Dye Dye Dye!

I’m going to be on the road the next couple days so my availability through thursday will be spotty. My laptop died this afternoon and I don’t think I’ll be doing any long text production using an iOs keyboard.

However, all that said:

UV dye dropped in your sink, lit with a UV flashlight – can freak out your iPhone’s camera levels pretty hard.

It also gets on everything. UV dye is a great way of seeing how badly people wash their hands. Back in the day, I took a health and safety course for tattooists, and one of the exercises we had to do was rub some luminol (I assume UV dye and oil?) on our hands, then “go to the bathroom as carefully as you can and wash it off as thoroughly as possible.”  So we all trooped off and came back with our hands clean, then the instructor turned off the room lights and turned on a UV “black” light. Suddenly there was red glow everywhere. One tattooist had clearly picked his nose on the way to the bathroom, judging from the gigantic glowstains on his face.

I did OK because I cheated, kinda, and ghosted in the door behind another guy who opened it ahead of me. I didn’t touch anything until I got my hands on some paper towels.

After that, we went to the bathroom and everyone was horrified. There was luminol practically dripping from the ceiling. All the fixtures, towel holders, garbage cans, door handles, everything – it was all covered with the stuff.

Nowadays with charming life-forms like MRSA out there, I keep a ziplocked bag of nitrile gloves in my car(s) in case I need to go to a hospital or touch someone who’s injured (if I don’t know where they’ve been).

Sure enough, the bathrobe I am wearing right now has little splatmarks of UV dye on it.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Call that pic a Hubble photo, tell everybody the Heat Death of the Universe has been cancelled.

  2. jrkrideau says

    one of the exercises we had to do was rub some luminol (I assume UV dye and oil?) on our hands
    I know a manager for a large food service company who uses a similar trick to emphasis handwashing and careful hygiene around foods.

    He passes around some object with the UV paint to members of the training course and a couple of minutes later, shine a UV light on the participants.

    It is reported to be very effective.

  3. says

    I bet. I’m not exaggerating about the mess the tatooists left. Now I use a paper towel to grab the door handle, instead of my bare hand. I feel silly doing it but a former co-worker lost a leg to MRSA. It’s serious.