How to See the Cleanliness of Your Hands With Black Lights

A black light can be used to demonstrate how germs cover hands, and also how to wash hands effectively to remove those germs. This is a very good scientific experiment that will alert people of all ages to the benefits of hand washing. You will need a special powdered substance that glows under black light to teach this lesson, but the results will be both dramatic and thought-provoking when the experiment is finished.

Things You'll Need

  • Glo Germ powder, Glitter Bug lotion or a comparable substance
  • Black light
  • Sink basin with soap and running water


    • 1

      Sprinkle Glo Germ powder or dab Glitter Bug lotion onto hands. These substances are available at medical health and equipment stores or online. Rub it all over the hands. It will be invisible to the naked eye.

    • 2

      Shine a black light onto the hands covered with either the powder or lotion. The particles in both substances will glow brightly under black light. These glowing particles are the germs that each one of us has on our hands.

    • 3

      Wash hands thoroughly in a sink basin with soap and water.

    • 4

      Shine a black light on the freshly washed hands. The particles that have remained after washing will still glow brightly. These particles will signify the germs that have been leftover after hand washing. Wash hands again to remove the rest of the germs and illuminate the hands under the black light to see that the glowing particles are gone.

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