How to Make the Glow in the Dark Chemical

Written by jennifer simon
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How to Make the Glow in the Dark Chemical
You can make your own glow in the dark solution. (neon glow image by Laura Lupton from

In order to make a fluid glow in the dark, a chemical reaction called chemiluminescence must take place. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, chemiluminescence is a luminescence, more specifically a bioluminescence, which is the result of a particular chemical reaction. Glow in the dark liquids are used for a variety of purposes including glow sticks and glow in the dark paint. It is possible for an individual to make his or her own glow in the dark solution at home if certain steps are followed correctly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Phenyl oxalate ester
  • Fluorescent dye
  • Respirator mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Glass beakers
  • Luminol tablets or liquid
  • Computer with Internet connection

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  1. 1

    Log on to the Internet in order to learn more about the glow in the dark process. The majority of the materials that are needed to make glow in the dark fluid can be purchased online or at a local chemist. (See Reference 2) Make a list of everything that is needed for the project.

  2. 2

    Go to a local chemist in order to locate and purchase the materials that are needed in addition to the hydrogen peroxide. Phenyl oxalate ester and the fluorescent dye will need to be ordered online. (See Reference 2) Luminol tablets or liquid can be used in place of the dye and phenyl oxalate ester because luminol contains both of the products. (See Reference 3)

  3. 3

    Secure a respirator mask in place and put on a pair of rubber gloves before beginning the project. Hydrogen peroxide should be poured into a glass beaker. (See Reference 2) If you are using fluorescent dye and phenyl oxalate ester, the two items should be combined and mixed in a separate glass beaker.

  4. 4

    Pour the fluorescent dye and phenyl oxalate ester solution into the glass beaker with the hydrogen peroxide. Once the two solutions are combined, a chemical reaction will take place and cause the fluid to glow in the dark. (See Reference 2) If luminol fluid or tablets are being used they can be added directly to the hydrogen peroxide instead of the dye and phenyl oxalate ester mixture.

  5. 5

    Place the solution in the freezer in order to slow down the chemical reaction and make the solution glow longer. Heating up the solution will make the reaction faster and the fluid brighter for a short amount of time. (See Reference 3)

Tips and warnings

  • Luminol is caustic so rubber gloves and a respirator mask must be worn at all times in order to avoid injuries.

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