How to spot a Meth Lab

The (un)definitive guide to spotting a meth lab in your neighborhood

Because the process in which meth is made changes as new methods are developed I couldn’t call this the “definitive guide to spotting a meth lab in your neighborhood”. However, this should be a good start if you suspect your neighbors are making meth.

First off, meth has a strange odor, and the smell of meth is not easily masked. Depending on the size and scale of the operation, the odor may be strong. Some people mistake the smell of meth being made as a gas leak – however if you smell an odd smell repeatedly you can always contact your fire department (or police dept.) and ask them to investigate.

There will also likely be people coming and going at all hours. This is typical, not just of a meth lab, but of a meth house in general. Meth addicts can typically stay up for days at a time and don’t exactly use discretion when it comes to what would be considered “normal”  in a neighborhood.

Secondly, depending on how much meth is being made there will likely be containers used in the meth making process laying around. This would be tough to spot if it’s a small scale meth lab or they are using the shake and bake method to make meth because they might not have a large volume of discarded containers laying around. The shake and bake (or one pot) method makes small amounts at a time so if your neighbor is making more than just a small amount they would likely make meth using a combination of items (and some recipes call for some of these items and not others):

So if you happen to glimpse through a kitchen window or into a garage where there are oddities like this laying around out of place and in conjunction with one another it might be time to get suspicious. For instance a hot plate and a blender plugged in out in the garage might be a little odd, especially if it there is a film or chemical residue on them. Also keep in mind that these are common household items, some of which could also be used in making home made beer which is totally legal.

Lastly, the many materials needed to make meth. With the exception of anhydrous ammonia, many of these are items that can be bought at local stores, typically in small quantity (especially pseudoephedrine pills). You would likely see the empty containers for these products laying around or in the trash. The materials needed to make meth include:

Now before you go crazy on me about listing everything needed to make meth, believe me when I say that this information is all over the place online and any resourceful tweaker has found the actual recipe long before finding this list. I am listing the common items needed so that if you happen to see alot of empty containers for the listed items you can maybe make a more educated guess as to whether or not your neighbor or someone else has a meth lab going on.

I am not saying you should become some sort of secret agent here, but if there are a combination of things that make you suspicious, it may be time to contact the authorities to investigate. It’s far better to be safe than sorry when it comes to meth labs. These home made meth labs are very dangerous and explosions caused by making meth can, and do happen all the time.


  • Lou

    Hi, got your invite on Wellsphere.
    You have a good comprehensive site on meth.
    My son is a (former?) heroin addict, now in prison.
    I'm getting it together in Al-Anon, but I write about both sides, addiction & recovery.
    I'm going to link you on my site, brokenheartedmom.blogspot.com

    Do you write separate posts for Wellsphere?

  • Rob

    my friend told me about your site and how your tyring to help abuse so, I just read your blog on how to spot meth lab. I love what you are doing but maybe I can give you a little insight on this drug, I cooked meth/ice since I was 16 yrs old learning from a uncle of mine. I could make up about a 5 gallon bucket full in 2 days. There is ways of making it without no smell what so ever. I wished people could relize that anhydrous amonia and red phosphorous are just a couple ways of makin meth there are lots of ways and now you dont even need ephedrine or its cousin pseudo. I am not going to post exact ingrideints but maybe you can read my post delete if you must and rewrite it so its not so informative. One key to making almost oderless meth is oranges,rolls of nickels or pennies, gun blueing, thread, coolers, peroxide, filters panty hose, aquarium hose. These are key ingrideints making ice/ the new meth I hope this will help ya.

  • http://www.fire-safety-equipment.co.uk Buy Fire Extinguishers

    Very important tips here, thanks for taking the time to put it together. Meth is such a fire hazard, and you may not even know if someone next door is making it.

  • Larry

    Thanks for the information but spotting a meth lab that easily would be too good to be true because usually people involved are very cautious and work quietly. It's true, they can be betrayed by some details that have been neglected but I don't think any of these guys would drop meth containers at the sight of everyone or disturb your sleep with trading drugs. They don't want to give you reasons to call the police… that's why most meth labs are found by accident or by accidents.
    Larry, drug rehab counselor

  • Frustrated in Anderson Co, TN

    This has been very helpful! We recently built a house & found out after the fact that our neighbors (we each have 7-8 acres) have been busted twice for meth lab. I just know that they are still doing it today! I've contact the local authorities & they have been to their trailer many times & still nothing! The officer says that he doesn't feel that this is a lab, but a place where they go to 'come down off of meth'. I've even told them about the frequent trips made to the woods & the hiding place under the skirt of the trailer…still nothing. The officer also told me that he's told his guys 'this is a good place to get people that have outstanding warrants'.
    Meanwhile…my family lives next door to this every day!!
    Any advise?

    Signed, Frustrated!!

  • Angela

    I have a question, I work at a Pharmacy. I have a Nurseryman that buys bulk 91% Isopropl Alcholol for a fungicide. Can this be used for this, or is it a bogus way to get the alcholol to make meth? Thanks!!!!

  • dealing

    could u send me the pic or you tube the procedure how to make meth..thx

  • tweedybird

    oh thank god ,would you help me out and sent me the recipe and step by step ,but if you cant it alright too but ,m been wanting to learn for the longest time ,for my lil bro he on ice after he got cripple from irac,hope to hrear frm u soon thk ,t bird

  • tweedybird

    yo if u want my 411 if u decide 2 hit me back on my web pge ,hmobliab@gmail .com

  • Namenarcocnon

    if you need help or know someone who does http://www.stopaddiction.com

  • matt1986

    I would like to know how to spot a meth house from far away. Is that possible?

  • dick

    suggesting that people ( glimpse through a window ) is a vary BAD idea.
    and my hold you lieabble

  • steve

    holly cow! I have matches, salt and batteries at my house. does that mean the DEA will be kicking in my door?

  • AllTreatment

    Fascinating post. Very interesting to hear this from someone first hand.

  • AllTreatment

    Fascinating post. Very interesting to hear this from someone first hand.

  • 1''

    I came here to leard how to make meth NOT be talked out of useing it…Iam leaving see ya in rehab. a dude

  • http://SOMECHICKSBLOG.COM/ DESTINY

    SO WIN U SAY SAIL AS ROCK THAT CAN BE MADE 2 MAKE METH BECUSE THERE IS THIS HOUSE THAT HAS A LOT OF ROCKS BIG THE SMALL——-) PS U CAN LOOK ME UP ON MY SPACE AND THEN WE CAM TALK MORE ABOUT THIS

  • DEATINY

    HOW DO U SPOUT A METH HOUSE

  • lynn carroll

    I've been going though the same thing scince may 2009! I have witnesses, called the cops (no show) “you have to see them.” I'm in what WAS a gracious, high end apt. The oder can be tolerated but its burns my throat and I can't get my breath or swallow. I'm just devastated. I know they are doing something toxic! A gal walked by my place who is now clean, with no prompting she said “ten years ago when I was 15 I was really into METH! Thats METH! “I've been in touch with the dea etc.etc. etc. NOTHING. Is there a support group for someone who thinks they live under a lab? There are no words to describe what I've been through. At first I questioned my own sanity a lot of people probably think I AM imagining this. Too many witnesses WE waited till !:00 A.M. last summer and Spokanes “finest “never showed. ARRRGH! I'm still collecting all of the info/evidence I can; photos names etc.
    lynn

  • You DOG!

    Fuk you cunt, go fuk yourself!

  • You DOG!

    Alcohol is only used for cleaning the outer layer of the pills, not used in the actual process. So your answer would be NO

  • Green Gardener

    The alcohol is used to clean pruning tools after they have been used on diseased plants. It is also sometimes used to destroy mealybug infestations.

  • Ieatcandy061

    Can you tell me how to cook it?

  • J D C 86

    hay man i need to now how to make one shake bake

  • concerned

    knowing how devastating this drug is, why would you want to make it let alone use it. our country is going to shit.

  • Doha10h

    I have a neighber not close to me that burns a lot of plastic items in his back yard close to a wooded area which I can smell, is this a sign that he mad be making meth and burning this plastic to hid the meth smell, i have not been up close to his home/back yard to see what may be going on, Should I call the legal system to check this out?

  • Beverly

    A young man was visiting in one of my rental homes,he was making some”shake and bake”.It exploded,panes were blown out of windows,ceiling is cracked and sagging,inside and outside walls split.Was told he ran out with skin and flesh dripping off him.When will you fools learn to leave that s.alone?
    The Landlady

  • DJ

    Hi – Also A x-Landlady. We evicted our renters that had been there 2 years. What a shock!!! Can’t get the smell out of the house and the worst part the gas stove eye grates are crystalized. This coating is maybe 1/8″ thick. Do you have any idea how I can get that stuff off?? This was almost new stove. All the walls are yellow and have painted 3 times – it just comes right back. Thanks for your time.
    DJ

  • Avillencyay

    if i was that dealer, i would murder you and your family to eliminate that threat. fucking bitch your gonna get it , your best bet is to move , that shit cant effect you from so far away, stop sticking your nose where it doesnt belong, its a good way to get your family murdered real fucking quick

  • Avillencyay

    ohhh so your a nark???? i will be sure to pay some people to murder you to, we just tracked your IP address

  • AVILLENCYAY

    ITS NOT SMART TO MESS WITH DRUG DEALERS. IF YOU LOVE YOUR FAMILY AND WANT TO KEEP THEM ALIVE, I WOULD MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUISNEUSS

  • Avillrncyay

    AND HE WAS DEALING METH SO HE COULD PAY YOUR GREEDY SLUM LORD ASS, STOP COMPLAINING BITCH, ALL THAT MONEY WENT TO YOUR POCKET, IF YOU DONT LIKE METH SO MUCH , THEN GIVE UP ALL THE METH MONEY HE GAVE YOU THEN BITCH

  • Avillenc

    dont hit anyone back regarding making meth , they are a nark!!! they will track your computer and bust you!!!

  • 008 1/2

    DJ, I’ve been told the only way to get rid of it is remodel. Take out all the sheet rock, insulation, ceiling tiles, carpet, etc. and replace it with new stuff.

  • Sgt. Howard

    Give it your best shot, maggot-
    the Old Sgt.

  • Anonymous

    And what would you propose if said family is sharing a building with meth-skank? I say do what you can to see them locked up.

  • Anonymous

    You sound just like meth-skank.

  • Anonymous

    Skank. Learn how to write.

  • Baltic1

    When the local law won’t do anything go to the State Bureau of Investigation. No one should have to live under the threat of terror or drug dealers

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  • Mima

    I live in a rural area where neighbors’ houses aren’t right next to each other. This neighbor’s house is across the field and across the road away. We can see it from our front yard. Whenever my mom or I walk the dogs, we will smell this weird chemical smell. It doesn’t smell like the stuff farmers put on the fields. We are wondering if that neighbor has a meth thing going on.

  • Mattcrouse2006

    Methmountain should be known to all meth users Power Speed Control Strength Adrenaline Energy

  • Jgyer4111

    you’re a dick, come to my place and try

  • choirboy

    ad me to your list to

  • Dream on a..Villen…

    loser

  • Seriously!

    seriously… what are you.. like a keyboard warrior?? pffttt

  • Sean

    You fucking doormat idiot – how can you track an IP address when it only goes to an ISP……..and you need a court order to get any further.

    What a tool.  Fuck off and die.

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