Introduction: How to Recharge a Glow-stick

Picture of How to Recharge a Glow-stick

  This method of charging a glow-stick actually works, but each time you recharge it the glow gets a little fainter. It can still be used for pretty long though. Also this is an entry in the flash light speed contest so if you liked it please vote for me.

Step 1: Stick It in the Freezer

Picture of Stick It in the Freezer

  This is basically the only real step here and all you have to do is put one of your used glow-sticks in the freezer over night.

Step 2: The Last Step

Picture of The Last Step

  Take your glow-stick out of the freezer,crack it,shake, and like magic it glows!


bernice.vassallo.7 (author)2014-09-14

I had a pacifier that glows in the dark (I had a plastic baby called Ciccobello and he had this pacifier) and when it started to fade i just took the pacifier and put it next to a light bulb and it worked. Now its Brighter then ever, if you guys don't believe me well it yr fault it, worked for me .

That isn't the same as the glowstick, the pacifier glows because it has a chemical, most likely phosphorus, which emits light, it absorbs light from sources such as the sun and light bulbs and it emits light, this is seen more obviously at night, this fades over time, take a flashlight and shine it for a few seconds, it show charge it up for a while , it will last for a few hours.

Aeroblast49 (author)mwumichael2017-06-25

So why don't they use phosphorus in glowsticks? Is it because it's too dangerous or something? Or maybe they don't want to do that because then people wouldn't buy them as much?

mwumichael (author)Aeroblast492017-06-26

The glow in the dark method is to absorb light in the day and emit it during the night, which would pretty much defeat the purpose of a glow stick, which is to have readily available light, also, phosphorus doesn't glow as bring as the glowstick after its initial use as it can give off enough light for illumination.

dibu loves unicorns (author)2016-11-27

does this work on used glowsticks?

oneiliajames109 (author)2015-10-31

thank you so much because our party was going to be a messy if i dont find this

DrishtaS (author)2015-07-16

thanks this really helped me and my little sis my mom bought us each a glow stick and we used your idea it was helpful i let mine freeze longer cause i needed it for my science fair project to make a glass rod. without this my little sis would have flood the house.


atombomb1945 (author)2010-07-29

I have been able to get this to work before, but the real trick is to get it into the frezer while it is still glowing. If it has gone dim to the point it cannot be seen at all, then it has lost the chemical reaction completely. Of course you could always just replace the batteries. The batteries are normally on the shelf with the buckets for the prop wash and the keys to the flight line.

bcaim (author)atombomb19452015-06-26

and the life raft repair kit, and the fire extinguisher refills.

Squee (author)atombomb19452010-11-07

I've heard that's also where they keep the headlight and blinker fluids too!

yours31f (author)Squee2013-08-04

They usually keep the muffler bearings near them too!

jbarnes25 (author)2014-04-02

Glow sticks glow by mixing 2 chemicals together witch react and produce light there is no way to reverse this reaction once its done its done and no amount of freezing will undo it, a low temperature will only slow the reaction but only by minutes, glow sticks are a one use item and according to this freezing a glow stick reverses a chemical reaction, unmixes 2 fluids, puts one back in a glass tube and then unbreaks the glass...

superstarshots (author)jbarnes252014-06-24

The glow sticks I have have been glowing the last 5 days. Of course not as bright as the first day. But still extremely bright. Bright enough to see with lights still on. I thought the freeze thing was a myth and only put mine in there to prove it wouldn't work. And now its 5 days later and every time I pull them out the freezer at night they are dull just like when I first got them. I crack them and then they light up again.
So my question to you mister Jbarnes25,,,, are you saying I have MAGIC Glow Sticks that are the only glow sticks in the world to ever do this? And if so, would you like to purchase my amazing physic breaking glow sticks?...

bcaim (author)superstarshots2015-06-26

ROTFL superstarshots! Love it!

Sherry222 (author)2015-06-24

Faster please!!!

Sherry222 (author)2015-06-24

I need something that is faster

Sherry222 (author)2015-06-24

Alyssa-BelleC (author)2014-10-19

Just wanted to let you all know - This really works. I just tried it (I got glowstick from a party yesterday). The only thing is, you have to place it in the freezer while it is still glowing! Why you gotta be so rude people? P.S. The vial in those glowsticks is glass, I figured out the whole chemical reaction thing in year 2, so you should all understand it.

MikeV3 (author)Alyssa-BelleC2015-01-16

It's not recharging like advertized, it's stopping the progress.

NathanC4 (author)2014-11-08

dont be rude

tigrrrl (author)2014-10-23

First: rude. Second it may not recharge but it extends it's life. So it lasts longer. Third, what did you expect photos of, his freezer door? The instructions are simple, this would work without any photos. Be considerate. Instructibles is for helpful hints as well as DIY stuff so calm yourself.

pikuid (author)2014-10-11

ssingh46 (author)2011-10-27

just put it in the microwave for 30 seconds and done

BriannaBerube12 (author)ssingh462014-09-14

I don't think chemicals will work out in a microwave...

AnOverdoseofZac (author)2010-08-09

I've been doing this for many years and my only sugestion is to not put it in the ice chest. I did once and the blade that dispenses the ice broke the stick open. It was funny because my mom had a party that night and no one could figure out why the ice was glowing

Isn't it toxic?

no mom...the ice cubes have always glowed in the dark!

swinfos (author)AnOverdoseofZac2010-08-09


sueman2 (author)2011-03-20

For thoose who wish to know more:

glowsticks work on chemical reactions, a reaction can speed up when their is movement, heat, etc. So cooling and keeping the stick still makes the reaction slow down. then by moving it around and heating it up, the reaction speeds up and light back up.

The best thing to do to get them back to normal is to microwave them for 5 seconds. and i mean seconds. 15 seconds would make any glow-stick spray everywhere. so 5 seconds is a safe level.

Have you ever done it before?
Sorry but I'm afraid of do it

Wally_Z (author)2011-08-19

When I did it, they didn't freeze to the point that they had to be broken again, I just had to hold them in my hand. They kind of worked after warming them in my hand again after them being dead for a week. I will try DEEP freezing them so they can be re-broken. I will also try putting them in hot water which will probably look really cool.

Also, look up glowstick spinning/raving. It looks amazing. I have a video of it on my Youtube channel if anyone wants to check it out.

Speedmite (author)2010-11-04

It only pauses the chemical reaction by slowing it down in a cold enviroment. You are only delaying the glow. But if you want to keep a broke glowstick, this is a good way.

To make it glow brighter, heat it up. Dont bust it though or pt it in the microwave. Poisonous gases when burnt.

13vamper37 (author)2010-08-06

it actually is glass. i've cut many of these open for various reasons lol

swinfos (author)13vamper372010-08-08

Yeah these one have glass in them ( I also find intrest in cutting glowsticks.)

crazy-builder (author)swinfos2010-10-07

yeah it is glass cos I've cracked them before (by accident) :) oh and by the way the liquid stains!! C.B. :D

Terivia (author)crazy-builder2010-11-02

defiantly glass, or really sharp plastic.

HeyJD (author)13vamper372010-08-08

Hmm.... And what reason would that be?

tobyscool (author)2010-10-06

Does recharge means already cracked cuz in
step two says:
Take your glow-stick out of the freezer,crack it,shake, and like magic it glows!

HeyJD (author)2010-08-03

Yeah I know what happens. It's just that I was told in a book it was a tube of breakable plastic inside, not glass.

jgfish (author)HeyJD2010-09-05

Last time I cracked one open it was glass

Daddio_UK (author)2010-08-25

Putting them in the freezer just stops them, and in hot water makes them light up more, they don't re-charge.

Max086 (author)2010-08-08

Cool beanz now I can keep these things longer, KUDOS my man!!

cambodiajack (author)2010-08-07

Cool. You can also keep a glow stick glowing for a long time by putting it in the freezer

thebeardedoneUK (author)2010-08-06

Nice little trick but it has never been successful for me :( Nice 'ible though :)

swinfos (author)thebeardedoneUK2010-08-06


HeyJD (author)2010-08-01

I wouldn't say it's glass breaking... But yeah it's something breaking inside...

red scourge (author)HeyJD2010-08-01

Actually, when you bend the glow stick, you're breaking a glass vial that hold the other chemical for the reaction.

didgitalpunk (author)2010-07-29

nice instructables! although i recomend puting your glowstick in the freezer in the morning so that you can use it at night. : )

swinfos (author)didgitalpunk2010-07-29


didgitalpunk (author)swinfos2010-07-30

your welcom

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