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How to Make Glowing Printer Ink

Homemade Printer Ink That Glows in the Dark

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The ink used to make this picture glows in the dark after it has been charged with bright light.

The ink used to make this picture glows in the dark after it has been charged with bright light.

Beo, Creative Commons

You can make homemade glowing ink that you can use in your printer to make glow in the dark letters, signs, or pictures. It's easy to do and works on all kinds of paper or even for making iron-on transfers for fabric.

Glowing Ink Materials

  • glow powder (sold in craft stores; if you can't find it you can substitute glowing paint)
  • printer ink refill
  • empty printer cartridge
  • syringe (available at any pharmacy)

Prepare the Glowing Ink

Basically, you're adding a chemical to normal ink that will cause it to glow in the dark. Ink formulations, especially for printers, are complex, so the resulting ink may not print as smoothly as it ordinarily would. You may wish to adjust the ratio of ingredients to get just the right ink for your needs.
  1. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 teaspoon of glow powder with 3 teaspoons of ink from your refill ink cartridge.

     

  2. Microwave the ink for 30 seconds to help it mix better.

     

  3. Use a syringe to draw up the ink.

     

  4. You may be able to locate the refill holes on the cartridge (often under the label) and inject the ink into the cartidge without breaking it open, but it you can't find the holes then remove the cap from an empty printer cartridge and inject the glowing ink. Re-seal the cap back onto the ink cartridge (if necessary) and insert it into your printer.

     

  5. Print a few pages to give the ink a chance to flow, then print out your glowing document.

     

  6. Charge the ink by shining a bright light onto the printed image for about a minute. Sunlight or a black light work best, but you can use any bright light source.

     

  7. Turn out the lights and see the glow! The glow from the ink will fade after a few minutes in the dark, but if you keep the ink exposed to black light it will continue to glow.
Another Glowing Ink Recipe | Glow in the Dark Projects

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