Glow sticks are translucent plastic tubes that are filled with chemicals divided by glass tubes. Once a glow stick is twisted, the inner glass tube breaks which allow the chemical to mix and trigger a reaction that causes the materials to brightly glow. 


Glow sticks can provide hours of entertainment for both children and adults, but if broken open, it can cause stains on fabrics and other surfaces. Almost all glow sticks include hydrogen peroxide, fluorescent dyes and phenyl oxalate ester that are responsible for the stains. Although these chemicals are deemed non-toxic, the liquids should not be consumed or come in contact with the eyes. Read further to learn how to remove glow stick stains effectively.

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Steps on how to remove glow stick stains 

Let us now take a look at the steps on getting rid of glow stick stains on clothing.

Rinse the garment with the glow stick mark in cold water right away if possible. The cold water works by lifting the stain before it embeds into the fabric.Prepare a solution of equivalent amounts of color-safe bleach and cool water. Immerse the fabric overnight in the solution.Pre-treat the area with the glow stick stain using a stain stick or spray product and wash as usual. If a trace of the stain lingers, repeat the previous steps before allowing the garment to dry.

How to get rid of glow stick stains on upholstery or carpet

If a glow stick is damaged on upholstery or carpet, you must be cautious of the miniature fragments of glass that could be caught in the threads. 

Take note that the cleaning methods and steps when cleaning are the same for both upholstery and carpet. Remember to avoid over-wetting the fabric with the cleaning solution since it can lead to moisture issues. Let us now take a look at the steps in cleaning the glow stick stains.


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Quickly blot right away any moisture as much as possible using a paper towel. Start from the outside of the stain and move towards the center to prevent it from spreading and getting wider.After blotting the site of the glow stick stain, vacuum the site to get rid of the miniature glass shards before dealing with the stain.Prepare a mixture of a teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent, a cup of cool water and one-fourth cup distilled white vinegar. Dip a soft-bristled brush into this solution and brush on the stained area. Tap away the cleaning agent using paper towels. Immerse a white cloth into the cool water and wipe up, rinse out and blot the site. Allow the site to air-dry away from direct sunlight or heat. Vacuum thoroughly after to lift the carpet or upholstery fibers. 

When dealing with upholstery made of vintage or silk fabric, it is vital to dab away the initial moisture and get in touch with an upholstery cleaning service. 


How do you get glow stick out of fabric?

When your clothes, unfortunately, ends up with the chemicals inside a glow stick, it is vital to wash the garment right away. Let us take a look at the steps on getting rid of the glow stick chemical out of fabrics.

Flush the stained area with water. Hold the fabric under cold running water at full force. Flush from the backside of the fabric to drive the stain out of the fibers, especially if the fabric is plush such as fake fur. Remember that the inner capsule of the glow stick might leave behind miniature glass shards in the fabric. Immerse the stain overnight in a solution of cool water and oxygen-based bleach. Fill a sink or basin with cool water and add the oxygen bleach. Fully submerge the garment in the solution. The cleaning solution is safe to use on all washable fabrics, both white and colored except for wool, silk and those with trimmed leather. In case there is a lingering trace of the stain, prepare a fresh solution and repeat the soaking process.Wash the garment normally. Make sure that you will check the fabric care label when using a heavy-duty laundry detergent.

Does glow stick wash out

The chemicals inside glow sticks are responsible for its bright shine, but once the outer plastic tubing breaks, the contents might leak and possibly stain your clothes. 


It is important to note that the substances are not considered toxic, but a damaged glow stick must be discarded right away and any leaked liquid must be removed from the skin using water and soap. As for the chemical that leaked on clothing, it must be cleaned right away or it will leave behind a permanent stain.


Do glow sticks have glass in them

Glow sticks are popular for their versatile nature. It can be used during evening outdoor activities, birthday parties, Halloween parties and many more. 

Glow sticks are considered safe to use as long as the safety safeguards are monitored and ensuring that the chemicals inside do not leak. Take note that opening up a glow stick can also cause the damaged shards of glass to fall out.


Final thoughts

Glow stick stains can be defined as brightly-colored stains, either on clothing, carpet or upholstery. It is vital to quickly deal with this type of stain to prevent it from setting into the fabric. With the techniques on how to remove glow stick stains discussed, you can effectively remove this stain in no time.


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Michael René

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark.He is a Food- and Cleaning expert at Metropolitan University College CopenhagenRead about him and the rest of the team here


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