Glow Noodles





Introduction: Glow Noodles

About: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!

Make your next Halloween meal a spooky one with glow noodles!

These glow noodles are reactive in UV light, and give off a spooky fluorescent orange glow. These noodles are simple to make, and can have a big effect whether they're for eating or as a prop for your Halloween event.

I had seen this as an animated GIF on reddit initially and didn't know it's origin. I was recently contacted by person who made the video, PhotoandGrime, and this is where this idea originated:;

Making your own is super easy, and only require 2 ingredients.
Ready to get scary? Let's make!

Step 1: Supplies

Rice noodles are perfect for glow noodles as they are already a translucent color, and accept pigmentation really well. Any type of Vermicelli or rice noodles will do.

To make the noodles glow I used vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which is readily available online or at your local drug store. Though vitamin B2 has a distinctive yellowy-orange colour in daylight, it really pops when viewed under blacklight. To see the results I picked up an inexpensive and powerful LED blacklight flashlight.

Step 2: Grind Vitamin B2

Vitamins can come in either pill or capsule form. Capsules can be easily opened up and the contents dumped out, but pills will need to be crushed into a fine powder.

I used a mortar and pestle to grind up my vitamins, then took the opportunity to shine a UV light on them to test the reaction.

Looks good! Time to make some noodles.

Step 3: Boil Water + Add Vitamin B2

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then mix in the powdered vitamin B2, the water should turn a bright orange color. Mix the vitamins into the water so there are no lumps.

Step 4: Add Noodles

Add rice noodles to the boiling vitamin water. Rice noodles don't take very long to cook, so keep an eye on them.

Just to show how receptive rice noodles are to pigmentation, just dipping the end of the noodles into the water turned them bright orange. Neat!

Step 5: Test, Then Drain Noodles

Rice noodles don't take very long to cook. I pulled a few noodles and tested them, when they were al dente the noodles were removed from the heat and drained.

Step 6: Here's a Comparison

Just for fun, here's a comparison between a regular rice noodle and a vitamin cooked rice noodle.

Step 7: Serve!

Your glow noodles are ready to be served up. They work great as a prop for your spooky Halloween event, or can be eaten as part of a themed meal. If you plan on eating these noodles I recommend serving them with a sauce, since the vitamin B2 leaves a slightly bitter taste. It's not terrible, just not something to eat plain.

Either way, you'll need a blacklight to make your noodles glow, so remember to pick up a few UV lights to really make your glow noodles POP!

I'd love to see your version of this project, so share a picture of your glow noodles in the comments below and I'll gift you a free Pro Membership to Instructables!



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    25 Discussions

    what if you boil the noodles in tonic water? would the quinine in the tonic water add florescence to the noodles?

    1 reply

    You can't overdoes on vitamin B2, any excess that your body doesn't want is expelled in urine.

    Yes, they are safe to eat! Though, they taste very "vitaminy" so I suggest a sauce.


    2 years ago

    Interesting effect!

    Um, I don't believe the Vitamin B2 will survive the boiling water. Extreme heat destroys vitamins. Basically, the dye in the vitamins you crushed are what colors the noodles. But, most likely the vitamin B2 is not even alive after the cooking process.

    3 replies

    I don't believe vitamins are alive to begin with.

    I don't think vitamin intake is truly what they were going for here.

    That is twaddle: Vit B doesn't fluoresce yellow - it already IS yellow. If it were fluorescing it would frequency down-shift to red.

    Am I the only one who spotted the mistake? The Vit B-stained noodles are yellow and, under UV, remain yellow. In fact neither noodle type fluoresces under UV: the untreated ones look purple, but so does the spoon ( unless he's suggesting steel is fluorescent! ). If something fluoresces, you get a white glow, not purple. A yellow compound which fluoresces, would glow red ( frequency downshift ). What have I missed?

    1 reply


    Use extreme caution. Recent findings suggested that riboflavin at high doses might promote lung cancer progression.


    Riboflavin at high doses enhances lung cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and migration.

    published in: J Food Sci. 2013 Feb;78(2):H343-349

    Wow, a vitamin-enriched "silly" food! This would be perfect for creepy use in "haunted houses" at Halloween. Thanks for showing us.

    i want to have a try this afternoon

    What if you added some butter to the noodles, would it camouflage the bitter taste from the B2?


    2 years ago

    Just in case anyone else was wondering:

    "Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, plays a role in normal growth and the production of red blood cells. The daily requirement of vitamin B2 is 1.1 milligrams for women and 1.3 milligrams for men. Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin, so your body doesn't store excess amounts. Instead, any vitamin B2 that you consume that your body doesn't use is excreted in your urine. Because your body doesn't hold onto vitamin B2, there isn't an upper limit recommended for safety. Vitamin B2 has not been known to cause poisoning."

    Found paraphrased on numerous websites.