How to do an AncestryDNA Test WITHOUT spit

How to do an AncestryDNA Test WITHOUT spit

One of the biggest dilemmas I see come up on my genetic genealogy groups is the issue of spit; two of the three big DNA companies require saliva samples. For elderly people and individuals taking certain medications, producing enough spit for a good sample can be a challenge. I found a solution; artificial saliva.



  1. My grandmother’s 23andme kit failed… she easily produced enough saliva, we waited at least a half hour after food and drink, I even had her take her dentures out – but for whatever reason her sample still didn’t contain enough DNA. I think this is more common with the elderly as everyone else (young) in my family passed their tests easily.

    I have the replacement kit in hand now. I’m going to have her spit a little over the line and swab her cheeks with your method just in case there wasn’t enough DNA in the sample again. So I’m going to use HALF your method. I’ll let you know in a few weeks if it worked ❤️

    Thank you so much for sharing your technique. I imagine many people are finding this method to be very helpful.

  2. @AnotherTeenMom Thank you so much for posting this video. I couldn't get my three year old to spit enough and this totally worked!!!! Very happy to receive ancestry results on first attempt!!! I ordered the nylon brushes and saline on Amazon (as all the other nasal sprays had added ingredients). I used smart water and it all worked fine 🙂

  3. My grandmother’s DNA test came back twice because she wasn’t able to produce enough quality spit to complete her ancestry DNA test. I began worrying that I wouldn’t be able to get a sample from her because she’s almost 90 years old and the tests continued getting rejected. I did a search on other options and found your video. I purchased exactly the same materials that you purchased and did the test the very same way that you recommended and it worked perfectly! I really can’t thank you enough for this. We are trying to find out who my grandmother’s biological father was and so it was really important to have her test done. Thanks again…you really helped our lives more than you realize.

  4. Can I use cotton swabs? I have difficulties not failing 23andme dna test. Btw thank you for sharing your genious method

  5. Thank you for this. After 3 failed tests I decided to try this way and it worked. Thanks again!

  6. I used your method of spit collection to do a 23andme DNA test on my handicapped son and it worked! Thank you so much for sharing your technique.

  7. Thank you so
    Much. We bough 5 tests, have results back from our 4 “spitters” our 4 year old will NOT spit for us, so the test sits unused. Will copy your at home lab test soon! I wrote AncestryDNA 7 times for ideas and in frustration asking to do swan or blood for sample. There way or no way. Now we will try Your way! They need to hire you!

  8. Thank you! I have submitted samples many times for a DNA test. After using your method (It was the 10th submission), I finally got results.

  9. Proxa Brushes are awesome for so many things– add "DNA Collection" to the list!! I use them on the suggestion of my dentist because I have receding gums due to an autoimmune issue (same thing that causes me to have low saliva output and thus fail the Ancestry DNA test). They're for cleaning between the teeth, and work better than floss for a lot of people. That's why we use them. I just failed a test so I'm going to give your method a try. Hope it works for me like it seems to work for so many others. You're so clever… thumbs up!

  10. When doing the swabs, does the rule of not eating, drinking, smoking , chewing gum ect for atleast 30 minutes apply? I am trying this method with my mom to get the sample.

  11. Thank you!! Family member has Sjogren's and cannot come up with sample. This is pure gold.

  12. worked like a charm. my mom's test worked and I tried it on both of my grandparents (haven't gotten results yet). Very easy to do, perfect for people who have problems spitting in the tube (due to stroke, difficulties from alzheimer's, lack of spit, etc).

  13. Thanks for sharing — I have dry mouth and my previous test fail quality test. so I am using your mouth on my "re-test"

  14. What an ingenious idea! Thank you so much! I chose to wipe out measuring containers I already had with hydrogen peroxide instead of buying more, because the cost of the scrapers and A&H saline alone took some joy away from the fact that the Ancestry kit at $59 was a special gift for myself as it was. I almost got generic saline solution for eyes; I wonder if it would work as it has other chemicals in it. Oh well, just wanted to post and say thank you again!

  15. Just an FYI. The proxabrush I got from walmart say "antibacterial" on them. I'm concerned they are different than the ones you have here and might ruin the sample completely. I may have to check Target. Did yours say anything about being antibacterial?

  16. I wonder what they would say if u sent them a cup of blood. Maybe a ziplock baggie

  17. Have you done a nat Geo DNA test? I heard it's very interesting. I've had the rest of the DNA test except nat Geo

  18. Got the results from AncestryDNA tonight for our 5 year old grand daughter using your “without saliva” method. All is good. Worked fine. I read your post and watched the youtube video. Simple process. I wasn’t sure where to get a syringe, but daughter had a 5 ml one that came in an assortment of baby supplies. It’s designed to measure medicine and squirt it into an infant’s or toddler’s mouth.
    Thank-you very much.

  19. Someone linked this on the 23andme forum. Very interesting! If I have problems with getting a sample from my grandmother , I will be trying this method.

  20. Pure genius love it, hahaha that babies like oh no ya don't your not getting me

  21. This is pretty ingenius! My grandfather has alzhiemers and does not remember or can not physically spit and we tried testing him a while back and it just didnt work out. This is awesome though and would help so many people! Nice video!

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