Invisible Ink

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A few weeks back, Travis and I had fun exploring different ways to hide messages, including revealing lemon juice with a hot iron and exposing white crayon with paint. Today we found an even cooler method; did you know you can reveal a secret message with a flower?

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First, we wrote messages in two kinds of “ink.” The first was plain lemon juice, and the second was baking soda mixed with a bit of water.

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Travis made scribbles, but to help illustrate the results better for him, I wrote his name on one piece of paper and a secret map on the other.

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Be sure to use slightly thick paper, such as construction paper or watercolor paper, or it might tear during the reveal. Let dry.

Once dry, we rubbed over the paper with a red rose. Travis loved the forensic feel to the project!

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This worked significantly better with the baking soda than with the lemon juice, and we also found that the results are much clearer on on large letters or drawings than small ones.

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Perhaps the most interesting takeaway was that the baking soda was revealed in blue, and the lemon juice comes out red.

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In sum, a fun little project for any budding detectives, with results that are both pretty and scientific.

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