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Safe Smoke Bomb Instructions

How to Make a Smoke Bomb, Safely


Most smoke bombs produce white smoke.

Most smoke bombs produce white smoke.

Anne Helmenstine

The classic smoke bomb is very easy to make, but I know some of you are concerned about the possibility of accidentally setting off your smoke alarm or igniting the mixture during preparation. There is safer way to make a smoke bomb. It uses the same ingredients and produces a comparable amount of smoke, but it takes a bit longer to make. Here's how to make the safer smoke bomb:

Smoke Bomb Ingredients

  • potassium nitrate or saltpeter (if you can't find it at a garden store I see Skylighter sells it online)
  • sugar (sucrose)
  • water
  • fuse
  • paper or plastic cups
  • plastic spoon
  • waxed paper
Construct the Smoke Bombs
  1. In a paper or plastic cup, mix 3 parts potassium nitrate with 2 parts sugar (e.g., 3 tablespoons potassium nitrate and 2 tablespoons sugar).


  2. Using your plastic spoon, stir in just enough water to make a thick paste. Continue stirring until the ingredients are evenly mixed.


  3. Set lumps of the mixture (~1 tablespoon each or a little less) onto the waxed paper. Insert a fuse into each lump.


  4. Allow the smoke bombs to set up for 1-2 days. The drying time will depend on temperature and humidity. Warmer and drier is faster; cooler and damper will take longer. Keep the smoke bombs away from excessive heat or flame. The smoke bombs will be like clay when they are ready, not hard and solid.


  5. Set a completed smoke bomb outdoors on a fireproof surface and light it.

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