How to Make Flaming Gel

Recipe for Homemade Flaming Jelly

Flammable gel is the basis for a simple gel candle.
Flammable gel is the basis for a simple gel candle.

Thomas Vogel / Getty Images

Use three common household ingredients to prepare a gel or jelly that you can set on fire. This is an easy fire chemistry project that you can do at home.

Flaming Gel Ingredients

  • Antacid tablets (must contain at least 1000 mg calcium carbonate per tablet)
  • Vinegar (weak acetic acid)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) - 90% or higher is recommended*

70% isopropyl alcohol will work, but you will need to allow let the mixture from step 3 evaporate until it is a little more concentrated to make up for the extra water in the alcohol.

Prepare the Flaming Gel

  1. Crush 5 antacid tablets into a powder.
  2. Stir 50 ml (~10 tsp) of vinegar into the powder (10 ml per tablet) to make a slurry.
  3. Allow the slurry to evaporate until it is less than half its original volume. This could take about a day. If you accidentally evaporate all of the water, you can reconstitute the slurry by stirring in a small amount of water.
  4. Fill a container with about 2x the volume of however much antacid slurry you have at this point.
  5. While stirring, slowly add slurry to the alcohol to form a thickened gel. Do this slowly: If you add too much slurry, the mixture will liquefy and you won't get a gel. So, once you have a gel, don't add any more of the calcium tablet slurry mixture.
  6. Scoop up a ball of the gel and ignite it.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Flaming Gel." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 25). How to Make Flaming Gel. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Flaming Gel." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 28, 2023).