[2010-06-11] Aqua Net does not defeat counterfeit test pens

Heard a rumor recently that regular copy paper could be treated with Aqua Net hairspray to defeat counterfeit test pens. I tested it. It isn't true. Uppermost, a $1 US bill showing yellow (negative) counterfeit test mark; lowermost, an untreated piece of Office Depot printer paper showing dark brown (positive) counterfeit test mark; and finally, in the middle, an identical piece of Office Depot printer paper generously saturated with Unscented Aqua Net #3 "Extra Super Hold" and allowed to dry overnight before testing. The hairspray treatment seems to have little if any effect on the color reaction which consitutes the test, which is the very simple and well-know starch-iodine reaction (Wikipedia). The pen contains iodine, which reacts with the starch present in cheap paper but absent in currency bond. Other treatments might be effective, however--Scotch Guard?

last modified 2010-06-11