How to Make Glowing Water Without a Black Light

Written by nina snow
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How to Make Glowing Water Without a Black Light
Use household items to make water glow. (neon glow on water image by ELEN from

Making glowing water is entertaining and safe. Exposing fluorescent-dyed water to ultraviolet light creates a bright and luminescent glow. Use a light-emitting diode (LED) to produce a similar glowing effect without an ultraviolet light, which otherwise is known as a black light. The electromagnetic spectrum for frequency and wavelength moves in descending order from ultraviolet to violet to blue. Apply a blue or purple LED light to a glass of fluorescent-dyed water to make it glow without a black light.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Latex gloves
  • Fluorescent highlighter pen
  • Clear glass jar
  • Water faucet
  • Light-up LED key ring or other item with a blue LED light source

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  1. 1

    Put on latex gloves.

  2. 2

    Remove a fluorescent highlighter pen's interior plastic tube that is filled with fluorescent-dyed cotton. Pop off the pen's bottom to access the tube.

  3. 3

    Catch water in a clear glass jar from a slowly dripping faucet.

  4. 4

    Hold the plastic tube from the pen underneath the faucet's dripping water so the water seeps through the fluorescent-dyed cotton and into the glass jar.

  5. 5

    Squeeze and knead the plastic tube until all of the dye releases from the cotton into the jar.

  6. 6

    Remove the tube's plastic casing to expose the cotton, allowing the water to rinse away all the remaining dye.

  7. 7

    Hold the jar containing fluorescent-dyed water in front of a light-up LED key ring or other item with a blue LED light source as you squeeze its blue LED light. The water will glow. A light-up "ice cube" or simple night light with a blue LED light are options to using a light-up LED key ring. The blue light from a projector works very well as the light source for this project.

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