Ready to make a fantastic smoke bomb? Whether you want to create a dramatic special effect, do a chemical experiment or just learn a super useful survival strategy, it's possible to make a smoke bomb with just a handful of ingredients. There are several recipes out there, but the main ones are based on potassium nitrate and sugar, ping pong balls or ammonium nitrate and newspaper. Wear protective equipment when mounting the pump and only activate it outdoors, away from trees, pets and people.
Method 1 of 3: Using Ping Pong Balls
Step 1. Gather three or four celluloid ping pong balls
For this method, you will need some ping pong balls. The balls are made from nitrocellulose, a highly flammable compound used in celluloid. One ball will be the bomb itself, while the others will be cut and stuffed into the first ball to increase the smoke when you light the bomb. Use balls of the same color. The color chosen will directly affect the hue of the smoke.
It is essential that the pellets are made of celluloid, not plastic. Plastic balls are shiny and easy to bend, while celluloid balls are harder and opaque
Step 2. Punch a hole in one of the balls with a knife or drill
Choose one of the balls and make a hole in it. Hold it firmly on a flat surface between your thumb and forefinger and press the material with a knife or drill until a hole is opened. The hole will serve for you to insert the other balls.
Step 3. Cut the other balls into small pieces and insert them into the hole in the first ball
With sharp scissors, shred the other ping-pong balls well. You may need to pierce them with a knife or drill first to make room for the scissors. The pieces should be small enough to fit into the hole in the first ball. Stick them in the hole until the ball is completely full.
Step 4. Insert the sharp end of a pencil into the hole and wrap with aluminum foil
Take a pencil and stick the sharp part into the hole in the ball you just filled. It is quite possible that the pencil will not be able to go all the way due to the small pieces of the other balls. Do not worry. All that is required is that the tip of the pencil is in contact with the outside of the ball. Then cut a 6" x 6" piece of aluminum foil. Place the ball in the center of the paper and wrap it tightly together with the pencil, leaving the shape of the bomb well defined.
The pencil is only used to create a mold for aluminum foil. It is not necessary to cover it completely. Leave a small hole in the spiky end of the foil so you can remove the pencil when you're done
Step 5. Take the pencil out of the wrapping
Hold the pencil by the end of the eraser and carefully pull it out of the wrapping. When finished, make sure the aluminum foil format remains intact. The tip will serve as a chimney for the smoke after you light the bomb.
Step 6. Take the pump outdoors
Never light a smoke bomb indoors. In addition to the risk of fire, you could still end up inhaling smoke. The nitrocellulose present in Ping-Pong balls can be toxic if inhaled. Take the bomb outdoors and place it on the grass, away from people and animals.
Step 7. Light a flame under the ball wrapped with aluminum foil
Hold the smoke bomb by the top and, with a lighter, light a flame just below it. Smoke will start to come out of the ball's hole, up the chimney formed by the pencil.
Step 8. Drop the bomb and watch the smoke come out
As soon as the bomb starts to smoke, drop it or place it on the ground. Get away quickly. Stay a few feet away so you don't inhale the toxic fumes. If you start to smell a strange smell, move away a little more.
Method 2 of 3: Using Potassium Nitrate and Sugar
Step 1. Gather the necessary materials and put on protective gear
You can make a smoke bomb with a simple mixture of sugar and potassium nitrate. When mixed and melted, the two ingredients form a flammable compound, which produces smoke when in contact with fire. You will also need a cast iron skillet and baking soda. A tablespoon (15 ml) of baking soda will make the smoke last longer. To protect yourself, wear rubber gloves, goggles and a respirator with a filter so you don't inhale the smoke.
- Choose an old skillet that you no longer use for cooking. Potassium nitrate mixture can damage the material.
- Also known as saltpeter, potassium nitrate can be purchased at garden stores or online.
- It is essential that you wear protective equipment. Potassium nitrate can cause irritation if it gets in your eyes or on your skin. When inhaled, the substance can cause nasal irritation, sneezing and coughing.
Step 2. Cover one end of a toilet paper roll with masking tape
Before making the potassium nitrate mixture, prepare a toilet paper roll. Put two pieces of duct tape over one of the holes to cover it and secure them with a longer piece, wrapped around the base of the roll. This will prevent the mixture from leaking out when you pour it into the tube.
Step 3. Mix the potassium nitrate with the refined sugar in a cast iron skillet
Pour three tablespoons (45 ml) of potassium nitrate and two tablespoons (30 ml) of sugar into a cast iron skillet and mix with a spoon until smooth.
Step 4. Heat the skillet over medium low heat for 15 minutes
Stir the mixture over the fire constantly until it melts. When caramelized, the sugar will have a black or brownish color, as well as a thick, gooey consistency like melted caramel.
Take care that the mixture does not go over the point and does not catch fire. If it starts to smoke, lower the fire immediately
Step 5. Add a scoop of baking soda to make the pump burn more slowly
This step is optional, but you can also add a scoop of baking soda to the mixture before removing it from the heat. Baking soda will moderate the chemical reaction, causing the bomb to burn a little slower.
Step 6. Pour the mixture into the cardboard roll
Turn off the heat and, with a spoon, transfer as much of the mixture as possible into the tube. Be quick so it doesn't harden. Use a funnel to ease the process or place the mixture in a plastic bag, cut off one of the tips and squirt it into the roller.
When you have finished pouring the mixture into the cardboard tube, squeeze it so that it becomes compact. Otherwise, smoke will not come out evenly when you light the bomb
Step 7. Insert a visco fuse into the tube with the mixture still soft
The mistletoe fuse is a type of wick often used in fireworks. Cut at least 7, 5 cm from the wick and thread it through one end of the tube, halfway through the mixture. Leave at least 2.5 cm of the wick out so that you can light it.
Step 8. Allow the mixture to cool and harden
Put the mixture to rest in an airy place so that it cools and solidifies, which should take approximately an hour.
Step 9. Take the pump outdoors
Place the bomb in an open place, away from buildings, trees, people and animals. Never light a smoke bomb indoors.
Potassium nitrate bombs burn pretty hard. Always light them in an open and empty place to avoid fire hazards
Step 10. Light the wick and enjoy your smoke bomb
With a lighter, light the tip of the wick. Move away quickly so you don't get hurt or inhale the smoke. The bomb will produce a large, dark smoke cloud.
Method 3 of 3: Making a Newspaper Bomb
Step 1. Open an ice pack with ammonium nitrate
Ice packs can be found at any pharmacy and often contain ammonium nitrate, a common ingredient in garden fertilizers. Like potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate can be mixed with other ingredients to make explosives. Using scissors, open the ice pack, remove the water pack and throw it away.
Step 2. Pour the ammonium nitrate grains into a bucket
After the pouch is open and you have removed the water, turn the ammonium nitrate in a bucket or large pot.
Wear gloves to handle the beans. Ammonium nitrate is not that toxic, but if it comes into contact with the skin, it should be removed and washed off immediately. Wash your hands well with liquid soap when you are finished handling the substance
Step 3. Add water little by little until the beans dissolve
Use water from the sink or a hose. Add a little at a time and slightly rotate the bucket to dissolve the ammonium nitrate.
Stop adding water when all the beans are dissolved. The solution should be well concentrated. The pumps may not even smoke if you overdo the water
Step 4. Fold ten sheets of old newspaper into squares
Fold the sheets in half vertically. Then fold them again, bringing the top to the bottom. This way, the eyes will fit right in the bucket and will be much easier to handle.
Give preference to old newspapers. New newspapers have a layer of wax that makes them not burn as well
Step 5. Dip the leaves individually in the ammonium nitrate solution
Place the leaves one by one in the solution and shake them until they are soaked. Soak them in the solution for at least 30 seconds.
The wet newspaper will be very fragile. Be careful not to tear it
Step 6. Unfold the leaves and place them to dry in the sun
Put them in a garage or any other concrete surface. Spread the leaves wide in a sunny place so that they dry completely and evenly. If you live in a windy place, place rocks or other heavy objects on the tips of the leaves so they don't fly off.
They will be in place when you can lift them from the concrete without difficulty
Step 7. Gather the dry leaves and roll them up
After the newspaper is completely dry, stack the sheets and roll them up from one end. Secure the roll with string. Be careful not to overtighten the sheets, as well as to not loosen the string.
You can make bombs of different sizes and lengths. To do this, cut the sheets of newspaper, tear them in half or leave them unbroken before rolling them
Step 8. Take the pump outside and light one side with a lighter
Now that the bomb is ready, take it out into the open and light one end of the leaves with a lighter. The newspaper will start to release puffs of smoke on both sides.
- Do not inhale the smoke. Although the smoke itself is not toxic, inhaling it in large quantities can deprive your lungs of oxygen, which is not good for you.
- Grind the powdered ingredients well.
- If you choose the second method, be careful not to set the mixture on fire inside the pan. Otherwise, you risk getting burned.
- Always wear protective gear when making smoke bombs.
- Maybe we don't even have to say it, but never set fire to the mixture indoors.
- Ammonium nitrate smoke is toxic and should not be inhaled under any circumstances.