Sunday, March 30, 2014

Glow in the Dark Mt. Dew - Fact or Fiction?

Freshman year of college, my roommate introduced me to Mountain Dew. I've never been a fan of coffee or tea so this was my wake-up drink of choice. Ever since then, I've been slightly addicted. Well a few weeks ago, I came across this post multiple times on Pinterest and perhaps you've seen it on other social media sites, as it has been making the rounds since 2007:

Look familiar? There was even a video of someone making it and pouring it on the sidewalk to show how well it "glowed." Before going to Snopes, I decided I would give it a shot. I had all the ingredients so, what the heck!

As it says above, you'll need:

1. Mountain Dew (I only had cans so I had to use an empty bottle to pour everything in)
2. Baking soda
3. Hydrogen Peroxide

First, have 1/4 of Mountain Dew in a bottle and add "a tiny bit" of baking soda. First I tried 1/4 teaspoon and later I tried 1 teaspoon, to see if that would make any difference. And yes, those are Mickey Mouse measuring spoons.

Next, add three caps worth of hydrogen peroxide. I tried three caps worth but because I was almost out, I just topped off the bottle, so it might have been closer to four.

Shake well and.......

Voila! Glowing Mountain Dew!.... oh wait...

....yeah, totally doesn't work. If you want to get into the science behind it, here's what Snopes says:

"The familiar chemiluminescenct effect produced by common glow sticks comes mixing hydrogen peroxide and diphenyl oxalate with a fluorophore dye; the chemical reaction between the hydrogen peroxide and diphenyl oxalate releases energy that excites the dye, and the dye subsequently relaxes by releasing a photon, producing a glow effect. But Mountain Dew contains no diphenyl oxalate, and the addition of baking soda (i.e., sodium bicarbonate) to Mountain Dew will neither produce nor substitute for the needed diphenyl oxalate. As well, the food colorings used in Mountain Dew aren't the type of dye that can be "turned on" through this form of chemical reaction."

So the moral of the story of the story? Don't believe everything you see on the internet.

TOTAL COSTS: About $5, if you feel like waisting your money
$1.69 for a 20 oz. Mountain Dew from Vons
$1.99 for 32 fl. oz of hydrogen peroxide
$1.59 for baking soda

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: Less than 5 minutes

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very hard): 1 out of 5
It's very easy to do, perhaps because it doesn't work!

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