Salty Pits

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In this activity, learners explore how different deodorants work. Learners treat agar plates with different types of deodorants and compare the bacteria growth on the plates to the control sample.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
1 to 2 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Deodorants – use a non-antiperspirant variety such as Crystal Body Deodorant spray. Ideally, find a liquid form like a spray or a roll-on.
  • Cotton swabs
  • Nutrient agar or bactoagar
  • Distilled water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Petri dishes - 6cm diameter work well
  • Bacteria sample for a control
  • A sweaty friend (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Viruses and Bacteria
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Yu, Julie


  • All rights reserved, Julie Yu, Exploratorium, 2007

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0610238
  • National Science Foundation, 0925383