Science, Tech, Math › Science Smoke Bomb Recipes How to Make Smoke Bombs Share Flipboard Email Print Smoke bombs are easy to make with household ingredients. kayla varley / Getty Images Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated June 03, 2020 Smoke bombs are easy and fun to make and light. There are several types of smoke bombs you can make, plus you can use the smoke bomb recipe as a starting point for other types of pyrotechnic devices. Try these recipes for making your own smoke bombs. Step-By-Step Classic Smoke Bomb A simple homemade smoke bomb only requires two ingredients to make. Matt Carr / Getty Images The classic smoke bomb uses two simple ingredients. A nitrate produces the smoke, while sugar serves as fuel. Homemade smoke bombs typically use granulated sugar, which is sucrose. Other types of sugar work as fuel, too. Dextrose is the most common sugar in commercial smoke bombs. More complex sugars (polysaccharides) may be used, including cellulose (from wood). Sometimes it's easier to print off instructions and follow those, much like reading a recipe while cooking. Here are some step-by-step instructions for making the classic smoke bomb. You can vary the ratio of the ingredients to get more smoke or more flame, as you prefer. The flames from this smoke bomb are purple! Colored Smoke Bombs Colored smoke bombs work by dispersing dye into the air. Paolo Cipriani / Getty Images Colored smoke is easy to make and requires few ingredients. Basically, all you do is add a special dye to any other smoke bomb recipe. The dye doesn't burn to produce the smoke. Instead, it's vaporized to produce the color. It's not a difficult effect, but only certain chemicals work. Here's a list of some colored smoke formulations to try. Smoke Bomb Fountain Firework You can make a fountain firework using the homemade smoke bomb recipe. Srividya Vanamamalai / EyeEm / Getty Images Kick the traditional smoke bomb recipe up a notch to make a firework fountain that shoots purple flames with lots of smoke. The fountain effect comes from controlling the ratio of ingredients and slightly pressurizing the mixture by enclosing it in a cardboard or paper tube or cone. This is a fun and easy homemade firework project. Non-Cook Smoke Bomb Recipe You only need sugar and potassium nitrate to make a simple smoke bomb. Anne Helmenstine A classic smoke bomb is easy to make and safe to use, but you can make the project even safer if you don't heat the ingredients. Instead, they are mixed by dissolving them together in a small amount of water. This type of smoke bomb requires time to dry before you can light it. Here's what you do. Smoke Bomb from a Ping Pong Ball Ping Pong Ball Smoke Bomb. kayla varley, Getty Images You don't need chemicals to make a homemade smoke bomb. If you have a ping pong ball and a lighter, that's all you need! A ping pong ball burns to produce smoke because it's made of nitrocellulose. The flame pattern as the ball burns may be even more fascinating than the smoke that is produced. Classic Smoke Bomb - Video Tutorial This homemade smoke bomb is easy to make and only requires two ingredients. Anne Helmenstine Smoke bombs are the easiest and safest do-it-yourself firework project. You only need two inexpensive, non-toxic ingredients and it only takes minutes to make up a batch of smoke bombs. Watch and learn how you can cook up a smoke bomb at home. White Smoke with Colored Flames Metal salts can produce colored sparks or flames. Olaf Broders / Getty Images Adding common metal salts to your smoke bomb recipe will produce colored fire. A smoke bomb made using potassium nitrate will produce a violet flame. If you add salt (sodium chloride), the violet of the potassium will be overwhelmed by the bright yellow of the sodium, producing a yellow flame. Calcium salts produce orange flames. Borax or boric acid can be added to produce a green flame. Copper salts usually yield a green flame, but can also produce a blue color. You can even produce sparks or stars by including small flakes of magnesium, iron, or other metals. These recipes still produce white smoke. If you want colored smoke with colored flames, combine the two sets of techniques. How to Light a Smoke Bomb Lighting a smoke bomb from a store is easy. Don Nichols / Getty Images Once you have a smoke bomb, you need to know how to light it safely. If you add a fuse, which you can get from a fireworks store or sporting supply store, you can use a lighter. However, you can make a smoke bomb without a fuse. It's still easy to light. Here's what you do. More Smoke Bomb Recipes There are different ways to produce smoke. Grove Pashley / Getty Images There's more than one way to make a smoke bomb. You don't actually need potassium nitrate or ping pong balls (nitrocellulose) to make a smoke bomb. Basically, any form of combustion that evolves more smoke than flame will do the trick. For example, you can make a smoke bomb using newspaper. Disclaimer Please be advised that the content provided by our website is for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. Fireworks and the chemicals contained within them are dangerous and should always be handled with care and used with common sense. 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