Solvent dyes for making coloured smoke
Specialty colorants, available in powder form, designed specifically for pyrotechnic colored smoke for use in distress signals, flares, military smoke cover grenades, sea markers & smoke locators, marine locators, aerial displays, and air shows.
How to use:
Colored Smoke Bomb Materials
- 60g (3 tablespoons) potassium nitrate (available in our store)
- 40g (2 tablespoons) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (available in our store)
- 60g (3 tablespoons) powdered organic dye (product on this listing)
- Cardboard tube (best is an iced push-pop tube (eat the treat first), or you could use a toilet paper roll or section of paper towel tube, or even a rolled/taped paper tube)
- Duct tape
- Pen or pencil
- Firework fuse (hardware, rocketry, construction, or hobby shops, or scavenge it from a firework)
- Cotton balls
Make the Colored Smoke Bomb Mixture
- Mix 60g potassium nitrate with 40g sugar in a saucepan over low heat. It's a 3:2 ratio, so if you don't have grams, use three large spoonfuls of potassium nitrate and two large spoonfuls of sugar (3 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons, if you feel the need to be precise).
- The sugar will caramelize and brown. Stir the mixture continuously until it resembles smooth peanut butter.
- Remove the mixture from heat.
- Stir in a spoonful of baking soda (a rounded teaspoon is fine). The baking soda is added to slow down the combustion when the smoke bomb is ignited.
- Add three large spoonfuls (3 tablespoons) of powdered organic dye. Blue dye and orange dye are said to produce better results than the other colors. Stir to mix well.
- Construct the smoke bomb while the mixture is still hot and pliable.
Assemble the Smoke Bomb
- Fill a cardboard tube with the warm smoke bomb mixture.
- Push a pen or pencil down into the center of the mix (doesn't have to be all the way to the bottom but should be enough that the pen stands in the mixture). You could use a different shape, but the cylinder works really well.
- Let the mixture harden (about an hour).
- Remove the pen.
- Insert a firework fuse. Push pieces of cotton balls into the hole to tamp the fuse securely inside the smoke bomb. Be sure there is fuse left outside of the tube so that you will be able to light your smoke bomb.
- Wrap the smoke bomb with duct tape. Cover the top and bottom of the tube, too, but leave the hole area with the cotton and fuse uncovered.
- Go outside and light your smoke bomb!
Tips for Success
- The key to producing vibrant colored smoke is using an appropriate dye. The color is produced by vaporizing a dye from the heat of the smoke bomb, not from burning a pigment, which always produces normal smoke.
- Getting a good display also depends on the geometry of the smoke bomb. When the dye is vaporized, the pressure from combustion forces it out to produce the smoke. There needs to be enough pressure inside the smoke bomb to push the smoke out, but not too much pressure or else it will burst. This is why cardboard and tape are used. You can control the opening for the smoke. The materials are strong enough to contain a certain level of force but will rupture rather than explode if the pressure is too great.
Disclaimer: Please be advised that the content provided by our website is for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. Fireworks and the chemicals contained within them are dangerous and should always be handled with care and used with common sense.