acid and 15 g/l d,l lactic acid with the pH adjusted to 4.7 by NaOH.

There is also another mixture comprising 7.5 g/l NaCl, 1.2 g/l KCl, 1 g/l urea, 1ml/l lactic acid, pH = 4.57.

Another one used in Denmark comprises 4.5 g/l NaCl, 0.3 g/l KCl, 0.3 g/l Na2SO4, 0.4 g/l NH4Cl, 0.2 g/l urea.

Other mixtures comprise 0.3% NaCl, 0.1% Na2SO4, 0.2% urea and 0.2% lactic acid, pH adjusted to 4.5.

Finally, two mixtures used by the Japanese are:
1) 19.9 g/l NaCl, 1.7 g/l urea, 1.7 g/l lactic acid, 0.8 g/l Na2S, and 0.2 g/l NH4Cl
Lastly, 2)17g NaCl, 1500 ml CH3OH, 1 g urea, 4 g lactic acid made up to 1 liter by water.

I suspect these different solutions are used for different tests and for different climactic conditions, so I think you will have to decide for yourself which is the most applicable for your needs.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

(2004) -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. We are looking for any articles on the chemical composition of artificial sweat. We are particularly interested in a composition representative of hot climate conditions.

Lucinda Quarles
New Mexico Technical - Sierra Vista, Arizona, USA


Q. Hey everyone, I'm a final year aerospace technology student at Coventry Uni and for my final project, I need to know the tests for nickel release. Now I think I've found that, but the crucial point I don't have is the composition of the artificial sweat solution needed for the test. The product I'm testing is to be sold in the UK, so if anyone can help me out with the UK standard of sweat recipe, that would be great!

Thank you for your time!

Helen W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Coventry, UK


A. It's probably too late now, but if you look at the submissions above you will see references to artificial sweat formulations especially for nickel release work (EN 1811). Never mind... perhaps there is a moral to this?

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

Ed. note: Indeed, the answer Helen sought was already on the page she was reading. Maybe the moral is feel free to eat hearty, but if you require spoon feeding you may go hungry?


Q. Hi! I'm a sophomore in high school and I have to do a science fair project for my chemistry project. My topic is observing the amount of sweat absorbed by different backing to shin guards and the amount of time that it takes. I need a recipe to make artificial sweat for my project, since trying to use real sweat is too difficult to obtain and varies too much, I need to use artificial sweat. Can anyone help me out? I need it soon because the project is due in February and I need to get started.

Noosheen K. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
student - Fairfax, Virginia


Q. I am a junior and am currently working on a chemistry project. I am experimenting with sweat and how it corrodes bass guitar strings. I need a chemical equation for artificial sweat that I will use to corrode the strings. I see that there many listed already, but which one is right or best for my situation? I also need a method for finding the composition of real sweat. Any help would be appreciated.

Jacob G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Rothschild, Wisconsin

May 4, 2008

Q. Mr Trevor Crichton
I have a question.
I want to know what is the material in sweat that makes it stinky.
Please help me, I really need to know this
I am a chemical engineer student and I need this for my final project.
Thank you

Hadi Shams
- Tehran, Iran

August 27, 2008

A. To The Iranian student

Sweat itself does not smell bad. Sweat comes from sweat glands and is mostly made of salt and water. Between the sweat glands are apocrine glands. These apocrine glands produce different fats, proteins and carbohydrates -- in other words, food for bacteria.

When the bacterias break down the substance, it starts to smell.

When deodorant is used the bacterias die and the smell goes away.

Stefan Kristo
- Göteborg, Sweden

April 19, 2010

thumbs up signThank you so much. Your answers are very helpful.

Supamas [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Thailand

November 24, 2012

Q. I would like to know if there is a simple mixture for artificial sweat. The simpler the better. I need this for a project and I don't have too much time or money to spend on it.

Emma G. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Vancouver, BC, Canada

November 28, 2012

A. Hi Emma. Sorry, but I don't understand your question in light of the wealth of information posted on this page :-)

Howard offered references, and Trevor researched 7 different accepted mixtures and took the time to offer you their complete composition. Please take 2 minutes on your own behalf to tell us in what way his answer doesn't satisfy your needs. Thanks.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 2, 2012

Q. I just wanted to know if there was a mixture that was simpler. I don't have many materials at my disposal. I was wondering if there was a mixture (that although it might not be as close to actual sweat) also worked.

Emma G. [returning]
- Vancouver, BC, Canada

December 3, 2012

A. Hi again, Emma. Saltwater would be closer to sweat than fresh water. It will "work" from the aspect of being more corrosive than fresh water. Add enough vinegar to reduce the pH to about 4.5 since you don't have urea, lactic acid, or the other ingredients. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 23, 2013

Q. I am a student of fashion technology year 3 and I am doing my final year project. I want to know how to generate artificial sweat as my project is based on odour absorbency. For instance I need to generate an artificial human sweat to be able to proceed with the future test.

Ramchurn Anishta
- Mauritius

April 19, 2013

Q. Does sweat or for that matter artificial sweat affect handheld consumer electronics performance? Are there any standardized test to check against?
From my experience sweaty hands are not good to hold softer plastic materials; however, I more interested in how the sweat if it makes its way to inside the unit electronics will have any negative impact?

Ahmed Mustafa
- Texas, USA

December 28, 2016

Q. Can somebody please help me with the recipe for the human sweat suffering with schizophrenia and treated with clozapine?

Thanks a lot for your time.

rajendra Prasad

December 29, 2016

A. Hi Ragendra
At least one company, Pickering Laboratories sells artificial sweat and there may be others.
Your specific question refers to sweat of schizophrenic patients treated with clozapine is unlikely to be answered on this site, it is more appropriate to medical journals.
You might make a start with
But I suspect that your application is unique and the necessary research may not have been carried out.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith

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