Detecting Drug Residue, Pills and Powder

Detecting Drug Residue, Powder and Pills

A guide to detecting unknown powder and pills around the home.

With a simple test, detecting drug residue around the home can be straightforward. We show you how to do it with this in-depth guide to residue drug testing. Using surface drug test kits to detect drug residue requires no previous knowledge and takes just a few minutes to detect and identify narcotics quickly. Utilizing a residue test from Mistral Security allows you to discover drug use around the home without ever destroying the evidence.

What types of substances can I test?

  • Powders or ash.
    Yes, pen tests are designed to screen and detect many illicit and prescribed drugs.
  • Liquids.
    Yes, place a tiny amount of the suspect liquid on test paper and test.
  • Solids (tablets).
    Yes, cut the tablet in half and swipe the center of the cut half onto the test paper and test.
  • Encapsulated substances.
    Yes, but open the capsule and test or if it’s a pellet-type substance, then smash before testing.
Detecting Drug Residue
Paraphernalia and items used to administer illicit drugs.

What’s inside the Pen Test packet?


  • Inside the aluminum foil pouch is a Pen containing two chemicals which when combined sets the pen for testing
  • two collection papers
  • instructions with the color comparison chart
Detecting Drug Residue
Here is what’s inside the COCO Pen Test

What are the benefits of using Pen Tests for detecting drug residue?

  • low cost
  • they detect many drugs with one application
  • they can test invisible substances and trace residues
  • the tests do not destroy the evidence
  • no special disposal procedures are required
  • safe to use with quick results and no previous knowledge to use.
Detecting Drug Residue
Here is the D4D Pen Test.

Here are some of the major drugs the D4D pen test can detect.

  • Marijuana.
  • Bath Salts.
  • K2 Spice.
  • Phencyclidine (PCP).
  • Amphetamine.
  • Heroin.
  • Opiates.
  • Buprenorphine.
  • Methadone.
  • LSD.
  • Methamphetamine (Meth).
  • Ecstasy.
  • Ketamine and More.

There are only two combination kits needed to catch most narcotic drugs. The first example is D4D plus COCA; the second is the D4D and C&H combination. The manufacturer recommends both combinations.

Benefits of using D4D and C&H Pen Test for detecting and identifying drug residue.

  • the general screening test D4D is capable of detecting nearly two dozen drugs with one application
  • the multiple drug detection and identification C&H pen test can identify over ten different drugs positively
  • the C&H pen test will confirm many of the drugs screened by the D4D pen test
  • both tests can be used on pills, powder and trace residues that cannot be seen
  • the tests do not destroy the evidence
  • no special disposal procedures for testing are required
  • safe to use with quick results and no previous knowledge to use.
Detecting Drug Residue
D4D and C&H combination kit.

Here are some of the narcotic drugs the C&H pen test can identify.

  • Cocaine.
  • Cocaine base.
  • Methamphetamine.
  • Methadone.
  • Ketamine.
  • Ephedrine.
  • Pure Heroin.
  • LSD.
  • Phenobarbital.
  • Buprenorphine.

How to use Pen Tests.

Collecting a sample for detecting drug residue.

Collecting substances for analysis is quite simple, swipe a suspect area on a surface or touch a material you wish to test with the respective test paper. Compare the color on the test papers with the color charts included in the pen test kits.

detecting drug residue test for marijuana
This is an example test paper detecting Marijuana.

How to detect drug residue with a Pen test.

  1. holding the pen test upright, squeeze the plastic tube in the middle to break the glass separator inside (Figure 1)
  2. hold finger over the pen tip and shake for ten seconds to mix chemicals (Figure 2)
  3. remove the cap while pointing the tube away from you. Point the tube tip down and empty a few drops to the test paper to cover the sampling area.
Detecting Drug Residue

How to prepare the test paper for use.

  • remove or bend back paper in the direction of the arrow from the yellow backing.
    Note: The paper backing need not be removed entirely. Bend back half way then use the exposed paper to swipe the suspect residue
  • if the backing is removed, place your thumb where there is no glue on the collection side of the paper.
Detecting Drug Residue

How to use and interpret the result.

  • swipe the test paper over the suspect area (Figure 4)
  • drip a small drop of liquid on to the test paper (Figure 5)
  • observe the color change on the test paper (Figure 6)
  • compare the color with the included chart (see chart below).
Detecting Drug Residue, Pills and Powder

Color comparison chart

Detecting Drug Residue

C&H instructions with color chart.

In conclusion, you can see that by using the D4D test with either COCA or C&H can be a huge benefit when trying to detect and identify unknown substances. We know they work well because airports, the military, and the DEA all use them for drug screening.

Did you know? A Forensic Labs charges thousands of dollars to process a sample for unknown drugs and can take many weeks before providing a result. But now detecting drug residue can be done at home without these prohibitive costs and in a fraction of the time. Best of all, the article is not damaged.

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We have been in the drug testing industry for many years. Our challenge is to help minimize drug abuse in the workplace and to help parents understand how to test their loved ones and keep them away from drugs.

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