Did you know you can actually sell your poop for money?!
I know, it sounds gross.
OK, it is gross.
But it’s actually part of a pretty cool advanced medical process called fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).
Being a stool donor can earn you thousands of dollars each year while also helping sick people!
Now before we get bogged down in the details, let’s get some jokes out of the way:
- “This side hustle stinks!” Yes, it probably does.
- You mean I’ve been flushing money down the toilet my whole life without knowing it?” Yep, you’ve been wiping all your profits away.
- “I’m sitting on a goldmine!” Kind of. Actually, it’s more like you’re the goose that’s laying golden eggs.
- “It might be hard, but success will come –> just keep pushing.”
OK, let’s get serious. Here are all the dirty details about this very real side hustle. Here’s how and why to sell your poop…
How Does Healthy Poop Help Sick People?
Did you know … The human body has an estimated 100 trillion “good” bacteria in it, many of which reside in our gut. This good bacteria helps our bodies break down carbs, fatty foods, and other substances that we cannot naturally digest.
Sadly, there are many people out there with unhealthy guts and digestive issues. Their stomachs lack the healthy bacteria necessary to function properly, which slowly damages their digestive tract over time. In severe cases, people die. ☹️
Probiotics can help a little (eating yogurts, drinking kombucha, etc.) But these tiny amounts of good bacteria are like drops in a bucket compared to the 100 trillion bacteria needed in a healthy gut. Taking probiotics is like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.
And antibiotics sometimes worsen the problem … Doctors give people an antibiotic to kill bad bacteria, but in many cases, it also wipes out the good bacteria, worsening digestive issues.
So in the late 1950’s, doctors started experimenting with fecal matter transplants. Basically, they take a healthy person’s poop and inject it into the gut of an unhealthy person. The healthy microbes from the poop start to populate in the sick person’s stomach, which rapidly improves their health!
This procedure, called a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), is helping treat people with illnesses such as colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, clostridium difficile (c diff), and obesity. Labs, clinics and hospitals all around the world are looking for healthy stool samples to help treat people in need of FMT procedures, as well as advance their medical research.
This is where YOU come in…
Can You Sell Your Poop? How to Qualify
Before you rush off to the restroom, you must know that only extremely healthy people can become a stool donor.
Ideal prerequisites to becoming a stool donor are:
- People between ages 18 – 30. (You can be under age 18, with consent of parents. Many sick kids out there need FMT, and it’s better to match young kids in need with a same-age donor.)
- You gotta have a regular, healthy bowel movement. Check out the Bristol Stool Scale. A stool sample should be like types 3, 4, or 5 on the scale. No constipation or diarrhea,
- Physical and mental fitness is extremely important. You gotta have your shit together! (Couldn’t help that one.)
- No major diseases, allergies, drug users, or people who have taken antibiotics within the past 6 months.
Blood testing and stool testing are also part of the initial screening process, and costs are usually paid for by the recipient.
To figure out if you’d be a good potential donor, start by filling out this questionnaire.
(Disclosure: Budgets Are Sexy is a referral partner for HumanMicrobes.org. If you qualify and actually proceed selling your poop, this blog might get compensated with a few nuggets.)
How Much Does Poop Sell For?
Depending on how healthy and regular your samples are, you can be paid $40 to $75 per stool donation.
So if you have a healthy bowel movement every day, at $40 per day, this could potentially be $1,200 per month! Or $14,400 per year. Not bad!
Keep in mind, though, you only get paid if your donation is healthy and usable. OpenBiome, a national stool bank, says the typical stool donor makes a few hundred dollars per month.
Who Actually Buys the Poop?
I’ll admit, when I first learned that you can sell poop for money, I was skeptical about the recipients. Rest assured, buyers are legitimate medical facilities that need healthy poop for a sick patient or continued gut microbiome research.
There are a growing number of clinics performing fecal transplant procedures, all of which are looking for healthy and consistent donors.
Online organizations like HumanMicrobes make it much easier for donors and medical recipients to find one another. As a healthy donor, you simply register and go through the qualification process, then you get matched with a clinic or laboratory in need.
What Is the Stool Donation Process?
Most clinics and labs order via dry ice shipping. So you can poop in the comfort of your own home, then ship it directly to your matched recipient or stool bank. Here’s the process:
- Qualify and pass the screening process.
- Poop into a sealable plastic bag.
- Store in the freezer (easier to store up and ship multiple samples together)
- Ship fecal samples on dry ice. (Or, if you live nearby, you can arrange drop-off of your donated feces)
All shipping and packaging costs are typically covered by the recipient buying your poo. They want to make the process as easy for you as possible.
Some stool banks or medical facilities accept donations in person. Boston’s OpenBiome facility is in Cambridge, and they require you to live in the area and visit their office a few times per week.
Can You Sell Your Pee for Money?
You might be thinking, “Since I’ve crossed this line, I may as well try to sell my pee, too!”
Sorry to tell you that urine doesn’t really have any medical benefit to humans. And, selling pee is even outlawed in a few U.S. states because people use it to cheat on workplace drug tests.
People Helping People: Science Is Awesome!
Whether or not you qualify as a healthy donor, you gotta admit that the science behind gut bacteria is pretty awesome. Here’s a quick 3 min video explaining the basic science behind a poop transplant, good and bad bacterium, and who can benefit.
Even if this side hustle is not for you, I hope all you healthy people out there are donating blood! You don’t get paid, but it’s a lifesaving, essential part of our healthcare system. 😀
Have a great weekend!
Joel is a 35 y/o Aussie living in Los Angeles and the guy behind 5amjoel.com. He loves waking up early, finding ways to be more efficient with time and money, and sharing what he learns with others. Rise Early | Retire Early!