Introduction: How to Make Fluorescent Dye

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Fluorescent dye glows a bright neon yellow when exposed to an ultra violet light source. This is ideal for dying T-Shirts and coloring paper, however, some fabrics may not "stain" very well.

Supplies for this project:

  • 1 Highlighter
  • 15 Milliliters Water
  • 1 Plastic Cup or other collection container
  • 1 Pair of Scissors (Optional)
  • 1 Tweezers (Optional)
  • 1 Pair of Gloves (Optional)

Disclaimer: I used gloves to prevent the ink from staining my hands. If the label on the highlighter says "Non-Toxic" then you should be fine with out them, however don't drink the ink or put it in your eyes. Repeat under your own risk!

Step 1: Open the Highlighter and Slide the Plastic Tube Out.

Pry the end cap off the highlighter body and carefully slide the ink tube out. Be ready to catch any spills - some ink may have escaped the tube during the removal process.

Step 2: Hold Firmly and Squeeze Over a Container.

Hold the end of the tube over the collection container and squeeze for several seconds - maybe even minutes. The tube should look be complete white (as seen in the next step) after squeezing.

Step 3: Analyze Your Dye

After vigorously squeezing, and adding water, the felt tube should have lost all it's color and yielded about 50 ml of concentrated florescent dye.

Step 4: Turn on the UV Light!

Finally the exciting step! Turn off the regular lights and power on the ultraviolet lamp. The ink will emit an eerie green glow that will last pretty much forever.

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