How to Recognize a Meth Lab

Methamphetamine is a powerful and addictive stimulant drug that about 6% of the American population has tried at least once. Because of this staggering statistic, meth labs are unfortunately more common than one might think. Due to meth being extremely addictive, a lot of users have resorted to making the drug themselves. 

While some users build small, improvised meth labs at home, others create bigger labs for a much larger production. Regardless of whether the meth lab is small or large, it’s important to understand how to recognize the signs of a meth lab so you can ensure you are safe no matter what environment you walk into. 


Top signs a meth lab may be present 

  1. Excessive amounts of trash. This can come in the form of extreme amounts of cloth strips and duct tape rolls or chemical containers, beakers, and other materials often found in a laboratory. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for unusual trash like HEET cans, lithium batteries, and red stained coffee filters.
  2. Strange and distinctive odors. From ammonia to acetone, chemicals have very strong and unique smells that can last quite a while and are strange when found in areas that should not have chemicals present.
  3. Signs of “blacking out” windows. This can be as simple as noticing that the curtains are always drawn to prevent light in a room, shed or garage, or as excessive as windows being covered with other materials such as aluminum foil or dark paint.  
  4. Extensive security measures. Because making methamphetamine is illegal, those who make their own labs at home to cook meth will likely take extra security measures to ensure they have privacy. These can include a variety of extensive measures like “no trespassing” signs, large fences, “beware of dog” signs, and more. 
  5. Cookware with powdery residue. Check glass cookware and stove pans carefully for residue of powder which can often be a telltale sign that it was used as a vessel to cook meth.


What to do if you think you’ve found a meth lab, or a place that was once a meth lab

Since meth labs can be extremely dangerous due to the substances used when cooking meth, it’s incredibly important to handle the space with care. Regardless of the materials used in making meth or the size of the lab, cleaning these spaces can be dangerous and it is difficult to return the space to a non-contaminated and safe space. 

The best way to ensure the space is safe to return to, you’ll want to hire a professional and experienced cleaning company. Bioremediation cleaners must first test your home to see if meth is present and what the levels are. First, they gather samples and if the results are positive, they’ll work with you on a complete remediation plan.

Professional cleaning companies who have training in cleaning meth labs know where and how to safely clean. Focusing on the scene of the meth lab and then the surrounding areas, they thoroughly remove contamination. After the professional cleaners are done, they can do one more test to ensure proper execution. Not only will the contamination be gone, but you’ll also gain peace of mind that your home is safe. If you or someone you know needs help with a meth lab clean up in Louisiana, call Xtreme Cleaners at (800) 524-9591.