How to Make Homemade Black Light Ink

Written by sarah thomas
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How to Make Homemade Black Light Ink
Highlighter ink is an example of ink that glows under a black light. (highlighting image by MichMac from

A black light illuminates fluorescent objects so that they appear to be glowing in a way they don't in normal light. You can purchase fluorescent materials, such as black light paint or ink, but you can also create fluorescent ink or paint at home by using common household products. Different objects will produce a variety of colours when exposed to black light, from white to green to red. If you own a black light, experiment with different household items to determine what produces the best glow under your black light.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Spinach
  • Vodka
  • Blender
  • Jar
  • Coffee filter
  • Rubber band
  • Paintbrush or fountain pen

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  1. 1

    Place a handful of spinach into a blender. If spinach is unavailable, use another dark green, leafy vegetable. The high chlorophyll content in spinach is what makes it glow under a black light.

  2. 2

    Pour enough vodka into the blender to cover the spinach. You can use inexpensive vodka. The alcohol in the vodka will help to extract the chlorophyll from the spinach.

  3. 3

    Pulse the blender several times until the spinach and vodka combine into a thin purée.

  4. 4

    Wrap a coffee filter over the mouth of a clean, dry jar. Use a rubber band to hold the filter in place.

  5. 5

    Lift the blender and slowly pour the spinach and vodka purée onto the coffee filter, so that the liquid flows into the jar.

  6. 6

    Continue to pour until the contents of the blender have filtered through the coffee filter and into the jar.

  7. 7

    Use a paintbrush or fountain pen to scrape the film from the coffee filter to use as black light ink. The ink will glow red when placed under a black light since it contains chlorophyll.

Tips and warnings

  • Highlighter ink is fluorescent and glows under black light.
  • Laundry detergents, Borax and laundry dyes like Rit will all glow under black light and can be mixed with water to be used as ink.
  • Tonic water will glow blue under a black light and can be applied with a paintbrush or pen.

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