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How to Get Lead Test Kits

Lead test kits are easy ways for you to discover what items at home could be exposing your family to the neurotoxin. You can easily order lead test kits online to test for lead in your home by yourself, without needing to hire a contractor.

Where to get Free lead test kits. Really important if you have kids, or live in a house built before 1978.

Updated June 2018: This post was originally called How to Get Free Lead Test Kits. The free kits were available through a non-profit organization that no longer is able to provide free test kits. The links below will bring you to the same test kits that you can now buy on Amazon. They are still a great deal if you are concerned about the possibility of lead in your home.

These test kits make it easy to get peace of mind about paint on the walls in your home or a piece of furniture that you are concerned might have lead paint.

While certainly not fool proof, these easy tests can alert you to potential problems in your home so that you can get professional help. Or, they might ease your mind about items in your home that your are scared could contain the metal.

I tested jewelry with these lead swabs. While the results might not be 100% accurate, here’s what happened and what I found out:

The Problem with Lead

Lead is a neurotoxin. It also never disappears.


That is why lead can be so dangerous, especially to children. Flaking paint chips quickly become dust – which is then inhaled, including the lead. And it doesn’t just get passed through the body. It stays.

Lead can be found in a variety of places inside and outside your home, including:

  • Paint (walls)
  • Paint (furniture)
  • Dishware
  • Jewelry
  • Outdoors dirt (especially around a building painted with lead paint)

Lead is also well known for being in water after the Flint, Michigan incident. (Get more tips on how to get lead out of water.) Lead can also be found in cosmetics. (Read my list of 10 Lipsticks Without Lead)

How to Get Lead Test Kits

What kind of things can you test in your home with a lead test kit? For instance:

  • Heirloom wooden baby crib that has been passed down for generations
  • Old window sills with peeling paint
  • Baseboards
  • Doors
  • Painted walls (especially for homes built before 1978)
  • Door handles
  • Enamel coated bathtubs

These lead test kits from 3M/LeadCheck are best at testing wood and metal for lead.

Where to get Free lead test kits. Really important if you have kids, or live in a house built before 1978.

The EPA has a fabulous list of lead resources, including your legal rights if you are living in an apartment or rental home that has lead. The information is on their Lead Page.

The following is an infographic from the EPA that they share in explaining where lead can lurk in older homes (generally built before 1978):

Lead in your home

Where to Buy Lead Test Kits

If you want to buy lead test kits on Amazon there are a variety of 3M Lead Check test kits.

A kit with two vials is usually less than $10. Buy a bigger pack of kits (great for testing multiple rooms and areas in your home) and the test kits will be even less expensive per test.

What are you most concerned about in your home that might contain lead? Have you ever tested for lead – and did it turn out?




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Janice Chaney

Monday 13th of January 2020

You said in your add that we can get FREE lead test kit.? Where do I get that from.?

Kimberly Button

Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Janice. In the top of the article it says that the article has been updated from when the kits were free through a non-profit that no longer can afford to give them away. You could call your local state health agency and see if they have free test kits. Sometimes they have free or discounted tests that you might not be aware of.

Troy Hiner

Thursday 27th of September 2018

I live in a 1970's duplex want a free paint water lead kit where can I get one I rent this dump want to see what else is wrong with this dump please help.

Kimberly Button

Thursday 27th of September 2018

Troy, have you called your local health department? They often have lead testing kits for water (I'm not sure about paint) for a nominal charge or free.


Sunday 24th of June 2018

"Lead Safe America" links are no longer good.

Kimberly Button

Monday 25th of June 2018

Thanks for letting me know. The non-profit is no longer offering free lead test kits. I've updated the blog post to reflect the change. The test kits were always the same as the ones that you could buy, too. You can still do the easy testing at home, it will just cost a little money to do it.