Overview and Objectives
Main Topic
Subtopic 1: Physical Examination of Urine
1.1, 1.2, 1.3
  Subtopic 1 Summary
Subtopic 2: Chemical Testing
2.1, 2.2, 2.3
  Subtopic 2 Summary
Subtopic 3: Microscopic Examination of Urine Sediment
3.1, 3.2
  Subtopic 3 Summary
Module Summary

Module Developer

User Evaluation Form

Activity 1.2
Measuring Specific Gravity: The Urinometer Method

Materials and Equipment

  • Gloves

  • Hand disinfectant

  • Puncture-proof container for sharps

  • Clear plastic conical centrifuge tubes

  • Test tube rack

  • Fresh urine sample

  • Dropping pipet

  • Urinometer

  • Distilled water

  • Urinalysis report form or worksheet

  • Soft tissue or soft paper towels

  • Biohazard container

  • 10% chlorine bleach solution or other surface disinfectant

  • Urine control solutions


  1. Pour 40-50 mL of distilled water into the glass cylinder (approximately three-fourths full).

  2. Insert urinometer gently, with spinning motion.

  3. Read the specific gravity from the scale on the stem of the urinometer as it stops spinning and record. (Specific gravity of water should be 1.000.)

  4. Rinse equipment and dry with laboratory tissue and repeat steps with urine specimen and or QC controls, recording result(s).

  5. Discard urine sample properly.

  6. Disinfect and clean equipment and return to proper storage.

  7. Clean work area with disinfectant.

  8. Remove and discard gloves appropriately.

  9. Wash hands with hand disinfectant.