How To Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test? (Updated)

How To Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test? (Updated)


You can pass your oral saliva drug test by stopping drug use, staying hydrated, practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding nicotine and poppy seeds, following some notable home remedies like taking brushing your teeth with baking soda, and taking a mixture of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.

If you are called in for a random oral fluid drug test or if you have no time to prepare for your drug test, you can try some masking techniques like detox mouthwash or taking chewing gums, which may help you clear your test.   

Learn more about mouth swab drug test, what drugs they can test for, the detection window, and how to pass a saliva drug test in 24 hours.

**Bonus**  Don't miss out on our mouth swab drug test hacks - A promising guide to passing your oral fluid drug test.

What is a Mouth Swab Drug Test?

A mouth swab drug test is a non-invasive and effective method for detecting the presence of drugs or their metabolites using a saliva sample. An employer or tester may collect your sample either by using a swab or testing strips.

Test strips allow for a direct application of the collection pad against the cheek or under the tongue, while a swab involves physically rubbing the inside of the mouth to gather the saliva.

The oral fluid drug test has the most proximate detection period and is the most efficient drug testing method when it comes to identifying short-term abuse. 

An employer can also opt for a saliva test during pre-employment drug test, random drug test, return-to-duty testing, and on suspicion (including roadside drug testing).

While many employers are opting for saliva drug test, DOT has approved oral saliva drug testing as a option for transportation employers to identify drug abuse.

What Can A Mouth Swab Drug Test Test For?

The mouth swab drug tests can detect as many as 14 drugs with customized panels. Here are some drugs that a mouth swab drug test can test for

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (Both Natural and Synthetic opiates like fentanyl)
  • Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, etc.)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Barbiturates
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids

A mouth swab drug test can detect the drugs within 5 hours to 72 hours after intake. The detection period can vary based on factors such as type or class of drug used, amount, frequency, duration, route of drug administration, metabolism of the individual being tested, and the sensitivity of the testing method.

Here is a general detection window for a saliva drug test.


Detection Period


10 minutes after use up to 4 days later for heavy users


Within 24 hours


Within 72 hours


24 to 36 hours


Up to 10 days


1 hour after use to within 24 hours or less


6 to 12 hours


3 to 5 days


2 to 3 days

How Does A Mouth Swab Drug Test Work?

If you're looking for ways to pass a mouth swab drug test, understanding the testing process and results is crucial.

Your mouth swab will be collected by the tester to screen for illicit drugs. The tester may either use a swab or testing strip to collect the sample and conduct a drug test. 

Some of the common oral saliva drug testing procedures include

  • On-site mouth swab drug test - Employers may use saliva drug testing kits to do a preliminary drug screening.
  • Enzyme Immunoassay Technology: The mouth swab drug test primarily uses enzyme immunoassay technology to detect drug metabolites.
  • Confirmatory Drug Testing: Liquid Chromatography and Gas Spectrometry are used to confirm positive findings. This is a lab-based oral saliva drug test that gives precise results.

This is how the saliva drug test works

1. Once the kit is placed in your mouth, it absorbs the saliva, and the indicator window turns blue, reminding you that enough sample is collected.

2. Wait for the designated time specified in the instructions, usually a few minutes, for the test to process the saliva sample.

3. If the test shows one or more lines in the T region(s), it indicates a negative result (even if it is a faint line).

4. If no lines appear in the test region(s), it indicates a positive result.

5. The employer may send your drug test sample for confirmatory testing if it occurs positive. 

Inconclusive Mouth Swab Drug Test

An inconclusive mouth swab drug test indicates that the test result does not provide definite and clear evidence of drug presence or absence in the saliva sample.

While it is often considered a tampered attempt, it may happen due to various reasons, such as insufficient saliva samples, improper testing procedures, or issues with the testing kit itself.

Inconclusive results can create uncertainty and may require additional testing or retesting. 

        How to Pass Oral Drug Test in 24 Hours?

        If only a few hours are left for the swab test, you can try the following tips though the chances are less likely.

        Here are some steps on how to pass a mouth swab drug test for weed and other illegal drugs

        • Hydrate - Drinking lots of water throughout the day can help the saliva flow.
        • Swish and Rinse - Frequently swish water vigorously around the mouth and rinse.
        • Wipe it out - Wiping the mouth, mainly the gums and cheeks, may help get rid of THC traces and reduce the concentration in the oral fluids.
        • Detox mouthwash - Use mouthwash without alcohol, else may test positive for alcohol.
        • Brushing the metabolites away - Brushing the teeth frequently throughout the day.
        • Gums for the Gums - Anti-cavity chewing gum can keep the saliva clean.
        • Add Fatty foods - Eat fatty foods like greasy burgers, pizza, fries, etc. Active THC binds with fatty foods and gets absorbed, so there are fewer chances of THC detection in the mouth.

        In the worst case, if there is no time to spare and worried about positive results, then adulterants can be a last-minute solution. Adulterants are chemical substances that interfere with drug tests. If the tester suspects adulteration, the test will be considered invalid, and a repeat test will be ordered.


        Adulterants can only keep the saliva clean for half an hour. Using mouthwash or drinking lots of water, or taking junk food may reduce the number of metabolites in your saliva, but it might not completely eliminate it.

        You may get into trouble if your employer switches to any other kind of drug test. So, it is better to refrain from illegal drugs altogether than rely upon these methods to pass your saliva drug test.

        Disclaimer: We do not recommend or advocate the use of adulterants or any other tampering solutions to pass oral drug test.

        How Long Does Weed Stay in Saliva?

        The detection window for weed or THC in saliva is generally 24 to 28 hours after use. For chronic users, it may be detectable for slightly longer, up to 72 hours.

        To increase your chances of passing a saliva drug test for weed, it is best recommended to stop smoking weed as soon as you learn about the upcoming test. Ideally, you should abstain from using THC for at least 24 to 72 hours before the test.

        It is crucial to note that detection times for THC during a saliva drug test can vary between individuals, and factors such as body weight, age, sex, metabolism, and the potency of the cannabis consumed can influence how long it remains detectable in saliva.

        If you are facing a saliva drug test and have recently used cannabis or marijuana, it's crucial to be aware of the detection window, marijuana laws in your state, and the specific testing requirements. 

        How to Pass Mouth Swab Drug Test For Amazon?

        Amazon conducts a saliva drug test for their employees and include those drugs which are monitored by the Department of Transportation (DOT). As per the latest announcement, Amazon will not test for THC during pre-employment drug test. 

        If you are applying for Amazon and if your pre-hire drug test is coming up, make sure you abstain from any drugs for two weeks. Hydrate yourself and practice good oral hygiene.

        If you are taking prescribed medications, consult with your physician if you can stop it for two weeks. If that is not recommended, let the authority knows in advance and submit all the required documentation.

        However, keep in mind that there is no guaranteed way to pass a drug test, and the best way to avoid failing a drug test is to not use drugs in the first place.

        Explore more about Amazon's drug testing policy before applying for a job.

        Putting Water On Mouth Swab Drug Test - Does It Help Me Pass My Drug Test?

        No. Putting water on the mouth swab drug test will not help you pass your drug test. 

        While some may believe that water can dilute saliva and reduce drug metabolite concentration, in reality, drug testing labs are well aware of this trick and have implemented measures to detect diluted samples effectively.

        So, what is the best course of action to pass your mouth swab drug test - It's simple: abstain from drug use for an ample period before the test. You can also consider a detox regimen if you have enough time for your upcoming drug test. 

        If you have no idea to pass your mouth swab drug test, here are some hacks that could help you ace it.

        Mouth Swab Drug Test Hacks

        The best way to pass a saliva drug test is by abstaining from taking any drugs at all. In order to pass the test, it is important to consider the time left for the forthcoming test and choose effective measures to come out clean. 

        Check out some of the cool ways to pass your oral drug test while your drug testing is near. (Note: These might not work if your drug usage is regular. Use these methods only at your own risk)

        1. Neutralized Chewing Gums

        There are neutralizing chewing gums in the market such as Oral Clear, which is very effective in passing a saliva drug test. The gum capsule has some liquid inside, which should be spread after biting throughout the mouth without swallowing. After chewing it for 30 seconds, the saliva will be clear of all unwanted toxins for the next 30 minutes.

        2. Saliva Detox Mouthwash

        Detox mouthwash is one of the most effective detoxifying solutions to beat a mouth swab drug test. By carrying a small bottle of detox mouthwash in the pocket, one may get through an unexpected saliva test quite easily. Rinse your mouth for 2 to 3 minutes and spit out. After 15 minutes, saliva will be free from any trace of drug metabolites, alcohol, and nicotine.

        There are many recommended products available in the market, but not all products are really helpful. 

        3. Citrus Candies

        Sour candy may help you pass your oral saliva drug test. Citric candies may make your saliva more acidic and sugary, which makes it hard to detect the drugs in the saliva.

        You can suck rather than chew them, which can give you enough results. This might only work for a short period, and you can use them if you are desperate enough to pass your compulsory mouth swab drug test.

        4. Greasy Foods

        This is the best option if you are about to take your THC mouth swab drug test. Greasy or oily foods like greasy burgers, pizza, and fries have a lot of fat in them that can entrap the THC metabolites in the fat cells, thereby helping you to pass your mouth swab drug test.

        You can take these greasy foods a day before your drug test. If you cannot find any fatty junk foods, you can consume normal foods with a high-fat content in them.

        Does Mouthwash For Drug Test Really Work?

        Evidently, No. While some people claim that mouthwash does work for a drug test and help mask the metabolites temporarily, the effectiveness of using mouthwash to pass a drug test is a subject of debate and uncertainty.

        Mouthwash is intended to maintain a good oral hygiene and hence it hardly helps you alter your drug test. Mouthwash contains ethanol which might have some impact if it comes to a saliva alcohol test. 

        Want to know more about whether mouthwash works for your drug test - This blog might help you!

        Can mouthwash make you fail a drug test?

        Possibly yes. As said above, if you are about to take your oral saliva drug test for alcohol, then there are chances that you may get positive results. If you are not taking any drugs and still get a positive result, mouthwash might be the culprit.

        Some everyday substances like caffeine, mouthwash, breath fresheners, and other products which contain ethanol content in them might impact your alcohol drug test. 

        Remember this! Mouthwash might not impact your drug test results for other drugs like COC, MAMP, and THC.

        How To Cheat A Saliva Drug Test?

        You cannot cheat your mouth swab drug test as it is monitored right from sample collection. The donor’s mouth must be empty and should not contain any food 10 minutes before the drug test.

        The tester will be monitoring all through the testing process, and hence one cannot tamper with the sample. The sample is initially validity tested for albumin.

        Albumin is a protein that is secreted in the saliva. An adequate amount of albumin ensures the saliva sample is not adulterated, thereby making the oral drug test a reliable drug testing process.

        Instead of trying to cheat your oral drug test, it is crucial to abide by the law and company policies regarding drug use and testing. If you have concerns about a drug test, be honest and upfront about any prescribed medications or substances you have used or currently using before your drug test.

        Talk to the testing administrator or employer in advance and provide the necessary documentation or clarification.

        Remember this! Cheating on a drug test is not only unethical but can lead to severe consequences, including loss of employment and legal issues.

        Home Remedies to Pass Your Mouth Swab Drug Test

        Without relying solely on some hacks, you can also try these home remedies that may help you pass your saliva drug test.

        1. Hydrogen Peroxide

        Hydrogen Peroxide is one of the most commonly used home remedies to beat an oral drug test. You can dilute the content with water and gargle a couple of times. The concentration of the hydrogen peroxide should be about 3% or less and mixed with one to two parts water. 

        Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a mouthwash after cleansing the mouth thoroughly. It is recommended to swish the hydrogen peroxide solution around inside the mouth for as long as possible, then gargle, spit out and rinse the mouth thoroughly. This process can be repeated within an hour of the swab test.

        This method obviously has its own risks. Hydrogen peroxide at 3% concentration is non-toxic if consumed in small amounts, though not recommendable. Higher volumes can cause adverse side effects and tissue damage.

        Keeping a bottle of hydrogen peroxide for unexpected screening test isn’t advisable. So doing extensive research before choosing this product is vital.

        2. Vinegar

        Some people, through online reviews claim that drinking apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach for a few days before the test helped them to successfully pass the saliva test.

        There are many others who also claim taking balsamic vinegar moments before the test helped them to get through the test. Unfortunately, there is little to any scientific evidence to indicate vinegar is a fail-safe method for passing a saliva drug test.

        3. Listerine

        Listerine may be a considerable option to pass your mouth swab drug test. While some claim that listerine mouthwash may help you mask your drug test results, there is no empirical evidence that it does help you ace your test.

        You can also use listerine strips - Jump right into the FAQ section to know how it works to pass your drug test. 

        Mouth Swab Drug Test vs. Hair Drug Test

        Mouth swab drug tests offer quick, cost-effective on-site testing with a short detection window, while hair drug tests provide a longer detection period but are more expensive. Here is a comparison between an oral saliva drug test and a hair follicle drug test.

        Aspect Mouth Swab Drug Test Hair Drug Test
        Collection Process Saliva collected under supervision, immunoassay Small hair patch collected, sealed, sent to lab
        Detection Window Few minutes to 72 hours Up to 90 days after last use for certain drugs
        Results Quick (5-7 minutes), 99% accuracy. Accurate but longer testing process
        Benefits Easy administration, cost-effective, on-site testing. Longer detection window, effective for certain substances
        Sample Integrity Low chances of tampering Low chances of tampering, external contamination risks
        Limitations Difficult to detect regular drug use. Limited effectiveness for recent drug use
        Cost Affordable Expensive

        Saliva Drug Test vs. Urine Drug Test

        Though urine drug tests remain the most accepted testing method, many organizations have started to encourage oral fluid drug tests as part of their drug testing policy. Not to mention DOT again!

        Aspect Mouth Swab Drug Test Urine Drug Test
        Collection Process Anywhere, anytime collection Sample collection under controlled conditions
        Detection Window Shorter detection window. Longer detection window (24 to 72 hours to about five days)
        Results Fast, accurate results within minutes Fast, accurate results within a few minutes
        Sample Integrity Eliminates adulteration concerns Possibility for substitution, dilution, adulteration
        Benefits Detects recent and current use within a few hours Affordable, familiar, non-invasive, immediate results
        Limitations Cannot detect regular drug users Private restroom required, potential shy bladder concerns

        How Accurate Is A Mouth Swab Drug Test?

        The accuracy of the oral drug test, when performed in the right manner, can be almost 98%. When performed correctly and with high-quality testing kits, these tests can provide reliable results with a high level of accuracy. If you are getting tested in a lab, make sure that it is an HHS-certified laboratory.

        However, certain factors determine the accuracy of the saliva test. They are

        • Specificity: Mouth swab drug tests are designed to look for specific drugs or types of drugs in your saliva.
        • Sensitivity: The saliva drug testing kits used nowadays are super sensitive, so they can detect drugs even if you've only used a little bit.
        • Detection Window: Short-term abuse detection of major illicit drugs.
        • Adulteration and Tampering: Collection of your saliva directly and under supervision so that it is hard to tamper with the sample.
        • Quality of Testing Kits: Accuracy can be determined based on the quality of drug testing kits you use.

        Where To Get The Best Saliva Drug Test Kits for Employers and Individuals?

        Uritox offers high-quality saliva drug testing kits that offer reliable and instant results, say within 5 minutes. Our 5-panel, 6-panel, and 10-panel drug test kits are SAMHSA-certified and CLIA-waived kits and have a longer shelf life of 18 months providing accurate results (98% accuracy). 

        Are you an employer who is looking for a lab-based saliva drug test?

        US Health Testing will help you book your drug test in bulk and save you hours that you would be losing to book your drug test. 


          Attempting to cheat or manipulate saliva drug tests is not only risky but also unethical. Instead, focus on making positive choices, such as abstaining from drug use and maintaining good oral hygiene. 

          If you have any substance abuse concerns, reach out to SAMHSA national helpline and get adequate support and professional assistance. 

          To learn how long it takes for the drug to break down, use our drug half-life calculator.


          How to pass a saliva alcohol test?

          The detection window for alcohol in saliva is relatively short, usually up to 12-24 hours after consumption. If you know you will be taking a saliva alcohol test, try to schedule it after 24 to 36 hours of consumption. 

          Some mouthwash and breath fresheners may have alcohol content, which can lead to a false positive on the test. Avoid using these products before the drug test.

          How soon a drug's presence in saliva be determined?

          Drugs can be found in saliva about 30 to 60 minutes after administration using oral fluid testing. Due to its brief duration, it is a great test to use in post-accident and reasonable suspicion testing scenarios.

          Can cross-reacting chemicals, such as over-the-counter drugs, impact oral fluid?

          The initial screening test for abused substances in oral fluids uses enzyme-immunoassay antibodies (EIA), identical to those used to test urine. As a result, substances like over-the-counter medications can result in a false-positive test result. The positive results are verified using the LC/MS/MS method.

          Is Mouth Swab Drug Testing safe?

          Absolutely Yes. Saliva collection is quicker, simpler, and safer for the observer and the donor than collecting blood or urine. Additionally, you can follow social distancing during the collection process.

          Can I pass a mouth swab if I drank the night before?

          If you are facing a standard mouth swab drug test, the alcohol consumed the night before is unlikely to affect the results of the drug test. But if you are getting tested for any other drugs, there are chances that you may get positive results.

          Remember this! You should not take drugs for at least two weeks to get desirable results in your oral drug test.

          How long does it take to pass a swab test?

          The drugs are detectable in saliva for only few hours to couple of days, and so it is not much of a challenge to pass your saliva test. But, if you are a regular user, the drug metabolites may stay in your system for a longer time, and it might show up on your drug test.

          How to pass a swab test with listerine strips?

          You can rub listerine strips inside your cheeks while you are heading to your drug test.  You can also use Listerine mouthwash and gargle it and hold it for two minutes before spitting. Repeat the process every two hours, and you may get results.

          Listerine strips may help mask your oral saliva drug test, but it is not a reliable or defined method to help you pass your test. It may have worked for some, but it is not evident that it will help you. So, it is best recommended to avoid taking drugs if your drug test is coming up.

          How to pass a saliva drug test for methamphetamines?

          You should not use meth for at least 2 weeks before your drug test if your oral test is coming up. Drink enough water, improve your metabolism through an organized diet, avoid fatty foods, and do regular exercises. This may help you pass your drug test for meth. 

          Use high-quality at-home 5 panel saliva drug testing kits that may help you know the cut-off levels of meth present in your saliva at that time.

          How can I pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test for Walmart?

          The best way to pass your mouth swab drug test for Walmart is to keep yourself from taking any drugs 24 hours before your drug test. If you are taking prescription medications, never forget to inform the tester/ authority who is conducting the drug test. Here are some tips that might help you with the Walmart drug test.

          While these tips may not guarantee a passing result, they may improve your chances of success.

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