Smoke bombs can easily be made safely at home as part of a science experiment or for your own pyrotechnical enjoyment ! We have a simple homemade smoke bomb recipe you can follow that works great every time.
Usually smoke bombs are made with potassium chlorate (which is an oxidizer), some sugar (for fuel), sodium bicarbonate (better known as baking soda, which will make sure the heat is slow and steady), and some sort of organic dye in powder form (to make color). Once the smoke bomb is lit, the reaction from the chemicals mentioned above starts a slow burning reaction that emits white smoke and the heat then adds the evaporating dye. For this firework tutorial guide we will focus on the main part, creating the smoke bomb.
- Sugar (4 pounds for $3).
- Potassium Nitrate, also known as saltpeter, can be found in some fertilizers and pharmacies.
- Skillet / Pan
- Aluminum Foil
How to make a homemade smoke bomb:
1Pour 3 parts potassium nitrate to 2 parts sugar into your pan. You don’t have to follow this exactly, but always make sure you have much more potassium nitrate than sugar.
2Slowly heat your mixture with a low heat. Stir this with a spoon until this melts / liquefies.
3Pour your newly created liquid into the foil. This is the “mold”
4Once the smoke bomb has cooled, you can peel off the foil to see your project.
5For a green color try adding a bit of some barium salt !
As you can see, it’s not very hard to make your own smoke bomb. Just make sure when you light this, you’re in a well ventilated area. You could always add a short fuse so you don’t have to worry about getting smoke in your eyes when you light this.
Who uses these things?
Smoke grenades are used primarily by the military to create “smoke screens” which allow for concealment or signaling aircraft.
Pyrotechnic workers have been using these for years to add extra dimension to their shows and these work especially well around younger children who don’t like loud noises.