It was probably the most embarrassing moment in my life when my mom caught me righting my first love letter, at the age of just twelve only! She was not angry with me, but I was truly embarrassed. Hope, you too must have faced the similar situation for once or more in your life. And if this kind of uncomfortable situations still happens to you, then the first thing you must know is spy paper.
what is spy paper?
The Spy paper resembles any other ordinary paper. It can also be used like a paper. But the most amazing thing is, it entirely dissolves, as soon as contact with water, steam, and most aqueous solutions or even saliva.
It transforms into useless, non-reconstructable, secure mulch. Therefore, it is much more reliable than the output of a standard paper shredder, when you want to destroy it quickly.
If you are not really satisfied enough with just shredding your sensitive documents, think of this extraordinary Spy paper. This special water-soluble paper is undoubtedly an awesome invention of the last decade. It’s such an innovative idea. But, till now, it isn’t known to all, even who are involved in spy gadgets. That is the reason we have picked up this topic to discuss with you in detail.
When we need to write some important notes or need to pass highly confidential information, we don’t want to take the risk of losing the privacy to others. Spy paper is the ideal solution for such situations. It’s a perfect alternative to paper shredders and serves as an efficient alternative when the paper needs to disappear instantly with little advance notice.
Just put the spy paper in water, stir a little and it’s completely gone.
The entire piece of paper vanishes before your eyes, within few blinks of your eyelids. All traces of evidence are thoroughly removed.
Even, kids love this incredible product very much. It fits nicely to complete their spy kits. They enjoy a lot of fun with spy paper. They make spy planes and other spies wear with this. It’s really thrilling to find the little spies in action.
What’s in a name?
Spy paper is available at several online stores across the globe. You can find this awesome product with various other names. such as,
Water dissolving paper
Smartsolve dissolving material
Shomer-Tec Dissolving Spy Paper
Just like any normal paper
The Spy paper looks like, feels like and also tears like any other ordinary paper.
You can easily use it with pencil, ink, ballpoint, rubber stamp, mimeograph, hectograph, embossing, offset, letterpress printing or laser jet printer.
You can perforate it, corrugate it, laminate it or even make it into envelopes.
Apart from traditional Spy paper, it is also available with a PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) coating. It makes this unique product heat sealable. Then, it can also be used to make bags & pouches.
How does spy paper work?
When the written paper is submerged into water, it disintegrates in seconds. And entirely disperse before your eyes within less than ten seconds, leaving no residue behind. Agitation, like stirring or applying forced water flow breaks down the dissolvable fibers more quickly.
It just turns the water cloudy with only traces of ink color used while writing the note. The secret letters remain floating free on water and you can make fun of your own alphabet soup.
The chemistry of Dissolving Spy Paper:
The water dissolving paper, mostly known as the “Spy paper” seems like a usual paper until you immerse it in water. It dissolves very quickly, almost the instant the water touches it. But, what is the science behind it?
Spy paper is made of Sodium Carboxyl Methyl cellulose, a non-toxic semi-synthetic polymer that yields a viscous colloidal solution with water very quickly but is completely insoluble in ethanol.
Sodium Carboxyl Methyl is derived by the treatment of cellulose with alkali and Monochloro-acetic acid or it’s Sodium salt. This substance is White or slightly Yellowish in color, almost odorless hygroscopic granules, available in the form of powder or fine fibers.
The chemical formula of Sodium Carboxyl Methyl is,
where n is the degree of polymerization
x = 1.50 to 2.80
y = 0.2 to 1.50
x + y = 3.0 (y = degree of substitution)
Salient features of Spy paper
Spy paper is thin as tissue paper, it has about half the thickness of normal printer paper. Thickness – 0.005 inch, basic weight – 45-60 gm/m2
It is water soluble: rapidly dissolve in hot or cold water.
Keeps its strength in alcoholic liquid.
Insoluble in Ethanol.
Environmentally friendly: Compostable and bio-degradable, in less than ten seconds.
Easy to handle and non-toxic in nature.
Colorless and odorless.
Catches fire (autoignition) at a temperature >500º Fahrenheit.
How spy paper can be helpful to you:
The spy paper may be used for numerous applications in day to day life. It is used at a large scale, by government agencies, both civilian and military. You can determine its suitability for the following intended use,
Write down or print your deepest, darkest secrets on it. You can dissolve it into the water quickly, just on a moment’s notice. Thus, it ensures security for confidential documents.
Make envelopes and other decorative items.
Use as tissue paper in your next long weekend tour. Dissolve all, no need for improper disposal.
Used for packaging pre-measured itemslike fertilizers, detergents etc.
Can be used to make labels of various things. The Spy paper label will remove instantly without scratching or scraping. It does not leave any adhesive residue also.
Kids make spy planes and other spy wears with it.
Can be used in embroidery works as a guide paper. Print your designs on Spy paper, stitch accordingly and then just wash it off. The paper is gone. It’s that much simple.
Can be used for making magic tricks that involve disappearing papers.
You can make a strip of seeds. It helps for easy plantation. Seeds will germinate and the paper will vanish.
You can use to inspect for leakage in water supply line.
The Spy paper is a must if you are working as :
To note scoop news or to forward top secrets, highly confidential information, records, letters or formulas.
Use it to reveal secrets from patients & dissolve the paper in water before their eyes. Use it with your peers in workshops.
Father at church:
Use it for good Friday service. Ask the devotees who come for confession, to write their sins on Then wash it away with Jesus blood. Paper will disperse in red water. It’s a great illusion to illustrate the act of forgiveness with a new beginning.
Use this spy paper to pass secret order, confidential correspondence or memorandum.
Meditation guru or Yoga instructor:
Ask your clients to jot down their burdens, regrets or challenges on this paper, served by you earlier. Then, once they complete writing, tell them to dip the paper in a bowl of warm water kept there, and let them watch it disappear. Thus, the dissolving paper acts as a beautiful symbolic demonstration to let all your evils go forever, and to keep moving forward. It’s just amazing to see the emotional results people have.
You are a single parent and you find yourself alone not enough to keep daily notes secret from your growing children. You need to use this magic paper properly. It can be useful for you in many ways!
Use Spy paper to show novelty-magic and other special effects for games etc.
Few important tips:
If you are writing on a spy paper, with a sweaty hand, it will start to dissolve as soon as gets in touch with sweat. A drop of sweat will melt a hole through the paper. So, be careful.
Spy paper isn’t ideal for inkjet printers. It blotted the paper while printing.
US Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved spy paper to be used with edible products. So, it should not be eaten or ingested.
Where to buy Dissolving Spy Paper:
If you want to buy it online in the USA, just click the following links.
Subhra Prakash is a co-founder of BlogNox. He is a humble person and an electronics engineer by profession. Being a known face in Tech blogger’s world he also enjoys writing in other niches. Besides blogging, he is still passionate about sleeping!