How to Reuse Glow Sticks?

By | July 6, 2011

Glow sticks works on the principle of chemiluminescence, a chemical reaction which emits light after a chain of reactions. They are all time toys for kids and a great partying asset for the teenagers. Since the glow sticks do not require any kind of electricity other kinds of sources to emit light they are widely used for different occasions. Since these glow sticks are shock resistant and not flammable they can be handled easily even by kids. Many forms of glow sticks have been invented after the usage of glow sticks became popular.

Coming to the reuse of glow sticks, reuse does not mean that they can be utilized as new ones. It is just to increase their life and to use them again for a very short period of time. The life time or durability of the glow stick depends upon the quality of the chemical used in their manufacturing. If they are highly concentrated chemicals which are of good quality, glow stick can last for more period of time. Typically a glow sticks last for 24 hours which is used for general purposes. Many other glow sticks are made commercially which can last for even longer durations.

Let us see how we can make the glow stick glow again

  • Place the used glow sticks on a plate in the microwave. Keep them for 10 seconds and turn off the microwave. Take the micro wave plate from the oven and once the glow stick is cooled you can use it.
  • You can also use hot water to heat the glow stick. Fill a vessel with water and immerse the glow stick in to it. Bring the water to boil for less than one minute then turn off the stove and take the glow stick with the help of some tongs. Allow it to cool and you can use it as usual.
  • If you are not using the newly purchased glow stick you can put it in a freezer so that it may last for longer time.


  • Remember that once heated glow sticks can only glow for 30-60 minutes and it is advisable to take adult supervision while trying to heat them.
  • While using a microwave for re heating, time should be noted properly. You should not re heat the glow tubes for more than 10 secs.
  • Glow sticks have to be removed from heat before the chemical substances present in them starts reacting.
  • Don’t try to touch the glow sticks when they are still hot.

By following the above procedure and precautions, you can make glow sticks work again.