Trying the bleach pregnancy test involves mixing urine and bleach and watching for changes to the mixture. There is no scientific evidence that it works. Also, handling bleach incorrectly can be dangerous.

Below, we look at what this test entails. We then explore accurate ways to test for pregnancy.

Rows of white bottles of household bleach against a coral pink background.Share on Pinterest
Getty Images

A person who tries the bleach pregnancy test mixes a sample of their urine with bleach and checks for any foaming.

People who believe that it works say that it functions like a regular, reliable home pregnancy test. These measure levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG).

Levels of this hormone increase during the early stages of pregnancy. An effective test can detect the increase in a urine sample as early as 1 week after fertilization.

Advocates of the bleach pregnancy test claim that if HCG is present in the person’s urine, the bleach mixture will become foamy. If this does not happen, they say, the test is negative.

However, there is no scientific evidence that it works.

No scientific evidence suggests that the bleach pregnancy test is accurate. A positive or negative result does not reliably show whether the person is pregnant.

Scientists have not studied the health risks of the bleach pregnancy test, so its safety is unclear. There are several potential risks:

Bleach exposure

Bleach is a corrosive chemical that can be harmful to humans. It can cause illness or injury if someone:

  • inhales the fumes
  • gets bleach on their skin
  • gets bleach in their eyes, mouth, or throat

If someone inhales the fumes while trying a bleach pregnancy test, they may experience eye or lung irritation.

If this happens, leave the area and get some fresh air. If breathing becomes difficult, call 911 or contact a poison control center.

If bleach splashes onto the skin, it can cause corrosion. Remove any clothes that have bleach on them and rinse the skin thoroughly for 15–20 minutes.

Bleach is particularly dangerous if it comes into contact with the eyes. If this happens, remove any contact lenses, hold the eye open, and gently rinse it with water for 15–20 minutes. Contact emergency services.

To avoid bleach exposure, it is important to:

  • keep the room well-ventilated by opening the windows or using an extractor fan
  • cover any exposed skin with clothing or long rubber gloves
  • wear goggles
  • seal the bleach when finished and store it out of the reach of children

Chlorine exposure

When bleach mixes with other chemicals, such as ammonia, it releases chlorine gas into the air. Chlorine gas is dangerous and can cause:

  • watery eyes
  • irritation in the nose and throat
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • chest pain
  • nausea

At sufficient levels, exposure to chlorine gas can be fatal.

Urine contains ammonia, so there is a chance that someone mixing urine and bleach will be exposed to chlorine.

As a result, authorities such as the Washington State Department of Health recommend exercising caution when using bleach to clean areas that may have urine on them, such as toilet bowls.

Unreliable results

The bleach pregnancy test does not give accurate results. A person who takes it might, for example, believe that they are not pregnant when they really are — and this could influence their behavior in dangerous ways.

For example, the person with the negative test result might continue drinking alcohol, without being aware they are pregnant. This could have detrimental effects on the health of the fetus.

There are several safe and reliable ways that a person can find out if they are pregnant. A person can use a home test kit from a store or a clinic, or a doctor can perform a blood or urine test.

Using a home testing kit usually only takes a few minutes. A person either collects a urine sample in a clean container, then dips the testing strip into the sample, or they place the strip directly into the stream while urinating.

The test gives a positive or negative result depending on the amount of HCG detected in the urine. If there are more than 20 milli-international units of HCG per milliliter of urine, the result is likely positive.

The test gives its result by changing color or displaying a symbol, such as a plus sign or two lines. A person reads the result a few minutes after exposing the strip to the urine.

Over-the-counter (OTC) pregnancy tests, or home testing kits, tend to be less expensive than blood tests. However, they are not as accurate.

A person may be able to get a free pregnancy test from their local health department or a neighborhood clinic.

Blood tests are generally more accurate than urine tests. This is because urine tests do not detect hyperglycosylated HCG, which is a major component of HCG during the early stages of pregnancy.

Also, several factors can affect the accuracy of a urine-based pregnancy test, including:

  • the presence of blood or protein in the urine
  • medications, such as aspirin
  • measuring the urine too soon after conception
  • generally having extremely high HCG levels

Any of these could lead to an inaccurate reading. To get the most reliable result, see a doctor for a blood test.

Anyone who thinks they could be pregnant might want to try a home pregnancy test. An OCT testing kit can give a quick, accurate result as soon as 1 week after a missed period.

For the most reliable result, a person should contact a doctor for a blood test.

Anyone who has experienced negative health effects of a bleach pregnancy test may also need medical care.

Trying a bleach pregnancy test involves mixing bleach with a urine sample and checking for any foaminess or frothiness in the mixture.

There is no reliable evidence that this works, and it may be unsafe. Exposure to bleach carries several health risks, and it may react with the ammonia in urine to create chlorine gas, which is very toxic.

For an accurate result, use a home pregnancy testing kit or contact a doctor for a blood test. Blood tests are the most accurate method, while OTC tests are more affordable and accessible.