|We are a drama club and want to do a skit about
being silent, when you see something done wrong.
We want the actors to have blood on their hands
(representing "if you're silent, the blood of
that person who is being mistreated is on your
hands). So the fake blood is made of corn syrup
and food color. We want before our audience, to
put the blooded hands into a clear glass bowl
that is filled with water. When the actor brings
his hand out of the water, we want his hands to
be clean with no blood and the water to still be
clear with no red residue. We would need to put
something in the water that would not damager the
actor's skin or hands, but would give us the
result of a clean hand and clear water. DO YOU
KNOW WHAT WE COULD PUT IN THE WATER SO THAT THE
WATER WOULD STAY CLEAR AND THE HAND WOULD BE
CLEAN?? Thank you so MUCH for your prompt
responds to this question. We have to perform it
on August 20th.
|Question Date: 2011-08-17|
In order to have the blood go from red to
clear, the dye needs to change chemically. I don't
know exactly what dye you are using but my guess
is anything that will make it go colorless should
probably not be put on your hands. Instead, you
may be able to use a different chemical as your
dye such as an indicator like phenolphtalein.
Phenolphthalein changes from red to clea, when the
pH (aciditiy) changes from >9.8 to <8.2. This
means you could add a little base (perhaps baking
soda (Sodium bicarbonate) would work, soap, NaOH,
or maybe a little ammonia) to the blood to keep it
red and then add acid (lemon juice would work) to
the water bowl. My biggest concern would be that
phenolphtalein would be too "violet" and not red
This is a similar idea...
I'll keep thinking to see if I can
come up with a better method.
I want to state up front that I am not 100%
sure this will work, but it should be very easy to
try. If you add bleach to the water in the bowl
beforehand, it might be able to make the water
clear after adding the "blood". The way this works
is that bleach oxidizes the molecules in the food
coloring, changing them into different molecules
that no longer reflect that color. In order to do
this, you have to add enough bleach to oxidize all
the food coloring that is going in. Bleach is very
safe for the skin, with the following two
1.) Make sure the person touching
the bleach washes their hand well before touching
2.) If you touch anything else
with bleach on your hands, for example, your
clothing, you might take the color out of that
material as well.
When I looked on the
internet to see if this idea might work, I also
read that adding baking soda to the bleach in the
water helps the color go away even faster. Again,
I'm not sure if it is true, but very easy to try.
Baking soda is also very inexpensive and very
I think you might be able to do that more
convincingly as a magic trick than as a science
trick. I'm guessing you could have a
trick container from a magic catalog that would
let you show the audience either bloody water or
clear water. Or you could have a table cloth on
the table, and you would be sitting behind the
table removing all the 'blood' with wet wipes
before you put your hands into the water and it
Phenolphthalein is a pH
indicator that makes the illusion of turning water
into wine, because it is colorless and then
reddish in acid vs base - or base vs acid. But I
don't think it
would do anything to eliminate the red of food
1. What Dexter didn't mention about his home
made blood recipe is that red food coloring will
stain your skin, so even if we can neutralize the
color in the water you actors hands will still be
pink. We can get around this with a different
2. I might not go a chemical
route at all and rely on an optical illusion
instead. I you have a large enough glass bowl you
can tape in a plastic film across the bowl and
then fill both sides with water at the same time.
From the front of the bowl it should look
unaltered but the film will act like a mirror and
block the red water from being seen when they wash
up in the bowl.
If this does not work you
could play with making the blood with food color
and oil. The oil will not mix with the water and
will float on the surface but should wash off the
hands the way you want it to. Break a leg.
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