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Friday, July 2, 2010

Colored Smoke Recipes

I get a lot of questions about whether the recipes that you can find online for making colored smoke bombs are valid. Yes, they are, but... you have to keep in mind the colored "smoke" is not made by burning the dyes to change the color of normal (gray or white) smoke. You can make black smoke by releasing a lot of soot into the air, or yellow smoke by releasing elemental sulfur, but most colored smoke is produced by vaporizing organic dyes. You can't use just any dye. For example, most clothing dyes will not work. Pigments from ink pens or food coloring will not work. While the proper composition will make colored smoke even if you ignite a pile of it in the open, the "trick" to getting clouds of colored smoke is to heat the dye and force it through a small hole. So... if you want to make colored smoke, use one of the mixtures intended to produced colored smoke, don't substitute chemicals, and encase the mixture in a ball or smoke cylinder. Insert your fuse, seal the container with a bead of glue, light the smoke bomb and enjoy! Try it...

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