Today, fluorescent, or simply put, glow sticks are very widely used in decorating holiday spaces, as decorative elements, or simply as children’s toys. They are popular among people of all ages from small to large.
Such a luminous “toy” will bring a touch of magic to any holiday. Small children will be delighted with a holiday decorated with “magic glow sticks” or just the opportunity to play with these wands. Young people often use these sticks at parties and get-togethers. And people of middle age will appreciate the luminous decorations. Such glow sticks can decorate not only the room itself and use them as a decorative element. Wands can be twisted into bracelets, used as decorative elements of various holiday costumes or just hold them in your hands during the party.
Not everyone knows that the glow stick can be made yourself at home in a fairly short period of time. But do not think that this is a two-minute affair. To create a small miracle with your own hands, you need to have patience, a small amount of available and inexpensive materials and you can start. And you do not need a degree in chemistry and a specialized laboratory.
By the way, to the manufacture of fluorescent sticks can involve children. It will be very interesting for a child to see how the magic happens in their own home. But in any case, regardless of whether you will make the wand yourself, or want to involve a child in the process, you must be very careful and follow the basic rules of safety.
Before you start working on the creation of magic glow sticks, you must prepare a minimum set of materials and tools that you will need. All materials you can easily find in your neighborhood stores at fairly democratic prices.
There are several ways to create glow sticks, which differ only in the materials used. The tube itself is always made in about the same way. The main difference is the creation of a luminous liquid-filler, which it will be filled with.
Method #1 – glow stick based on fluorescent liquid
Fluorescent is a special substance that has a light-accumulating effect. It is this substance that will provide the glow for our wand. Fluorescent can be in the form of a powder or solution.
So, in order to make a fluorescent wand from ready-made fluorescent liquid with your own hands at home, you will need:
- A glass ampule;
- Ready-made fluorescent liquid in the color you want. It can be purchased at an art store or a store that specializes in the sale of goods for creativity;
- Hydrogen peroxide. You can probably find some in your medicine cabinet.
- Teflon tape. You can buy it at a hardware store.
- Copper caps. They will later be screwed on the glow stick. They, too, can easily be found in a building materials store;
- The polyethylene or propylene tube itself.
When all necessary preparations are made – you can begin to create. The first step is to collect the wand itself, which later will be filled with glowing liquid. To do this, we take a polyethylene tube, the required diameter and the required length. At one end fix with Teflon tape copper cap, as securely as possible. Copper tape is needed to keep the cap better and not leak liquid. The second cap should screw on easily.
When all manipulations with the workpiece are finished, you can proceed to the next step. At this stage will be used blowtorch, so you need to work carefully and carefully to avoid burns and other injuries. To begin with we take a dropper and heat one of its ends with a blowtorch until the glass melts and securely seals one of the ends of the dropper. Then we wait a few minutes for the pipette to cool. It is necessary to check the tightness of sealed end of the pipette, otherwise you just won’t get anything. Now, you need to pour hydrogen peroxide into the resulting flask. Then seal the top of the already filled pipette in the same way.
When both workpieces are ready, you can start assembling the glow stick. To do this, we put an ampoule of hydrogen from the pipette into a polyethylene tube. After that, pour the luminous fluorescent liquid into the wand.
And securely twist the magic wand, using Teflon tape and a copper cap.
In principle, the glow stick is ready. And in order to make it “work” it is necessary to bend it. The hydrogen flask from the dropper will burst and the hydrogen will react with the fluorescent liquid, which will cause a bright beautiful glow.
One of the pluses of the above method is the ability to activate the wand at any time. That is, the wand will start working exactly when you need it to.
Unfortunately, such wands are disposable, and they do not glow as long as we would like them to. When using them, you have to remember that a microwave or refrigerator, will not extend their life. So, if your wand has stopped glowing, it is better to make a new one and not risk your possessions and health.
The billet itself is a wand that can be used more than once. If the wand has stopped glowing, simply refresh the contents and your tube will find new life.
Method #2 – glow stick from the most affordable ingredients
One of the disadvantages of the first method is not a small price of the fluorescent liquid itself, and it is not always readily available. But if you do not have a desire to spend so much, or you can not get something out of the components of the past “recipe”, there are a large number of alternative methods to create glowing water at home. This method will use the most readily available materials that are easily found in your apartment. And so, to make a luminous liquid you need:
- Tap water;
- A 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide, which you probably have in your medicine cabinet;
- table salt (found in every kitchen);
- Vinegar (you can probably find it in your kitchen too, or in your neighborhood store for pennies).
The glow will occur due to the interaction of chemical elements. All ingredients must be well mixed. In the process of mixing, because of the interaction of these substances, should begin hissing. It is necessary to shake very carefully and vigorously, for 5-10 minutes, until you get the desired result – luminescence.
The ready luminous liquid can be poured into sticks, which we already know how to make. The only difference is that you will not need a flask with hydrogen peroxide. And the wand will glow right away.
Method #3 – glow stick, using luminol and alkali
In this case, chemical reagents will be used, which can be purchased in a specialized store or ordered from an online store. Since this method is based on an alkaline reaction, you must take all precautions and avoid contact with alkali and its derivatives, on exposed skin, in the eyes, etc.
List of reagents needed:
- Luminol – 0, 15 g;
- Dry alkali – about 35 g;
- 30 ml. dimethoxide;
First you need to mix dry lye with dimethoxide and luminol. It is necessary to mix the ingredients very thoroughly. It is better to use a glass bottle. Plastic dishes should not be used when working with lye. Luminol gives a bright bluish glow, which, if desired, can be colored with a dye. The intensity of the color is controlled by the amount of dye. More dye means a more intense color. When you open the lid to pour the magic water through the tubes, it will glow brighter as it interacts with oxygen.
Method #4 – based on laundry detergent
In this method will be used more available components, most of which you can easily find at home. Therefore, it is simpler and more budget-friendly. For the fifth method you need to prepare:
- A mixing utensil;
- Laundry detergent;
- Water, the most common;
- Hydrogen peroxide;
- Potassium permanganate, or simply put, manganese.
When you have gathered all the ingredients, you can begin to create. Pour the washing powder into 20 ml. of water and stir until the powder granules have completely dissolved. That is, stir for a long time and very thoroughly. In a solution of powder and water need to pour 10 ml. 3% peroxide and 5 ml of luminol solution. Several crystals of manganese should be crushed into a powder. The resulting powder of manganese oxide, stirring intensively, pour into a container with a solution. When the components come into reaction, you can enjoy a stunning spectacle – bright, glowing sparks. And that’s it – you can fill the tubes with the neon mixture.
Method #5 – neon sticks, based on sodium tetroborate
If you are not satisfied with the first seven methods, if they seemed too complicated, if you can not get some of the ingredients, or just decided to experiment, there are a few more simple ways to fill a tube with neon water.
The secret of the next method is strict adherence to the proportions. You will achieve the desired result only if you correctly measure the necessary amount of ingredients and will mix them in the right order.
To begin, we will prepare everything we need:
- Regular tap water – 140 ml;
- Sodium tetroborate, or borax – ½ teaspoon.
- Baking soda – 1 teaspoon;
- Hydrogen peroxide – 3 teaspoons.
All the ingredients are ready, you can proceed to the chemical experiment. To begin with, the necessary amount of sodium tetroborate must be dissolved in the specified amount of water. In the resulting solution, add soda, in the required volume. If you do everything correctly, the solution will begin to foam and hiss – this is how carbon dioxide is released. Now you need to add hydrogen peroxide and fill, with the resulting luminous solution, the pre-prepared sticks.
If you want the sticks not to start glowing immediately, you can do the same thing as in the first method. That is to solder hydrogen peroxide in a pipette-flask. And “turn on” the wand when it will be convenient for you.