The Ultimate List of DIY Pregnancy Tests – Do they work or not?

Last Updated: February 16, 2024
Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

By Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

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Hey there, mama! I’m sure you’ve seen it all out there, and if you’re currently wondering if you’re pregnant, you might even have TRIED IT–a DIY pregnancy test that is.

Finding an answer to whether or not homemade pregnancy tests work can be really maddening. What ISN’T said is soooo lost in the weeds against what IS said. Again. And again. Aaaand again.

Well, have no fear, lady. I’m here to help out. With my experience in labor and delivery I can tell you that I’ve HEARD IT ALL. I’ve even heard some that aren’t on this list–or any list.

It’s worth calling out at this point (I’m a woman of science, damnit!) that no scientific evidence of note is available to indicate whether not these solutions ACTUALLY WORK. Medical professionals do not recommend relying on DIY pregnancy tests, which may be fun but are not as accurate as a store-bought pregnancy test.

Regardless, did you really come here for facts? Or fun? Either way, they can get you in the right direction. Hey, there’s a reason these things have been circulating since the dawn of babies.

So read on, mama! And if you’re interested, check some of these against modern medicine–maybe you’ll be the first to prove them true. A PIONEER in modern times!

Follow @mommy.labornurse on Instagram to join our community of over 640k for education, tips, and solidarity on all things pregnancy, birth, and postpartum!

Best homemade pregnancy tests that actually work

So “ACTUALLY WORK” is a bit of a misnomer. What these do is ACTUALLY WORK in eliciting some sort of chemical reaction. Actually prove pregnancy? That’s open to interpretation–but who am I to judge!

So….do homemade DIY pregnancy tests actually work?

If you’re looking for awesome ways to confirm pregnancy at home, it’s worth considering all the sources available.

Home pregnancy test results can certainly vary, and I would not necessarily run right out and start sucking Target dry of all its Newborn and 12 month onesies & crawlers.

Of all these pregnancy tests to try, your simple homemade (DYI) pregnancy tests are worth trying out, if for no other reason than to give yourself a fun-filled evening (just stay safe!) As long as you remember they aren’t for sure.

Because NOTHING is sure.

But a positive store-bought pregnancy test is RARELY inaccurate.

If you’ve wondered “how accurate are home pregnancy tests” or “when to confirm pregnancy at home”, I hope you will walk away feeling more confident about the answers to these questions.

Short answer: They usually aren’t.

Buzzkill, much? Not at all!

While they may not be quite as accurate as a store-bought pregnancy test or pregnancy kit, there are always things you can do to increase accuracy. Use more than one method. Use ALL OF THEM!

The first sign of pregnancy

The best time to start trying out these awesome DIY pregnancy tests is when you’ve already noticed signs to point out you’re pregnant. We’ve all heard some of them, but there might be a few curveballs in here.

The first signs to watch out for in order to know when to check pregnancy at home are:

  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • sudden exhaustion / lack of energy
  • swelling breasts
  • a missed period
  • weird cravings
  • mood swings

How do homemade pregnancy tests work?

This is a sticky point. Because there is not a lot of scientific evidence to suggest that they DO work, we kind of have to guess at the science.

What we do know is that hCG (human chorionic gonadotropinthe, which activates in your body while pregnant) reacts with certain chemicals in certain ways. For example, a store-bought pregnancy test has a strip that is activated when it detects hCG above a certain threshold in volume.

So… in THEORY, other stuff might react with hCG, right? And probably DOES. The kinks come in when we wonder how much, and which ones, and under what conditions.

And then we wonder why science can’t just come out and say “Hey, how do homemade pregnancy tests work? Well, Colgate has a thing that Crest doesn’t, and that thing reacts to hCG!”

Thanks for nothing, science. We still love you.

Related Reading: Old Wives Tales About Pregnancy (including some that may be true!)

Related Reading: Your Pregnancy Announcement to Family and the Coolest Ways to Do It (in person!)

Common guidelines to follow

If you’re looking to find out how to confirm pregnancy in-home without a kit, there are some guidelines we can follow.

Regardless the dispute on whether or not they actually do work, it is agreed upon for store-bought and DIY pregnancy test alike that you will get the best results first thing in the morning (at least, as long as urine is involved).

So if you want to know how to increase the accuracy of the homemade pregnancy test, it’s to hold it all night and pee big in the morning.

How early can you take a home pregnancy test

Here’s a good one: from birth! You can even take one if you’re a man! Or an ocelot!

OK, what you probably mean is “How early after I missed my PERIOD can I take a DIY PREGNANCY TEST that can tell if I’m PREGNANT.” That makes more sense, thanks.

This one’s tough to say, too. The reality is that current and readily accepted screening options typically only offer an accurate result 4 weeks and a couple of days after your last menstrual period. We can more or less assume the same for our DIY pregnancy tests.

What are the chances of having the best results with a homemade pregnancy test? No comment! It’s hard to gauge probabilities in this case.

Regardless, I think you’ve totally got this, mama, and I hope you try them all and have nothing but AMAZING results.

Related Reading: Should You Have An Early Pregnancy Scan?

The best homemade/DIY pregnancy tests that work (maybe)

If there’s a homemade or DIY pregnancy test that works (or COULD work), we’ll cover it, for sure.

But how can we check pregnancy at home? Let’s take a look, mama.

Make your own pregnancy test

You always have the option of following the list I’ve compiled below. These DIY pregnancy tests are composed of household items that you see and use every day, so it won’t be hard to fit that chemistry in right between changing from work and getting started on dinner.

How do you make a homemade pregnancy test?

The only step remaining is to examine how to make a pregnancy test. These homemade pregnancy test recipes will give several different sources from which to draw a potential answer.

Some of these are kind of fun, if you can forget that you’re usually using your own pee to perform them. Think of it as some crazy fringe science where you’re running against the common scientific warnings to punch holes in the universe!

Or just “pretend” that store-bought tests are “expensive”, and then keep telling yourself this fact. Over and over.

Ugh. I know they really are expensive though. Sorry, mama – it’s not really fair.

Homemade pregnancy test with toothpaste

The toothpaste pregnancy test is an old reliable formula that has been in use at least as long as you’re mom’s mom was still momming.

The toothpaste test is performed by adding a few drops of your urine onto a spot of fresh white toothpaste.

Give it a few hours and then circle back to check on your little pile of magic.

The toothpaste pregnancy test results you’re looking for? If you find a frothy mess with a hint of blue (potentially), it’s time to start thinking about nurseries and names and who gets to be the Godfather. Queue chilling Italian music.

Does the toothpaste pregnancy test work? Chemically, there are compelling reasons to think that it might actually give you a clue. I would not consider it a silver bullet because it isn’t clear in any legitimate study what reaction the toothpaste has to the urine–it could just as easily mean you ate too much garlic last night.

Ultimately, toothpaste as a test for pregnancy at home seems like it COULD be plausible (maybe), so it’s definitely worth trying. I would couple this with store-bought test before getting too aggressive about that nursery space.

Homemade pregnancy test with vinegar

The vinegar pregnancy test is another classic, and this basic kitchening product has been around long enough for this one to have some history (unlike toothpaste, which only began squeezing from a tube in the last 75 years or so).

The vinegar test is performed by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to a half a cup of urine. That’s it! Get a good look at the color, or even take a picture.

If you give that little concoction about 5 minutes to stew, you will supposedly know you’re pregnant if you find that the mixture has changed color.

What color does vinegar turn if pregnant?

Beats me, honey. I looked and looked and, since I have a pregnant lady’s urine, couldn’t answer this question for you. It just changes.

Regardless, give vinegar a go if you want a quick and easy DIY pregnancy test that you can perform right there in the kitchen! Just be sure to wash the cup afterward?

Homemade pregnancy test with soap

The soap pregnancy test features a simple bar of soap and a few tablespoons of YOUR OWN PEE. Woot woot.

Collect a morning sample of urine and pour it over the top of a bar of soap (preferably in a plastic cup). Give it about 10 minutes and see if you notice any bubbling or change in color.

If so, this soapy test is telling you that you must be pregnant.

The soap test is certainly among the easiest to perform. There are a few variations out there, which kind of makes me wonder how much the trick has been tried or tested.

Some recommendations indicate that you must lather the soap first, others say to just start peein.

I’ll leave the specifics to you. When in doubt, try a few different variations. I would LOVE to hear more if you try it and something happens! COMMENT BELOW!

Homemade pregnancy test with wine

The wine test gives you a fallback if it turns out you aren’t pregnant. BE SURE before you take the consolation prize, honey.

The wine pregnancy test is super easy, if a little more pricey than the others.

Add an equal part urine to the wine of your choice (I’d probably recommend a nice crisp white) and observe the color. If the wine’s color changes, evidence suggests that you are preggers. If not (and again, let’s be sure by grabbing a store bought test first), take a swig!

Click me

Homemade pregnancy test with a metal latch

The latch test is a crazy old wives tale that supposedly really did it for the stump witches and apothecaries of old. Now, what precisely they meant by “latch” is a little gray in this modern age.

Ultimately, per a clipping I found in the University of Toronto Quarterly journal, the latch test came from a treatise in the fifteenth century that may or may not have been a satire on the employment of bodily fluids for use in religion, therapeutics, divination, and a few other blustery occupations.

I was completely blind-sided to find a disclaimer basically saying “don’t actually believe any of this stuff” in the document, since I didn’t think disclaimers were invented until McDonalds made a cup of coffee that couldn’t or shouldn’t be used topically.

AWESOME read, though, check it out if you can! And really, try the latch test at your own discretion.

This test, presumed to be one of the earliest home pregnancy test known, requires you to place a latch (or key) in the bottom of a clean basin.

Put urine in the basin and give it 3 hours. Throw the mix out and inspect the bottom of the basin–if you see a print where the latch or key was placed, preggo!

Don’t forget to bring a grain of salt, mama.

Homemade pregnancy test with bleach

The bleach pregnancy test purports to show a reaction when the bleach comes in contact with hCG.

This bleach test is super quick though, and there are claims that bleach pregnancy test results COULD be most accurate of all DIY pregnancy tests (do you still have that grain of salt?)

It’s super simple. Pee in a cup and add some powdered bleach detergent to the cup! If it foams, that supposedly means you’re pregnant.

Be sure to properly dispose of the results, since bleach is dangerous and pee is, well, GROSS.

Homemade pregnancy test with dandelions

Talk about your natural home remedies for DIY pregnancy testing! The dandelion pregnancy test gives you a chance to frolic in the fields AND find out if you’re pregnant, mama. That’s well worth trying.

Collect dandelion leaves from your yard (or the neighbor’s, if you have trouble growing dandelions), and add them to a cup of pee.

They say that your dandelion leaves should react with hCG by turning red and blistery. I haven’t seen it myself, but this sounds like a pretty compelling test.

As with anything, the dandelion leaves pregnancy test is unproven. Check yourself before your wreck [your husband’s day].

Homemade pregnancy test with sugar

The sugar pregnancy test uses household sugar that no kitchen tends to go without. Put white granulated sugar in a plastic cup and mix it with–yep, you guessed it–your morning pee.

Once again, 10 minutes is the magic number. If your sugar starts to clump, behold your sugar pregnancy test results! The sugar test suggests you aren’t pregnant if the sugar dissolves (like lemon Kool-aid).

For best results using the sugar test for pregnancy confirmation, use crystallized sugar (according to someone somewhere).

Related Reading: First Trimester Tips from a Labor and Delivery Nurse

Homemade pregnancy test with vinegar and tuna juice

The vinegar and tuna juice test is definitely the smelliest of the lot. Go ahead and include a clothespin over your nose in the ingredients list. 😉

Drain 1/4 cup tuna juice off a can and place it in a plastic cup with 1/4 cup vinegar.

Get that morning pee captured as carefully as possible, and place the sample in your fishy vinegar.

Give it ten minutes and watch for the solution to turn green. Green means GO! To Babies-R-Us.

Homemade pregnancy test with Tylenol and hydrogen peroxide

The tylenol and hydrogen peroxide pregnancy test is a great option if you want to feel like a real chemist (or if you are, I guess?). Crush two tabs of Tylenol and mix them in a plastic cup with a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide.

Mix this milky mix with 1/4 cup of urine, and give it about 10 minutes.

If you’re pregnant, the tylenol, hydrogen peroxide and urine should result in a blue foamy mess.

Overall, this one sounds pretty easy. Give it a go, lady!

Homemade pregnancy test with Pine Sol

The Pine-Sol pregnancy test has been met with a lot of coverage and a fair bit of skepticism. The fact of the matter is that it isn’t any more or less likely than most of these solutions, so be sure you’re giving it the benefit of a doubt, but don’t go applying for maternity leave just on this one alone.

If you want to try Pine-Sol, add your urine to a cup of the cleaning solution. The claim is that your urine will change the golden brown Pine-Sol to a green or blue tint.

Pine-Sol pregnancy test results should definitely be given short shrift. Double it up with a few others and defer to your care provider’s crazy methodology when in doubt.

Homemade pregnancy test with a mason jar

The urine-in-a-jar test is by far the easiest (and maybe the grossest) pregnancy test you can DIY. A simple jar test, all you have to do is pee in the jar. And then side it aside someplace where it will not be disturbed, drank, or seen by anyone whose opinion you highly value regarding yourself and your sanity.

After 24 hours, you should see a thin white layer on top of the urine if it’s poitive. If not, you’ve just got a jar of pee.

This is another of those earliest home pregnancy tests, given the mason jar was invented in 1858, and I bet folks have been peeing in them ever since.

I mean, why not?

Homemade pregnancy test with barley and/or wheat

The barley/wheat seed test is ridiculously old. Mason jars aside, this little beauty might have been employed before even the latch was invented.

One source claimed that they used it in ancient Egypt (we’re talking BC, here).

How do you find out you’re pregnant using wheat and barley seeds?
It’s easy: you pee on them.

Give it a few days, keep an eye out, and if the either of the seeds sprouts, you’re pregnant!

But WAIT, there’s MORE!

If the wheat sprouts, you’re supposedly having a girl. If the barley sprouts, you’re supposedly having a girl!

And here’s the shocker.

There are some claims and even some studies that this TOTALLY WORKS. #mindblown

Granted, I couldn’t find the scholarly texts, but the fact that a few places reference testing in the ’70s that actually proved it is enough for me to geek out, even if just a little bit.

Homemade pregnancy test with baking soda

The baking soda pregnancy test is a nice and easy way to DIY your hopes or fears away. Baking soda reveals the secret if a blue or foaming solution results from mixing 2 tablespoons of baking soda with your morning urine.

The baking soda pregnancy test is another that’s been around for decades, although baking soda pregnancy test accuracy is definitely something to check against others tests or, ya know, that 99% accurate store-bought variety.

Homemade pregnancy test with mustard powder

Hopefully you like the smell of mustard if you’re going to go for the mustard powder pregnancy test. This is a pretty easy one to pull off, but it does involve a little waiting.

Basically, you add half to three-quarters of a cup of mustard powder to your bath. The powdered mustard bath will potentially trigger a period if you’re capable of having one.

Why? Well I guess mustard is pretty well known for assisting in triggering a menstrual cycle. Who knew, right?

So take your mustard bath, and then go about your daily life. If after 3 days or so you don’t catch up on that missed period, there is a good likelihood that you’re pregnant!

Related Reading: When to Call Your Doctor During Pregnancy

False positives / False negatives happen

Here’s the reality, lady. Nothing is perfect. Nothing is ever sure.
These DIY pregnancy tests are no exception (even though some of them certainly are INTERESTING). Go to your doctor or take a store bought test, REGARDLESS of which outcome you get.

The last and worst thing you want is to believe you’re pregnant when you actually AREN’T. There is no worse a heartbreak beyond actually BEING pregnant and then not being pregnant anymore. 🙁

Manage your expectations, take your measurements, and always ALWAYS confirm with more conventional methods if the DIY tests seem pretty clear.

This is an awesome and amazing time for you, particularly if your results come out positive. Be sure you’re sure before you let yourself get caught in the nesting cycle.

How to confirm pregnancy

How do you know for sure that you’re pregnant, though?

As with anything (and I MIGHT have mentioned this a few times, wink/nudge), the best way to be sure is to check with someone who GETS PAID to know how to be sure.

That someone is definitely a doctor, and they can definitely tell you for sure.

At least after 4 weeks or so.

Home pregnancy tests are 99% accurate, too. Using these home DIY tests can be a lot of fun and make you feel more aligned with nature.

Ultimately, there is a reason that these store-bought tests exist.

And honestly, a lot of these methods probably primed the pump for chemists to make and refine the tests that we KNOW work.

Don’t ever feel bad about using the right tool for the job. You owe it to yourself and your partner to be realistic and sure about pregnancy, so take these DIY pregnancy tests for what they are.

How can I tell if I’m pregnant without a test?

This is a funny one, and I’m surprised to see how often it comes up in conversations out there.

The one and only one surefire way to find out if you’re pregnant WITHOUT using a test are to follow these simple instructions:

  1. Wait a month or two
  2. Look down at your tummy

Does it look bigger? Then you’re either pregnant (or eating way too many donuts).

Not enough for you? Follow it up with this infallible test:

  1. Wait another 7 – 9 months
  2. Look down

Are you holding an infant? If so, then YES, you were definitely pregnant.

The bottom line with DIY pregnancy tests

Even though we know there may be more accurate pregnancy tests available, I certainly hope you’ve had fun flipping through my DIY pregnancy tests.

I know you’re really hoping for the best if you took the time to read them all, and I seriously hope you have all the luck in the world with this or future attempts to get yourself in a family way.

As always, I’d love to hear about your experiences so take some time to comment below and don’t ever hestitate to reach out!

If any one of these DIY pregnancy tests can give you the clue to finding out if you’re pregnant, I’ll consider my time putting this ultimate list of DIY pregancy tests together well spent.

Happy pregnancy testing, mama-to-be!

Prenatal care workshop
Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

As a labor and delivery nurse, I’ve spent countless hours with women who felt anxious — even fearful — about giving birth. I want you to know it doesn’t have to be that way for you!

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