Laboratory based studies on the fate of organic contaminants in soil typically requires the test compound(s) to be spiked into the test medium. Consequently, such studies are inherently dependant on the homogeneity of the contaminant within the spiked soil. Three blending methods were compared for the addition of a phenanthrene-transformcr oil mixture into field-wet soil. Spiking homogeneity, reproducibility and artefacts were assessed based on dichloromethane and hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin chemical extractability, and bacterial mineralization. Spiking using a stainless-steel spoon, consistently produced good spike homogeneity Lis determined by sample oxidation, chemical extraction and mineralization, and was consistently more reliable than either the Waring blender or modified bench drill. Overall, neither transformer oil-concentration nor blending method influenced chemical extractability or mineralization of the PAH following 1 day equilibration. In general, spiking procedures require validation prior to use, as homogeneity cannot be assured. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.