How To Make Glow in the Dark Mountain Dew

Chemiluminescent Soda

Baking soda and peroxide are not the ingredients that made soda glow!
Baking soda and peroxide are not the ingredients that made soda glow!. Steve McAlister, Getty Images

Mountain Dew has a vibrant yellow-green color to it but ever thought about making it REALLY glow? Here's how you do it:

Glow in the Dark Mountain Dew Materials

  • 20-oz bottle of Mountain Dew™ (but any 20-oz bottle will work)
  • glowstick or lightstick
  • scissors or wire cutters
  • dishwashing liquid
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • baking soda

Make It Glow

  1. Pour out or drink all but a small volume of the soft drink (~1/4 inch). If your bottle is empty, add a little water.
  1. Add a squirt of dishwashing liquid.
  2. Use scissors or wire cutters to cut the glowstick. (I do not recommend using a steak knife, but if it's all you can find, it will work.)
  3. Empty the contents of the glow stick into the bottle. I used a pair of tiny inch-long sticks intended for use as earrings, so I just cut them in half and tossed them in the bottle. If the liquid won't flow you can snip the glowstick into pieces and just add the pieces to the bottle.
  4. Add 1-3 capfuls of hydrogen peroxide.
  5. Add a pinch of baking soda and immediately seal the bottle.
  6. Turn out the lights (if you haven't already) and vigorously shake the bottle.
  7. You probably guessed this, but I'll say it anyway... don't drink the contents of the bottle. Keep it out of reach of children or anyone else who might be tempted to drink the liquid. Modern glowsticks are nontoxic, but that doesn't make them good for you to eat. Similarly, dishwashing liquid is not edible.

    Things to Know

    • There's nothing special about Mountain Dew. In fact, you don't even need soda. The glowing red bottle was made using a bit of water, a squirt of Dawn, a broken red glowstick, a couple of capfuls of hydrogen peroxide, and a pinch of baking soda.
    • You don't absolutely need the peroxide or baking soda either. The project works if you add a little detergent and the contents of a broken glowstick to any near-empty 20-oz bottle.
    • However, if you add the peroxide and baking soda, you get an immediate bright glow. Enjoy the glow while you can because the chemiluminescence reaction proceeds rapidly. If you use peroxide you will notice the light starting to fade within about half a minute.
    • Avoid contact with the contents of the glow stick. Clean off any residue from your scissors or another cutting tool. If you get any of the product on your skin, rinse it off immediately with warm soapy water.