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How to Make Glowing Water Without a Black Light

Updated July 20, 2017

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.

Put on latex gloves.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Things You'll 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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About the Author

Nina Snow has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her varied work experience ranges from entertainment production to food criticism to retail administration. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Arts from Yale University.