There are popular Internet rumors concerning different ways you can make Mountain Dew glow, but regrettably, most of these are hoaxes. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixed with Mountain Dew will not glow, and the addition of Starbursts won’t create the desired effect either. However, there are a couple of methods that do produce green glowing soda. Start with Step 1 to learn how to make glowing Mountain Dew for your at-home science projects or eerie Halloween concoctions.
Using Mountain Dew and Glow Stick Fluid
Empty most of the Mountain Dew from the bottle. Drink the soda or pour it into a glass, leaving only ¼-½” (6-12mm) left inside the bottle. Warmer temperatures tend to produce a stronger reaction, so for best results, leave the Mountain Dew out at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes before you begin. Do not use a bottle straight from the refrigerator.
There is nothing in the Mountain Dew that makes this reaction occur. People just like the bright yellow color of the soda, but any liquid will work. Try this experiment with any other brightly colored beverage or even just water.
Snap open a glow stick. Use sharp scissors or a sharp utility knife to open a standard size glow stick. Make sure that both compartments are open. Work carefully with the blade so that you do not accidentally cut yourself.
As you cut open the glow stick, make sure that the fluid does not spill out onto your skin, clothes, or any other surfaces. You might want to work over a sink, bowl, or plastic mat, just to be on the safe side. You might also wear gloves.
Glow sticks usually have two separate compartments. In the first, there should be a pre-mixed solution of hydrogen peroxide and a fluorescent dye. In the second, there is a chemical known as diphenyl oxalate, which triggers the reaction with hydrogen peroxide and the dye. Both must be present in the Mountain Dew to produce a glow, just as both must be present in the glow stick to make the tube glow.
For the sake of color, try using a green glow stick instead of one in another color.
Add the contents of the glow stick to the Mountain Dew. Carefully pour the ingredients from both compartments into the Mountain Dew bottle, using up the entire glow stick.
Even though the Mountain Dew and glow stick fluid should produce a little glow, the fact that the glow stick fluid has now been diluted in the Mountain Dew will cause the brightness of the glow to be muted, as well. In order to produce a brighter glow, you will need to add a few more ingredients to the mix.
Squirt in a little dish-washing liquid. Add a good squirt of standardliquid dish soap to the contents of the Mountain Dew bottle.
Use dish soaps without any dyes in them, as dyes will alter the color of the glow..
The dish-washing liquid enhances the luminosity of the glowing liquid simply by the way it reflects light. It will not be involved in the chemical reaction itself, but it can enhance the appearance.
Add 1 to 3 capfuls of hydrogen peroxide. You need to drop hydrogen peroxide into the Mountain Dew to help produce a stronger glow. More peroxide will cause a brighter glow, while less will cause a more subtle glow. Even though the glow stick fluid already contains hydrogen peroxide, adding more will create more of a reaction with the diphenyl oxalate inside the glow fluid. As a result, the glow fluid will become less diluted and produce a brighter effect.
If you use too much hydrogen peroxide (more than 3 capfuls) the chemical reaction that produces the glow will become overpowered by the saturation of hydrogen peroxide.
Mix in a dash of baking soda. The last ingredient you need for your Mountain Dew glow stick is ¼ tsp (1g) baking soda. Add this to the contents of the bottle, as well.
Baking soda energizes the reaction, even if it is not strictly essential for the glow effect.
Seal the bottle and shake it up. You might notice a slight glow from the glow stick fluid before you even shake the contents up, but after shaking it, the glow should be brighter and more evenly dispersed.
You do not need to shake the bottle for a long time. In fact, shaking it for 30 to 60 seconds should be plenty, and you should be able to tell once all the ingredients have combined if you shake it in a dark room.
The bottle should be sealed to keep the chemicals in contact with each other. If the liquid is poured out of the bottle, the glow will only last a couple of minutes.
Watch the glow. This is only a temporary reaction and may not last past an hour or two, but during that time, you should have a rather bright bottle of glowing Mountain Dew.
Once the glow starts to fade, you can get a little more life out of it by boiling a saucepan of water and quickly dunking the bottle into the boiling water for about 30 seconds. For standard glow sticks, this can give the fluid an extra 30 minutes of life. For your diluted Mountain Dew glow liquid, however, it may only give it another 10 minutes or so.
Using Mountain Dew and Highlighter
Pick out a highlighter. For the sake of this experiment with Mountain Dew,a similar colored neon green or yellow highlighter will work best. You can use either a traditional highlighter or one of the liquid kinds. Note that you can also use this same technique with water, and using water instead of Mountain Dew gives you more options in terms of color. For instance, with water, you can use pink or orange highlighters as well as green and yellow ones. Other colors, like blue and purple, tend not to create a very strong glow, however.
Pull out the ink-soaked sponge. Pry open the bottom seal of the highlighter using your hands, a utility knife, or a pair of skinny pliers. Once you take off the bottom and can see the ink-soaked sponge inside, carefully pick the sponge up out of the highlighter pen using a pair of tweezers. If you use your fingers to pick out the highlighter ink sponge, your hands will get fluorescent ink all over them. That is why the use of tweezers or small needle-nose pliers is preferable.
If you opt to use a liquid highlighter, you will still need to remove the bottom, but you should not do anything with the liquid ink yet.
Pour a little Mountain Dew out of the bottle. Take a sip of the Mountain Dew or pour out about 1″ (2-3cm) from the top before you insert the ink-soaked sponge or liquid ink from the highlighter.
You only need to empty out a little of the liquid to provide enough space for the highlighter sponge or ink.
The additional highlighter component will displace some of the fluid and if you do not pour any out beforehand, you could face an overflow from the top of the bottle.
Place the ink in the soda. Use your pliers to carefully lower theink-soaked sponge into the bottle of Mountain Dew, submerging it completely under the soda.
If using a highlighter with a liquid compartment, simply pour the highlighter ink straight into the soda. Use a funnel only if necessary.
Seal the bottle and shake it up. At this point, the highlighter ink itself will glow, but in order to make the Mountain Dew glow, you need to disperse the ink throughout the soda. Shaking it thoroughly should accomplish this. You can remove the label of the bottle in order to see the liquid more clearly.
If using liquid ink, you will probably only need to shake the bottle for 30 seconds or so. If using an ink-soaked sponge, you may need to shake it for a minute or more.
Hold the Mountain Dew under a UV (ultraviolet) light, also known as a black light. You should be able to see a bright glow. This glow can also last for days to weeks, depending on how fluorescent the highlighter ink is. In order to see the glow, the bottle will need to remain underneath a UV light.
It is not recommended that you hold onto this for long-term storage or display purposes, even if the glow appears to last past a week. Since the bottle and liquid are not sterilized, and since you are providing a porous surface (the ink-coated sponge), organic growth including bacteria and fungus can start to grow inside the bottle if left too long.
If you do want to use this method for a long-term decoration, you would be better off using distilled water instead of Mountain Dew. The distillation process removes most bacteria. 
Soak clear water beads in the glowing Mountain Dew for added fun. Soak them in the glowing Mountain Dew for 2 to 3 hours. The beads will absorb the glowing liquid and will glow themselves under a black light. These water beads are safe for children to play with if the highlighter was non-toxic.
Avoid letting glow stick fluid get on your eyes, hands, and mouth. Even non-toxic, non-flammable glow sticks can still cause mild irritation and allergic reactions.
Glow stick fluid can also stain your clothes. If a little of the fluid does get on your clothes, rinse the area with warm, soapy water until it comes out. Do this before it dries since dried chemicals are more likely to stain.
Things You’ll Need
Mountain Dew and Glow Stick Fluid
20 oz (625 ml) bottle of Mountain Dew (any other brightly colored liquid will work)
Mountain Dew and Highlighter
20 oz (625 ml) bottle of Mountain Dew (any other brightly colored liquid will work)
Green or yellow highlighter
UV light source/Black light
Utility knife or needle-nose pliers
How to Make a Glow in the Dark Fluid
How to Make Mountain Dew Code Red
How to Make a Glowstick
How to Make Glow Jars
Sources and Citations
Cite error: tags exist, but no tag was found