How to Make a Homemade Volcano That Smokes

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Volcanic gases or "smoke" are associated with many volcanoes. Gases from a real volcano consist of water vapor, carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, other gases, and sometimes ash. Do you want to add a touch of realism to your homemade volcano? It's easy to make it smoke. Here's what you do.


Basically, how this works is you start with any homemade volcano recipe and insert a container into the 'cone' of the volcano to produce smoke.

  • Model volcano (homemade or purchased)
  • Eruption ingredients (e.g., baking soda and vinegar or yeast and peroxide)
  • Small cup that fits inside the volcano
  • Chunk of dry ice
  • Hot water
  • Gloves or tongs

How To

It's helpful to start the smoke before adding the ingredient that starts your volcanic eruption. The smoke will appear either way, but it's easier to handle the dry ice before the action starts.

  1. Add ingredients to your volcano, except the final one that starts the eruption. For example, a vinegar and baking soda volcano doesn't erupt until you pour vinegar into the volcano. A yeast and peroxide volcano doesn't erupt until you pour peroxide solution into the volcano. If you are simply making a model volcano smoke, you don't need to worry about this step.
  2. Set a cup inside the volcano.
  3. Add a chunk of dry ice or else several small pieces. If you can't buy dry ice, you can make it yourself.
  4. Pour hot water into the cup with the dry ice. This will cause the dry ice to sublimate from solid carbon dioxide into carbon dioxide gas. The gas is much colder than the surrounding air, so it will cause water vapor to condense, essentially forming fog.
  5. Now you have a smoking volcano! If you like, you can make it erupt now, too.

Make Smoke Without Dry Ice

If you don't have dry ice, you can still make smoke come out of a homemade volcano. For a non-erupting model volcano, you could use a smoke bomb to produce a lot of smoke. You have other options for a smoking erupting volcano, including:

Safety Information

Dry ice is extremely cold and can cause frostbite if you pick it up with bare skin. It's best to use a glove or tongs to handle the dry ice.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make a Homemade Volcano That Smokes." ThoughtCo, Sep. 7, 2021, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2021, September 7). How to Make a Homemade Volcano That Smokes. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make a Homemade Volcano That Smokes." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 1, 2023).