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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
Chemistry, acid, base, chemical reaction

Introduction

Have you ever wanted to send your friend a secret message that no-one else can read? Then you might know of invisible ink—a special type of ink that you can use for writing and that does not show up on paper. Only after a special treatment will it appear again magically, and the message can be read. How does this work? Find out in this activity and write your own secret messages!

Credits

Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

Tools:

  • Cardstock
  • Measuring spoons
  • 3 cups or small bowls
  • Spoon
  • Q-tips or a brush
  • Old newspaper or cardboard
  • Paper Towels
Method 1:
  • Water
  • Lemon or lemon juice
  • Iron
Method 2:
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Turmeric and rubbing alcohol OR concentrated grape or blueberry juice. Note: Instead of rubbing alcohol another high percentage alcohol (40 percent or more) can be used. Water does work as well but the results won't be as intense.
    Materials needed for the invisible ink activity.

Reviews

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
Chemistry, acid, base, chemical reaction
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