Is it Possible to Save a Urine Sample for Drug Testing?

A Bottle With a Urine Sample in the Laboratory on a Desk and Laboratory Worker in the Background

For many reasons, including
a job, you may have to take a urine drug test. That means peeing before the test in specific circumstances and to get accurate results, you must store your urine correctly. It's crucial to know how to retain your pee properly, whether you need to submit it later or need the test performed while you are abroad.


In this article you'll learn about:


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Collecting Your Urine Sample

The first and most important stage in the procedure is collecting the urine as close to the test date as possible. Urine starts to decompose and oxidize once it exits your body. This makes it darker and smellier.

So, you need to handle the sample with extreme caution when collecting it. If your urine gets infected by bacteria, it could affect the sample and result in unclear results. Then you may have to take a second test.  

Where To Store a Urine Sample

How you store the urine sample will ultimately affect the results of the drug test because it’s the key component of the entire procedure. Depending on how much time you have before the test, you'll choose one of several storage options. The more airtight and secure your storage item must be, the farther away the test is.

The use of a container, as opposed to a bag, is the ideal choice for storing a urine sample in the refrigerator because a bag is more likely to leak. The sample quantity you need to keep depends totally on how much the test calls for. But it's advisable to have more than you require in case of mishaps like spills while handling the sample.

Woman's Hand Holding a Glass Container For Urine Sample

Urine is sometimes kept in glass or plastic containers. But if you wish to save a urine sample for a later time, a glass container will be more effective. This is due to the fact that it provides a more airtight seal than the plastic container. 

Also, plastic containers frequently leak chemicals into urine, which could taint your drug test results. Use a storage method that will ensure that any contamination of the sample is kept to a minimum. 

A quick re-cap: 

  1. Use a re-sealable plastic bag and place the container inside it for better protection
  2. Label the urine sample with the date
  3. When freezing urine samples, you should remember that glass tends to crack at low or high temperatures. This is why you should insulate it for better protection.

How to store your urine sample

Urine samples must be kept between 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). You can store your urine sample in a few different ways:

For a short amount of time

Keeping your sample warm is a good idea if you intend to take it to the lab within an hour of collecting your urine. Keep the following safety measures in mind:

  • Keep the bottle insulted with hand warmers.
  • Until you get to the lab, make sure the urine stays warm.
  • You can take off the warmer before delivering the sample for the test.
  • You can use a rubber band to hold the warmer in place if you are concerned that it will fall off while you are traveling.

For an hour or more after taking the sample

Refrigerate the urine as soon as you can if you intend to send it for testing more than an hour after gathering the sample. The best course of action is to immediately place the urine in the refrigerator after collecting it.

If you put the pee in the fridge within 30 minutes, this approach still works. Make sure to use urine that’s been in the fridge within a day.  

For longer than 24 hours

For best results, freeze your urine sample if you do not plan to take it to the lab within the first 24 hours. Follow these steps:

  • Use a glass container that is airtight and insulated before freezing.
  • Make sure your pee is clean before freezing it. The concentration rises if there is THC in the urine.
  • When properly frozen, the urine should remain usable for up to a year. Although fresh urine is always preferable, you might one day need to use frozen urine.

Make sure to store the sample away from food and maintain it at 3.8 degrees Celsius to avoid contamination.

Submitting the Urine Sample

In order to pass a drug test and allay any suspicions, you’ll want to keep the urine sample at the temperature mentioned above. As a result, you must warm the sample. You can accomplish this by:

  • Unfreezing the sample overnight and leaving it outside. Avoid microwaving the urine because it can ruin the sample. Send the urine to the lab as soon as it reaches room temperature. Do not delay sending the sample to the lab for more than one night.
  • Reheating the pee using a heating pad after it defrosts. Though it’ll take a bit longer, this approach is much safer. When you deliver the urine sample to the lab for analysis, it should be just a little bit warmer than body temperature. 
  • Keeping the urine sample close to your body to maintain its temperature for longer. You can place the container between your thighs to keep it warm. In case you are wondering how to keep the sample warm, just place it between your thighs.

Things That Can Happen After Failing a Drug Test

While there may be valid reasons for saving a urine sample, bear in mind what can happen if you fail a drug test:

  • Due to the strong policies against drug use that the majority of workplaces have if you test positive you can be fired.
  • You might not be given the job you applied for if you test positive during a prescreening drug test.
  • You’ll get a final warning if the company decides that you are a valuable asset and they wish to help you. You should be aware that they will closely monitor you and fire you if this happens again.

Even though it's better to abstain from drugs if you know your test will come back negative, make sure to let your employer know. You might reassure them that you intend to mend your ways and that this will be your last offense. Gain the employer's trust by offering to submit to a drug test every month. 

⚠️ Warning ⚠️ 

  • Be aware that it’s illegal to give fake urine for a drug test
  • Always strive to provide a fresh sample.
  • Only submit a frozen sample in dire situations. When doing so, let the lab know about it.
  • If the lab thinks your sample is fake, they will request a new sample from you and monitor you while collecting it.  

*Disclaimer: This article goes over preventive information and in now way is a form of supporting and/or suggesting that anyone should ever fake a urine exam. If you are on probation faking a urine exam could result in harsher punishment.



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This is interesting here. Thank you for the guide. This is what exactly I was looking for. I would know how to store a urine sample for a drug testing.


Such a great post, it’s very informative and detailed! Definitely a big help, especially now many are applying job and the requirements in the medical is giving urine sample. Now, everybody knows what to do! Thanks!

Gervin Khan

Thank you for this very detailed guide! It’s been a long time since I did a drug test, so I’ll definitely remember these tips.


This was a great read purely for the information aspect of it. This is one of those things I’ve seen done in movies but never heard of doing in real life.


Interesting! I didn’t even know that this could be done or should be done in the case of drug testing. Usually, the sample is required on-site and is watched carefully.


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