How to Calculate Net Weight

By Melissa Kelly
Michael Gann/Demand Media

Net weight is defined as the total weight of an item (gross weight) minus the weight of any containers or packaging also contained within the gross weight. To determine the net weight you must know both the total weight of the object and the tare weight -- or the weight of everything except the item you are seeking the net weight for. Net weights are often used in scientific experiments or food distribution to ensure the weight referenced does not include extraneous items.

Step 1

Michael Gann/Demand Media

Determine the gross weight of the object of interest by placing the object, including the container or packing, on the scale. Write down the reading on the scale, known as the gross weight.

Step 2

Michael Gann/Demand Media

Remove the object of interest from the container or packaging and place aside. Place all of the packaging or the containers on the scale and record the total weight, known as the tare weight.

Step 3

Michael Gann/Demand Media

Subtract the tare weight from the gross weight using a calculator to obtain the net weight.

About the Author

Melissa Kelly is a freelance writer from Indianapolis who focuses on scientific and medical topics. Kelly attended Marian College where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. Recently, she completed her Master's in business communications & project management.