Urine Dip Tests

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Doctors order for urine test stripsUrine dip tests are done to check how the kidneys are working. A test strip (such as Multistick SG®) may test up to 10 different things in the urine.

When using the test strip, you will compare the strip to the color chart on the label of the bottle at the exact time listed for each test. You will need a watch or clock with a second hand to time the tests.

Before using your test strips, it is important to check to see if they have expired or changed color. Test strips expire 6 months after the bottle has been opened (Picture 1).

Urine test expiration date

How to collect the urine

  • Collect the child's urine in a clean, dry container such as a
    paper cup.
  • Syringe
  • If your child wears diapers, you may place cotton balls into the diaper to collect the urine. You need only a few drops of urine to do the test.
  • To remove urine from a cotton ball:
    • Squeeze the urine out of the cotton ball right into the clean container or
    • Remove the urine from the cotton ball by using a syringe (Picture 2). Take the plunger out of the syringe. Then, place the cotton ball into the syringe. Put the plunger back in. Push the plunger down to squeeze the urine out of the end of the syringe into the clean container.

How to test the urine

  1. Remove one test strip from the bottle. Put the bottle cap back on right away so that it fits tightly.
  2. Hold the strip by the end opposite the color blocks.
  3. Briefly dip the strip in the urine to moisten the color blocks (Picture 3). Lightly tap the strip against the inside of the cup to remove excess urine. Then hold the strip sideways for only a few seconds to prevent mixing the chemicals from each of the color blocks (Picture 4). If you have only a small amount of urine, tilt the cup on its side and dip the strip into the pool of urine. Make sure to wet all of the blocks.

    Urine dip test instructions
  4. Use a clock or watch with a second hand to help count the seconds for each test you are doing.
  5. Match the bottom block on the test strip to the bottom block of the color chart (Picture 5). It will be easier to time each test correctly this way. Starting from the bottom block, compare the test strip to the correct color chart on the bottle when the time is up for each test.
  6. Writing down urine dip test results
  7. Record the test result and date on your record each time you test the urine (Picture 6). Use the record on the last page and the key at the bottom of that page.
  8. Put the used test strip in the garbage can. Wash your hands.
  9. Bring the record with you every time you have an appointment with the doctor.

Urine Dip Tests (PDF)

HH-III-28 5/18 Copyright 2018, Nationwide Children’s Hospital