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How to Crack a Glow Stick

Crack a glow stick to release chemicals inside.
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Glow sticks – tubes containing two liquids which combine to produce a glowing effect -- provide a source of light during power outages, concerts and camping, or when walking outside at night. The plastic tubes are fun to play with, producing colorful blurry shapes when waved through the air. Glow stick bracelets and necklaces work the same way as the thicker baton-style tubes and leave your hands free when moving in the dark.

Remove the glow stick from its plastic packaging.

Hold the glow stick horizontally, with one end in your left hand and the other end in your right hand.

Tilt both of your hands down to bend the glow stick. Continue bending until you hear a cracking sound. Cracking the glow stick breaks glass vials inside, which release chemicals that mix to create a chemical reaction. This reaction releases energy in the form of fluorescent light. Do not crack the stick so hard as to break the outer plastic coating – this will cause chemicals to spill out.


Once cracked, a glow stick will only glow for a few hours or up to a day. Once the stick stops glowing, there is no way to recharge the light.

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