Authoritative Answers, Fun, & Aloha -- no cost, no passwords, no popups
(as an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases)

Home /
Site 🔍
pub     mobile?
Metal finishing Q&As since 1989


How to Make Artificial Sweat and Conduct the Testing?

"Corrosion Inspection & Monitoring"
by Roberge & Revie

on AbeBooks

or Amazon

(affil links)

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 animated    tomPullizziSignature
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


AATCC standards

[Techstreet affil. link]

A. The American Association of Textile Colorists and Chemists, AATCC, has published Method 15 (AATCC 15) 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 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 comprises 20 g/l NaCl, 17.5 g/l NH4Cl, 5 g/l acetic acid [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] 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

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

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

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
May 4, 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

thumbs up sign Thank you so much. Your answers are very helpful.

Supamas [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Thailand
April 19, 2010

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 24, 2012

A. Hi Emma.

Howard offered references, and Trevor researched 7 different accepted mixtures and offered their composition. Please tell us more specifically in what way the answers aren't satisfying your question. Thanks.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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 2, 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 [in bulk on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] to reduce the pH to about 4.5 since you don't have urea, lactic acid, or the other ingredients. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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
January 23, 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
April 19, 2013

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 28, 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
Hampshire, England

Q. I have graduated with a Ph.D in Geological sciences from Tunisia university.
Actually , I am working on the maturation of clays (peloids), and the chemical transport processes of water and particles in artificial sweat and peloids. I am facing difficulties to design artificial sweat. Could you help me to solve this issue ?
Kind regards.

nouha khiari
- Tunisia Nabeul Dar chaaben
September 2, 2020

Q. @Trevor Crichton: I am a member of an international working group to make standards for pressure injury prevention dressings. What was your resource for the Denmark and Japanese formulations for artificial sweat? It was a 2004 answer you gave? We are developing/exploring test methods for the dressing exposures we anticipate.

Melissa Cooper, RN, CWOCN, DNC
Registered Nurse - El Granada, California, USA
May 30, 2022

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"