What Is a Mouth Swab Drug Test?
A mouth swab drug test is the same as a saliva drug test, it’s all the same. This is a test that is generally looking for drug residues that have been left in the mouth due to the oral use of a drug. That generally means smoking, vaping, or eating. Drugs that are injected or taken through means other than orally will not be easy to detect, though some of them may make it into the saliva. Drug metabolites which leech from the blood into the saliva are generally not in high enough concentrations to be detected by a saliva drug test. A mouth swab drug test is generally looking for drug residues that were ingested orally in just the last few hours.
How mouth swab drug tests work
The drug test may come in a kit that looks like the one below.
Depending on how many ‘panels’ the test has, it will be capable of testing for the indicated number of drug types. Most tests will test for each of the major drug types including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and amphetamines.
Here’s how it might go down:
- The technician or even a boss (not a professional) will decide that you need a drug test, either randomly, for liability reasons, or because there is suspicion that you have been using drugs while on the job. Again, this test will not reveal drug use just two days ago, but only drug use within the last few hours. So a boss using this kind of test either doesn’t know that, doesn’t care, or suspects you have been using drugs right there at your desk. Conversely, he might actually be using a test that is not very effective at detecting drug use because he doesn’t want to get in your business but has to for the stakeholders.
- The testing equipment needs to be brought to room temperature to begin. The mouth should be clear of gum or other obstructions.
- The swab is inserted in the mouth, swabbing the cheek, gums, and tongue for about 5 minutes or until saturated, which may be indicated by a line on the swab.
- The swab is removed and placed in the testing cup.
- Within 10 minutes, the colored bands will indicate the presence or absence of drug residues.
Mouth swab drug test detection period
Your mouth swab test system will usually register drugs which have been used orally beginning 5 minutes after use, and for up to 24 hours after use. It may depend also on which drug has been used. See below.
Saliva drug test detection times for THC and other drugs
The main idea behind this test is to catch you pretty much red-handed doing drugs. It will not reveal past drug use, only current use.
Which Employers Use Mouth Swab Drug Tests?
Any employer who needs to make sure you are not using drugs while you are on the job. This can include educational institutions, anywhere you are operating heavy machinery and driving jobs like truck driving and bus driving.
When Do Employers Use Mouth Swab Drug Tests?
You may be tested when they suspect you have used marijuana or other drugs illegally. In some jurisdictions, they are phasing out tests for cannabis use at your own home, such as urine tests, but may still want to check for use on the job. So if they suspect you have used pot on the job, for example, while operating a forklift and driving it off the loading dock (tests are done after accidents), then a saliva test may reveal the truth. Healthcare workers suspected of having become addicted to and diverting pain medication on the job may be tested in this manner. Mouth swab tests only detect drug residues that have been left in the mouth from oral use over the last few hours. It will not detect use beyond this time period or use by methods such as injection or enema. So if you come up positive, you have likely been using drugs while at work or on break.
How long does THC stay in your saliva drug test?
For 6 to 24 hours after smoking. It will be detectable within 5 minutes of smoking.
What is the difference between a mouth swab test and a saliva test?
There is no difference, these terms are used synonymously. The confusion comes from the fact that some medical tests such as the mouth swab for HIV-1, actually takes cells from the cheek to test for the disease. It is not a saliva test as are these drug tests. The mouth swab drug tests are collecting saliva, not mouth cells for testing.
Saliva Drug Tests versus Blood, Urine, and Hair Tests (Pros and Cons)
The biggest difference between a saliva test versus a urine, blood, or hair test is the detection window. Saliva tests generally detect recent use, within the last 24 hours. Blood and urine tests can detect drug use for up to a month, and hair tests for up to 3 months. Here are the detection times for THC specifically:
Here’s a comparison of detection times for various drugs and various types of drug tests:
|Pros of a saliva test for the testee||Cons of saliva tests for the testee|
How to Pass an Oral Swab Drug Test
How can I pass a cotton swab drug test?
You may beat these tests using home remedies, normal mouthwash, or detox products. Some home remedies are cheaper and work just as effectively as expensive detox products.
Home Remedies to Pass a Saliva Drug Test
When it comes to passing a saliva drug test, don’t forget that such a test is the easiest to pass and so abstaining from drugs for a couple of days leading up to the test is undeniably the best strategy to detox ahead of such a test. However, there are many home remedies to choose from to beat a saliva drug test. Among the most common home remedies to use ahead of a saliva drug test include vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
The high PH levels of vinegar have helped make it a popular option to beat a saliva drug test. Unfortunately, there is not much scientific evidence that vinegar will help you beat a drug test although this is still a reasonably popular option and may be established as scientific fact at some point in the future as a means to pass an oral test. While many tout vinegar as having the capacity to speed up the body’s metabolism and aid in your system’s effort to burn fat (all of which can in turn help with removing drug residues from your body), whether it will work for detoxing your mouth is another question. Throughout the internet and from online reviews, you can find individuals reporting that consuming apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach just a few days out before a saliva test, for example, has helped them pass. Others have claimed that taking balsamic vinegar right before your test can help with passing too. Once more though, none of this is established scientifically and such claims should, therefore, be taken with a grain of salt.
Hydrogen Peroxide – our choice
Another home-made remedy to consider is that of Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) which can be gargled and spat out prior to a test. It is a chemical compound that combines hydrogen and water and is often used as a disinfectant. Hydrogen Peroxide is available with various potencies, depending on its purpose/use. You want to use an H2O2 product which has a potency or concentration of about 3%, then mix with one to two parts water. If it is a little higher concentration, it can be diluted with more water. It should not be higher than about a 5% concentration. After that point, you are risking your health by gargling such a potent H2O2 product. Be sure to follow precise instructions and make sure that you are not taking a product that is dangerous. Especially look out for Hydrogen Peroxide products which may contain other ingredients that are toxic for human consumption. Doing the right research before is vital in this case. It is very important that you make sure not to swallow the product even if it is safe to gargle. You want to gargle the mixture for about a minute before spitting it out. After spitting it out, the next step is to wash your mouth thoroughly with water. You should repeat this gargling process several times in the days leading up to your saliva drug test. Then, you need to use it right before your saliva test. If you have short notice or random tests, just keep some at work. Before a test, ask for a bathroom break, gargle, swish, and spit your peroxide and it will oxidize the loose molecules in your mouth on the spot. As with vinegar, this is not proven effective but it is a method chosen by some in order to try to beat a saliva test. We would say however, this is the most trustworthy of the home remedies.
Some regular smokers claim they have passed a saliva test by simply using Listerine mouthwash.
How to use:
- Pour 4 ounces of Listerine into your top or into a cup. This is about 4 teaspoons.
- Swish, swirl and gargle at full strength for about 30 seconds.
- Spit it out into the sink.
We’re not fans of regularly treating your mouth with chemicals that cause quite severe burning pain in the mouth, but this is for a particular purpose, to pass a saliva drug test. So try this for your test, but on regular days, use a more natural mouthwash, like water, or better yet, a healthy diet that doesn’t form a bacteria/sugar paste on your teeth.
Best detox products for mouth swab/saliva drug tests (pros and cons)
While home remedies like vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide are reasonably popular, there is also a wide range of detox products on the market to consider ahead of a mouth swab drug test. There is no certainty that these products have any benefits over conventional methods like brushing your teeth or gargling and spitting out the mouthwash. Make sure you never use harsh chemicals to wash your mouth out with. When it comes to detoxing, you should avoid putting anything in your mouth that is not safe to eat. When looking at potential detox products for purchase, make sure that it does not contain any inedible ingredients. Such products are designed to gargle and spit out but you may want to ask yourself whether you want to take the risk with these products. Many mouth swab detox products are designed for gargling and spitting out. It could be easy to confuse these products for similar detox products that are employed for beating blood or urine tests, which in contrast, can usually be consumed/ingested.
Detox Products for a Saliva Test
Magnum Detox Mouthwash 2 oz
Our reviewer here on Amazon claims the product works for him. The selling point of this product is that it only costs $ 10 to $ 11 and is available on both Walmart.com and Amazon.com. So, it should be easy to obtain and easy to use.
- Use right before your saliva drug test.
- Take a small swig and swish around in your mouth.
- Spit it out, don’t swallow it.
- Continue swigging, swishing, and spitting until the bottle is gone.
- Don’t brush teeth, use drugs, or put anything in your mouth until after your saliva test. Take your test within 45 minutes.
- Aloe Vera,
- Boron Citrate,
- Lithium Sulfate,
- Magnesium Sulfate,
- Potassium Chloride,
- Sodium Benzoate,
- Sodium Chloride,
- Witch Hazel
- This is one of the cheaper detox mouthwashes.
- It is available from Walmart. You can have it sent to a local store.
- Users claim it has worked for them.
- You have to use the whole bottle at once.
- If you don’t know when the test will be, you’ll have to carry the mouthwash with you at all times and find a way to slip out and use it before your test.
- The blue coloring may stain your teeth and reveal that you have used mouthwash before the test.
- It only lasts for about 45 minutes.
Toxin Rid is a popular product designed to clean your mouth of drug toxins. This is a product that is designed to be used just before your test. We have listed the instructions for Toxin Rid mouthwash below.
On Reddit, a user asked whether Toxin Rid has worked for anyone. One user responded as follows;
Such views are reflective of a large skeptical population among users and non-users alike who do not believe that any detox products can work albeit this is contradicted by many positive opinions that detox drinks have. And importantly, most of the online reviews that Toxin Rid has online are positive reviews. Also, many scientific studies reveal that detox products have beat drug tests. So when you see someone skeptical of the detox industry, you should also be aware that the testing industry is even more powerful at controlling the narrative to claim their tests can’t be beaten, even though scientific studies show beyond a doubt these tests are routinely beaten.
- Just prior to your test, pour 1/3rd of the bottle into your mouth before swishing it around your mouth for three minutes. Then spit it out.
- Repeat this two more times.
- Take a breath mint after, to sum up, the process.
- Aloe Vera
- Ascorbic Acid
- Witch Hazel
If you do purchase this product, take a look at the ingredients and make sure none of them are toxic and that they are ingredients that you are not allergic to. You should also check that all of the ingredients are edible. Even though you will not be ingesting the product, this is the best way to increase safety when using detox products.
Pros & Cons:
- A popular product is recommended by many users.
- Its design helps minimize aftertaste.
- It is potentially superior in its effectiveness compared to products like Stinger Detox Mouthwash.
- Not super cheap as it costs $29.95.
- It doesn’t have the most enjoyable taste.
- Lacks viscosity.
Stinger Detox Mouthwash
Another popular choice is the Stinger Detox Mouthwash. Stinger Detox products have been on the market since the 1990s and are a relatively reputable brand. The fact that this company has lasted so long and remains pretty prominent is certainly a good sign. The case can be made for this brand based on it surviving as a popular option through selection pressures. In evolutionary science, brands with ineffective or adverse products would struggle, if not find it impossible to remain popular over the course of decades hence this is potentially an argument in favor of Stinger Detox, assuming there is no additional factor which explains their long-term popularity. This product is quite costly however and less affordable than some of the other products from the Stinger Detox range. This mouthwash generally costs just under $35 and comes with 2 ounces of fluid. Although we did find the product is available at Walmart for $10 but was sold out at the time we checked it. It was available for a similar price on eBay.
We found that this product had mostly positive reviews online and arguably more positive reviews over negative reviews than could be found with other Stinger Detox products. This reviewer expressed their delight as they claimed that the product had helped them pass a mouth swab test.
- Shortly before your saliva test, sip small quantities of the product and then swish it around your mouth for at least sixty seconds. Then swallow the fluid.
- Keep repeating this process until you have gone through the entire bottle.
- Refrain from brushing or drinking shortly after you have followed steps one and two.
- Ascorbic Acid – A form of vitamin C which is important when it comes to cell metabolism. This may support the masking of drug use.
- D-Ribose – This is a sugar molecule that supplies cells with an additional energy source.
- L-Taurine – This is a non-essential amino acid. It works as a mood modulator and it may help you feel a bit more relaxed in the build-up to the test. It also detoxes the liver.
- L-lysine – L-lysine is another amino acid that may help fool antibody tests. In turn, this can help conceal drug use.
- Methylsulfonylmethane – A supplement that may help to mask drug use. There is a chance that this could be tested for in of itself, making this product slightly risky in that specific regard. It does occur naturally in food after all.
- Niacin – This ingredient, unlike the others mentioned in this list, is known with certainty to be capable of concealing drug use. However, unlike most mouthwashes, this one is swallowed, probably so that you ingest the niacin, but this means you can’t drink several bottles, as you can overdose on niacin.
Pros & Cons:
- Many positive online reviews can be found across the internet for this product.
- Amino acids and Ribose may help fool antibody-based tests.
- This product is safe to ingest.
- It does not contain any toxic ingredients, though you can overdose on niacin if you consume many bottles..
- It can be quite costly for just 2 ounces.
- Lacks scientific evidence to back its effectiveness with the exception of the ingredient Niacin.
- Some negative reviews claim that there is no known way to beat a saliva test. This is unlikely.
Clear Choice Oral Clear Gum
Unlike the previous two products that we have discussed which were mouthwash-based, this product is gum-based and is designed to neutralize saliva. Using this product is an innovative approach for trying to beat a saliva test although again, as with any detox product, there is no guarantee that it will work. A reason why you might not choose a gum product over a mouthwash product is that the gum may produce increased levels of saliva which can include saliva which has drug residues in it. However, this product still appears to be promising and there is likely more to be seen with gum-based mouth detoxification products in the future. A major issue with this product however is that it is not a pack of gum but a single gum, which comes at a whopping cost of $90. Yes, you read that right, $90 for a single piece of gum. If it can prove to be the one and only proven way to pass a mouth swab test then perhaps such an expense might seem more reasonable but for now, it is just one of many detox products that may or may not work.
This product appears to have pretty mixed reviews online but mostly positive reviews. Here however was one reviewer.
While on most sites, this product had mostly positive reviews, on Amazon, half of the reviewers gave it just a 1-star rating but about 4 in 10 reviewers gave the product a five-star rating suggesting polarized views on this product and mixed outcomes for individuals.
- Remove the gum from the capsule and then take off the wrapping.
- Bite that gum and allow the fluid from the gum to stay in your mouth.
- Chew that gum for 30 seconds then remove from your mouth. Your saliva should now be clean.
- Optimal results should be achieved after about 10 minutes with the effect lasting for up to about 30 minutes.
- Soy lecithin
- Phenylketonuria (Phenylalanine)
- Natural flavor
- Gum base
- Corn syrup
- Artificial flavor
Pros & Cons:
- Easy to employ.
- Not likely to be detected by testers.
- Easily carried and concealed.
- It has a nice flavor with a sweet taste.
- Very expensive for just a single piece of gum.
- It does not remain active for very long – just half an hour.
- No returns guarantee provided by the manufacturer as far as we know.
Federal and State Drug Testing Laws
According to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), detox products can be classified as a form of ‘drug paraphernalia’ and the sale of these products could be a crime. However, no federal convictions for selling detox products have occurred and companies will usually promote their products as detoxifiers for non-drug related purposes and will often specify that such products are not designed for beating a drug test. Of course, in reality, they often are used for this purpose. To the extent of our knowledge, there have been no federal convictions for the possession of a detox product of any kind. Some states, as the report explains, punish the selling, manufacturing or/and marketing of detox products as an attempt to fool a drug test. There is no specific mention of state laws regarding possession.
States where the sale of urine & adulterants is prohibited:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Among these states, North Carolina and South Carolina have made a second offense a felony. In the other states listed, it is a misdemeanor. All the same, there is no mention of purchasing or possession being a crime or felony. However, there was a case of a South Carolina store owner being arrested for possession of such products after he was found to be advertising the sale of detox products.
States which prohibit the sale of detox products specifically:
- New Jersey
It is unclear whether the legislation outlawing the sale of detox products in these states makes the possession of such products illegal. It appears that these laws are primarily targeted at companies that wish to produce these products.
States where it is illegal to deliver or produce detox products knowingly:
Such laws exist to make it virtually impossible to legally produce or distribute detox products in such states. In my view, this is an invasion of people’s privacy and people should have the right to use these products freely. Make sure to do your research regarding laws for detox products in your region as new laws could come in or be removed or altered at any point.
Lastly, it is a federal crime to attempt to defraud the government of the United States. The makers of The Whizzinator were prosecuted under this law. If you use a detox product to beat a federal court-mandated drug test, you could be prosecuted under this law.
It does appear that you can indeed beat the system in the case of saliva drug tests. Since these tests can only detect substances that were consumed in the previous several days, abstaining from drugs in the lead up to the test is the best way to maximize your chances of passing a saliva drug test. Brushing your teeth and using a non-detox specific mouthwash method are two options you might also consider while detox products are also quite popular. Homemade remedies such as hydrogen peroxide mouthwash are also used by some smokers. Likely, a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is the most effective method. Don’t forget to follow the instructions of each product or/and method correctly and if you are taking a mouthwash, ensure that you spit it out unless otherwise stated. It might be worth your time utilizing both a detox mouthwash and detox drink. The reason for this is because drug toxins from a drug that has yet to metabolize may still be present in your blood and make it to the saliva mouth if you recently ingested it through smoking. If you injected, snorted or swallowed the drug could be partially metabolized in the liver before making it back to your saliva. At this point, it could still be detected.
If toxins are present in your bloodstream, a dilution method could help reduce detectability. Dilution is generally used for urine tests but it may also work for blood tests or/and saliva tests. The toxins can enter your saliva having already passed through your bloodstream. If your bloodstream has additional volume as a result of consuming water and electrolytes, then the saliva should have a lower concentration of drug residues. You want to avoid detox products with plenty of herbal ingredients since each herbal ingredient from such products will impact your liver in a way where if your body has yet to fully process the consumed drugs, these herbs may inhibit the metabolic processing of drugs and lead to significantly higher drug levels than you would generally expect. If you take the dilution approach, make certain that you take electrolytes with your water because there is a risk of dying from taking too much water (i.e. water intoxication). Refrain from consuming excessive quantities of water in general. Either way, you should be okay and have a strong chance of passing a drug swab test if you take the right approaches or/and use the best products in the right way.
“How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test for Weed” Daryl Seldon, FV KASA, 2019, https://www.fvkasa.org/english/health/detox/mouth-swab-drug-test?
“Oral Clear Gum” Amazon, Amazon, 2020, https://www.amazon.com/Clear-Choice-Oral-Gum/dp/B00BULA512
“Has anyone here ever used Toxin Rid? Did it work?” Reddit, Reddit, 2020, https://www.reddit.com/r/trees/comments/3psag6/has_anyone_here_every_use_toxin_rid_did_it_work/
“Stinger Detox Mouthwash 2 Ounce Vanilla Flavor Pass Saliva/Swab Drug Test” Ebay, Ebay, 2020, https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stinger-Detox-Mouthwash-2-Ounce-Vanilla-Flavor-Pass-Saliva-Swab-Drug-Test/183697533125
“Clear Choice Oral Clear” Amazon, Amazon, 2020 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clear-Choice-Oral/dp/B00BULA512