How do Smoke Machines Work?

By Dryicex

How do Smoke Machines Work?

Special effects equipment such as smoke, fog, haze, and mist may generate some spectacular effects. Is it possible to figure out what causes the smoke? Has the desire to recreate the effect ever piqued your interest? If this is the case, you are in luck, since we shall unravel these secrets.

How do Smoke Machines Work? We will, however, caution you that a little information may be quite hazardous! It is possible that the equipment and chemicals used to produce simulated smoke might be hazardous if they are not utilized properly (toxic, burn hazard, asphyxiation hazard, fire hazard, etc.). Additionally, all sorts of smoke generators will cause smoke alarms to go off.

I’m not suggesting that you generate your own smoke; rather, I’m explaining how the effects are achieved. Please read the post and then click on the links I have given to the right of this page, which offer precise directions and cautions from experts as well as experienced amateurs.
Create a cloud of smoke (Fog Really)

How do Smoke Machines Work? Aside from the use of a smoke machine, this approach is the most straightforward for the majority of people, both in terms of practice and in terms of collecting ingredients. Dry ice is a kind of carbon dioxide that has solidified. Dry ice may be used to create a thick fog by mixing it with hot water or steam.

How do Smoke Machines Work? The carbon dioxide is evaporated, resulting in a fog, and the quick cooling of the surrounding air causes water vapour to condense in the air, further enhancing the impact.

How do Smoke Machines Work? Points to Keep in Mind

How do Smoke Machines Work? The fog of dry ice descends to the ground. The temperature of the water has an effect on the features of the fog. Hotter water or steam vaporizes carbon dioxide more rapidly, resulting in a greater amount of fog and faster depletion of dry ice. In the absence of more hot water or steam to keep the remaining water warm, the remaining water will cool fast.

How do Smoke Machines Work? With the help of a styrofoam cooler, you can easily construct a “smoke machine.” All you have to do is add hot water and dry ice. It is necessary to continuously heat water in order to keep the fog moving in order for dry ice machines to function. Simple equipment I also available for the production of dry ice and the solidification of air.

It is important to remember that dry ice is very cold and might result in frostbite if not handled properly.

It is important to remember that the usage of dry ice increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the air where it is used. In confined places or when working with big amounts of dry ice, this might provide a respiratory danger since it is low to the ground (or downstairs, if appropriate).
Real Water Fog is created by using liquid nitrogen.

How do Smoke Machines Work? One of the major benefits of using liquid nitrogen to make fog is that no additional equipment is required. Water condenses as a result of the evaporation and chilling effects of liquid nitrogen on the surrounding air. Nitrogen is the most abundant element in the atmosphere and is non-toxic.

Nitrogen Fog Sinks to the Earth’s Surface:

How do Smoke Machines Work? Either by allowing the nitrogen to naturally exhale or by utilizing a fan to blow the ‘smoke’ where it is desired, smoke may be produced in two ways.

The usage of liquid nitrogen poses a major threat to the user’s safety.

Although dry ice may induce frostbite, liquid nitrogen is very cold and can result in significant tissue damage and death if not handled properly. If you have not had sufficient cryogenics training, you should avoid using nitrogen. Never use liquid nitrogen in a scenario where other persons may be able to get access to the source of the nitrogen.

How do Smoke Machines Work? A possible asphyxiation threat exists in a room when the nitrogen concentration rises while the oxygen concentration in the room falls.

Atomized Glycol Smoke Machines

The majority of smoke generators generate distinctive effects by mixing water with a glycol solution. In many commercial smoke machines, ‘fog juice,’ which is composed of glycols, glycerin, and/or mineral oil, is mixed with variable volumes of distilled water to create the smoke effect. The glycols are heated and then released into the environment under pressure, resulting in a fog or haze being produced.

How do Smoke Machines Work? The mixes that may be employed are many and varied in nature. Material Safety Data Sheets for several common kinds of products may be found in the reference bar to the right of this page. Here are a few examples of homemade fog juice recipes:

1 quart distilled water with 15 per cent to 35 per cent food-grade glycerin

The following ratio: 125 millilitres glycerin to one litre distilled water (glycerin forms a haze at concentrations of 15 per cent or less, and more of a fog or smoke at concentrations more than 15 per cent).

With or without water, unscented mineral oil (baby oil) is used to make fog juice (although we cannot speak for the safety of using mineral oil for fog juice).

Propylene glycol is 90 per cent water and 10 per cent distilled water (dense fog)

60% propylene glycol, 40% distilled water (quick dissipating)

The composition is 60 per cent water and 40 per cent propylene glycol (very quick dissipation)

Thirty per cent distilled water: thirty per cent propylene glycol: thirty per cent trimethylene glycol (long-lasting fog)
70% propylene glycol to 30% distilled water ratio (dense fog)

The ensuing smoke should not have a “burnt” smell to it. If this occurs, the most probable reasons are an excessively high working temperature or an excessive amount of glycerin, glycol, and mineral oil in the combination. As the quantity of organic ingredients decreases, the fog juice becomes more affordable, but it becomes lighter and lasts for a shorter period of time.


how do smoke machines work


The usage of distilled water is only required if a heat exchanger or other tubing is included in the system’s construction. In the majority of cases, using a homemade fog combination in a commercial machine will violate the warranty, may cause damage to the unit, and may constitute a fire and/or health threat.

Points to Keep in Mind

How do Smoke Machines Work? Due to the heat generated by this form of fog, it will ascend or disperse at a greater altitude than dry ice or liquid nitrogen fog. If low-lying fog is required, coolers may be used to achieve this.

How do Smoke Machines Work? Changing the composition of the mixture or the circumstances of dispersion of atomized glycols may provide a wide range of distinctive effects that are difficult to generate with other types of simulated smoke, for example.

Glycols may be transformed into very poisonous compounds, such as formaldehyde when subjected to high temperatures. One of the most serious issues with DIY smoke machines is that they may run at a temperature that is incompatible with the drugs that are being utilized. Additionally, when homemade fog juice is utilized in commercial machinery, this is a risk.

Collagen, glycerin, and mineral oil may all leave an oily residue, resulting in slick or sometimes somewhat sticky surfaces when they come into contact with each other. Always be alert of the possible dangers around you, particularly if there is a lot of smoke in the environment. Additionally, some persons may have skin irritation as a result of being exposed to glycol fog.

How do Smoke Machines Work? Some glycols are hazardous and should not be used to produce smoke due to their toxicity. Ethylene glycol is very toxic. Some glycols are offered in combination with other substances. The only glycols that should be used in smoke machines are those of a medical or pharmaceutical grade that is non-toxic. When preparing a fog mixture, avoid using antifreeze.

All three kinds of ethylene glycol are dangerous, and all three types of propylene glycol are invariably contaminated with undesirable contaminants.

It is essential that distilled water be used while using an atomizer since hard water deposits might cause harm to the atomizer. It is possible that some of the chemicals that may be used to create this sort of smoke can ignite.

Real Water Vapor Fog

How do Smoke Machines Work? The thin dispersion of hot water or steam may be used to generate this form of mimicked smoke in certain instances. The impact is comparable to what occurs when water is sprayed upon a hot rock in a sauna.

How do Smoke Machines Work? Another method of action for water vapour machines is for them to condense water vapour out of the air, as can be observed when the door to a freezer is opened. A large number of commercial smoke machines make use of water vapour in some capacity.

Points to Keep in Mind

This form of ‘smoke’ works best when it is produced in a cool environment. Water vapour is not hazardous in any way. Because hot vapour can float, chillers may be used to create a ground effect when a ground effect is required.

How do Smoke Machines Work? The use of a fogger, which is effectively a cloud generator, increases the likelihood of water condensation on items, which may be a safety hazard.

Water vapour, like all other types of mimicked smoke, will cause a smoke detector to go off.

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