How to check pure honey

Updated April 17, 2017

Much of the honey you see on store shelves is not pure honey. Even honey that is labelled as "pure" or "100% honey" can include additives. The most common additives are water and syrup made from jiggery (also known as palm sugar) -- an unrefined sugar often used in India. Many testing methods to determine the purity of honey involve using chemicals not commonly found at home, but you can check honey purity with little more than water.

Pour 7.5 cm (3 inches) of cool water into your glass.

Scoop out approximately 1 tsp of honey from its jar with a spoon. Pour this honey into the glass of cool water and stir gently for several seconds, then leave the glass alone for several minutes.

Examine the glass after several minutes. If the honey is still resting on the bottom of the glass as it was when you left it, the honey is probably pure. If, however, it has dissolved significantly into the water, it is probably not pure honey.


You can use several other methods to test the purity of honey. Try drizzling some honey over blotting paper and leaving it for several minutes; if the paper absorbs the honey, it is not pure. Another option is to dip a cotton swab or piece of rolled paper in honey, then hold the honeyed end in a flame for a moment to try to light it. If the honey burns cleanly and quietly, it is pure. If it sputters or does not burn, it is not pure.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Glass
  • Spoon
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About the Author

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.