For instance, you can take a piece of soil and perform the following steps:
- Remove all rocks, grass, bugs and other non-soil pieces from your portion. Try to make it more or less homogeneous.
- Pulverize it.
- Fill one-fourth of a cylindrical jar with your soil.
- Add water until the jar is three-fourths full.
- Add a teaspoon of non-foaming detergent.
- Close the jar hermetically and shake it for 15 minutes.
- Put it on a horizontal non-shaking surface and after 1 minute carefully mark the level of sand layers. Don't touch the jar anymore.
- In 2 hours, accurately and carefully mark the level of silt.
- Leave the jar in a dark place and try not to touch it 1 to 3 days until the water clears.
- As the water clears, mark the level of clay.
Now you have all necessary information to find the percentage of sand, silt and clay particles in soil: just measure the thickness of each layer and divide it by the total thickness (or the sum of the previously measured particles). Multiply by 100%:
Or you can use a centrifuge to determine the percentage even more accurately.