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How to Make Disappearing Ink

Write secret messages or create a great magic trick with disappearing ink.


  • Step 1: Pour ethyl alcohol in bowl Put on your safety goggles and pour the ethyl alcohol into a bowl.
  • Step 2: Add thymolpthalein and water Mix in the thymolphthalein until it dissolves. Add the 900 milliliters of water, and stir.
  • TIP: Replace the thymolphthalein with phenolphthalein to make red disappearing ink instead of blue.
  • Step 3: Mix in molar sodium hydroxide Mix in the 3-molar sodium hydroxide. You now have blue disappearing ink.
  • Step 4: Wash hands Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • : If skin contact occurs, rinse the area with water. Never squirt the disappearing ink onto someone’s face or near eyes.
  • Step 5: Test ink Pour the ink into a squirt bottle and test it by squirting the ink on a white cloth.
  • Step 6: Watch ink disappear Watch the ink disappear as it dries. Wet a cotton ball with ammonia and rub the area to make the ink reappear.
  • TIP: The color will vanish more quickly if you pour a little vinegar on it or if you blow on the spot.
  • Step 7: Store in a container Store the ink in the squirt bottle to reuse.
  • FACT: Did you know? In 2006, 40 percent of 26- to 40-year-olds had at least one tattoo.

You Will Need

  • Safety goggles
  • 100 milliliters ethyl alcohol
  • A bowl
  • 1 gram thymolphthalein
  • 900 milliliters of water
  • 10 milliliters 3-molar
  • sodium hydroxide
  • Soap and water
  • A squirt bottle
  • A white cloth
  • A cotton ball
  • Ammonia
  • 1 gram phenolphthalein (optional)
  • Vinegar

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