Smoke bombs may look like they contain some rare chemical, but you can actually make them with simple ingredients around the house. You can quickly make a smoke bomb using a pinch of sugar, an ice pack (like the one in a first aid kit), and some tinfoil. Ready? See Step 1 to start learning how to make an amazing smoke bomb in no time.
Method 1 of 2: Making a Smoke Bomb from Cooking Sugar
Step 1. Prepare all the ingredients
A simple smoke bomb that can produce dense gray smoke with a purple glow can be made using only two ingredients: white granulated sugar and potassium nitrate, an ingredient found in ice packs. Mixing these two simple ingredients results in a slow-burning, long-lasting bomb.
- If you don't have granulated sugar, use powdered sugar, but with powdered sugar the process of making bombs is a little different.
- If you don't have an ice pack, look for other sources of potassium nitrate (also called saltpeter). This material is often sold in the fertilizer section of building materials and gardening supply stores. You can also buy saltpeter online or make your own if you really want to make this smoke bomb.
- You may also need a medium-sized pan, foil, smoke bomb mould, and waxed string (optional).
Step 2. Make the mold for your smoke bomb
You can line the inside of any container with foil to turn it into a smoke bomb. The shape of the smoke bomb will affect how it burns. You can make more than one smoke bomb so you can compare the different shapes and see for yourself which one produces the best burning shape. Here are some examples of prints you can make:
- Cut off the top of the milk box and use the bottom half for the mold, if you like box-shaped bombs. Cover the inside with aluminum foil.
- Cover the inside of the bowl with foil. Any kind of bowl, high or low walled, can be used.
- Make a small smoke bomb by covering the inside of the candle holder with aluminum foil.
- Make a tubular bomb by lining the inside of the toilet paper roll with aluminum foil, but making sure that one end is completely covered.
- Make a funnel-shaped smoke bomb by lining the inside of the funnel with foil.
- Look for an interesting shaped pot to make an artistic smoke bomb.
Step 3. Measure out the sugar and potassium nitrate
If you want to make a large smoke bomb (a bomb that can be ignited easily and lit for a long time), the most important thing to consider is the ratio of ingredients. You need 3 parts potassium nitrate and 2 parts sugar. Measure out 1½ cups of potassium nitrate and 1 cup of sugar to make a fairly large smoke bomb.
- Adding too much sugar will make the bomb difficult to ignite and burn too slowly.
- Adding too much potassium nitrate will make the bomb go off too fast and burn too fast.
Step 4. Put these ingredients in a saucepan and turn on the heat
You'll be melting these two ingredients together until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Melt sugar with potassium nitrate. Cook the ingredients on low heat. Melt the two ingredients slowly so the process goes well
- As you cook these ingredients, use a wooden spoon to stir. You will watch the sugar melt little by little. If the ingredients start to smoke or produce a strange odor, reduce the heat immediately.
- Continue to cook the mixture until the sugar is completely melted, stirring gently.
- Stop stirring when the sugar has melted. Continue to cook until the sugar caramelizes and the color turns golden brown. After that, remove the pan from the heat source.
Step 5. Pour the mixture into the mould
Do this very carefully, because the melted sugar is very hot. Fill the mold until it is almost full. If you want to make a bomb with a wick, wait a few minutes for the mixture to harden slightly, then place the wax-coated string in the center so that the string can stand upright. Allow the smoke bomb to harden and cool completely in the mold.
Step 6. Remove the smoke bomb from the mould
After a few hours, when the bomb really hardens, it's time to take the bomb out of the mold. Invert the mold so that the bomb is released from the mold in the foil. Remove the foil and now you can see the printed smoke bomb.
Step 7. Light the smoke bomb
Take the smoke bomb to a safe place (no flammable objects nearby), such as your backyard or other outdoor area, not a room in a building. Place the smoke bomb on the ground and use a match or lighter to light it. If you use a wick, you can light the wick and watch it start to burn. Or if not, light the bomb right away. The bomb is sure to start smoking soon!
- If the bomb doesn't go off, chances are the potassium nitrate to sugar ratio is too low. Too much sugar makes smoke bombs difficult to ignite. Try again with the correct dose.
- If the bomb burns too fast, it may be because you added too much potassium nitrate to the mixture. Try making it one more time by adding more sugar.
Method 2 of 2: Making a Smoke Bomb from Dry Sugar
Step 1. Prepare the ingredients
The same basic ingredients are used to make smoke bombs with dry sugar, but the process is slightly different. You will need the following materials:
- Powdered sugar
- Potassium nitrate (saltpeter)
- Grind coffee/spice, or use a mortar and pestle.
- Container with handle on top
- A waxed rope
Step 2. Choose the container to use for your smoke bomb
Making a smoke bomb using powder requires a sturdy container that can stand upright. The powder will be poured directly into the container. Here are some examples:
- Soft drink cans
- Toilet paper pipe (closed at one end)
- Cans of chips
- ping pong ball
- Inflated eggs (it's tricky but the result is cool)
Step 3. Grind the potassium nitrate
To make sure your measurements are as perfect as possible, you should grind the potassium nitrate before mixing it with the powdered sugar. With the addition of cup of sugar, grind the potassium nitrate using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder (which you won't use for coffee anymore). Keep grinding until you get 1½ cups of powdered saltpeter.
Step 4. Mix all the powder
Mix 1½ cup saltpeter powder and 1 cup sugar. To make sure the two are thoroughly mixed, you can put the whole thing in a coffee grinder and grind it together or in a container with a lid. Next, beat until completely mixed.
Step 5. Pour the mixture into your container
Carefully fill your container with this mixture. The more mixture you use, the longer your smoke bomb will smoke. Attach the wick to the top of the powder once the container is full.
Step 6. Light the smoke bomb
Light the wick and watch the wick burn down towards the powder. The powder will start to smoke when the flame hits the surface.
- The more potassium nitrate, the bigger the smoke bomb.
- The longer the size and wick, the longer the smoke bomb will last before burning up.
- Smoke bombs can cause skin injuries if you don't wear safety equipment.
- Be careful, as potassium nitrate and sugar are flammable.
- Make sure that the potassium nitrate you take from the ice pack is white. Otherwise, the smoke bomb will fail or risk being dangerous and toxic.