Looking for a new way to spook your trick or treaters? Maybe you have a haunted house that needs some added effects. Whatever your reason is, this is one way to creep people out.

I did this by accident when I was younger. I was playing with my blacklight and some highlighters (writing out secret messages and what not) and the marker I was using was starting to dry up. I usually just wet my fingers and use them to wet the tip, but someone had left a small glass of water on the table so I instead dipped it into there (kind of reminds you of a feather and inkwell). After a while the marker would start to go dry again, so dipped it again....and again. I decided to let the marker soak up some of the water in hopes that it would last a little longer so I placed it in the glass and switched over to another colored marker. After about 5 or so minutes, I looked up and saw the water "glowing" a little. I placed my light closer and it started to really glow. That's when I discovered that highlighters make really cool effects when used in water.

Here's what you'll need:
1. Highlighter marker
2. Glass of warm water
3. Blacklight
4. Scissors

Before I forget to add this in.... Warning: Don't drink the water unless you used non-toxic highlighters (even then it may not be a wise idea to do)

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takn371 year ago
i need a glowing water that DOESNT NEED any other lamps ext....

sih.................. my research isnt working...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Mixing a bit of hydrogen peroxide with Luminol (careful, this is CAUSTIC !!! ) will give a bluish glow
dude what the hell is blacklight
"blacklight" or more technically an ultraviolet light is a floriscent tube type light that radiates mostly UV light.

It is used to draw insects to bug zappers (you may have seen some of them at restaurants and food markets), they are used at a lot of different party settings and are now quite common. They are also used to purify water, and other liquids.

Here is a short listing of places that sell different kinds:

its an ultra violet light it makes bright colors glow and makes other colors look darker
heyy whats this blacklight
poser5 years ago
very clever! :T
Oooh! Our roller rink is all blacklight, so if you drew on yourself with highlighters it would make a really sweet effect. Thanks for the idea!
lemonie8 years ago
Why do so many people not know how to spell "fluorescent"? Surely we can see that flour- is what you you make bread etc from... (pedant) L Also glow-sticks do not obey the laws of physics.... spooky
peapeam lemonie7 years ago
LOL, I was just thinking that you can't get much glowing effect from something flourescent... ;) But, I'm sure we all got the point, and there are a lot of people with dyslexia and many who doesn't have English as their native tongue, and I bet many are challenged by both these things - so I normally choose not to comment on spelling. There is one exception though, when somebody chooses to write in 'SMS language' or something like that, that is awfully difficult to read, I guess especially for those of us who doesn't have English as our language. It is simply annoying having to read things out loud in order to understand what it says, so I think we owe eachother to write to our best ability. :). Oh well, that was OT, but I hope I'm forgiven... :)
Subvert peapeam7 years ago
Tasteful response/comment. Good explanation of your position, stated respectfully. BTW, (by the way), the other response to your comment was sarcastic. I'm pretty sure this person knows what OT means, and the fact that you used two examples of SMS language in your comment was rather ironic. (LOL and OT)
peapeam Subvert7 years ago
Hi Subvert, Thanks for your nice and constructive reply! :) I wasn't sure if the other response was sarcastic or not, so I chose to just reply... :) I see that when I used the term "SMS language" in my first response, I should have explained what I meant by it, as we obviously interpret that differently. That said I can see how you found my use of "LOL" and "OT" ironic! :) I don't see the use of these as "SMS language", but more as Internet- or E-mail acronyms/abbreviations, which I have thought of as something that has become quite well known for most over the years. Even if the person here who asked, probably meant it in a sarcastic way, I regularly on forums see people asking such questions, so it is obviously not something everybody knows (lots of new net users still). So maybe one should use these more sparingly, since there most likely for each person who ask, are many who don't even if they don't understand (after all, all most of us want, is to be understood as well as possible - which can be a challenge in writing! :) )? Anyway... What I meant to address when using the term "SMS language" wasn't these, but rather when whole sentences are (mostly) formed using short versions of words, as e.g. "U" for "you", "B4" for "before", "bcuz" for "because", "R" for "are", "Gr8" for "great", "tomoz" for "tomorrow", "soz" for "sorry", "ur" for "your" and "you are", "btwn" for "between" etc. Sometimes you on forums see quite long posts written this way. Until now I had only seen this called "SMS language", but now I see (on Wikipedia where I found a nice article on it) that it is often also called chatspeak, txt, txtspk, texting language or txt talk. The reason why I mentioned this, was that it is very difficult to read for many. I guess that the most used language on the Internet is English, but I wouldn't think that English is the first language for most people on the Internet. A lot of us has another language as our mother tongue. When maybe even long texts are written using such a "language", it is difficult - it pretty much looks like gibberish. The only way of understanding, is reading it out loud (or "out loud in your head"), but sometimes even that is difficult. E.g. if the person is using a more "advanced" form of this, as e.g. when "z" is used instead of "orr", some of the message might even be lost. I have no problems seeing that writing like that, especially for those who type slowly, saves a lot of time. But I think that it is really too bad to exclude a lot of readers. Sorry this got so long, a lot of text for a little clarification - but it is always nice to clear up a misunderstanding one has caused... :) Oh well... Enough on this subject (or should I say "Nuff Said!"? ;)) Have a nice day! :)
u kno, i agree wit u. i hat ppl who use SMS language, cuz most ppl cant undrstand wat tey r sayin. (lol)
Subvert peapeam7 years ago
Haha, good reply. It sounds like what you're saying is that LOL and OT are ok because they're really acronyms for another phrase, where SMS language is just shortened/abbreviated words. And that makes sense to me.
wahts OT mean? i see it alote...{{{

Hi, OT means "Off Topic"... :)
what do u mean glow sticks dont obbey the law of phisics??
No, there is a violation of quantum mechanics.

Nah, sorry but phosphorescence doesn't violate quantum mechanics at all. That wikipedia article doesn't quite explain this but when it mentions "forbidden" energgy transitions, it just means "highly unlikley" at a given time, which basically means that the energy is released slowly. Think of it like squeezing honey out of a bottle thats been in the fridge for a while, like that, the light comes out slowly. The difference between phosphorescence and fluorescence is that in fluorescence the light comes out quickly again (less than 1 millisecond) while in phosphorescence it takes longer (like in a glow-in-the-dark sticker). By the way has anyone noticed that tonic water glows because of the quinine in it?
Yes I've noticed quinine (drinking G & T in nighclubs). Well I waited a while, but I'm glad someone expanded on 'forbidden' quantum transitions. L
neardood6 years ago
thats cool.
kyle.marsh6 years ago
Highlighter ink will also glow under a blacklight if it's been drawn on something. I've seen people break open the chemical glow-sticks and splatter that fluid on themselves at parties, but if you have a blacklight at your party you can draw on yourself with the highlighter and get nearly the same effect. The difference is that highlighter stops glowing when it's in shadow so you can get some really strange effects with different parts of your body glowing at different times.
What happens if you do this with a blue highlighter?
FrenchCrawler (author)  Spl1nt3rC3ll7 years ago
Haven't tried it yet... been meaning to try different colors, just haven't gotten around to doing it though.
dingleberry7 years ago
unfortunately that was faked :, keep looking though! I hear quinine glows under a blacklight.
grimmed7 years ago
wats a blacklitte?!?!?!
Havoc4818 years ago
first of all i have bad spelling so leave me alone i know i have that problem. now insted of putting the hilighter ink spong thing in the water to soak to get the ink out the best way i found out to get hilighterfluid out is to get a bottle that you can fit under you sink fosset, you put one end of the spong in the mouth of the bottle and the other at the fosset mouth where the water comes out, and turn on the water enoph to where the water does not go in the bottle but just in the spong to where it is dripping out into the bottle the spong will fill with water so do what ever you want to it. now what you get is a more pure form of the hilighterfuid wich will look a little brownish for some odd reason but you can use just a drop in water to get that effect and the rest for what ever else you want to do with it
A.C.E. Havoc4817 years ago
if u did it ur way to get the hiliter fluid out wood u get a reely brite glowing juice kind of stuff?
Havoc481 A.C.E.7 years ago
sorry about that not replying to your question for so long wen i do it it comes out a brown nsted of the of the normal highliter fluid color once you add water it changes to the highliter color
it really cool and soo simple it's almost scary!! hehe! get it! hehe... ps. did u know red bull energy drink glows in the dark?
Red bull glows in the dark? Finally a good use for it!
i wonder what would happen if you diluted red bull with water it could work for this trick
Audio518 years ago
I used your idea with my fountain in the front yard at halloween. It only took the contents of 2 of the barrel-type highlighter pens to give great color. I added dry ice for a really cool effect. I had lots of great comments, even from the older kids, on halloween night. I will try to attach a video of it to this post. Thanks for the great idea, Guys!
10-2006 035.jpg
how'd u rig the light
The fountain sits in an "L-shaped" alcove near my front door that is open on 2 sides. I mounted 2 of the 18" black light stips under the eave of the house shining down on the fountain. I didn't really need 2 for the fountain, but I had other halloween decorations further down that looked better with black light too.
Ward_Nox7 years ago
if you use the mix for the almost neon green cool-aid i wonder if you could get a similar effect it would have the advantage of being drinkable...i may have to take a trip to the food store i'll report back if i get the chance
Paulette8 years ago
glow in the dark flowers? Does anyone know how you could create glow-in-the-dark flowers without using black light. A company in Holland is doing this and it would be cool to have some for a party...
FrenchCrawler (author)  Paulette8 years ago
Well from what I remember, if you place a white flower in red colored water, it'll turn into a red flower. Maybe the same can be done if you use some kind of glow in the dark fluids (or glow paste/non-toxic paint mixed with water)? Just a thought.
I'm pretty sure it would work well for e.g. white carnations, as these are used so much to get the wanted color. E.g. if you put it in water with blue ink added, they'll soak up the color really, really well and become bright blue or almost turquoise. When ink or food coloring works well, highlighter ink should too, I think... :)
FrenchCrawler (author) 8 years ago
I suggest using warm water cause it'll make the highlighter drain faster (you could also use hot)...
first of all i have bad spelling so leave me alone i know i have that problem. now insted of putting the hilighter ink spong thing in the water to soak to get the ink out the best way i found out to get hilighterfluid out is to get a bottle that you can fit under you sink fosset, you put one end of the spong in the mouth of the bottle and the other at the fosset mouth where the water comes out, and turn on the water enoph to where the water does not go in the bottle but just in the spong to where it is dripping out into the bottle the spong will fill with water so do what ever you want to it. now what you get is a more pure form of the hilighterfuid wich will look a little brownish for some odd reason but you can use just a drop in water to get that effect and the rest for what ever else you want to do with it
oh yea ive done my method on about 15 highliters and i have a sobe bottle full of yellow highliterfluid oh and here some advice don't use accent highliters thay smell really bad use some other brand oh i have also tride this meathod it takes longer trust me on this on. im the weardo of my family so i do weard things like this i did this last october i was board one day.
Hi, a method that might be easier, is to buy a large syringe and a needle meant for Intramuscular injection (or ask for a large gauge needle, the thickest they have). Fill the syringe with hot water and hold the sponge e.g. with a plier or foreceps on top of the bottle, then with the other hand start by dripping water into it with the syringe. By having a needle on it, you can insert it into the sponge if needed, to get water into all areas of it. What we also used to do when I was a kid, think we learned it at school, was to add a rubber band tightly at the top of the sponge, then pull off the plastic covering. Add a little thread to it, to hold it by. Then put the sponge into water, and move it around. It will end out looking like a tassel, as the sponge obviously consists of long fibers rather than a spongy material. When it is done like that, you really get all the ink out of it too. But, this won't give an as concentrated result as the one using the syringe or faucet, I guess.
huh, i used one highlighter and got a soda bottle full of super-concentrate, here's a pic
the one on the right is my super-concentrate, the other is normal
the way i did it was to where it was only highliter fluid with absolutly no water mixed in to it so mines not the color your's is its a darker color i don have a camra so i cant show you sorry
oh, i see. now you can take alot of bottles, or a giant bucket or sumtin and make a crapload of it lol
iamspock7 years ago
My friend did this in wine, rum, and vodka bottles that he emptied....and set out on his counter. Then he put a small, stand up blacklight behind the bottles on a timer. During the day it looked like they had tasty treats in them, but as soon as the sun went down they gave off enough light to illuminate the whole room. Some bottles will really look like they have a beverage in them, depending on the glass color. His roommate almost drank some of one of the bottles, the only thing that stopped him was the highlighter in the bottom.
Many things glow under UV blacklight.

For a RED glow, mash up green spinich leaves and mix with a small amount of ethanol, this will glow blood red under UV.

For a bright yellow glow (brighter than the method mentioned here) crush up several vitamin A and B tablets and mix with white vinegar. The solution will glow bright yellow under UV.

The Quinine in tonic water glows blue when under UV exposure, simply decant a bottle.

The enzymes in some biological washing powder and dishwasher powder glows equally as blue. These enzymes are sometimes added to whitening toothpastes too.

Special UV sensitive paints and granules are available to buy which glow brilliantly under blacklight UV. These and a selection of UV lights can be found here:

Nightshade8 years ago
Urine does glow. the best is cat urine. I found this out by taking a small battery black light around the house to find out what would glow. Lint from the dryer works too. Powder soap won't suds like liquid soap.
rudolph8 years ago
While more costly, there's assorted colors available in pc watercooling additives. See here
power8 years ago
i've found one website that they sell flouresent inks. is better because they sell blue ones and purple as blacklight doesn't react with blue or purple lighlighter inks
kat1238 years ago
please help me, we are having a halloween party, complete with a haunted house, cemetary, crime scenes in our play ground area and are swimming pool. how do i get the swimming pool water to glow at the bottom to show our dead floating bodies?
FrenchCrawler (author)  kat1238 years ago
I'd suggest using several LEDs (water-proofed, of course) weighted down to the bottom of the pool. I believe there are already some instructables to show you how you can do this easily :)
Audio518 years ago
I have been looking for a way to make the water in my fountain glow for Halloween. It holds about 20 gallons of water. How many highlighters would I need? Or does anyone have a more practical suggestion for this quantity?
bigpinecone8 years ago
i also found that you can dip things into this stuff and they become "radioactive" lots of fun and it comes right off of non-porus things
The picture of the "sponge" floating in the jar of yellow water, don't know why, made me giggle like a school girl.
this comment made ma laugh
why not just tinkle in it UV will make that glow to lol...
chmod7778 years ago
I like this...I'm going to try some of the alternatives mentioned too.
A better thing to do would be to pour liquid soap laundry detergent in the jar beause it glows brighter. The makers of the detergent put in chemicals that glow under uv light, so when you wash your clothes in them, they look extra bright when out in the sun.
I wonder how bubbly water would look?
FrenchCrawler (author)  zachninme8 years ago
Want an even better effect? Get some of that Oxyclean powder and put some into the water. Instant "bubbly water" that continues to bubble...
FrenchCrawler (author)  Tetranitrate8 years ago
Hmmm... interesting idea...I'll have to try out the detergents in the house to see if any of them will work. Thanks for the info.
liquid detergent also makes a great paint for use under blacklight, i set up a shop light with uv bulbs and paint allover the porch with detergent, next day just hose off, redrum, fear, etc. aren't we all just a little wierd? Here's a thought, your yellow water a few drops of a pearlescent shampoo and something to gently agitate it, might do nothing, might look cool, because just the shampoo and water by itself is pretty neat.
soft_guy8 years ago
Is the water OK for children to drink after you have followed the directions in the article?
FrenchCrawler (author)  soft_guy8 years ago
Probably not, unless you find and use some non-toxic highlighters, but even then it may not be a good idea (especially since it would probably turn the kids' mouths colors). You may want to try the other ideas presented above (such as the tonic water idea: )
is there anyway to do it without the blacklight?
No; The ink is fluorescent and that's why it glows under black lights. You can buy cheap blacklights at retail stores like wal-mart though.
zachninme rnx8 years ago
However, make sure you get a FLORESENT lightbulb. I got a 18 @ Lowe's for $20. The HD had 28 for 30.
Sure. Just put a glowstick under the bowl. (Clear glass bowl.)
SmartAZ SmartAZ8 years ago
Oh, and add a few lumps of dry ice to give some other interesting effects.
power8 years ago
someone says that even onions could glow in uv it true?
zipykido power8 years ago
Lots of things glow under UV lights. Onions I'm not so sure about, but mixed with the correct chemicals and UV light can be used to detect things (semen, blood, urine, etc). Also, blacklights are UV lights, but UV rays can be damaging to eyes and if the intensity and time of exposure are long enough. I believe blacklights have a filter that filters out most of the bad stuff. Perhaps someone could make a glowing stuff rat led throwie using UV led's...
I would like to add that if you buy a blacklight lightbumb, you fell for it! Those incadecent bulbs are just painted purple. They emit little more UV than a normal light bulb. You need eather a flouresent bulb, or UV LED's. (GoodWillSales 's eBay shop has them at decent prices, highly reccomended!)
Dougall8 years ago
Two answers: 1. flourescien is the stuff that makes antifreeze for your car that wierd green colour - just mix some antifreeze with the water - remember andtifreeze is VERY TOXIC to people AND PETS - don't take any chances that a cat, dog or person could drink some - put a lid on your container and use a UV light. 2. get a glowstick, mix the sutff inside and (carefully) cut the stick with a sharp knife - drip into your water for glowing spirals of colour - no UV light required - we used to do this from the boat after a night time scuba dive - interesting effect.
Uh, actually, it is phosphors that glow. And it's flouresent ;-)

A glowstick relies on a chemical reaction, where a phosphor transforms one energy into another. In this case, UV --> Vis. Light .

zachninme8 years ago
I beleve that in National Treasure, the guy put an alka-seltzer into the water, and used it to do blacklight-glowing-things...

That is probably much easier, and doesn't require the office-supplyroom raid :-P.

This should almost be under the office group, since it uses highlighters.
Tekgno8 years ago
Another option is tonic water, the quinine(sp?) flouresces under UV.
Stone Tekgno8 years ago
Yeah, this works well - quinine fluoresces pale blue in UV. Causes some very weird looks in clubs from those not in the know :-)
rnx8 years ago
You could put the water in a spray-bottle and use a stencil to make a freaky disguise or something :D
FrenchCrawler (author)  rnx8 years ago
I also was thinking about how a haunted house could spray this stuff on a "ghost" (either a prop or person) and have the ghost in a black light area. Could even spray it on the room itself (for that spooky or toxic effect).
przem8 years ago
You can use fluorescein( It glows even in day light. Unfortunately I don’t know where to buy it in US.
FrenchCrawler (author)  przem8 years ago
This will also glow in daylight as I mentioned above due to the UV rays....
alexsolex8 years ago
why not just puting the glass with colorant over some whilte LEDs ? Colorant will reflect LED light and show us the glowy effect
vilain8 years ago
Tonic water glows blue under black light (it's the quinone). I seem to recall the active dye in yellow highlighter is flourescene, very easy to make. Did it in Organic Chem in college.
spinach_dip8 years ago
A funny thing is that the Mountain Dew like energy drink "Amp" glows just like this under black light. Really makes you wonder whats in that stuff.
FrenchCrawler (author) 8 years ago
It also works with UV lights, and the almighty sun will make it "glow" in the day time. Imagine walking around with a vial of this stuff hanging around your neck.
Neodudeman8 years ago
That's pretty cool. And Tool is weird.
FrenchCrawler (author)  Neodudeman8 years ago
Yes, to both of those sentences...