How Long Can A Stool Sample Be Kept At Room Temperature (And Why)?

How Long Can A Stool Sample Be Kept At Room Temperature (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 24 Hours

Stools are collected for testing various kinds of things and therefore it is necessary that the stool sample be kept properly to conduct the test without any hindrance. However, while collecting the stool sample one should follow certain steps and must have certain tools in their hand before they proceed further for collection.

Things like a clean container for storing the stool, a wooden tongue depressor or a spoon, a toilet hat, and other such kinds of things. Experts and professionals will know better what things and how they are used while collecting a stool sample.

How Long Can A Stool Sample Be Kept At Room Temperature

How Long Does The Stool Sample Be Kept?

Stool must be placed in a vialWithin 2 hours after the collection
Stool at room temperatureCan be kept for about 24 hours
Once the stool is inside the vial and refrigeratedThe stool could last for up to 72 hours

A stool sample should be collected by an expert or by a professional because they will know better than a person who has no idea about how to collect a stool sample. So, if you want to send a stool sample to your doctor try calling someone expert to collect it from your home.

These things must be handled carefully because if the stool gets contaminated or in some other way then the test results could show different results and thus the proper medications will not be provided to you.

stool sample

Since the stool sample can be kept for at least 72 hours they should be handled carefully and should be sent immediately for testing. The doctors will verify through your stool sample test results, what are the problems that you are facing and accordingly the doctor will prescribe you medicines and drugs.

If you want to collect your stool sample yourself then you have to be very careful about collecting it. You have to follow some steps so that you do not make any kind of mistake while collecting your stool sample.

Nurses or any other professional will give you some tips and accordingly you should follow them. The two main points that you should keep in your mind are that the container you are collecting the stool into should be clean and proper and the other point is that you are not a professional and it is normal that you cannot handle it straight away.

Stool Sample

So, you can use plastic wrap to store the container in your fridge.

Why Does It Take That Long For Stool Sample To Be Kept At Room Temperature?

The stool sample can remain stable at room temperature and can be kept in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. The stool carries all the harmful substances and therefore it is best that the test should be done within 24 hours after the collection of the stool.

However, in some cases, doctors recommend not to refrigerate your stool because it becomes difficult to test the stool.

Stool Test

The stool should be kept fresh and if not the stool will start to multiply the bacteria in it. This will affect the test when the stool is about to be tested and when the results arrive there might be a difference because the bacteria that will be present in the stool might not be equal to the bacteria present in your digestive system.

This is one of the reasons why you should try to contact a professional to collect your stool sample from your house. Do not try to do it on your own until and unless you have many ideas about it.


In the end, the stool collected should remain at its best position and not be kept for a long time because that will ultimately affect the test results. I will recommend you to call a professional and pay them extra to collect your stool sample for you.

Do not try to do it on your own. Collecting the stool sample is equally important as the stool getting tested so make sure there are no mistakes while collecting the stool sample.

Stool samples are used for various reasons like gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel movements, and other such kinds of things. So, it is necessary that the stool remains fresh and should not be kept longer because the bacteria will multiply and the test results will be different.


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11 thoughts on “How Long Can A Stool Sample Be Kept At Room Temperature (And Why)?”

  1. This article provides helpful information about collecting and storing stool samples for medical testing.

  2. Why do the bacteria multiply in the stool when it’s not fresh? It’s quite an interesting point.

  3. This is really some useful details to be mindful of, especially when sending a stool sample to the doctor.

  4. The article makes a compelling case for engaging professionals for stool sample collection, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  5. The recommendation not to refrigerate the stool sample is quite surprising. I wonder what the reasoning behind this is.

  6. I find it quite concerning that the stool sample should be kept at room temperature for 24 hours. Isn’t that too long?

  7. It’s essential to ensure the proper collection and handling of stool samples to avoid any discrepancies in medical test results.

  8. It’s interesting to learn about the reasons for the importance of preserving stool samples for medical testing.

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