How long do the kits last?
We're working really hard to improve the shelf life of our kits, but at the moment they need to be used within 2 weeks. This is because the bacteria included in the kits is alive and ready to use, but can't stay like that indefinitely. But this is what makes our products special!
How should I store my kit before using it?
The bacteria really don't like getting too cold or being in direct sunlight, so we recommend you keep your kit in a dark place at room temperature until you are ready to use it. Definitely, DON'T put it in the fridge!
Help! The agar won't set!
It's okay, we can fix this! There's a few reasons why the media (agar) is still a bit sloppy. The agar crystals might not have gotten hot enough to fully dissolve, or there might be slightly too much water, or our hot summers might prevent the agar from getting cool enough to fully set.
Just put the agar back into a microwave-safe container and re-melt. Make sure the liquid (careful, it's hot!) is completely clear with no remaining crystals - give it a gentle swirl to see if any are hiding at the bottom. Then re-pour into the petri dishes, allow to cool at room temperature. If the plates are still a little wobbly, put them into the fridge to fully set before you use them. There may be some condensation on the lid afterwards, just wipe this away with some tissue.
Do you ship to places outside of New Zealand?
For now, we are only shipping to New Zealand. This is partly because of the limited shelf life of our bacteria, which at the moment aren't able to survive the long journey from New Zealand. Once we have that sorted, we'll open up our shop to customers everywhere in the world except Australia. Unfortunately, we can't ship our kits to Australia because of their strict biosecurity rules.
Why isn't the bacteria glowing?
The little vial of bacteria may not be glowing, but it should glow once it's grown on the Petri-dishes. You'll need to look at it in a dim or dark room though.
It's been over a week, why hasn't my package shown up yet?
Check your tracking number to see where the courier has taken it. If it says it has been delivered, check around to see if the courier has hidden it to keep it safe. We've had reports of parcels being hidden inside BBQs and under decks. If you still can't find it, contact us and we will see what we can do.
My kit has expired, can I still use it and will it still work?
You can try, but the longer you leave it before using it, the fewer bacteria will be alive, and if you leave it too long then they will all be dead and nothing will grow or glow.
Help! My kids/pets/partner has eaten some of the bacteria! What do we do?
Don't worry, the bacteria is harmless to people and animals. If you've accidentally drunk some sea water you have probably eaten this bacteria before. The media is quite salty though, so if you've eaten a whole Petri-dishes worth, you may feel a little sick.
We got some bacteria on our hands/table/furniture. What do we do?
You just need to wash/wipe with warm soapy water. The bacteria are killed by water. Feel free to use an antibacterial spray but it isn't necessary.
What do we do with them once the light goes out?
The plates can be put into the rubbish bin - they will get smelly after a while, but they're safe to throw out in the normal rubbish.