Microwave moved ink on my mug

In summary, a person posted about a strange phenomenon where their written message on a mug was duplicated after microwaving water in the mug. Some suggested that it could be due to the ink being transferred from the hot surface, while others mentioned the possibility of human error or faulty memory. The person clarified that they did not touch the ink and used a Tulip brand fabric marker. The brand's website states that the markers can be used on surfaces like fabric and paper, but caution should be taken with heat and moisture. It was also mentioned that the markers contain real acrylic paint, which may contain heavy metals that could be harmful if ingested. Overall, it was advised to be cautious when using the markers on surfaces like mugs that will be
  • #1

AppleDan

Hello. I was wondering if anyone could help me understand what just happened. I wrote a message ony mug, then microwaved water in it for coffee. I just noticed that a few letters are now duplicated below the message. It kinda looks like some moisture on the side lifted the ink up and ended up drying at the bottom, but exactly as I wrote them, no disturbance. Is this a known phenomenon?
 
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  • #2
Can you post a photo? You should be able to paste it into the editor, or else click the "Attach files" button below the reply box.
 
  • #3
Sure. And apologies for the subject matter.
 

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  • #4
My bet would be you touched the letters and copied them (stamped the mug) with your fingers.
 
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  • #5
Borek said:
My bet would be you touched the letters and copied them (stamped the mug) with your fingers.
No chance of that.
 
  • #6
The 'i' appears to also be copied. The 'n' and 'u' are not aligned. That would be some fancy dancing. But I only handled the grip because it was hot.
 
  • #7
It's not a phenomenon I've heard of. This isn't up to our usual standards for references here, but a web search turned up this YouTube video of ink on paper in a microwave, which might be a related phenomenon?
 
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  • #8
I tried it again. There was no duplication, but I may have altered the conditions. But I noticed that the drips of water stopped on the ink and hung there, and the ink was flaky.
 
  • #9
If OP accurate, then surface ink may have behaved like a decal; peeled from the heated surface, slid down the porous outer surface of the cup, to deposit. Keep cup as unique art, but do not microwave unknown inks.

Acrylic paints work well on porcelain and unglazed objects such as mugs and teapots, but then the mug becomes art not usable for brewing tea. Many inks and some pigments contain metals not suitable for microwaves or tea.
 
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  • #10
Ooh. Thanks for the warning.
 
  • #11
AppleDan said:
Ooh. Thanks for the warning.
Your ink is on the outside of the mug, and far down, so implications to health is not the issue.
Localized heating due to unsuitable inks for microwave is.

I agree with Borak though - the spot was there and you just noticed this time.
One of the reasons that eye witness is not a reliable as a lot of details go missing.

Some videos of this.
One comes to mind where a gorilla walks in front of two people tossing a ball, and is not noticed by viewers.
 
  • #12
256bits said:
I agree with Borak though - the spot was there and you just noticed this time.
One of the reasons that eye witness is not a reliable as a lot of details go missing.
The spot was not there. Wow.
 
  • #13
The ink doesn't look like it melted and ran down, there are no streaks.
The 'added marks' are only in one particular spot.
It is difficult to explain that if the ink sputtered, there are no other marks close by around the printed test.

Not exactly what I am on about but it does describe that human memory and perception is faulty.
https://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/eyewitnessmemory.html

Focusing ones attention on one particular subject, does result in other happenings around being neglected. One of the reasons there are laws to not drive and talk on a cellphone is due to the fact that ones attention becomes more glued to the phone and the conversation rather than the driving - missed exits or causing accidents as the surroundings become secondary.

Something to think about. Everyone is prone to it. Looking for your house keys, and looking , and looking, and they were on the table in plane sight where you finally 'see' them for example.
 
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  • #14
256bits said:
The ink doesn't look like it melted and ran down, there are no streaks.
There actually were. It's not so visible in the pics. And I did NOT touch the ink. The i u n would all have to been touched multiple times. And it was hot.
 
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  • #15
With your pen when you wrote the message. And didn't notice at the time.
Just something to think about, possibly, and then maybe not.
An interesting mystery, nevertheless.
 
  • #16
The clearest streak is the left side of the streak, the mark above the o in So, the dotted I in suffering is actually part of o, and the streak mark at end of r in suffering to the u in continue.

I only handled the grip.I did not add the u and n at the bottom. Are you even looking?
 
  • #17
What type of pen was it?
 
  • #18
Tulip brand fabric marker.
 
  • #19
AppleDan said:
Tulip brand fabric marker.
https://www.tulipcolor.com/bullet-tip-primary-6-pack (bolding added)
Can my fabric markers be used on surfaces other than fabric?
Tulip Fabric Markers can be used on a variety of craft surfaces such as fabric, canvas, and paper. For more crafting fun, try Tulip Fabric Paint Markers on surfaces such as denim, wood, rocks, and more.
If we say a mug qualifies as 'stone', then using a fabric marker is within specs. Problems arise applying heat and moisture.
What are opaque markers?
Opaque markers, also called Fabric Paint Markers, contain real acrylic paint in a variety of colors that are formulated to not wash out of fabric.
I used 'decal', short for decalcomania, as shorthand for a sliding or slippery (moist) surface transfer of dye. Unlike batique wax techniques to pattern fabrics, decals do not imply melting; more of a heat set.

Back to Tulip:
What does heat set mean?
Heat set means to apply heat to the fabric with an iron to your fabric markers color.
Acrylic paints contain pigments suspended in water soluble glue that protect the artist from direct exposure to heavy metals such as cadmium, used in many bright colors. I tend to err on the side of caution in that the paints are safe under static conditions outside the body but not ingested.

Cadmium poisoning is caused by high concentrations of cadmium accumulating in your body. Ingested cadmium is usually stored in the liver, kidneys, and bones. Eliminating cadmium absorption naturally is a slow process, and cadmium can last for decades in the human body.

The same artist girlfriend who taught me about batik suffered from brittle bones from exposure to heavy metals from her art. Treatment included chelation therapy and tossing her hand painted cookware.
 
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  • #20
Yeah, I think your decal explanation is perfect. When I watched the second run, that's how the flakes looked. Thanks for the insight.
 
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