How to Make Glowing Water

Glowing water.
Create Glowing Water With This Simple Experiment.

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It's easy to make glowing water to use for fountains or as the basis for other projects. Basically, all you need is water and a chemical to make it glow. Here's what you need to do.

Chemicals That Make Water Glow in the Dark

There are a couple of ways you get science projects to glow in the dark. You can use glow-in-the-dark paint, which is phosphorescent and glows anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Glowing paint or powder tends not to be very soluble, so it is good for some projects and not others.

Tonic water glows very brightly when exposed to black light and is great for edible projects.

The fluorescent dye is another option for a bright effect under a black light. You can extract non-toxic fluorescent dye from a highlighter pen to make glowing water:

  1. Use a knife to (carefully) cut a highlighter pen in half. It's a pretty simple steak knife and cutting board procedure.
  2. Pull out the ink-soaked felt that is inside the pen.
  3. Soak the felt in a small quantity of water. 

Once you have the dye you can add it to more water to make glowing fountains, grow certain types of glowing crystals, make glowing bubbles, and use it for many other water-based projects. 

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Glowing Water." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 27). How to Make Glowing Water. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Glowing Water." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).