Calibrating the bathroom scale


My bathroom scale

I stepped on my bathroom scale the other day and it registered me at 185 pounds.

While I have been trying to gain weight over the last semester or so, (ever since I got Mono and lost a lot of weight) I sincerely doubt that I have hit the 185 pound mark. Yet.

So that’s when I realised that I must have accidentally hit the little calibration knob at the back of the scale and messed it up.

Now I don’t know how much I weigh. I thought I was approaching 150 pounds, back before I hit the calibratron, but now I’m not sure!

Anyone have any ideas on how to calibrate my scale? I’m thinking I could go to the grocery store and buy a large bag of flour or rice or something of a known mass and put it on the scale.

Alternately, I think there’s a scale at the gym that I could use to measure my mass, and then I could go home and set my scale such that it says the same thing.

If you can think of a smarter way to do it, I’m open to suggestion. I just can’t think of anything that I own whose exact mass is known.


    title = {Calibrating the bathroom scale},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-04-20,
    url = {}


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Calibrating the bathroom scale" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 20 Apr 2010. Web. 21 Sep 2017. <>


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Apr 20). Calibrating the bathroom scale [Web log post]. Retrieved from

4 responses to “Calibrating the bathroom scale”

  1. Pickles says:

    That’s the scale from ikea, right? I think you just have to get off the scale and set it to 0.

  2. Murph E. says:

    See, I tried doing that, but then when I stand on it, it says I’m 135lbs, which is just false.

  3. Daniel says:

    That ‘little knob’ is not a calibration know, it is for setting zero.

    If you want to do a rudimentary field calibration you will need a known weight to put on the scales, the best thing I have found is a large bucket and then fill it accurately with a known volume of water.

    Each litre of water is 1 kg (do the conversion for pounds) so a 10 litre bucket will weigh 10 kg (if measured accurately).

    You can then work out how far it is out and change this to a percentage then when you weigh yourself adjust by this percentage. – easy

  4. Murph E. says:

    Thanks Daniel. You get 3 points. :)

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