Published online 2023 May 26.

Best Practices for Storing Urine for Drug Testing by Dr. Jeffrey Wilson

PMID: 3012526 DOI: 10.1s2520072

Edward Devries (ED): Welcome, readers. Today, we’re diving into a topic that may raise eyebrows but has legitimate relevance in some circles: the storage of urine for drug tests.

We have Dr. Jeffrey Wilson with us, an expert in toxicology and workplace drug policy.

With his wealth of experience in toxicology and his extensive research on drug use, Dr. Wilson’s insights will prove valuable as we explore this topic. Now, let’s get into the thick of things.

How long does urine stay good for a drug test

ED: Dr. Wilson, our readers are curious: how long does urine stay suitable for a drug test?

Dr. Jeffrey Wilson (JW): It’s a multi-faceted question, Edward. In ideal conditions, human urine can be stored in a freezer for up to 6 months.

In a refrigerator, it stays viable for about 24 hours. However, it’s worth noting that storing human urine poses risks. It’s prone to spoilage, so it’s not a foolproof method.

ED: You mention risks. Can you delve a bit deeper into that?

JW: Certainly. The main risk lies in the degradation of the urine sample. Various factors can contribute to this, such as bacterial contamination and improper storage conditions, making the urine sample unusable for testing.

Important warning: risks of using another person’s urine for a drug test

ED: Dr. Wilson, I want to go back to a point you’ve stressed: not using someone else’s urine, or even clean urine, to pass a drug test. Can you elaborate on why you don’t recommend it?

JW: Absolutely, Edward. Let’s start with the obvious: human urine spoils quickly. Even if kept in a fridge, it won’t retain its fresh state for long, and this change is detectable during drug tests.

If a collector notices that a urine sample is spoiled, it’s flagged as a potential cheating attempt.

At this point, you would be asked to provide a new sample under direct observation. Refusing to do so would result in a report to the Medical Review Officer and your employer, casting a shadow of suspicion over your intentions.

Also, there’s the problem of temperature. Fresh urine is warm. If you’re bringing in a stored sample, it would need to be warmed up to the right temperature range to look credible.

Some people attempt to do this with a heating pad, but it’s a tricky process that can easily go wrong. Using a bottle of water is another option, but again, it’s risky.

So, to sum up: trying to use someone else’s urine or your own clean urine to pass a drug test is a path fraught with difficulties and potential repercussions. It’s not a shortcut I would advise anyone to take.

Can you use 3 day old urine for drug test?

ED: What about using 3-day old urine for a drug test? Is that feasible?

JW: It’s possible, but only if you’ve frozen the urine immediately. If you’ve merely refrigerated it, it will likely have spoiled due to bacterial action. But I want to reiterate that using such stored urine is not something I recommend. If there’s a need for a clean urine sample, there are synthetic urine products available that are safer and more reliable.

How to store urine for a drug test

ED: So, if an individual were to store urine for a drug test, despite the associated risks and challenges, what would be the best approach?

JW: The process involves a few crucial steps. Firstly, you’d need to get an appropriate container. Secondly, it’s essential to collect the urine in a way that prevents bacteria from contaminating the sample. Lastly, a decision should be made to freeze the sample or store it in a fridge, depending on the intended time of use.

What container to use

ED: Can you suggest the type of container that would be best suited to store urine for a drug test?

JW: For a drug test, you’re going to need at least 30ml of urine. The Department of Transportation, for instance, requires 45ml. Therefore, I’d recommend using a 50ml plastic bottle.

Small bottles like Visine ones, which only hold about 15ml, are too small. And large bottles aren’t optimal either. They contain too much air, increasing the chances of the urine spoiling.

Another factor to consider is the drug testing procedure itself. Before the test, you will be asked to empty your pockets and remove unnecessary clothes like hats and jackets.

If the collector finds anything that could be used to cheat the test, like a Visine bottle, they will likely require you to proceed with a directly observed drug test.

So, to avoid attracting attention, it would be best to use a small, discreet bottle that can be hidden on your body.

How to collect the urine

ED: Let’s shift our focus towards the actual collection of the urine. How does one ensure that it’s clean?

JW: Clean collection of urine is indeed critical. Remember, urine can spoil quickly due to the presence of bacteria in the urine itself and in the surrounding air. So the area where you’re collecting the sample must be as clean as possible.

Using disposable vinyl gloves can help prevent bacteria from your hands contaminating the sample. The ideal method would be to urinate directly into the bottle you’ll use for the drug test. Any transfer of urine from one container to another could introduce more bacteria, increasing the chances of spoilage.

How to properly store urine

ED: Once the urine has been collected cleanly, what’s the best method of storage?

JW: First, you need to decide how long you plan on storing the sample. For short-term storage, up to 24 hours, you can refrigerate it. Long-term storage, however, requires freezing.

But remember, things can go wrong. Refrigerators, for instance, harbor a lot of bacteria from various foods. We’ve all seen mold grow on food left in the fridge too long. These bacteria can contaminate the urine, leading to it spoiling. So when you present such a sample at a drug testing facility, it’s likely to be rejected.

That’s why maintaining cleanliness is so crucial. And that includes making sure your refrigerator is clean. The more precautions you take, the lower the chances of your sample spoiling.

How to safely heat urine for a drug test

ED: Interesting. Moving on, if someone were to prepare stored urine for a drug test, how should they warm it?

JW: Warming is indeed a crucial aspect, and incorrect temperature is a major reason people fail drug tests when attempting to submit synthetic or someone else’s urine. If the specimen temperature is outside the acceptable range of 97 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the collector may decide you’re trying to tamper with the specimen. You could then be subjected to a direct observation drug test. Also, remember that the sample must be submitted within two minutes, as it can cool down, so a temperature range of 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit is generally acceptable.

There are two primary options to warm urine for a drug test: Handwarmers and heat activator powder.


Handwarmers are a good option but may fail in rare cases. They’ll take about an hour to heat a bottle to the required temperature. To save time, you can preheat the urine with a microwave.

To use, activate the heatpad and attach it to the sample. Tuck it securely into your underwear to both keep it warm and hide it.

You can use a stash leg belt or special underwear for convenience. On arrival at the testing facility, just before you go in, make sure you check the temperature. If it has cooled, use the second heat pad to restore the temperature.

Heat activator powder

Heat activator powder, on the other hand, is an alternative that raises the temperature within seconds, making it a more reliable method and far superior to a heatpad. It’s not easy to purchase but is included in some high-quality synthetic urine kits.

To use, just add a bit of powder to the urine, check the temperature, and if it’s within the required range, proceed to the testing facility and submit the sample.

If the temperature is not enough, add a little more powder, but be careful not to overheat the urine.

ED: That’s very insightful. But what would you advise someone considering this method?

A word of caution

JW: To anyone considering this, I’d suggest thinking twice. To pass a drug test using your own clean urine or someone else’s, you’d need to go through several risky and complicated steps. Plus, you can’t really be sure if the urine is spoiled until you submit it.

High-quality synthetic urine costs about $90 (including heating powder) and provides a far less complicated way to pass a drug test.

If passing the test is important to you – perhaps for securing a high-paying job – is $90 worth risking failure and potentially undergoing a direct observation procedure? It’s essential to weigh the benefits against the risks.

ED: That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation, Dr. Wilson. Now, for those looking for alternatives, could you recommend some quality synthetic urines that could make the process less complicated?

Reliable synthetic urine kits

JW: Absolutely. There are several good options available:

Incognito Belt


incognito belt

The first is the Incognito Belt. It comes with premixed high-quality synthetic urine, enough for two uses. It also includes two heat pads to maintain the urine at the correct temperature, and a discreet, adjustable Velcro belt to hide the urine around your waist.

It also features a rubber tube and a convenient clip for discreet delivery, even when supervised. It’s a bit on the pricier side, at $130.

Learn More About Incognito Belt

Sub Solution

sub solution synthetic urine kit

Then there’s Sub Solution, which, in my opinion, is the best synthetic urine kit on the market today. It offers the best balance between price and product features.

It contains at least 11 chemicals found in human urine and comes with a heating powder that can raise the temperature within seconds.

It costs $90, which is a reasonable price, but it might require a bit more effort to discreetly hide the urine bottle on your body, such as tucking it into your underwear.

Learn More About Sub Solution



Finally, The Urinator is another excellent option. This discreet belt comes with high-quality urine and a computerized digital controller that maintains the correct temperature and is sealed to prevent electrical shorting.

The company is reputable, but the price is steep at $190. Personally, I don’t see the reason to pay so much, but it may be a good fit for some people.

Learn More Urinator

ED: That’s extremely helpful, Dr. Wilson. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights and expertise with our readers. It’s been a truly enlightening conversation.