Saliva and Mouth Swab Drug Test Facts – Can You Pass in 24 Hours?

Saliva and Mouth Swab Drug Test Facts – Can You Pass in 24 Hours?

Are you looking for how to pass a drug test in 24 hours or less? Have you smoked within the past week but still need to pass? We'll teach you everything you need to know to pass on the first try, even if your test is tomorrow.

Whether it's for a new job, random screening, or to remain on your school's sports team, the ability to pass a mouth swab drug test is vital. They're usually given without very much warning, so it's important to know how to beat them on short notice.

While the easiest way to pass a THC test is to give up the bud altogether, that's usually not an option for quick results.

If you don't want to read the entire article and want results right away, the below two products are the top recommended solutions to pass a mouth swab drug test.

Stinger Mouthwash

Use this to pass your next mouth swab drug test

It's always good to keep some on hand. You never know...​

Saliva Drug Test Kit

Test on yourself to see what works for you

What is an Oral Drug Test?

Mouth swab tests are becoming a more popular option for schools and employers because they can be done on the premises instead of having you go to a testing lab. You hold a special swab in your mouth for a few minutes, then stick it into a vial and turn it in. Your boss or coach can then send the vial into a lab to get tested.

Laboratories look for a certain ratio of THC in your saliva, measured in ng/ml or nanograms per milliliter. Different laboratories have different cut off amounts for THC. Some employers also have different amounts of THC they will allow before any negative repercussions are given.

These tests are now used on the job for random screenings, after accidents, or when there is reasonable suspicion that someone has been using drugs on the job. They allow employers to quickly and easily test without spending too much money.

The good news is that they're also easy to pass. A mouth swab test is the easiest to beat, and some people are able to smoke the day before and still test negative for THC. While I don't recommend lighting up the night before your drug test, it's still possible to cheat the test if you follow these tips the 24 hours beforehand.

Mouth Swab Drug Test Detection Period

The amount of time THC will remain in your system varies depending on how frequently you use weed, your diet, and your body type. Blood and hair tests can detect marijuana for up to 3 months, urine can detect it up to one month after use, but most saliva tests will only detect THC for 24-48 hours.

Regardless of how much you smoke, THC will only remain in your saliva for 24-48 hours. However, for other types of marijuana tests, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • If you only smoke very occasionally (monthly or less), marijuana will stay in your system for a few days. It's possible for these people to pass a urine test the same week.
  • For people that smoke regularly (once a week or a few times a month), THC will be detected for up to a month after use in urine and blood tests.
  • If you smoke several times a week, and have for a while, THC will stay in your system for months. That means you won't pass a blood or urine test for 1-3 months.
  • THC hangs out in your fat cells, so if you have lower fat content it will stay in your system for less time than an overweight person. If you exercise regularly, it will clear out of your system sooner as well. Burning fat is the best way to shorten the time that THC remains in your system.

How Does the Mouth Swab Test Work? Where Does it Go?

During an mouth swab test, you will be watched as you place the swab into your mouth, resting it between your lower gums and your cheek. They will have you place one side facing toward your cheek, and then ask you to make sure you saturate the swab while it's in your mouth.

Once the time limit has passed (usually 3 minutes), you'll remove the swab and place it into a plastic vial. Whoever is giving the test will then collect and either process it on site or send it out to be tested.

How Long Does it Take to Get the Results?

Most labs can get results back to the testing agency (your boss or coach) within 3 business days. Some employers are able to test on site, and you'll have your results by the end of the day.

If a week has gone by after your test and you haven't heard anything, it's probably safe to assume you've passed. Your employer will let you know immediately if you don't pass, so keep that in mind.

How Long Does it Take to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test?

Mouth swab tests will detect drugs that have been used in the last 24-48 hours. It takes about 30 minutes for weed to show up on a saliva test, but after that it will be detected for up to 48 hours.

Is There a Difference Between an Oral Swab Drug Test and Cotton Swab Drug Test?

An oral swab drug test is just another word for a mouth swab. It's the same process regardless of what it's called. For some companies, a cotton swab drug test means that they will use a cotton swab to check the back of your mouth, near the tonsils.

This is not usually used to test for marijuana, so you're less likely to see it. They are used to test addicts for harder drugs, usually when people are in rehab or on probation. For our purposes, we'll say that cotton swab and mouth swab tests are the same thing, because they are equally easy to pass.

Can a Saliva Drug Test Detect Cannabis/THC?

Yes, it definitely can. However, the window of detection is only 24-48 hours for THC. Compared to up to 90 days with blood or urine tests, the detection window of cannabis in a saliva test is significantly easier to beat.

Each testing company has different rules for the amount of THC they test for, so it's possible to pass a test even if you've recently smoked. Some tests can get different results when sent to different labs, and it depends on your boss's threshold of THC detection.

While all swab tests can detect THC, some employers choose not to look at the THC results. The culture around marijuana is becoming more open and accepting, and some companies recognize this. They test for marijuana as part of a full panel that tests for other drugs as well, but they will ignore the weed results and focus on harder drugs. To some people, it doesn't matter if you're a pothead as long as you're not also addicted to meth or other drugs.

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your Saliva?

Marijuana use in the 24-48 hours before a test will make you test positive for THC. If you've smoked weed in the last 2 days before your test, it's very likely that it will detect it. Marijuana can stay in your bloodstream and urine, however, for up to 90 days if you're a heavy smoker.

How to Pass a Saliva Drug Test

There are several ways to beat a mouth swab drug test, including home remedies, store bought drug test kits, and cheating your way through the actual test. 

Method 1: Hydration

All drug tests look for a certain concentration of THC to test positive. Drinking tons of water before your test will dilute your spit and make you more likely to pass. Keep a water bottle with you all day, and keep chugging throughout the day.

This can also help you pass a urine test, but is more effective for passing mouth swab tests. Swab tests are looking for a certain amount of THC per milliliter of saliva, so the more water in your saliva the better.

Make sure you don't drink too much water, though. If you start having to go to the bathroom every few minutes, it's time to slow down. Drink about a cup every hour, and keep up your pace. Consistency is key.

Some tests wills be able to detect if you've been diluting your saliva by over-hydrating. However, this won't automatically count as a failed test because no one can prove that you've been drinking water to fool a drug test. In these cases, they will ask you to retest on a different day, giving you more time to get clean.

Method 2: Oral Hygiene

To pass a mouth swab test, you'll want your mouth to be as clean as possible. Brush your teeth two extra times the day of the test, and use mouthwash regularly to cleanse your whole mouth before the test.

Some people like to use apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide as mouthwash in an attempt to clear the THC from their mouth, but these are not as effective as regular mouthwash. Sticking to traditional minty fresh is better than trying an unappetizing blend of vinegar or peroxide.

One last trip to the bathroom right before the test to use mouthwash or rinse with water can make a big difference. The less THC in your mouth at the time of the test, more likely you are to pass. Flushing your mouth several times before the test can be a key to success in beating the test.

Method 3: Store Bought Kits

You can buy kits at most smoke shops that promise to clear the weed out of your system, although most of them are aimed at helping people pass urine tests. They come in pills, drinks, patches, sprays, gums, and mouthwashes.

The best bet for a store bought fix is a specially designed mouthwash. Try the Stinger Mouthwash 10 minutes before your test. 

Mint sprays designed to neutralize THC can also be used the day of your test, and are most effective when used just a few minutes before you test.

Another option is gum that you chew just a few minutes before your test. They are called "neutralizing gums" and they mask the THC in your saliva right before the test. You can keep a pack in your desk at work, and chew one piece every hour before your test to make sure the marijuana is undetectable.

Method 4: Altering the Test

All of the previously listed methods can be used right up until the test. This method is done during the test, while the swab is in your mouth, but you can practice before the test to perfect the technique. It shouldn't be relied on, but if you're still nervous after doing all the other steps this will help you.

During the test, you'll be told to hold the swab either under your tongue or next to your cheek. Usually one side of the swab is meant to face toward your cheek to catch the spit. When you place it in your mouth, don't let it fully touch your mouth or tongue. This takes a bit of practice at home beforehand. Try holding a straw or Popsicle stick in your mouth without letting it touch your cheek.

Make sure you look in the mirror while you practice to make sure it doesn't look suspicious. You'll be watched during your actual swab test, and if they see something is off, they'll ask you to retest or they'll help you place the swab in more effectively. Avoid this by looking nonchalant while you negotiate swab placement.

This keeps it from catching any spit, and they can't test what they can't catch! The worst case scenario is that there isn't enough for the test to be valid. This will get you off the hook in some cases, at least for a few days. If your school or employer only has enough tests for each person, an invalid test might mean you get to come back a different day to retest. This buys you some time and will help you pass.

This method is the least reliable, but it will help a little bit if you've tried everything else.

Can You Pass a Saliva Drug Test in 24 Hours?

It's possible to pass a drug test in only 24 if you have the right tools at your disposable. Following the steps above will help you pass even if you've smoked 24 hours before the test. If you have smoked that recently, a toxin cleansing mouthwash is your best bet.

Remember that a combination of these tips will work better than any one on its own. Especially if you have smoked the same day as your test, make sure to use more than one method to lower the amount of THC in your spit.

How to Pass Using a Home Drug Test

A home drug test works the same way as the ones you would take in an office or school, except the results show up automatically.

Think of it kind of like a pregnancy test but for weed use detection. Because they are made for quick home use, these are less reliable than laboratory testing. The same principles apply: hydrate, use mouthwash, and try to get less spit on it.

When taking a home drug test, you probably won't be watched as closely as you would in a workplace, so use that to your advantage.

Depending on the circumstances of your home drug test, you can purchase a particular test that will help your results. If a family member is making you test, try to buy a test before they do. Every test will be labeled with its detection cutoff in "ng/ml" or nanograms per milliliter.

The higher the number, the most weed you can have in your system and still pass. There are tests that cut off at 15, 20, 25, and even 50 ng/ml. Obviously, if you can find a test that cuts off at 50 ng/ml, you're more likely to pass than a test with 15 ng/ml. Try to buy a test before your family member does so you can control the outcome.

Home Remedies to Pass a Saliva Drug Test

While the mouthwashes sold in stores are effective, you can also use ingredients you can get at the grocery store.

Sometimes you can't get to a smoke shop, or shipping would take too long to reach you. In those cases, regular mouthwash can be used to keep your mouth clean instead of the specially formulated THC removing mouthwash, but it won't be as effective. If you're drinking a lot of water, adding cranberry juice will help to detoxify your spit faster.

Taking vitamins, especially B vitamins, can help you pass faster. Try a multivitamin that contains B vitamins for best results.

The root of the herbal plant Goldenseal has also been used to cleanse the body from toxins such as weed. It can be brewed into a tea and taken with you to work, so it won't look any more suspicious than your coworker's herbal tea. Green tea and dandelion tea are also both great to remove toxins and help your body metabolize fat, which is where THC is stored. This flushes it from your body faster.

Many suggest taking a zinc supplement to test negative, but this was shown to be effective in urine tests, not mouth swabs. There's no evidence to suggest that zinc reduces THC in your saliva.

A combination of home remedies will work better than any one used on its own, so remember that. It's better to try them all and feel like you're overdoing it than to only try one and then fail your drug test.

It's best to increase your water intake no matter what other methods you choose, because water will dilute the saliva.

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, the easiest way to pass a drug test is to refrain from lighting up for 48 hours before the test. That's not always an option, but you can still pass the test with a few tricks:

  • Hydrate by drinking tons of water
  • Use a THC removing mouthwash to remove traces of weed
  • Try a combination of home remedies including vitamins and cranberry juice
  • When taking the test, allow as little spit as possible to actually make it onto the swab

The best defense against a mouth swab test is a special mouthwash or gum. You can find these at most smoke shops, or online. Good luck!


About the Author

Hi, my name is Ryan Hart and I used to be addicted to marijuana. I started this blog because I wanted to share what I learned and all the resources I used while trying to quit. I've been weed-free for over 3 years now, and I figured it would be best to write everything down before I forgot it all. I hope you find the things here to at least be of a little use, and feel free to drop me an email at any time with any questions or concerns! We all need a little positive push sometimes. I received a ton of help on my journey to being cannabis-free, so consider this my way of giving thanks.

Need Help With Your Addiction?

Call Toll Free to See if Drug Rehab is Covered by Your Health Insurance!