1. Education

Discuss in my forum

Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Glow in the Dark Mountain Dew

By October 16, 2007

Follow me on:

There is a really cool video circulating the internet (I saw it on Metacafe, but it's hosted elsewhere, too) where a guy takes a 20-oz bottle of Mountain Dew™, pours all but about a quarter inch of it into a glass, then adds about a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and 3 capfuls of hydrogen peroxide to the nearly-empty bottle. He puts the cap back on the bottle, shakes it, and it glows with an incredible eerie green light. I thought.. oooh... there's an awesome Halloween project! Unfortunately, it doesn't work, or at least it didn't work for my test subject. He added more baking soda, more peroxide, more Mountain Dew. He tested the peroxide to make sure it was still active. I think this project is a dud. If you get it to work, by all means let me know. I suspect the maker of the video probably had some zinc sulfide in with his baking soda.

There are projects you can try that actually do glow in the dark. You can make glow in the dark ink. Your fingers may glow from the smoking fingers trick. (Warning: both projects involve phosphorus, which is toxic). It's much easier and safer to get a glow from phosphorescence or fluorescence, such as under a black light. Stay tuned... I did come up with a glow-in-the-dark project you can try. It's for glow-in-the-dark slime. While I'm working on the instructions, feel free to make one of the non-glowing slimes, since the glowing slime basically is a variation on one of the standard recipes.

Comments

October 21, 2007 at 6:29 am
(1) Chris says:

Hey Anne,

The guys added the liquid from a glow stick and the unbroken glass chemical solution before the video was recorded. When he shook the bottle the glass tube broke and created a glow stick. The baking soda and peroxide are just there. They have no effect on anything. Actually, baking soda and peroxide react with eachother and if there is enough of it it can create and explosion based on pressure.

October 22, 2007 at 8:48 am
(2) Timothy J. Paul says:

If you watch it closely, you can see that a break in continuity occurs after the person pours the Mountain Dew into the glassinto the glass. During this break is when the contents of a glow stick were added to the Mountain Dew bottle. According to Wikipedia, hydrogen peroxide serves as an activating agent for the glow-stick dye. “It reacts with the ester to form an unstable CO2 dimer which excites the dye to an excited state; the dye emits a photon (light) when it spontaneously relaxes back to the ground state.” I don’t know what the purpose of the baking soda is… apparently just to help activate the hydrogen peroxide, which is why it says, “add a little…” Mountain Dew may have more sugar and caffeine than most sodas, but there’s clearly nothing much different about it otherwise. Just another internet scam.

October 22, 2007 at 8:49 am
(3) Timothy J. Paul says:

Rats… sorry about the typo above. lol

November 5, 2007 at 4:39 pm
(4) Sam in Virginia says:

I tried it last night with my six year old son watching intensely and sure enough it was a hoax. Damn, wish I would have done a little more research first. My son really likes glow in the dark stuff and I think I had his hopes up. Oh well, that will teach me!

November 6, 2008 at 9:47 am
(5) Cory says:

in the video when this happends when the camera zooms in on the baking soda and zooms back out you can see how the bottle has been rotated. the MTN> DEW logo no longer faces the camera insted its the back of the bottle. meaning the bottles were switched while zoomed in.

January 9, 2009 at 12:11 am
(6) analise says:

well its a total scam!
im serious!….i was going to use it as an how to article report but it would be stupid!
hey dont try your just wasting time!
even with the glow from a glow stick it doesnt work!!
hey but from videos it looks tempting to try since theres easy materials that are needed!

April 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm
(7) truth says:

did you know the maker of the other video didn’t use a glow stick . Only this lady did . So what project didn’t work?

January 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm
(8) triggins says:

hey i thought this project was preety cool when i first saw it on the video and then we did an experament on it and found out that it didnt work.

January 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm
(9) Froz says:

I thought it was cool when i saw the mountain dew glow in the dark. It made me want to try to do it. Then when i did try and it didnt work i was disapointed and mad. It would be really cool to make mountain dew glow.

January 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm
(10) BJones4real says:

I thought this experiance was interesting until i did the experiment and i didnt work. I still think its cool how it really works tho:)

January 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm
(11) Pewee Hermine says:

This is totaly a FAKE. When i first saw the video, i belived it. That just shows how golable ppl can be. DON’T try it. its is a waste of time and good mtn dew.

January 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm
(12) AshAsh says:

I thought this mtn. dew thing was pretty Cool.. but to find out it doesnt truly work was a bummer. My science class did the steps.. And we found out how to really make it work.. with water and intense light. It is a mixture of chemicals.. it is very interesting

September 1, 2010 at 8:45 pm
(13) sissywissy says:

i watched the video and its totally a scam. i hate people like that. if you wanna impress somebody, at least make it on something that really works with out cheating. whoever made that video just wanted some hits and is a total jerk. he upset tons of people.

January 25, 2009 at 10:36 pm
(14) Tracy Connolly says:

My daughter chose this as her science fair project this year and it was successful. As a matter of fact, our whole family including the dog gathered in the bathroom to witness the results of the Glow in the Dark Mountain Dew. It did glow for about 20 mins after first completing the experiment. I believe the amount of each element was the difference. I notice that your project says to use one pinch of baking soda. Well my husband added an extra one. Retry the project and use different variables as you go to see if the outcome changes. It does work. Good Luck!

August 3, 2009 at 1:28 am
(15) Jean says:

If you search youtube, you’ll find one for a re-fillable glowtube. In the breakable glass tube is hydrogen peroxide. Everyone on this site appears to be fixated on what they hydrogen peroxide is for. If this were a hoax, the hydrogen peroxide would be the true ingredient and if he swapped what was in the bottle for the liquid in the glowtube, adding the peroxide would be like breaking the little glass vile that would contain peroxide in the glowtube. Check it out. I’m going to give this a try tomorrow after I buy some mountain dew. Good thing its only a quarter of an inch, I can drink most of it if it were a bust anyways or keep mixing the combination after I dump out each batch. It’ll be a fun experiment with the kids anyways.

September 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm
(16) Brandon Berg says:

I tried a bunch of thngs and im pretty sure that they cut open a non broken glow stick dunped all of the substance out. left the little glass rod that is hydrogen peroxide and just took the outside substance of the glow stick and filled the rest with hydrogen peroxide to make it glow you dont need mountain dew.

May 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm
(17) baby says:

shut up no… u need held

October 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm
(18) marie in Virginia says:

I went home&told my son in law whata greatthing I had for our haunted halloween trail showed him the mt dew baking soda peroxide &nothing we thought the baking sodawas bad went out todau bought new & still nothing got new peroxide nope guess Nana doesn’t know everything you learn something new every day

April 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm
(19) merlin says:

I saw the vido spent $60.00 and no luck…

June 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm
(20) Nicole says:

Im a preschool teacher and I did it as an experiment for my kids who were very bummed that it didnt work. I saw it on the movie Circle of Eight but it is total crap….I hate people who lie!!!!!

July 20, 2010 at 7:06 pm
(21) tristin says:

if you look at the bottle, youll notice its allmoust full
yet there is barly any liquid in it.lol

November 1, 2010 at 10:07 pm
(22) big trick says:

dud this realy SU###, When I saw this i realy got all pumped up on wanting to try it, i had my wife go and get all the products i needed. as i did the experiment in front on my family it realy bumed me out when it didnt work. at lest we all got a laugh.

September 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm
(23) nina says:

i think that is so good

November 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm
(24) Ginny says:

My son wanted to use this for his science project, it does not work unless you add a broken glowstick to it. It is a real disappointment that such hoaxes are posted on the web for our children.

January 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm
(25) title says:

My son used this for a science project. We went over it three times thinking we done something wrong just to figure out this experiment was a piece of crap!!!!

April 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm
(26) Ahrrrgg says:

I forever turn my back on Science! I will only pursue magic which we all know works ever time! HA HA HA HA!

July 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm
(27) Jon says:

I did 20 glowsticks in a soda bottle for a movie prop in my film. This is what that looks like.

http://youtu.be/KuywMuC5uEM

November 13, 2012 at 9:16 am
(28) Jose says:

OK GUYS, IVE FIGURED IT OUT, AFTER THE BAKING SODA AND HYDROGEN PEROXIDE ADD A LITTLE DISH SOAP TO THE EQUATION, IM PRETTY SURE ANY KIND WILL DO BUT I USED DAWN AND IT GLOWS BRIGHT GREEN AS SOON AS THE SOAP HITS THE LIQUID, MY GUESS IS IT ACTS AS AN ACCELERATE. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS STANDING BY YOU WHEN YOU DO THIS THE GLOW WEARS OFF PRETTY FAS

March 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm
(29) Harley Hawkins says:

Well Lets See I Did It About 10 Minutes Ago And It Worked So Yep

March 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm
(30) Heidi says:

Crap….maybe it has to be Dawn dish soap……..I added 2-3 drops of Palmolive and nothing happened. :(

April 3, 2013 at 5:55 am
(31) Sara says:

This is a hoax. It was intended from the beginning to send people on a fruitless errand. Anyone who says it worked is screwing with people for a laugh.

April 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm
(32) matt says:

U guys are gullible! Whatever u read on the internet u are gonna believe? Dumb. Hey if u put bleach and ammonia together and huff it it will make you glow!

April 22, 2013 at 6:12 pm
(33) Tasha says:

IT does work! I’m using it as a how to project for my speech class! you have to make sure that you use Baking soda, without this it will not work! you will need a cap full of peroxide, the glowstick liquid 1/2 inch of mountain dew soda and a pinch of dish soap!

May 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm
(34) Steve says:

The peroxide does actualy have merit for being there…It takes part in the reaction….see the reaction between the peroxide and the other chemical doesn’t release light it releases energy, which in turn impinges upon electrons in a phosflourescent substance causing them to jump to a higher energy state…These electrons do not “WANT” to hold this energy and therefor release it mostly as photons and heat (caused by phonons)…more peroxide would have accellerated the reaction….the dish detergents classically have some kind of phosphor containing substance in them….Try using the glue from a green highlighter instead of dish soap…Ill bet it works too

June 9, 2013 at 6:14 pm
(35) meghann says:

YOU ARE A BIG MEANY! IT DIDNT WORK I TRUSTED YOU NOW I DONT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOUR A BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG MEANY AND I DONT TRUST YOU NO MO

July 2, 2013 at 1:33 am
(36) Toby says:

@Matt: I agree with you Matt however because there are many hoax videos and false information I wouldn’t suggest to people (even sarcastically) to make and huff a mustard gas recipe because odds are someone will be stupid enough to try it :/

Though it’s cool to make your own glow sticks, it’s a lot cheaper to just buy them instead of the ingredients.

August 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm
(37) shirley says:

does a glow in the dark experiment work if you put dawn or anyother dish wasshing soap also would it work if you also put glow in the dark stick

Leave a Comment


Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.