How to Make a Non-Toxic Smoke Bomb

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan

  • Electric hot plate

  • Potassium nitrate

  • Sugar

  • Scale

  • Lidded cup

  • Cardboard tube

  • Fuse

  • Gloves

  • Goggles

Smoke bombs can be an interesting addition to fireworks.

Building a smoke-emitting bomb is a fairly simple exercise in chemistry. The most common variety of smoke bomb uses potassium nitrate (KNO3) and sugar; both are non-toxic, though ingesting KNO3 in large amounts has been linked to cancer. KNO3 is sold at hardware stores as stump remover and can also be obtained as a fertilizer. Smoke bombs are great for fireworks, paintball and war reenactments.


Step 1

Common table sugar is a primary ingredient in this smoke bomb recipe.

Combine a mixture of 60 percent KNO3 and 40 percent sugar in a cup, add the lid, and shake the two together to form a homogeneous mixture. The mixture should not exceed 100 grams.


Video of the Day

Step 2

Use a hot plate outside while cooking the mixture; if it's overcooked, it can ignite.

Pour the mixture into the saucepan and set the plate to a medium-high temperature; stir the chemicals consistently and scrape any material on the bottom.


Step 3

It might look like peanut butter, but don't eat it.

Heat the mixture until it has the consistency of peanut butter and remove the pan from the plate.


Step 4

Smoke bombs in the making.

Scrape the mixture out and fill the cardboard tube. Several batches will be necessary to fill the tube completely. About 3/4 of the way through the tube, set a fuse inside and apply the material around it. The mixture hardens after about five minutes, so be prepared to insert the fuse quickly. Once the tube is filled, the smoke bomb is ready.


You can seal the smoke bomb in wax to waterproof it.


Always wear goggles and gloves when handling combustible materials.

Avoid making batches larger than 100 grams at a time.


references & resources

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...