Science, Tech, Math › Science How to Make a Smoke Bomb With Ping Pong Balls Easy Ping Pong Smoke Bomb With no Potassium Nitrate Share Flipboard Email Print Ping pong balls are nitrocellulose, so they burn and give off a lot of smoke. 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 04, 2020 It's easy to make a smoke bomb! You don't even need any fancy chemicals, like potassium nitrate or ammonium nitrate. Here's how to use a ping pong ball to make a smoke bomb. Ping Pong Smoke Bomb Materials Each ping pong ball makes one smoke bomb. You will need: ping pong ballaluminum foilpencillighter Assemble the Smoke Bomb Start by poking a hole in one side of a ping pong ball.Keep working at the hole until it's large enough to insert the pencil into it. Put the pencil in the ping pong ball.Wrap aluminum foil around the ball and the pencil. Don't completely cover the pencil. What you're doing is making a nozzle for the smoke, so work an inch or two up the pencil.Remove the pencil. The ball plus foil is your finished smoke bomb!Take the smoke bomb outside and use a lighter flame to heat the foil on the bottom of the ping pong ball until smoke starts to come out of the nozzle. Set the smoke bomb on the ground and enjoy the show! How a Ping Pong Smoke Bomb Works You may not have realized it, but ping pong balls are made of nitrocellulose -- the same chemical used to make flash paper and the one that causes old movie reels to burst into flame. Ping pong balls are stable, though, and won't burn unless a heat source is applied. You may wish to burn a ping pong ball to see what's happening inside the smoke bomb: How To Burn a Ping Pong Ball (safely) If you burn a ping pong ball in the open, it produces some smoke, but not as much as you'll get if you cover the ball to control the amount of oxygen and thus the rate of combustion. Making a spout or nozzle to control the incoming air and outgoing smoke also improves the smoke bomb. 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. By using this website you acknowledge that ThoughtCo., its parent About, Inc. (a/k/a Dotdash), and IAC/InterActive Corp. shall have no liability for any damages, injuries, or other legal matters caused by your use of fireworks or the knowledge or application of the information on this website. The providers of this content specifically do not condone using fireworks for disruptive, unsafe, illegal, or destructive purposes. You are responsible for following all applicable laws before using or applying the information provided on this website.