How to Check the Purity of Honey


Checking the purity of honey can be done in a few different methods of varying complexity and scientific endeavor. Impure or adulterated honey has had a foreign substance added to it that is not part of the natural process of honeybees taking nectar from flowers and plants. Proving the purity of honey rules out additives like high-fructose corn syrup being added, which is harmful to your health.

Cotton Swab Test

Step 1

Find a clean cotton swab and gather some honey.

Step 2

Dip the swab into the honey. It doesn't need to be a lot, but it should cover the whole swab.

Step 3

Light a match, and try to light the honey on fire. If the honey burns up, it is pure. If it does not burn, it is impure. The presence of water prevents the honey from burning and proves it is adulterated.

Hot Water Test

Step 1

Bring two cups of water to boil in a pot.

Step 2

Pour the water into a clear glass.

Step 3

Add honey to the water and observe. If the honey is pure, it will not melt. If the honey is adulterated, it will melt. Honey that is not melting in the hot water drops to the bottom quickly and sits there. Melting honey that is not pure seems to mix into the water and dissolve as it drops into the cup.

Aniline Chloride Test

Step 1

Try a more complex and scientific method for testing the purity of honey if the cotton swab and hot water tests do not offer convincing proof. Make an aniline chloride mixture: three parts aniline and one part concentrated hydrochloric acid.

Step 2

Add a teaspoon of honey to a ceramic vase.

Step 3

Put five to seven drops of the aniline chloride mixture into the honey.

Step 4

Stir carefully with a glass stick and observe. If a crimson color appears in the mixture, the honey is adulterated.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use extreme caution when mixing chemical compounds.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swab
  • Honey
  • Match
  • Boiling water
  • Hydrochloride acid (HCl)
  • Aniline
  • Ceramic vase
  • Glass stirring stick


  • Purity of Honey
  • Adulteration of Honey
Keywords: check, purity, honey

About this Author

Kristin Lane has been writing fiction and poetry since she was 10 years old. She graduated from Iowa State with a bachelor's in liberal studies focused on French, theatre and psychology. She did her graduate work in political science. Lane has written for, and

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