Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No Go Glow Bath

Glow sticks have made a huge comeback lately with all sorts of DIY projects and fun. Victoria found a pin for putting glow sticks in the tub for her children, but things didn't quite go right. 

The Original Pin
it’s been a while since i’ve visited julia galdo’s flickr and she’s definitely been busy taking lots of great pictures.

The source Victoria followed led her to this page: http://happyhomefairy.com/tag/glow-sticks/
but this photo was taken by Julia Galdo and can be found on her website http://www.juliagaldo.com/photography.html and is photo number 22 in her personal gallery (went through all 93 of her tumblr pages looking for this...I should have just gone straight to her site. And...her photography is lovely, but it does contain nudity, just warning you if you click over to her site). 

Victoria said, "I wanted to do something fun for my 5 year old since we had been going through a lot as a family.  [We] had a bunch of glow sticks from a party, and I thought she would love this."
She filled up the tub, bent the glow sticks to get them glowing and then she cut them open and dumped the glow liquid into the tub. While it didn't mix with the water like she had hoped, rather it just stayed where it splattered, her daughter was still excited to hop in the tub. 

The Pinstrosity
We actually don't have a picture for this...and while we normally always ask for a photo, we thought this one was worth posting sans photo. 

Victoria shared the following: "As soon as she stepped into the tub and sat down she started crying.  Said it hurt.  I was worried there was a chemical or something in it.  I washed her off and got her out and she had these little nicks and cuts on her legs.  I couldn't understand it.  It wasn't until a few weeks later after our drain started backing up that my husband got down and found little broken pieces of a hollow glass tube in the drain.  Now I realize that the crunch noise to activate the glowing is a small glass tube within the plastic tube being broken.  That was what had cut my baby girls leg.  Utter fail and worst of all dangerous.  I never knew those even had glass in them.  I dunno, maybe we used the wrong ones.  But, we used the glow sticks that can be used as bracelets.  I think this is important to let others know because it's not safe."

I discovered the glass tubing during my attempt to make the glowing bubbles and cringed a little as I read Victoria's email as I knew right where this was going. Most of the glow sticks have those glass tubes in them. The glass tubes keep the chemicals separate, and bending the glow stick breaks the glass and allows the two chemicals to mix producing the glow. 

The post Victoria found doesn't actually suggest opening up the glow sticks into the tub. It says, "Glow Stick Baths!  Fill up the tub, pile all your Happy Buddies in, turn out the lights, and throw in some Glow Sticks. You will not believe how cool this is!"

So...if you're using glow sticks DO NOT cut them open. 

**Some glow sticks are toxic and others aren't...we don't know which kind Victoria used. But that is something to think about with glow stick projects in the future. Also, everyone has different views and feelings on the varying levels of chemicals in their lives. While putting glow liquind straight into the bath may seem like a bad idea to some, it would be pretty run of the mill with others. So, please be kind in your comments regardless of whether you are on the "Chemicals are the devils tools" side or the "Who cares?" side (or even someone in the middle).**
Other ideas on how to make bath water glow can be found here: http://chemistry.about.com/od/glowinthedarkprojects/a/glowingbubbles.htm
I know that's a link for bubbles, but it could be adapted to the bath.

You can also check out this idea (using highlighters and a black light bulb) http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/03/outer-space-themed-bath.html.


                        

38 comments:

  1. We've had glow sticks leak and then eat holes in our furniture. The toxic smell lasted for a long time afterwards. It scares me to see so many pinterest things using glow sticks!

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  2. Unless you cut open the glow stick you should have no problem with safety. I have never had a glow stick break open on its own.

    As far as the original pin goes - we did this as a fun bath last year for Halloween. I bought a huge bag of glow sticks and turned out the lights. The kids had a blast! They even took the glow sticks to bed with them and stayed up late giggling. We plan to do it again this year. It was so much fun! :)

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  3. Wow, I never realized there were glass tubes in glow sticks. Thanks for the warning!

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  4. Gaylene: Me too! Way too many Pins suggesting people use the mixed glow stick liquid by cutting them open. There is a reason it is not sold on it's own: IT IS TOXIC! Add to that the laceration hazard with the glass and I get the urge to "thumbs down" every glow stick pin I see. I wish Pinterest had a negative feedback mechanism so people could warn others about these posts! Thank you Pinstrosity for offering the de facto service!

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  5. Has anyone tried tonic water in the bath and seen if there's enough quinine to make it glow under black light? maybe I should try it....

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    1. Any tonic water you buy in the states no longer has quinine in it, the gov't required it to be removed from tonic water in the last couple of years.

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    2. That's... definitely not true. I have a bottle of tonic water in my kitchen that has quinine... bought from Smiths.... last week.

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  6. We used this pinspiration and added glow sticks to the pool at night for a slumber party. It was a huge success!

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  7. I have had a glow stick break open. Sometimes if you bend the plastic tube too much it will cause fractures in the plastic. I was a cabin leader at a kids camp and the glow sticks the kids got for nighttime fun ended up a nightmare when they got back to the cabin as the liquid leaked all over their bedding! So I would make sure that there a definitely no cracks before throwing them in the tub!

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  8. Yes! We had glow stick bracelets from a church function, one leaked on my dining room table and ATE OFF the finish. Won't be letting my kids use them if I can help it!

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  9. I recently had a glow in the dark bath for my son and he loved it. I had no problems with the glow sticks. I think you just have to be very careful when cracking them.

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  10. I can't imagine ever thinking it would be a good idea to bathe in glow stick chemicals, lol.

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    1. I thought the same thing.

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    2. Me, too. My thought process went, "But...chemicals! Broken glass! What the!?"

      And then I finished reading and cringed. That poor kid. And I actually do feel bad for mom, too, because even though this seems like and obvious "duh" moment to me, I know I've had my own "duh" moments where people would surely question what in the world I was thinking when I let my kid do X, Y, or Z. So I can't judge.

      This owuld be really cool and fun with un-cut, properly used glowsticks, though.

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    3. You are right, it does seem obvious but we have all been there... I have done this Pin and it worked out great so long as you leave them intact. My kids love it!

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  11. I found out there is glass in them when I did the "Fairy Jar" experiment with my 2 daughters and 2 nephews. Thank God *I* was the one breaking the damn things open and not the kids!! The stuff also spurts out all over the place which you don't realize unless you're doing it in the pitch dark. More info on the Pins would be amazing!

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  12. I've done this several times with the glowsticks intact. Lots of fun.

    I've also done the one where you use NON-TOXIC highlighter "juice" and a black light in the room. That's cool too.

    http://gloryblogs.cobalt-moon.com/archives/2814

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  13. We did this bath thing only we didn't open the glow sticks. I called it fancy bath night and I dumped about 15 ($1 store) glow sticks in the tub, turned on the bubble maker and turned out the lights. My kids loved it. I didn't really want my 3yo's swimming in glow stick water.

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  14. Like you said, the original Pin NEVER mentions OPENING the glow sticks, which is yet another reminder that it is so, so important to completely read directions first before embarking on something like this. I am SO relieved to hear her little one wasn't hurt more than she was. Thank heavens...

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  15. We always used the non toxic organic highlighters and backlight. Several colors work well this way. The organic fluorescent kids fingerprint is also black light activated and works great mixed with shaving cream to paint backlight bath paint.

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  16. Tried Fairy Lights glow stick project. Less than spectacular results. Told my sister about project. She tried project with her 3 under-7-years-old grandsons. Poor results. Sis texted me had much more fun opening sticks & Flinging contents around pool & deck. Enthusiasm dimmed when told her about glass. MORAL: Be very, very careful if you try to modify a project.

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  17. oh no, can't imagine that must have really hurt. We tried it with the little olastic glow stick bracelets from the dollar store. My girls got like 100 of them in stockings, we kept them intact and just threw them in the tub, they were in the tub forever, happy girls!

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  18. I once bit a glow stick open (yes, yes...I was old enough to know better) and ended up with a numb tongue, I know that the chemicals are bad. I'm surprised the daughter didn't complain about anything other than tiny cuts in her skin...

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  19. Well I don't know if I'd take a bath in it but I do know that laundry detergent glows in a backlight I used it as a teen to "decorate" the walls lol yea idk about breaking the glow sticks and letting kids bathe in it just the smell alone would have me changing my mind before they even got into the bath but with the lights out and glow sticks unbroken it would be fun and safe I'd think also if you freeze them after your done you should get one more use out of them

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  20. I did the one where you put the glow sticks in the Easter eggs. The stupid things broke very easily and squirted all over including into my eye. Luckily although it burned for a couple seconds no damage was done. The package on some say they are non toxic (the ones I got were from the dollar store and that's what it said luckily for my eyes).

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  21. We do the glow stick bath about twice a month. The kids call it their "glow bath", but I never would have even imagined opening up the glow sticks and letting the kids bathe in glow stick water...yuck. I always do the cracking of the sticks and I always make sure they aren't leaking before I toss them in the tub. Five sticks (one package of bracelets from the Dollar Tree) are enough to keep my two boys in the tub for an hour if I'll let them stay that long!

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  22. A lot of the glow sticks actually contain cayenne pepper. I was given a glowstick crown to wear by a child and didnt know it had a hole in it, until it ran down into my eye. My eye burned like a fire no one could put out. It was horrible. A year earlier my 5 year old nephew bit into a glowstick and got some in his mouth which burned him very badly. My mother in law called poison control freaking out and they were the ones who told her about the pepper and had us flush his mouth out. It is a very scary thing for a child. That being said, I had no idea there was glass in there. I wouldnt be surprised if the pepper didnt burn the cuts she received from the glass. Poor little girl!!

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  23. People who are afraid of leaky glow-sticks might consider sealing them in zip-locs before tossing them in the bath.

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  24. I cringed when I read this. When I was a teenager and at a dance we broke some open and put it on our lips to make them glow. Not only did it burn but it numbed our lips really quickly so we couldn't feel them.

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  25. We do this all the time. My daughters love their glow baths. We get the bracelets or necklaces, snap then and shake them like you always do. NEVER cut them open! I just throw the bracelets and necklaces in the tub and my girls play with the glowing sticks.

    On a side note I once snapped one too hard and it broke. It took the paint off my woodwork... I also had one break on our leather couch. It took the color out of the leather.... So like I said above this stuff is Toxic so never open the sticks just let your kids play with them and wear them in the tub.

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  26. When I was younger, we used to break open glow sticks and paint our faces with them all the time. Never had anything bad happen, but our parents finally made us stop after fear that something would lol.

    Honestly, I had no idea there were glass in glow sticks. So this was nice to know.

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  27. I wanted to point out that the website you linked to for the highlighter idea, growing a jeweled rose, has a TON of good black light recipes and messy, fun bathtime ideas. She gives very detailed instructions and all of them are safe enough that she uses them with her own kids.

    http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/p/black-light-play.html

    When I threw my Halloween party this year, (Alice In Wonderland-themed blacklight), I spent hours pouring through her ideas for inspiration. As a final note, when I threw my party, I spent a lot of time holding stuff I owned up to black light to see what glows. It turns out about half the colors of play-doh I had glow really vibrantly under black light! I don't have kids, but I think that would be a fun twist on a sculpture session.

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  28. My baby leaked a highlighter is it something i should run to the er.

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    1. Most pens and markers now are made to be non-toxic (and many of them say so on their packages now) because they know that no matter where you try to hide them...kids will find them. The highlighter leakage shouldn't require a visit to the er, but if you are ever unsure you can call your child's physician or poison control and they will let you know what you should do.

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  29. So, I know this is an older post, but couldn't help but comment. I think it's a neat idea. And, I'm sure I may have thought to cut open the glow sticks too. Sometimes I forget to go back and read directions. Good lesson to learn here! And a good idea for Easter Baskets (yep, I'm behind haha)

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  30. Here (in New Zealand) glowsticks are all non-toxic. We learned that after a call to the poisons centre. Our son (2 years old at the time) broke one all over his face in his bed. This little glowing face emerged from his bedroom - it was funny once we knew he was safe!

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