Make Colored Fire in Every Color of the Rainbow

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How To Make Colored Fire

Metal salts in methyl alcohol burn as colored fire.
Metal salts in methyl alcohol burn as colored fire. Philip Evans, Getty Images

These are instructions for making colored fire in all the colors of the rainbow. I also have a video of a colored fire rainbow, so you can see the effect of using multiple colorants.

Here are individual colors for a rainbow of fire, for flame colors from red to violet...

  • Red Fire
  • Orange Fire
  • Yellow Fire
  • Green Fire
  • Blue Fire
  • Violet Fire

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Red Colored Fire

Strontium compounds are good for coloring fire red.
Strontium compounds are good for coloring fire red. Clive Streeter, Getty Images

Red fire is produced by strontium salts, which can be found in road flares, among other places. Lithium (like from batteries) and rubidium also color flames red. This fire color is very bright.

Red Fire Instructions

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Orange Colored Fire

Calcium ions can produce an orange flame.
Calcium ions can produce an orange flame. Frédéric COIGNOT, Getty Images

You can create orange fire using a chemical you likely already have at home. Got calcium?

Make Orange Colored Fire

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Yellow Colored Fire

Sodium imparts a bright yellow color to a flame. Barium turns a fire greenish-yellow.
Sodium imparts a bright yellow color to a flame. Barium turns a fire greenish-yellow. Clive Streeter, Getty Images

Yellow fire is a natural color for most fires, but it's very simple to change the color of a blue or colorless flame to yellow. In fact, you might accidentally make a colored fire appear yellow because any trace of sodium in the fuel can mask other colors.

How To Make Yellow Colored Fire

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Green Colored Fire

Copper(II) ions produce a green flame, while copper(I) ions make a blue flame.
Copper(II) ions produce a green flame, while copper(I) ions make a blue flame. Trish Gant, Getty Images

Green fire is one of the easiest colors of fire to produce. Both written and video instructions are available.

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Blue Colored Fire

Methylated spirits were used as the fuel to make this blue flame.
Methylated spirits were used as the fuel to make this blue flame. Dorling Kindersley, Getty Images

Blue fire can be produced by burning a fuel which produces a blue flame or by heating a chemical that produces blue fire, such as copper chloride.

How To Make Blue Colored Fire

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Violet or Purple Colored Fire

Potassium compounds make a violet flame or you can add a bit of lithium or strontium to get a fuchsia fire.
Potassium compounds make a violet flame or you can add a bit of lithium or strontium to get a fuchsia fire. Lawrence Lawry, Getty Images

Purple fire is easy to make using non-toxic potassium compounds. Violet or purple is a flame color that is easily overpowered by other colors, so if you want a purple fire it is best to use a blue-burning fuel for your fire, such as an alcohol.

Make Purple or Violet Fire