Reagent testing kits

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This guide is provided for informational and educational purposes only. We do not encourage you to break the law and cannot claim any responsibility for your actions.

Reagent testing kits is a drug testing method that uses chemical solutions that change in color when applied to a chemical compound. They can help determine what chemical might be present in a given sample. In many cases they do not rule out the possibility of another similar compound being present in addition to or instead of the one suspected.

Although very few substances are effective at dosages that allow the use of paper blotters, LSD is not the only one: It's essential to test for its presence to avoid substances of the NBOMe class. Additionally, it's becoming increasingly important to test for possible Fentanyl contamination, since this substance is effective at dosages that make it possible to put very high quantities on a single blotter.

NOTE: Reagents can only determine the presence, not the quantity or purity, of a particular substance. Dark color reactions will tend to override reactions to other substances also in the pill. A positive or negative reaction for a substance does not indicate that a drug is safe. No drug use is 100% safe. Make wise decisions and take responsibility for your health and well-being; no one else can.


  • Drug checking reagents
  • Ceramic spot plate, or other ceramic surface like a coffee mug
  • Scraper for pills, or scissors/knife for paper blotters
  • Micro lab spatula/scoop
  • Latex gloves for protection
  • Caustic soda to neutralize accidental spills
  • Image/video recording device for easy review afterwards.

How to use reagents

IMPORTANT: Never have more than one reagent bottle open at a time. If you mix up the caps and put the wrong cap on the wrong reagent bottle, this may cross-contaminate the reagents and ruin them. Be sure to perform the tests in a well-lit location. Be careful when using the reagents, as they contain chemicals that can damage skin (we recommend wearing latex gloves). Keep the solutions far from your eyes and mouth. Also, make sure to clean up completely after each test.

  1. Scrape a tiny bit of your pill or powder (or cut a tiny piece, if handling a blotter) onto a large, white ceramic plate. Use just enough powder to see on the plate.
  2. Take the reagent bottle out of the plastic safety container. Remove the cap and turn the bottle upside-down a couple inches over the powder.
  3. Squeeze one drop out of the bottle onto the powder. Be careful to not let the dropper bottle touch your powder or you will contaminate and ruin the rest of the reagent. Replace the cap.
  4. Observe the color change right away. Optionally you can film the reaction with your phone or a camera for future reference. Use the corresponding columns of the color chart included with your kit to evaluate your test.
  5. If the reagent either does not change any color during the first 30 seconds or if it produces some other color-change sequence, then the pill definitely does not contain any of the above substances. It may also be highly adulterated with one or more unknown substances. You can use other reagents on new samples to look for the presence of other substances. Wash the testing surfaces with soap and water as soon as possible.

Drug checking at music festivals

Pill testing/drug checking at music festivals has been done at a growing number of events like: Boom Festival (since 2003)[2], Parklife (2014)[3][4], Groovin the Moo (2018)[5], etc. Many use reagent tests as part of their services. To help others start drug checking services ANKORS has launched the Drug Checking at Music Festivals: A How To‐Guide[6].

Known reagents

Known substance testing reagents.

Reagent test Detection of chemical class(es) Detection examples Other
Chen-Kao Phenylalkylamines Pseudoephedrine, ephedrine
Dille–Koppanyi Barbiturates
p-Dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde (DMACA) + acidic solution Indoles
Duquenois–Levine Cannabis
Ehrlich Indoles Tryptophan, tryptamines (e.g. DMT, psilocybin mushrooms), ergoloids (e.g. LSD) Tryptophan occurs in natural opium
Hofmann reagent Indoles Indolamines (LSD, DMT, 4-Aco-DMT, etc.) and for some

phenethylamines (2-CTX, 2CE, DOM, etc.).

Used for distinguishing LSD analogues from each other, and for distinguishing DMT analogues from each other.
Folin A & B Amines, amino acids, piperazines
Froehde Alkaloids, especially opioids Research chemicals
Gallic acid Drug precursor chemicals (MDP2P, safrole). Distinction of MDMA, MDA and MDEA from amphetamine or methamphetamine.
Gold(III) bromide Compounds with phenol and hydroxyl groups Acetaminophen, ascorbic acid, heroin, lactose, mannitol, morphine, and sucrose Ketamine
Liebermann Cocaine, morphine, PMA, and PMMA, MDMA, certain substances from the 2C and other research chemicals etc. Used as a secondary test that tells the difference between methamphetamine and amphetamine, between MDMA and MDA or between methylone and MDPV.
Mandelin reagent Ketamine, and PMA. Amphetamines, methadone, cocaine, opium, research chemicals.
Marquis Alkaloids Amphetamine-type compounds (Speed etc) including Methamphetamine, MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly), MDA, MDE, Opiates (Morphine, Codeine or Heroin), LSD, a general screening agent for other drugs e.g. Research Chemicals etc.
Mayer Alkaloids
Mecke Alkaloids Heroin and other opiates (opium etc), LSD, Research Chemicals etc.
Robadope Primary amines
Scott reagent (Cobalt(II) thiocyanate) Cocaine, lidocaine. Diphenhydramine
Simon A & B Alkaloids, secondary amines
Zimmermann Alkaloids, benzodiazepines
Zwikker Barbiturates


Reagents are primarily sulfuric acid with other potentially dangerous chemicals, and are strong enough to burn skin and clothing. Keep out of eyes and mouth. Wear latex gloves when handling the bottle and cap. If you get some on you, then wash quickly with soap and water. Wash testing surfaces with soap and water as well. Dispose of any unwanted reagent down the sink with running water and baking soda. Store all testing kits in a cold, dark place such as a refrigerator between uses.

  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight or heat to extend the shelf life
  • Store upright to avoid leaks
  • Keep in a safe place away from children
  • Read information about expiry date, since many reagents tend to lose efficacy over time
  • It's possible to store reagents in the fridge or freezer for a longer shelf life. Note that before use the reagent needs to be at room temperature. Do not open the reagent before it has reached room temperature or humidity from the air will condense water into the reagent. Liebermann reagent cannot be stored in the freezer only in the fridge.

Test kit expiration test

Common household items can be used to test if a reagent has expired. The following table shows known test results.[7]

Substance Marquis Mecke Mandelin Folin Ehrlich
before testing colorless colorless traffic yellow colorless clear > light yellow
Aspirin pink > deep red (slow) no color change Dark grey-green no color change unknown
Caffeine no color change no color change brown unknown unknown
Codeine dark purple dark bluish green faint orange unknown unknown
Ibuprofen no color change light brown dark brown unknown unknown
Paracetamol no color change no color change moderate olive unknown unknown
Salt (Sodium Chloride) fizzes clear fizzes clear strong orange unknown unknown
Sugar (slow) dark brown briliant greenish yellow slow brown no color change unknown
Vitamine C very light yellow (slow) orange pale blue no color change unknown
Melatonin unknown unknown unknown unknown Pink > Purple

Substance Froehde Liebermann Robadope Simon's
Before testing colorless colorless colorless yellow ≥ red
Aspirin blue > purple brown unknown no color change
Caffeine no color change no color change unknown no color change
Codeine green ≥ red ≥ brown faint brown no color change no color change
Ibuprofen no color change Dark reddish brown unknown no color change
Paracetamol pale blue brownish purple unknown no color change
Salt (Sodium Chloride) fizzes strongly fizzes strongly unknown no color change
Sugar briliant yellow very light purple unknown no color change
Vitamine C pale yellow brown ≥ purple-black unknown unknown

Ehrlich can be tested with melatonin which turns pink when not expired.[8]

Color chart

Substance Mandelin Marquis Mecke Simon's Froehde Liebermann
2C-B[9] Green Yellow to green [10] Yellow No reaction Yellow Very dark green
2C-I[9] No reaction Yellow to green Dark brown No reaction Unknown Unknown
2C-T-7 Maroon to Black Apricot Red to purple No reaction violet and orange streaks [10] Unknown
3-Meo-PCP Green No color change Yellow No color change Reddish brown
4-FA No color change No color change Faint purple-blue
4-MEC Unknown No colour change [10] Light green Unknown Unknown
Acetaminophen Moderate olive Unknown Unknown Unknown No colour change
Amphetamine Greenish Brown Red-Yellow > Brown No reaction No reaction No reaction or Red Orange
Benzocaine Light orange-brown No color change Unknown No colour change
Benzphetamine Brilliant yellow green Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Caffeine No reaction No reaction No reaction No reaction No reaction
Chlorpromazine Dark olive Deep purplish red Blackish red Unknown Very deep red[11]
Cocaine Very slight darkening No color change Unknown Unknown No colour change Yellowish or Orange
Codeine Dark olive Very dark purple Very dark bluish green Unknown Dark Green[11][12] > Red/Brown[13]
Diacetylmorphine (Heroin) Dark brown Deep purplish red Deep bluish green Unknown Purple/red > to green Black
Dimethoxy-meth Dark olive brown Moderate olive Dark brown Unknown Unknown
Doxepin Very reddish brown Blackish red Very dark red Unknown Deep reddish brown[11]
Dristan Greyish olive Dark grayish red Light olive brown Unknown Light bluish green[11]
DXM Goes clear w/ green edges[14] Grey with smoke Yellow No reaction No reaction
Ephedrine Brief darkening No color change Unknown Unknown Unknown Deep Orange
Ethylone Brown Bright yellow Greenish Brown
Ketamine None or Orange No reaction No reaction No reaction No colour change Very light yellow
LSD None None Greenish black Unknown Unknown None
Mace Moderate olive green Moderate yellow Dark greyish olive No reaction Light olive yellow[11]
MDA Purple/Blue > Black Dark purple to black[11] Very dark blue No reaction Greenish black[11] Green > Dark Violet
MDAI Orange Green Green > Black
MDEA Dark purple Dark purple Dark purple Blue Unknown
MDMA Puple/Blue > Black Dark purple to black Dark purple Blue Black w/ hints of greenish brown Intense Brown > Black
Mescaline Dark yellowish brown Strong orange [13] Moderate olive Unknown Green > to Blue[13] or Yellow[15] Black
Mephedrone No reaction No reaction No reaction No reaction No reaction Bright yellow
Methamphetamine Green > Blue Orange/brown No reaction Blue No colour change[10] Red or Orange
Methadone Dark greyish blue Light yellowish pink Unknown Unknown Unknown
Methaqualone Very orange yellow No reaction No reaction No reaction Unknown
Methoxetamine No reaction Pink (slow) Yellow > green > red slow pink > red Yellow to green
Methylone[9] Yellow Brown Orange/brown Blue Deep green[16]
Methylphenidate Brilliant orange yellow Moderate orange yellow Unknown Pale violet No reaction[11]
MXE Pink (slow) Yellow > Green > Red Yellow - green
Modafinil Brownish Red Yellow/Orange > Brown Darkening Orange
PMA Green to brown No reaction Olive Green No reaction Pale green > to brown

Ehrlich Reagent forms a bright yellow color and indicates the possible presence of procaine or benzocaine. [17]

See also

  • See the Network page for reagent testing kits, and purity testing kits.
  • See this page to enter your results and find out what your substance is. It is also possible to see what results a substance should give.
  • Responsible use
  • Tutorial index

External links


  1.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. Drugs policies and electronic music culture |
  3. The Loop: On-site Drug Safety Testing |
  4. Six UK music festivals are to allow drug testing including Reading and Leeds, 2017 
  5. Pill Testing Australia: GROOVIN THE MOO 2018 report |
  6. Drug Checking at Music Festivals - A How-To Guide 
  8. justatest122 (2013), False positives on Reagent test kit? 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 TheAzo. "Marquis/Mecke/Mandellin results for stim/empathogen/2C-X, RC's & more". Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2013-03-22.  Alt URL
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Reagent Base Reaction database". Retrieved 21 Dec 2016. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 "Color Test Reagents/Kits for Preliminary Identification of Drugs of Abuse" (PDF). Law Enforcement and Corrections Standards and Testing Program. July 2000. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  12. Kelly, Tamsin (2011). Clarke's Analysis of Drugs and Poisons. Pharmaceutical Press. 44. pp. 213–214. doi:10.1080/00450618.2011.620006. ISBN 978-0-85369-711-4. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Controlled Substances Procedures Manual" (PDF). Virginia Department of Forensic Science. 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-02. 
  14. "Mandelin test results for DXM, ibuprofen, sugar and modafinil". 2016-02-14. Retrieved 21 Dec 2016. 
  15. Bunk Police. "Mescaline - Froehde Reagent - Normal Test Kit - Bunk Police". 
  16. "Methylone - Froehde Reagent - Normal Test Kit - Bunk Police". Youtube. 18 Nov 2015. Retrieved 21 Dec 2016.