How Are DNA Samples Collected?

DNA Samples are typically Cheek Swabs, also known as buccal swabs. These swabs are rubbed vigorously in the mouth to collect skin cells. Other collection methods include blood blotting and blood draws.

The standard Buccal Swab method is the least painful, convenient and most popular collection method.

Cheek Swab Collection for DNA

Begin by collecting the supplies you'll need.
  • Specimen Collection Gloves, typically found at the drug store
  • Sterile Cotton Swabs, 2-4 per person
  • OR Q-Tip style cotton swabs, 2-4 per person
  • Clean pair of scissors
  • New unused envelopes, 1 for each person
  • Pen for labeling envelopes
  • Tape or stickers for sealing the envelope
If necessary, Prepare Q-Tip Style swabs

Using the clean pair of scissors remove one swab tip from each Q-Tip style swab. This will result in a stick with a swab on the end. You will use the swab on the end of the stick to collect DNA. Be careful not to touch this swab end without wearing gloves, or to any surface.

Label the envelope with each persons name and the date of collection.

In some cases additional information might be requested by the lab. Be sure to follow their instructions. Example:

  • Full Name
  • Gender
  • Birthdate
  • Ethnicity/ Race
  • Consent Signature
  • Printed name of collector
  • Signature of Collector
  • Date of Collection
Collect one person's swab at a time.

While wearing gloves collect a minimum of 2 swabs per person. Some labs require 4. Be sure to follow their instructions.

Collect the sample by rubbing the swab end inside the cheek with firm but not painful pressure. Simultaneously rotate the swab to ensure DNA is on all the whole swab.

After the first swab is collected place it directly into the envelope labeled with that persons name.

Continue by swabbing the other cheek in the same manner.

Seal the envelope with tape.

Do not lick the envelope.

Contact iTest DNA with questions at 623-594-1605.