DNA Collection Guides

NOTE:  Perpetua sends a DNA Collection Kit, including a cheekswab, to all pre-paid orders. If you have chosen another sample type you can simply return the swab unopened. Samples should be mailed directly to Perpetua at the address provided in the Kit. We strongly suggest using a shipping method with tracking and delivery confirmation to ensure your sample arrives safely. Understandably, we cannot be responsible for samples lost enroute.

A Gentle Process

Easy DNA CollectionWhile we encourage you to use the materials provided in your DNA Collection Kit, it is also acceptable to use several cotton swabs or a soft child-size toothbrush. If you already have the sample please include a completed Sample Information Form, including the name of the sampled person, with your shipment.
Click here to download the Sample Information Form.

Click here to download instructions for DNA collection from people.

Cheek Swabs: Easy to do

The cheek swab is the easiest and most common method for collecting DNA samples.


  • Avoid taking the sample immediately after eating.
  • Wash your hands between taking different samples.
  • Use a separate swab for collecting each person’s DNA.
  • DO NOT put the sample swab in a plastic bag or airtight container.

The DNA Collection Kit (sent by the Zoogen Lab to all prepaid orders) includes soft sterile brushes “swabs” and guidelines. It only requires gently brushing the inner cheek, as described below:

  • Clearly label each packet with person’s name and remove swab from packet.
  • Gently insert the swab brush into the cheek pouch, with the bristles pressed out against the inner cheek (pulling away from the teeth).
  • Gently brush up and down for at least 30 seconds.
  • Let the brush air-dry for about 30 minutes before placing back in the packet. You can let the swab rest on top of the the labeled packet to ensure the swab is correctly identified. Do not put the swab in a plastic bag; although it may appear dry residual moisture will allow bacteria to grow.
  • Complete the order form and mail it along with your samples to Perpetua. The shipping addresses for both U.S.Mail and courier services (UPS, FedEx) are at the bottom of the Sample Information/Order Form.

Hair Samples

Hair contains very small amounts of DNA, whether plucked or taken from a hairbrush. Many clients request that a DNA sample from themselves, collected with a cheekswab, be combined with the hair DNA from a loved one. If the sample hairs are less than an inch long, make sure to send an amount that, when bunched, could fit in a teaspoon. For longer hair, gather about 5 strands and tape them at one end before sealing in a ziplock bag. Label each bag containing a sample by writing your name on a piece of tape adhered to the outside of each bag.