The Magical Note demo is a neat “magic trick” that illustrates the process of combustion, the flammability of alcohol, and the special qualities of the material used to make currency.

In this experiment we mix alcohol and water solution with salt and soak the rupee note. We ignite the rupee note, this reaction is a violent reaction. Fireworks and the chemicals contained within them are dangerous and should always be handled with care and used with common sense.

Safety First! Adult supervision required. Wear protective eye wear and clothing. Don’t eat/drink your experiments.

Materials and tools required


  • Ethyl Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Distilled Water


  • Tong
  • Bowl
  • 250 ml Beaker
  • 50 rupee note

Video on the YouTube for experiment

What to do!

Step 1 – Measure 150 ml ethyl alcohol and pour it in a glass bowl (non – flammable).

Step 2 – Now add 100 ml distilled water to the bowl.

Step 3 – Put some salt in the bowl and mix it well.

Step 4 – Dip a 100 rupee note into the bowl.

Step 5 – Take the note out with the help of tongs and put the note on fire.

Images for instructions

Working principle of the activity

When we light the note on fire, the note does not get burned because of the addition of water to the mixture. The water from the water-alcohol mixture evaporates and absorbs much of the heat energy that is generated when you ignite the note.

The water is first heated to its boiling point and then vaporized by the heat of combustion from the burning alcohol. The evaporation of the water keeps the temperature below the ignition temperature of paper. If you reduce the amount of water in the mixture, the paper money is likely to char or even catch on fire.

Safety Precautions

  • Do not reduce the amount of water in the alcohol water mixture.
  • It’s a good idea to wear protective eye wear and clothing, as for any science demonstration. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics, as they readily melt if exposed to flame. Cotton, silk, and wool are good choices, or you can wear a lab coat.
  • This demonstration should not be attempted without strict adult supervision.
  • Do not add fuel to the fire while it is still burning.
  • In addition to performing the project on a heat-safe surface, it’s a good idea to do it in a well-ventilated area, under a fume hood, or outdoors. There may be a small amount of smoke.