How to Make a Smoke Bomb

Four Methods:Using Ping-Pong Balls (Easy Method)Making a Cooked Smoke BombMaking a Tube Smoke BombUsing Ammonium Nitrate

Ready to make your own amazing smoke bomb? Whether you want to make smoke for a dramatic special effect, a chemistry experiment or simply because you love smoke, this tutorial will show you how to make a fantastic smoke bomb with just a few ingredients you can easily get at the store. Read on to learn several ways to make a smoke bomb with potassium nitrate and sugar, ping pong balls or ammonium nitrate.

Method 1
Using Ping-Pong Balls (Easy Method)

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    Gather three or four ping-pong balls. For this method, you don't have to buy any extra ingredients other than basic household supplies, like aluminum foil, a pencil, screwdriver, and scissors.
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    Cut a hole in the top of one of the balls. You can poke a hole with a screwdriver or a knife.
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    Cut the other balls into small pieces and put them in the hole.
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    Stick a pencil in the hole.
    • Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil. The pencil is used to create a mold for the foil.
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    Take the pencil out. The shape of the pencil will remain in place leaving a chimney for the smoke to travel through up the aluminum foil.
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    Take the smoke bomb into an open area away from other people or pets.
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    Light the smoke bomb by placing a lighter under the ball. The smoke will start to pour out of the hole in the ball and out the chimney left by the pencil.
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    Toss the bomb and watch it smoke. Run away and do not breath in the toxic smoke.

Method 2
Making a Cooked Smoke Bomb

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    Gather supplies. Smoke bombs are composed of a simple concoction of potassium nitrate and sugar. By mixing these ingredients and melting them together, you create a flammable product that produces whirls of smoke when you light it on fire. Here's what you'll need:
    • Buy potassium nitrate, also called saltpeter, online. You can also find it at your local garden store, since it's used to treat soil.
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    • Get some sugar. Dark brown sugar is said to make the smoke look thicker, but white will also do just fine.
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    • Pick up some baking soda. Adding a tablespoon or so will make the smoke take a bit longer to burn.
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    • Get a small length of fuse to insert in the smoke bomb.
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    • Obtain a cast iron skillet.
    • Prepare a cardboard box lined with aluminum foil.
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    Put on your safety gear. Don some gloves, goggles, and a filter mask.
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    Place the ingredients in a cast iron pot. Measure out three parts saltpeter to two parts sugar.
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    Heat the pan slowly over low flame. Stir the mixture constantly until the mixture is completely melted. As the sugar caramelizes, it should take on a brown or black color.
    • Do not overcook the mixture. Take care not to let it start on fire. If it starts to smoke, turn off the heat immediately.
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    Add one spoonful of baking soda.
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    Carefully pour the mixture into the cardboard box.
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    Insert a fuse while the mixture is still soft.
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    Let the mixture completely harden. It might take an hour or so to solidify.
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    Set up the smoke bomb in a safe place outdoors. Take it to the desired location and light the fuse.

Method 3
Making a Tube Smoke Bomb

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    Get the ingredients. Smoke bombs are composed of a simple concoction of potassium nitrate and sugar. By grinding these ingredients and mixing them together, you can create a smoke bomb just as good as store-bought products. Here's what you'll need:
    • Get potassium nitrate, also called saltpeter.
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    • Buy some sugar.
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    • Get some baking soda.
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    • Obtain a cardboard tube. A tube the size of a toilet paper roll will work fine. Cut some discs out of cardboard. Tape one disc to one end of the tube. Save the second disc for after the tube is filled with the powder you will make.
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    • Get a small length of fuse to insert in the smoke bomb.
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    Put on your safety gear. Wear gloves, goggles, and a filter mask to keep yourself safe as you conduct your experiment.
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    Grind the ingredients. Using a coffee grinder (that you will never again use for coffee) or a mortar and pestle, grind the ingredients separately. Grind the saltpeter until it is a very fine powder, then grind the sugar. Because these materials are flammable, you have to be very careful to avoid sparks while grinding.
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    Measure out the powders and mix them together. The ratio you need is three parts saltpeter and two parts sugar. Weigh them on a kitchen scale, then place them in a bowl and mix them together.
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    Mix in the baking soda.
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    Pour the mixed powder into the cardboard tube. To make it easier to pour, you can use a funnel, or place the powder in a small plastic bag and cut off one corner, then pour.
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    Tape the other disc on the top of the tube. Make sure it's securely in place.
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    Insert a fuse or piece of string soaked in lighter fluid. Cut a small hole in the lid of the tube, then push the fuse inside. The fuse should be long enough to give you time to leave the vicinity once you light it.
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    Place the bomb somewhere strategic. Place it in an outdoor area clear of buildings, trees, people and pets. You should never light a smoke bomb indoors.
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    Light the fuse. Move away once the fuse is lit, and enjoy your smoke bomb.

Method 4
Using Ammonium Nitrate

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    Open up a cold pack. You can purchase these at any drugstore. They contain ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make a smoke bomb. Remove the water bag inside.
    • Wear gloves when you handle the granules. Ammonium Nitrate is not incredibly toxic if you happen to ingest any, but try not too. If it gets on your skin, wipe it off, and take a shower as soon as you can. Always wash your hands a couple times after you are finished.
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    Pour all of the granules into a bucket.
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    Add water a little at a time. Stir until the granules have just dissolved. If you add too much water, you will end up with bombs that don't smoke.
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    Separate an old newspaper into 10 sheets. Make sure you use an older one. Brand new newspapers have a waxy film that prevents them from lighting properly.
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    Fold each sheet newspaper twice to get ten loosely folded quarter-squares.
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    Dip the folded sheets one at a time in the ammonium nitrate solution. Put each one into the water, and swish them around, submerging each one into the liquid for about 30 seconds.
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    Remove and unfold the sheets. Do this gently, as the sheets will tear easily.
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    Lay them out into the sun. Driveway surfaces are fine to use as a drying space. If you are in a shady windy area, lay the newspaper sheets out and put rocks/weights on the four corners of each sheet to prevent them from flying away. You can tell when they are ready when they and can be lifted off of the pavement easily.
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    Roll up the newspaper sheets. Secure them with a string in the middle. Do not tie them too tight.
    • You can cut up the newspaper sheets, rip them in half, or leave them whole before rolling them up. You choose. Experiment with different lengths and widths.
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    Light your smoke bombs outside. There is nothing like the jolt of energy you get when your smoke bomb produces thick plumes of white smoke.
    • If you don't get your bombs to work the first time, don't be discouraged. Try again using less water.

Tips

  • Ammonium nitrate smoke is toxic and shouldn't be inhaled under any circumstances.
  • Potassium nitrate is perfectly legal to buy in the US: if you can't find it at the drugstore, look for it at a garden or home improvement store.
  • Use no more than five crushed ping pong balls when making this type of smoke bomb.
  • Using the second method, be sure not to ignite the mixture within the pot or else you might be burned.
  • Do not inhale the smoke. While the smoke is non-toxic, it is not good to deprive your lungs of oxygen by inhaling large amounts of the smoke.
  • Obviously do not light the mixture indoors.
  • Grind your powders well.

Things You'll Need

Method One

  • 4-5 ping-pong balls
  • Tinfoil
  • Pencil

Method Two

  • Saltpeter
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Cast iron skillet or pot
  • Cardboard box lined with aluminum foil

Method Three

  • Saltpeter
  • Sugar
  • A toilet paper roll
  • Mortar and pestle, or something to grind the saltpeter and sugar into powder

Method Four

  • An instant cold pack
  • A small amount of water
  • A large bucket
  • Old Newspaper
  • Latex Gloves
  • String

Article Info

Categories: Bombs