3M™ LeadCheck™ Swab Demo on Painted Wood and Metal Surfaces

3M™ LeadCheck™ Swab Demo on Painted Wood and Metal Surfaces

This test method is for testing
painted wood and metal surfaces
for the presence of lead. This method is described in
detail in the instructions that
are in your kit. For this test you will need
one or more 3M LeadCheck
Swabs. 3M LeadCheck Swabs can detect
lead at the level of 600
parts per million. Note you will need a separate 3M
LeadCheck Swab for each area to
be directly tested. You will also need a
sharp utility knife. You should also have some
alcohol wipes on hand to clean the blade of the knife
before and after testing each
area. This is done to
prevent cross contamination. It is important that each test
be conducted in exactly the same
manner. Do not squeeze the 3M LeadCheck
Swab until the area to be tested
has been prepared. Once the chemicals inside have
been mixed and activated, they remain effective for
approximately 90 seconds. Before testing the painted
surface, use the clean
utility knife to cut through the paint layers
to the bare substrate. Now you may prepare to
activate the 3M LeadCheck Swab. Note that there are two separate
glass ampoules inside each 3M
LeadCheck Swab. And that both must be crushed
to activate the reagent liquid. Do not crush these ampoules
unless the cardboard cover is in
place, completely covering both
of the glass ampoules. Now activate the 3M LeadCheck
Swab by firmly squeezing each
end at the points marked A and B on the cardboard cover until you
can feel and hear the ampoules
inside being crushed. Shake the tube vigorously for a
few moments to be sure that the
chemicals inside have mixed. The 3M LeadCheck Swab is now
activated and ready for use. Squeeze the tube until you see a
bit of the reagent liquid
soaking down through the fibers of the swab and appearing
at the end of the swab tip. Firmly rub the wet tip of the
swab across the surface at the point where you
cut through the paint layers. Continue to gently
squeeze the sides of the tube. Apply only enough pressure to
keep the tip wet with the
reagent liquid. If lead is present in any of the
paint layers, you may see a pink
to red reaction on contact. Red means lead. If not, rub the area until color
develops, but not longer than 30
seconds. If the swab and surface remain
unchanged after 30 seconds, lead
has not been detected. If the test is negative, confirm
the reactivity of the 3M
LeadCheck reagent by squeezing a drop of the reagent liquid onto
one of the test confirmation
cards. The circle should
instantly turn red. Don’t forget, red means lead. Testing some industrial paints
requires longer development
time. Read the instructions regarding
chromate paint in your instruction sheet for
more information. Pigments containing lead
chromate are rarely found in
household paints. 3M LeadCheck
Swabs do not expire. So when filling out the EPA
form, use the lot number shown on the swab in the
expiration date field. The lot number can be found on
the cardboard cover or on the plastic tube underneath the
cardboard cover.


  • Ninosław Brzostowiecki says:

    How common are false negatives?  

  • Don Blade says:

    "If the swap tip does not turn pink or red after rubbing the test area, squeeze a drop of the 3M leadcheck reagent onto one of the test dots.
    If a PINK or red color appears on the confirmation card dot, the swab was activated properly and lead was not detected

    If the test dot does not turn pink or red, the test was invaliud and must be repeated with a new 3m Lead check Swap"


    How in the world can 3m Make this mistake???

  • Vilayluck ONPHANMANY says:

    Thanks for sharing it! very useful for me

  • William Turczynski says:

    Used one of a two pack and the liquid leaked out around the the cardboard tube and not the tip but maybe I squeezed too hard??

  • GabakTech - Cursos de Computación y Tecnología says:

    does it work for crockpot?

  • Simo Henrik says:

    the presenter does not know how to cut the fingernails in a healthy fashion

  • Silva Jr says:

    What if turns red after a while. Like 30 min to 1 hr

  • waterflaws nom deguerre says:

    My swabs seemed to work as described, except they turned a rich golden yellow, and the test card turned a deep rust-red? I was expecting pale yellow and fire-engine red, respectively. Does that sound normal?

  • Angry Parrot Distillery says:

    Bought a 2 swab 3M kit to test for lead in soldered joints on some copper items I bought.

    These kits were USELESS.

    I prep'ed and cleaned the areas to be tested.

    1) The test swabs leaked yellow crap everywhere even when minimal pressure was used to crush the amphules and squeeze the body of the swab.

    2) The swabs turned black as soon as I started rubbing on the metal so there was no chance of seeing red or not.

    $20 NZD for this garbage … won't be buying 3M again in a hurry if I can avoid it.

  • ProvokeEmotion says:

    What if the paint is red, it will turn red regardless correct? I have red paint.

  • theinkbrain says:

    Would this work to test ceramic glazes?

  • cyril mathew says:

    Does it work on noodles??

  • Brandon Cline says:

    Here’s what I found so far

    Per the instructions:


    If the Swab and or the test surface turn a pink to red color, the test is positive for lead. Only lead produces a pink to red color with 3M LeadCheck Swabs.

    If the Swab and or test surface did not turn pink or red no hazardous level of lead was detected. Use the confirmation card to confirm that the 3M LeadCheck reagents were active (the circle on the card should turn bright pink).

    If the Swab and or test surface turn orange, the result is negative for lead but positive for barium which was sometimes added to paint as an extender. If lead were also present in the paint the Swab tip and or test surface would turn pink before turning orange.

    If the Swab and or test surface turn purple, the result is negative for lead but positive for tin.

  • Matthew Dalimonte says:


  • Benjamin Fan says:

    What is the transparent liquid itself? is it safe?

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