Introduction: Spooky Glowing Water....

Picture of Spooky Glowing Water....

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)

Step 1: Drain the Juices....

Picture of Drain the Juices....

Make sure you have a glass filled halfway with warm water...

1. Take your highlighter apart so that you can get at the sponge.
2. Take the sponge out of the marker and cut off the plastic that surrounds it.
3. Drop the sponge into the water and watch as it absorbs the water while leaking out the ink.
4. After the sponge has absorbed as much water as it can, take it out and squeeze the contents back into the glass until the sponge is fairly dry.
5. Now turn off the lights and turn on your blacklight near the glass

Spooky.... Video below....
Watch for my next instructable for adding in a body part....


evone (author)2016-10-06

So how long will the highlighter ink last? I want to make a fluorescent mineral fountain for my Granddaughter for her birthday and hope I could send the water already done in a plastic sealed container would this work do you think? I am creating everything by hand so it will be unique only to her. Once she puts the water in the fountain will it just recycle and not lose its fluorescents? I am buying the blacklight to go with it.

takn37 (author)2013-03-02

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

sih.................. my research isnt working...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Goodhart (author)takn372013-03-04

Mixing a bit of hydrogen peroxide with Luminol (careful, this is CAUSTIC !!! ) will give a bluish glow

Azaron_Brows (author)2008-10-20

dude what the hell is blacklight

Goodhart (author)Azaron_Brows2009-06-21

"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:

takn37 (author)Goodhart2013-03-02


ithaley (author)Azaron_Brows2009-08-19

its an ultra violet light it makes bright colors glow and makes other colors look darker

Akshat Dalal (author)2009-09-18

heyy whats this blacklight

poser (author)2009-05-22

very clever! :T

bespectacled (author)2008-09-21

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!

lemonie (author)2006-10-15

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 (author)lemonie2007-06-29

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 (author)peapeam2007-08-31

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 (author)Subvert2007-09-12

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! :)

PyroManiac96 (author)peapeam2008-09-19

u kno, i agree wit u. i hat ppl who use SMS language, cuz most ppl cant undrstand wat tey r sayin. (lol)

Subvert (author)peapeam2007-09-12

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.

razor_love666 (author)peapeam2007-08-14

wahts OT mean? i see it alote...{{{


peapeam (author)razor_love6662007-08-15

Hi, OT means "Off Topic"... :)

razor_love666 (author)lemonie2007-08-14

what do u mean glow sticks dont obbey the law of phisics??

lemonie (author)razor_love6662007-08-15

No, there is a violation of quantum mechanics.


physics guy (author)lemonie2007-09-10

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?

lemonie (author)physics guy2007-09-10

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

neardood (author)2008-09-07

thats cool.

kyle.marsh (author)2008-06-08

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.

Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)2007-12-10

What happens if you do this with a blue highlighter?

Haven't tried it yet... been meaning to try different colors, just haven't gotten around to doing it though.

dingleberry (author)2007-10-05
ARVash (author)dingleberry2007-10-26

unfortunately that was faked :, keep looking though! I hear quinine glows under a blacklight.

grimmed (author)2007-10-22

wats a blacklitte?!?!?!

Havoc481 (author)2006-10-20

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. (author)Havoc4812007-05-14

if u did it ur way to get the hiliter fluid out wood u get a reely brite glowing juice kind of stuff?

Havoc481 (author)A.C.E.2007-10-04

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

CreativeChick8 (author)2007-02-11

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!

Ward_Nox (author)CreativeChick82007-07-30

i wonder what would happen if you diluted red bull with water it could work for this trick

Audio51 (author)2006-11-08

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!

Ward_Nox (author)Audio512007-07-30

how'd u rig the light

Audio51 (author)Ward_Nox2007-07-30

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_Nox (author)2007-07-30

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

Paulette (author)2006-10-15

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)Paulette2006-10-16

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.

peapeam (author)FrenchCrawler2007-06-29

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)2006-10-02

I suggest using warm water cause it'll make the highlighter drain faster (you could also use hot)...

Havoc481 (author)FrenchCrawler2006-10-20

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

Havoc481 (author)Havoc4812006-10-20

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.

peapeam (author)Havoc4812007-06-29

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.

bigpinecone (author)Havoc4812006-10-22

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

Havoc481 (author)bigpinecone2006-11-04

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

bigpinecone (author)Havoc4812006-11-04

oh, i see. now you can take alot of bottles, or a giant bucket or sumtin and make a crapload of it lol

iamspock (author)2007-06-22

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.

About This Instructable




More by FrenchCrawler:The Instructable/Slideshow/Video Tabs....Baby Storage (Part Two)Baby Storage (Part One)
Add instructable to: