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Discussion Starter #1
Hey! New to the forums here, hope someone can help me.

I'm building a FCG and have just taken my white cheesecloth and soaked it in a bluing agent (Mrs. Stewarts) as some sites have instructed. I soaked for about 20 minutes, dried it overnight, and dried further in the dryer earlier today.

I wanted to test how bright it was under the blacklight, but it was barely noticeable! Nothing compared to the white t-shirt I was wearing. Is there something else I should have done? I know some sites said to just wash the cheesecloth in normal clothes detergent. Would that work better?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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The Evil Apparitionist
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Is the material 100% cotton? Cotton works best.
Regular laundry detergents work fine since bluing is already in them (I soak mine in a bucket of warm water and detergent overnight then rinse it but not too much) . Rit makes a fabric whitener that does the same thing and works very well.

I have also gutted highlighter type markers and soaked the guts in warm water overnight to extract the florescent dye. You can then soak the cheesecloth or put it in a spray bottle to highlight specific areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank You

Is the material 100% cotton? Cotton works best.
Regular laundry detergents work fine since bluing is already in them (I soak mine in a bucket of warm water and detergent overnight then rinse it but not too much) . Rit makes a fabric whitener that does the same thing and works very well.

I have also gutted highlighter type markers and soaked the guts in warm water overnight to extract the florescent dye. You can then soak the cheesecloth or put it in a spray bottle to highlight specific areas.

Thanks, I actually looked for the RIT whitener but store was out at the time. Guess I'll try again. But the highlighter idea sounds like fun, I'll probably try that too.
 

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TIDE Laundry detergent works best, or it did for me anyway. I also agree with rinsing lightly. I dressed my FCG in Cheesecloth. Another important thing, are you using incandescent blacklights or flourescent? or LED's. Ithas been shown that the "light bulb" black lights throw off very little of the UV spectrum. Another thing i did was purchased a small set of UV paints for my Ghost and i would think you could spray your FCG with these paints to help him glow better. There are also cans of spray UV paints available at places like Michaels etc. Best of luck, hope this helps......'Scruff
 

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The Evil Apparitionist
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I've used clamp-on reflectors with CFL blacklight bulbs (compact florescent) with great success. I also have two UV LED spots with the same reflectors that work up to 30 feet away.

For a more permanent solution on the glowing side, I'm going to try the transparent spray that these guys sell:

Clearneon Invisible Black light Paint, blacklight posters, glow in the dark, blacklight fixtures and bulbs, special effects, lighting, uv

It is supposed to be a true bright white when it gets hit by UV, not the normal blue color. I want to try it on some skeletons to make them stand out.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I got some generic Woolight and it worked really well.

I would suggest if you've already built your ghost to get a spray bottle and fill with a half water/half detergent mix and spray the ghost down.
 

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Going bump in the night..
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Another question, foolish or not...
What kind of blacklight are you using?
If you're using those "blacklight" light bulbs, that look like ordinary incandescent bulbs, but are a deep dark purple, you may find that those are just this side of worthless for a black light effect.

Otherwise, if you're using florescent bulbs (either the long straight ones in a fixture, or the CFL type), or if you're using UV LED lights, then I'd start worrying about the ghost.

As for the cheesecloth - what kind of fabric is it?
If it's any kind of synthetic material, it's not going to soak up any of the bluing agent.
A lot of gauzy fabrics are now made of nylon and other synthetics - it keeps them very light, and for regular purposes, it helps keep them from being stained. Sadly, it means everything just falls right off of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the suggestions.

To answer a few of the comments, I am using a flourescent blacklight that works great - no problem there. And the cheesecloth is 100% cotton.

Cloth is soaking now in RIT whitener. I'm sure that will do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's Done!! - well, almost

Finally got my FCG mounted and did a trial run last night. Still need to play with the draping a little, maybe shred it along the bottom (is also dragging on the floor), but she (or maybe a he?) seemed to run nicely the first time around.

My son is ecstatic. I don't think he wants to go trick-or-treating now. just wants to stay home and see people's reactions!

I'm debating on whether I should paint the head with some flouresent paint to make it stand out. I used a styrofoam skull, not the wig form you see a lot of. Thoughts?

 

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I tried that too and found out the whiter the better, so soak in 1 cup bleach to 2 gal. of water, if that is not what you want. I put mine under a strob light, the movement effects are awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I tried that too and found out the whiter the better, so soak in 1 cup bleach to 2 gal. of water, if that is not what you want. I put mine under a strob light, the movement effects are awesome.
Do you have a video of yours with the strobe light? I'd love to see it in action. Does it take away from the blacklight effect?
 

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Thanks everybody! I found some of the RIT whitener at Hobby Lobby and used it on my cheese cloth and WOW. It was like night and day! The cheese cloth right out of the package didn't react to the blacklight a bit, but after soaking in the RIT and drying, mine really lights up.
 

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Finally got my FCG mounted and did a trial run last night. Still need to play with the draping a little, maybe shred it along the bottom (is also dragging on the floor), but she (or maybe a he?) seemed to run nicely the first time around.

My son is ecstatic. I don't think he wants to go trick-or-treating now. just wants to stay home and see people's reactions!

I'm debating on whether I should paint the head with some flouresent paint to make it stand out. I used a styrofoam skull, not the wig form you see a lot of. Thoughts?

YouTube - Flying Crank Ghost - Maiden Voyage
Great Vid! I am in the same boat with my 10 year old son... he has decided to not TOT this year and wants to be part of the yard scene with the other people we have...gotta love that! Think back to when you were a kid...was there anything that would stop you from TOTing except a raining cats and dogs? Times have changed lol :)
 

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I don't even bother with Rit or washing. Just go buy those temporary hair spray colors that they sell during halloween. This way you can get a variety of colors other than just blue. They last forever and if they don't just touch them up with another spray.



- Oh, wanted to add. Not all colors will work. Depends on brand. It's been several years since I've done a FCG. When I did, I found that Blue and Yellow worked the best with just about all brands. You will have to experiment to find what works best.
 

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Thanks, I actually looked for the RIT whitener but store was out at the time. Guess I'll try again. But the highlighter idea sounds like fun, I'll probably try that too.
tried the rit whitener withcheese cloth and it wasnt very bright, im now looking here for better ideas
 

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Thought I would throw something at you, I never used the detergent or whitener. I actually used black light hair spray, and spray my FCG every year. Here is a pic:
 
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