How to Read a Temperature Strip on a Drug Test? (2 Methods)

A drug test temperature strip with a scientist in the back

Reading the temperature strip on a drug test is an essential part of the process. The temperature strip is located outside the cup and will change color based on the temperature of the urine inside the cup. Understanding how to read the strip is crucial to ensure that the test is accurate.

There are two ways to read a temperature strip on a drug test. The first way is to use the color chart that is included with the kit. The second way is to use a digital thermometer. In this article, we will show you how to read a temperature strip on a drug test using both methods.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • The liquid crystal thermometers are thin, flexible, and accurate
  • The user will match the strip’s color to the corresponding color on the chart. This will give the user an idea of what temperature range the urine sample is in
  • If the temperature of the specimen is not within the normal temperature range, it is considered to be adulterated, substituted, or diluted

What is a Temperature Strip?

A drug test temperature stripA temperature strip is a piece of paper that is coated with a heat-sensitive liquid crystal. The strip changes color when it comes in contact with a hot or cold object.

A drug test’s temperature strip is used to ensure that the urine sample is within the correct temperature range. If the urine is too cold, it could be diluted and give false results. If the urine is too hot, it could break down the drug molecules and also give incorrect results.

How Does A Temperature Strip Work?

A temperature strip works by changing color when it is exposed to heat or cold. The strip contains a liquid crystal that is sensitive to temperature changes. The liquid crystal will change color when the temp strip comes in contact with a hot or cold object [1].

The liquid crystals have both the properties of liquids and crystals. This makes the liquid crystals helpful in measuring temperature since their color changes depending on the temperature. They have a resolution of 0.1 degrees Celsius, which means they can accurately measure temperature.

How To Read Temperature Strip On Drug Test?

To read a temperature strip on a drug test, you should look for the color change. Understanding how to read the self-adhesive test strips is crucial to ensure that the test is accurate.

There are two different ways to read a temperature strip on a drug test. The first is to utilize the color chart that comes with the kit. The second option is to use a digital thermometer.

Color Chart

Close up shot of a drug test kitThe color chart is included with the drug test kit. You must understand how to read the chart to get accurate results. The chart will have a series of colors that represent different temperature ranges.

After collecting the urine specimen in the drug testing cup, it is important to read the temperature strip within four to five minutes. The color green indicates that the urine temperature is within the range for testing (the normal range is between 32-38 °C/90-100 °F).

Digital Thermometer

The user can also use a digital thermometer to read a temperature strip on a drug test. The digital thermometer will give a more accurate reading than the color chart.

It is important to ensure that the digital thermometer is calibrated before use. Most digital thermometers have a button that can be pressed to calibrate the thermometer.

The digital thermometer will give a reading in both Celsius and Fahrenheit degrees Fahrenheit. The user can match the reading to the color chart to get an idea of what temperature range the urine sample is in.

Diluted urine samples are not as effective in testing for drugs. This is because the drug metabolites are more diluted and may not be detectable.

If a temperature strip on a drug test changes colors very slowly, it indicates that the urine sample has not been diluted or is fake. Urine samples that have not been diluted are more effective in testing for drugs.

Adherence To Guidelines

A scientist doing work inside a laboratory

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention have created guidelines to make sure that the samples are collected in a proper manner [2].

The following are the main guidelines that should be followed when collecting a urine sample:

  • The person providing the human urine should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before beginning the urine test.
  • The person collecting the urine sample in a urine drug test should wear gloves to protect themselves from coming into contact with the specimen.
  • The person providing the fresh urine sample should remove all clothing from the waist. They should then wash their hands and genital area with soap and water before peeing in the sample cup or specimen container.

“An acceptable urine temperature for a urine drug test analysis falls between the range of 32–38 °C (90–100 °F). If the drug screening temperature is out of range, the urine may be adulterated by substances (i.e., water), indicating the drug test has been falsified.”- Rajy Absoulahn, Medical Reviewer

Understanding Temperature in Drug Tests

A scientist looking at a urine sampleThe collector will ask you to provide a urine specimen. They will also ask you to return the cup as soon as possible after you have voided to keep your urine warm. It is important to tell the collector that the urine temperature is important for the validity of the specimen.

If the temperature of the specimen is not within the normal temperature range, it is considered to be played with, substituted with fake urine, or diluted by water. In this case, the candidate is asked to provide another urine sample. 

If it occurs again and there is no temperature registered on the temp strip, the collector can check the specimen with a mercury thermometer.

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FAQs

What color should the temperature strip be?

The temperature strip color should be a greenish-blue color.

How do you read a temp gauge on a urine test?

To read a temperature gauge on a urine test, you should look for the color change. The ideal temperature for a urine sample is between 32 and 38 degrees Celsius.

What do the colors mean on a temperature strip?

The colors on a temperature strip usually indicate the range of temperatures. For example, a blue color might indicate a temperature between 32 and 38 degrees Celsius.

What does green mean on the temperature strip?

Green on the temperature strip usually means that the temperature is within the ideal range.

Reading Your Drug Test

The temperature of a urine specimen is an important factor in drug testing. It helps to make sure that the specimen is intact. Temperature strips that stick to the side of a container are used to validate a urine specimen. After collecting the urine, the strip should be read within four or five minutes.

If you are looking for the best at-home drug tests with a urine collection cup and self-adhesive temperature strips, I suggest you take a look at 3 best at-home drug tests. This will help you choose the best urine drug testing device for your needs and help you save time and money.


References:

  1. https://www.sisweb.com/art/pdf/liquid-crystal-thermometer-strip-product-info.pdf
  2.  https://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/drug-testing

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