Dry Ice and Water
Aside from using a smoke machine, this method is the simplest for most people, both in practice and obtaining materials. Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide. You can make a dense fog by adding dry ice to hot water or steam. The carbon dioxide is vaporized, making a fog, and the rapid cooling of the surrounding air condenses water vapor in the air, adding to the effect.
- Dry ice fog sinks to the floor.
- Water temperature affects the characteristics of the fog. Hotter water or steam vaporizes the carbon dioxide more quickly, yielding lots of fog and using up the dry ice more quickly, too. If fresh hot water or steam isn't added, the remaining water will cool quickly.
- An easy 'smoke machine' can be made using a styrofoam cooler. Simply add hot water and dry ice. Machines that use dry ice work by continually heating water, to keep the fog flowing. Simple machines are also available to make dry ice or to solidify air.
- Dry ice is cold enough to cause frostbite - use protective gloves when handling it.
- Remember that use of dry ice increases the level of carbon dioxide in the air where it is used. This can present a respiratory hazard low to ground (or downstairs, if applicable), in enclosed spaces, or with large quantities of dry ice.
Are you ready for more smoke machine ideas? Read on...