Virtual Museum – Incognito Ink

During Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice meets the Cheshire Cat, who has a habit of appearing and disappearing. You can experiment with disappearances and appearances yourself by creating your own invisible ink!


  • Salt
  • Hot water
  • Cotton swab (Q-tip)
  • Pencil
  • White paper
  • Mirror


  1. Mix together equal amounts of salt and hot water. Two spoonfuls of each is a good start.
  2. Dip the cotton swab in the salt mixture and use it to write a message or draw a picture on a piece of white paper.
  3. Let your ink dry, it should now be invisible. Show it to a family member and see if they can read your message.
  4. Now, reveal your message! Rub your pencil gently over the area where you wrote the message. Can you see it now? What was the trick? Do you think it would work with sugar instead of salt?
  5. Try some new ways to hide a secret message — for example, write upside down and backwards and hold it up to a mirror to decode it. What if you wrote upside down and backwards using invisible ink? Then your family would have to decode it twice!