With increasingly frequent pee tests being carried out at places of
employment, if you want to keep your privacy intact, then giving your
urine sample at the correct temperature is hyper important as itâ€™s the
first measure of whether the sample is real or not.
With this in mind,
weâ€™ve put together the most common ways people keep their pee samples
warm, so you can see the options open to you, and make an informed
How long does pee stay warm?
Urine will rapidly drop in
temperature once it has left the body and will be in the right
temperature range for approximately four minutes â€“ see below.
Why is it important to keep urine at body temperature?
If you want to pass either a friendâ€™s urine or a synthetic urine sample off as your own, you have to be able to accurately keep pee warm. This is the first test labs carry out to see whether a sample is valid or not.
The reason for this temperature test is that itâ€™s just so darn hard to regulate the temperature of a urine sample that doesnâ€™t actually come out of your bladder. In this way, test labs can quickly discard false samples that are clearly fakes as they fall outside a specific temperature range, being either warmer or cooler than required.
There are strict guidelines for testing urine at labs that focus on both timing and heat, so that accurate decisions can be made on whether a sample is real. For instance:
Time from urination to sampling temperature measurement may not exceed 4 minutes or a new sample must be taken.
If the temperature of a specimen of urine is outside the narrow range of between 90 Â°F to 100 Â°F (thatâ€™s 32 Â°C to 38 Â°C) then the sample is likely to be rejected.
How to keep urine warm - heat pack vs digital
In this short video, we explain the difference between using a heat pack and a digital warming device for keeping your urine warm. The differences are stark, as you can see from the footage!
Why is urine measured at these temperatures?
Human body temperature varies between 97Â°F to 99Â°F, which is 36.1Â°C to 37.2Â°C. So, through testing, scientists know the normal temperature range for urine once it comes out of the body as well as how fast it cools. The trick is to have your pee at just the right warmth in the sample container so that itâ€™ll be at the correct temperature when tested.
How to warm up urine
As you can already see, the temperature of the urine has to be just right. Weâ€™ll run through how common methods of warming up urine work, and the drawbacks and advantages of each.
Advantages of using body warmth
this is cheap to do and your body may warm the sample and regulate the temperature correctly if you do it right. That doesnâ€™t mean keeping it externally! We would not advise using this method.
Disadvantages of using body warmth
Where do I startâ€¦mainly the following issues arise:
Externally, the normal temperature of skin is about 33 Â°C or 91 Â°F and so simply strapping a bag of urine to your stomach or other area, or trying to make urine stay warm between your legs
is not going to get the temperature right. So, if you're asking 'how long does urine stay warm between your legs?' the answer is, for testing purposes, it doesn't, in fact it's likely to cool down when placed there, as you'll loose heat to your legs until it matches the skin temperature.
Internally â€“ Well, Iâ€™ll leave you to imagine where youâ€™d place the sample, but there are obvious issues of comfort, ease of use and hygiene here.
The sample will need to be prepared and, ahem, stored in an appropriately warm cavity well in advance of the test taking place in order to get to the required temperature.
Using a microwave oven for heating your sample
Popping the sample into the microwave, youâ€™ll need to judge the
temperature by trial and error, depending upon the power of the
microwave. Temperature can be measured with heat strips.
Disadvantages of heating with a microwave:
To even suggest
using a microwave to heat your pee sample has to be a little insane, and
yet youâ€™ll often read about this as a suggested method. Here are a few
reasons why itâ€™s not a good idea:
Think about what happens when you warm your drink up in the microwave. How hard is to get it perfectly drinkable and not scalding hot?! Lets think like a scientist and imagine you need to get it within a few degrees exactly, or else. Now think about how much testing youâ€™d have to do to be confident you could do this under pressure. I donâ€™t know about you but I struggle to make popcorn at times.
If youâ€™re asked for a urine sample, the last thing you want to be doing is disappear into the kitchen to prepare and heat one, or indeed asking the technician to wait while it cools!
This is asking for trouble, particularly as youâ€™re likely to be nervous during the test and you need to keep a cool head (and warm urine ).
Heat pack â€“ sometimes referred to as an organic heat pack
Heat packs rely upon a chemical reaction â€“ usually oxygen activated iron oxide. They typically last up to eight hours, are one time use and will usually take 15 minutes to come to whatever operating temperature they get to.
Disadvantages of heat packs
There is no way to predict the heat at which youâ€™ll keep the urine sample warm as there is no regulation of the temperature or the reaction.
Sometimes they are too hot and sometimes not hot enough.
Youâ€™re entirely relying upon the chemical reaction of the heat pack working at the right rate to produce just enough heat to get the sample to a good temperature and then to keep it there.
You have to check the temperature every 5-10 minutes to make sure youâ€™re in the right ball-park heat wise.
Why are heat packs unreliable as a heating source?
In the case of heat pads the reaction rate and therefore heat given off will vary depending upon the availability of oxygen for the chemical reaction.
The concentration of oxygen â€“ which, remember, is needed to help maintain the heating reaction - will vary in the air around the heat pack, based upon:
How loose your pants are and so how much air gets to the pack.
How much you move around, i.e. are you walking or sitting.
Your immediate environment - i.e. in a crowded office or next to an open window.
The material your clothes are made of - air moves through some materials more freely than others - nylon versus cotton or wool for example.
If you put tape over the pack, airflow will be restricted.
The altitude you're at will influence how much oxygen is naturally in the air, the air being thinner at higher altitudes.
These use much the same technology as heat packs, relying upon chemical reactions to keep the urine heated correctly.
Disadvantages of hand warmers
Disadvantages are the same as with other heat packs - and remember that you are relying upon the heat being dead right within the range of normal human body temperature when you give your sample. Itâ€™s also often recommended to use two at once so that you can fully cover the sample!
The Urinator is an electronic, digitally temperature controlled unit thatâ€™s designed to precisely control the temperature of your urine so don't have to keep checking how hot the sample is.
Because itâ€™s digitally controlled, itâ€™s guaranteed to be reliable at keeping the urine at 98 degrees. It maintains the heat accurately for four hours once itâ€™s at the correct temperature, using one set of Duracell batteries.
Being electronic, itâ€™s reusable. You simply have to keep a set of fresh batteries, prepare the urine sample and fill the Urinator in order to keep reusing it for future tests.
Comparing heating digitally vs. heat pads
The facts show that organic heat pads are flawed for this purpose and cannot be relied on, unlike digitally heat-regulated electronics, which have proven, consistent results.
The comparison here is rather like the difference in using a fire rather than an oven to cook with. A fire cannot be accurately temperature regulated, whereas an oven keeps the temperature steady.
If you doubt the analogy, try it at home first. Itâ€™s harder to keep a sample to body temperature than you may think!
Unfortunately, a lot of people lose their jobs over something as simple as the temperature of their urine sample.