Hello! Socratic's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have been updated, which will be automatically effective on October 6, 2018. Please contact hello@socratic.com with any questions.

How do you calculate dilution factor?

1 Answer
Mar 22, 2014


You divide the final volume by the initial volume.


#"DF" = V_f/V_i#


What is the dilution factor if you add a 0.1 mL aliquot of a specimen to 9.9 mL of diluent?


#V_f = "aliquot volume + diluent volume" = "(0.1 + 9.9) mL" = "10.0 mL"#

#"DF" = V_f/V_i = (10.0 cancel("mL"))/(0.1cancel("mL")) = 100#

You have diluted the sample by a factor of 100.

The dilution factor is often used as the denominator of a fraction.

For example, a #"DF"# of 100 means a 1:100 dilution.


How would you make 500 mL of a 1:250 dilution?


#"DF" = V_f/V_i#

#V_i = V_f/("DF") ="500 mL"/250 = "2.00 mL"#

Pipet 2.00 mL of your stock solution into a 500 mL volumetric flask.

Add diluent to the mark on the flask (you will have added about 498 mL of water).

You now have a 1:250 dilution of your original solution.