Heroin purification

Pre-war Bayer heroin bottle, originally contai...

Pre-war Bayer heroin bottle, originally containing heroin

Before you proceed with this fascinating article, you might be interested in this piece about the types of heroin manufactured, from the constantly entertaining and insightful drugs website  www.substance.com. The article is entitled:

3 Utterly Different Ways to Make Heroin by writer  Keri Blakinger (Kerry is one of our own -hope she won’t mind that comparison –  and 3 cheers to her, having been released from a 3 year prison sentence for heroin. Kerry has got stuck in to her writing addressing many drug and prison issues through her blog and substance.com.

Heroin purification

Written by: Slake. Made possible by: the Lycaeum Drug Archives

This is as complete and as accurate as I can remember, it has been something like 9 years since I have used heroin. The process I used for purification was straight forward. Diacetylmorphine can exist in two forms, an insoluble base, or a soluble salt. Often it contained a plethora of other agents like pieces of broken glass, pieces of foil, dirt, wood, metal, mannitol, lactose, maltose, sand, you get the idea.

The first stage of the process I used was to make sure the diacetylmorphine I received was totally converted to a soluble hydrochloride salt. The heroin I usually received was a brown powdered heroin, sometimes off white, very little vinegar smell. Today all you can find is a black crud that reeks with a vinegar (acetic) odor. The way I made sure it was a soluble salt was to drop enough 28% hydrochloric acid to make it wet. This insured that I would not waste any of the available drug, but would remove most if not all of the cut. I think that it would be better for me to detail it in a procedural manner. FYI, hydrochloric acid can be purchased in gallon jugs at hardware stores under the name Muriatic acid, 28%.

First weigh out one gram of heroin from the stock you received from your supplier. Place this gram into a 13 x 100mm test tube. Add a few drops of 28% hydrochloric acid until it is evenly damp. Allow to react for a minute or two. Next add 5 ml distilled water, place your thumb over the end and carefully shake to dissolve all that will dissolve into the water. Allow the insoluables to settle.

Using a pipette, remove and transfer as much of the liquid to a fresh test tube leaving the solids behind. Dispose of the undissolved remains in the first test tube. Slowly add via pipette, one drop at at time, ammonium hydroxide (water clear household ammonia) until the white precipitate ceases production. Add several more drops at this point just to be sure. Shake gently to be sure that all the solution is evenly ammoniated. The solution should look milky.

Now add 100 ml ethyl ether (some kinds of diesel starting fluids, read the label) to a 150 ml beaker. Dump the milky liquid into the ether and stir briskly and allow the water to settle and collect on the bottom. The water will turn clear. Using a glass pipette, remove this water from the bottom of the beaker and dispose of. Now mix up a solution of 5ml 28% hydrochloric acid and 5ml distilled water and add this to the ether in the beaker. Stir briskly keeping as much acid/water suspended as possible for several minutes. Allow the water/acid to collect on the bottom of the beaker.

Using a glass pipette, remove this water layer from the bottom of the ether and transfer to a glass petri dish. Transfer the ether back to its storage bottle for reuse. It will still contain small amounts of heroin base, so don’t throw it out. Recycle! Slowly add small portions of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the water/acid solution in the petri until you don’t notice any more bubbles being formed. Place the glass on a warm surface, and allow to evaporate. The residue will be diacetylmorphine hydrochloride and salt.

Table salt is a by-product of the reaction and will not hurt you at all when injected. Scrape up the residue and weigh it. Yield from one gram of smack (yea, we called it that) would be anything from 100 to 300 mg, rarely more. Place 100 mg of this powder in a test tube, add 10 cc sterile isotonic water for injection (available OTC at drug stores) and heat to boiling. Transfer this liquid while still hot using a syringe (available OTC at some drug stores) to a 10 ml rubber stoppered empty sterile ampoule (available OTC at drug stores).

To use this drug which is 10mg/ml, extract with a sterile syringe as much drug as you wish to use. 10 mg would send me flying believe it or not. 2.5mg (1/4 cc) was usually enough to keep me “happy” and was my normal dose. 20mg was the most I could take safely in my opinion, and was a waste of drug and money. Normally, for most 150-170 lb males, 2.5 mg is more than enough in my opinion.

Using heroin in this manner avoids the problems associated with “street use” and will keep your body healthy and safe, reducing the risk of disease and overdosage.

My memory is pretty good, and I think I covered all the bases here, but I may have made a mistake somewhere. Overall I think this is an accurate method, to the best of my ability to remember.

Leave a comment


  1. Avery Davis

     /  November 18, 2019

    After I mixed my milky liquid with 100ml of ether and stirred it/let it settle there was never a layer of water to be removed. It just stayed milky (bottom layer) and the ether on top. I just continued with the rest of the steps and I’m not sure it turned out as is should.

  2. Angela Baker

     /  May 23, 2019

    URGENT, my friend smokes it and is always getting this horrible black shit he complains is cut with coffee, sugar, pills..his throat is always raw and sore to the point of choking on vitamins, food. I found your article by accident, can you still smoke it after doing this process?..and the vinegar smell is really strong to!

    • Ben

       /  September 24, 2020

      The easiest way to smoke to save lungs is filter the smoke. Inhale smoke through a layer of toilet paper or tissue; just one ply seperated to be thin layer. Put the foil on table with rock holding corner and rest hanging over the air so can heat from the bottom. This frees a hand up to hold a toilent paper cardboard piece with the filter paper taped on one end. Get creative with making filters. I bought rubber tubing to make a better one eventually.

  3. HongKingHogg

     /  April 27, 2019

    Can something other than sodium bicarbonate be used (as to avoid the creation of salt… it seems like it would be very hard to know how much product you have vs how much salt you have when you weigh it out in the end trying to find your final yield.)

  4. Jay

     /  March 29, 2019

    Does the ether have to be distilled from the starting fluid or do you just use it straight from the can?

  5. Andrew Waters

     /  January 6, 2019

    Is there any way to separate the salt? If for example someone who isn’t me wanted to add pure caffeine powder in the recommended 30% ratio to smoke it instead of injecting it.

  6. Alvin

     /  December 31, 2018

    Thanks for an interesting article. It would help some to explain why the substance moves from one carrier to another. (The “hot” or acidic substance runs to a neutral substance, correct?) I believe this will help those skeptics who may fear the process.

  7. Lucas* URGENT

     /  May 12, 2018

    Urgent* Hi, is this the process to “clean” all forms of Heroin? I live on the west coast where “black Tar” is the only available form I know of, I currently add sterile water till it disolves then draw up using the end of a cotton swab as a filter. I know this is a very rudimentary way but it’s quick and I fool myself into thinking the junks so nasty anyway what’s the harm. Then I read this article and now would like to know if this is the process for tar or if you could point me in the right direction. Much thanks LP

    • Alvin

       /  December 31, 2018

      This process does apply to tar heroin. The article even mentions this fact… .

  8. harry

     /  April 11, 2014

    which types of drugs are very dangrous

    • Hi Harry. That is one hell of a question. All drugs carry risks, as do all forms of drug use. Drugs and drug use can be harmful in different ways: notably they can harm mental and physical health (eg. overdose, bodily damage, infectious diseases, psychotic reactions, death) and they can lead to social problems (eg. debts, relationship difficulties, criminalization, discrimination). There are thousands of published studies/papers on this issue, but if you want hard scientific information (rather than best guesses) I would recommend two articles for excellent, readable overviews – authored by Nutt and Gable.
      First, the superbly named Professor Nutt has developed a model of the relative harmfulness of 20 of the main psychoactive drugs – see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_drugs_(mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence).svg [in order to access this article, you may have to add .svg to the end of the address in the web address box]- Nutt’s research concludes that heroin, cocaine, methadone and barbiturates are the most harmful drugs overall.
      Second, if we focus on what is regarded by many as the main kind of drug-related harm – how likely they are to kill you based on their toxicity – then the most harmful drugs would include heroin, GHB, methamphetamine, alcohol, paracetamol, methadone, cocaine and tobacco. This information about the lethal doses (LD50s) of several popular drugs comes from an article by Gable (2004) – see: http://rgable.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/toxicity-addiction-offprint.pdf .
      Lastly, it is important to remember that drug-related harm arises as much (if not more) from how a drug is consumed, as it does from the drug itself. There are seven main aspects of drug consumption which you need to control in order to reduce the risk of harm. These are summed up by the CAMP-MAP model of drug risks: context of use, amount used, method of use, pattern of use, mixtures of drugs, access to drugs, and the drug product itself. See: ‘A multi-disciplinary theory of drug-related harm reduction’, at: http://www.3dresearch.org.uk/?p=dl .
      Answered by: Doctor Nuke

  9. What if the h is cut with baking soda how do you remove it


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