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Glow-in-the-dark bathtime fun Part Two - by Andy

Posted by Andy on 16 June 2014 at 22:38

Given the great response to the original post, it was time to raise our game. So here it is!

So in the first post of our bathtime adventures which you can find here, we showed how you can use glowsticks to have some great fun in the bath with toddlers and small children. And yes - adults loved it too!

We had, however, read of an even better way to brighten up the bath and tonight was the time to experiment!

Ultra-violet fun

Ever seen a blacklight in a nightclub? It is basically a lightbulb that is painted black so that only ultraviolet light passes through it. This is what makes white t-shirts and teeth shine garishly. You may also have seen it on CSI where it is used to show up bodily fluids.

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We decided not to use our own blood and urine though and opted for something far easier! Certain Vitamin B compounds flouresce under blacklight. The most common ones that you will find are riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. It seems to be a bit trial and error as to which one you buy, but we took a trip to Holland & Barrett and purchased the vitamins on the left for around £5.

It contained all three of the major vitamin B compounds.

Next step is to crush it up with a pestle and mortar into the finest powder that you can. A guide that we found somewhere suggested that two crushed tablets would make a good concentration, but we went for four tablets and added them to a bath that was around six inches deep.

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We also bought a blacklight bulb (from Maplin) for £4.95. Do remember that electricity and water are a bad mix so please keep the light away from the bath! We also bought a UV torch, also from Maplin (£24.99) just in case the bulb was rubbish.

The Result

Next step is to insert the toddler into the slightly weird coloured bath and flip on the switch. Your bathroom HAS to be blacked out for this to work. As it is, our blacklight bulb only produced a moderate effect (the torch was better!). We probably need to invest in a better one from a specialist supplier. However, it was still pretty good as you can see!
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The water was quite glowy yellow. The best bit was the toys though. Lots of plastics fluoresce so it is worth experimenting. The Tiger bath toys were the best though! The material showed up really well. (@tigerstores I REALLY need thanking for all of the unpaid plugs!!).

The bathmat glowed well too :) (a Robert Dyas purchase). There's lots of things that you can experiment with.

Next steps - a better blacklight and crushing spinach to make a red glow in the bath. We'll keep you posted.

Like the idea? Post a reply on the blog as it makes me feel loved :)


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