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How to do a stool test: 10 simple steps

How to do a stool test: 10 simple steps

Updated on
November 12, 2023
Medical reviewer
Medically reviewed by
Brittany Rogers, MS, RDN
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Written by
Romanwell Dietitians

If you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, your doctor may order a stool test such as a fecal calprotectin test to measure your inflammation. These tests require you to collect a stool sample and bring it to a lab for testing.

If you’ve never done a stool test before, the process can be intimidating, so in this post we wanted to share how to do a stool test in 10 simple steps.

Step 1: Pick up the kit from the lab

Your kit will include everything you need to collect the stool such as

  • Instructions
  • A stool hat
  • A specimen container with built spoon
  • A specimen bag

Step 2: Put your supplies in the bathroom

Keep your stool collection kit and other supplies in the bathroom so that you’re ready when nature calls.

Helpful supplies include:

  • Pen
  • A pair of disposable gloves
  • Plastic bag
  • Specimen kit with a stool “hat” and a specimen container

Step 3: Label the specimen container

Fill out all of the required information on the specimen container before you use it. You’ll likely need to include your name, the date, and the time the sample was collected.


Step 4: Place the stool “hat” in the toilet, under the seat

The stool hat should be positioned in line with where the stool will fall. Be sure it’s underneath the seat, not on top of it. 

Step 5: Put on the gloves

If you have some disposable gloves handy, it’s a good idea to put them on before you go.

Step 6: Poop in the stool hat

This is where the deed is done. 

Step 7: Wipe into the toilet, not the hat

After you’ve gone, be sure to wipe into the toilet, not the stool hat. 

Step 8: Collect the stool sample using the built-in spoon

Your kit should come with a small built-in spoon or similar object to collect the stool. Using the spoon, transfer the stool from the hat into the container up to the fill line. 

Step 9: Place the specimen into the plastic bag and transport to the lab

If you have the time you can bring the sample to the lab immediately. If not, follow the instructions in the kit to preserve your sample until you can bring it to the lab. Some kits require you to freeze the stool for a specific amount of time. 

Step 10: Dump the remaining stool into the toilet and discard the stool hat

Put the stool hat into the large plastic bag and dispose of it in the garbage can outside.


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