Converting Drops to mL

Drops of liquid. What a wonderful unit to use. It works great if you are trying to make dilute liquids or an aromatherapy liquid.

Just put a couple of drops of your favourite oil in your diffuser and way you go.

The problem comes when you start to need more and more drops to make larger quantities of liquid.

Do you really want to count 50 drops of liquid?

Fortunately, there's a better way to do this.

Use milliliters (mL) as the unit. It's highly accurate and universally recognized as a suitable unit to measure any liquids.

Simple Table for Converting Drops to mL

Many natural remedies formula specify the number of drops of liquid to use. As pharmacists, we prefer to use a more accurate measure such as milliliter (mL).

This also applies to using antiquated terms like teaspoon (5 mL) or tablespoon (15 mL).

When preparing natural remedies, it is always best to use accurate measures. Nevertheless, many older textbooks and even information on the web continue to use these "outdated" and "inaccurate" terms.

The design of the dropper and the thickness of the liquid will affect the actual size of the drop and hence the amount of liquid that comes out.

So here's a basic conversion chart. Typically with most fluids, 1 mL is about 20 drops.

Drops mL Others
1 0.05 mL  
5 0.25 mL  
10 0.5 mL  
15 0.75 mL  
20 1.0 mL  
25 1.25 mL  
50 2.5 mL 1/2 teaspoon
75 3.75 mL  
100 5 mL 1 teaspoon
300 15 mL 1 tablespoon

Do you really want to count 100 or 300 drops of any liquid?? With larger drops, get a syringe from a pharmacy (usually free!) and use mL instead of drops.

Bottom Line

Although a "standard" drop of liquid is considered to be 0.05 mL, the actual amount that comes out depends on the liquid's thickness and the dropper design.

Let's move away from using drops as a unit of measure.

Use precise units like mL (milliliter) or g (grams) and avoid terms like cups (250 mL), teaspoon (5 mL) or tablespoon (15 mL).