24 Hour Urine Test

24 Hour Urine Test


A 24 hour urine test shows how well your kidneys are working. You must collect all urine that is passed in a 24 hour period for the test.

Read these directions carefully. If you have any questions, contact your provider before starting this test. 

To prepare

  • You will receive a large bottle to collect your urine.
  • Put your name on the bottle. You can write on the label.
  • Some tests require you to restrict your diet or certain medicines. Your nurse will let you know if this is needed for the test ordered for you.
  • Some tests need a chemical added to the bottle when you begin the test.
  • Do not exercise more than usual while you are collecting your urine.
  • If any urine is spilled or not collected, you will need to start over with a new bottle.
  • Do not get any toilet paper or stool in the urine.
  • Keep the chemical and bottle away from children and pets.
  • Keep the urine cool or refrigerated. Do not freeze.
  • Keep the container in a safe place where it will not be spilled or exposed to light.

How to collect your urine

  1. To start, empty your bladder and flush the toilet to get rid of the urine. Write down the time. This is the time you start the 24-hour urine test. It is often easiest if you discard your first morning urine when you get up and start from that time.
  2. If you need to add a chemical to the bottle, do this before you put any urine into the bottle.
  3. Urinate into a clean cup or container. Carefully pour the urine into the large bottle.
  4. Women are given a container that fits under the toilet seat to catch the urine. Some people call this a “hat.” Sit far enough forward when urinating to make sure all of the urine goes into the container and not into the toilet water.
  5. For the next 24 hours, save all of your urine and put it into the bottle.
  6. At the end of the 24 hours, urinate one more time until your bladder is empty. Pour the urine into the bottle.

Delivering your urine

  • Take the bottle of urine AND your lab slip to the lab on the day you finish collecting your urine.
  • Check in at the lab’s registration desk.

© 2008 – August 2, 2019, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care. For more health information, call the Library for Health Information at 614-293-3707 or email: health-info@osu.edu.