Glowing Water - How to Make Water Glow Experiment Video
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Video:How to Make Glowing Water

with Dr. Anne Helmenstine

Making water glow is an easy and fun experiment that takes very little effort. See two different glowing water methods using a black light.See Transcript

Transcript:How to Make Glowing Water

Hi, I'm Dr. Anne Helmenstine for You can use chemistry to create a lot of cool special effects. I'm going to show you two easy ways to turn water into glowing water, which you can use to make glowing fountains or even glowing drinks. First I'll show you how to make glowing water and then I'll explain how it works.

Highlighters and Glowing Water

The first method involves dyeing water with the glowing ink found in non-toxic highlighter pens. Cut the highlighter open with a knife to expose the material that contains the ink. Typically, this is a plastic coated fibrous tube. Remove the tube with the ink and slice it open so that the ink can flow out of the fibers. You can soak the ink pad in water for a few hours or use gloved hands to squeeze the ink into the water.

All it takes to make the water glow is to shine a black light or ultraviolet lamp on the water. You can store the glowing water in a sealed container and use it again and again. It will not go bad and the glow will never fade.

Drinkable Glowing Tonic Water

The highlighter solution is non-toxic, but it tastes terrible. If you want glowing water for drinks, you can use tonic water, which you can buy at a grocery store. Tonic water contains a chemical called quinine which gives it a distinctive taste and makes it glow bright blue when the water is exposed to black light.

Florescent Compounds in Glowing Water

Highlighters and tonic water glow because they contain chemicals which are fluorescent. Fluorescent compounds absorb light and then release it back. In this case, they absorb highly energetic but invisible ultraviolet light and release less energetic visible light. The water is transparent so it is easy to color with these glowing chemicals.

I hope you have enjoyed this easy glowing water project. To get ideas for more projects, visit me on the web at Thanks for watching!
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