Picture of Make your own smoke fluid
This is my first instructable so please bare with me. I have also decided to make it a relatively short one.
In this instructable I am going to show you how to make your own smoke fluid for any smoke machine. This does not include fog machines which use dry ice. Perhaps obvious to most, but just wanted to point that out.

Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
- Glycerol, Glycerin or Glycerine (same thing)
- Distilled water
- Measuring jug
- Container to store solution

I tried this in my model train and it worked pretty good. Hard on the lungs though. I prefer straight peanut oil.

AlexM199 months ago

It has to be food / high grade gycerol otherwise it would never pass COSHH regs etc and be able to be used commercially. All fluids require a Safety Data Sheet to be sold / used too. So you're okay to play around at home but actually using your own fluid in public is a bad idea. There's also a lot of importance of the boiling points and speed of boil etc which can effect the molecular structure of the smoke ie: you do it wrong you get a bad result that can smell a bit.

Anyway, if you really want some fun then cook some castor oil up!! :)

Or do it Redneck style!! :


Jang246 AlexM194 months ago

that is so cool, and funny. What does castor oil do??

joshualeewm8 months ago

i managed to do it and filled my entire house with it... however, it does make everything in the house rather sticky to a certain point... i made in a very small amount and placed it on a aluminum foil container with 6 candles under it. it took about 3minutes before smoke shows up.

smarty19731 year ago

so when the liquid is mixed, how does it turn into smoke??? sry about noob question.. would it start smoking when exposed to fresh ari or would i need to heat the mixture up??

NTT (author)  smarty19731 year ago
Hi smarty1973

There's never a bad noob question, so relax :-)
The liquid vaporises when it is suddenly heated in the smoke machine or fogger machine. This means it enters a gas phase just like water does when it boils. So despite the name(s) smoke machine, or fogger, they just very quickly boil liquids into a vapour.

The mossy compact example you can find right now if you wanted to would be an E-cig. They use exactly the same method to turn a nicotine laced glycerol and water mixture into a vapour which people breath in.

Hope this helps.

augur451 year ago



Covers everything you'll ever want to know about the safety of glycols in fogging juice.

e-cigarettes use "...three main ingredients: propylene glycol USP, vegetable glycerin USP, and liquid nicotine."

"Propylene Glycol (or PG) is a colorless, odorless, and viscous liquid
that is widely used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food preparation,
and industrial applications. It is “generally recognized as safe” by the
FDA. Given its wide berth of applications, humans unknowingly ingest
it, inhale, and absorb it through their skin on a regular basis. It is
present in medicine, soap, shampoo, ice cream, baked goods, soda, dog
food, fog machines, and a great deal more.

The oft-repeated argument that “PG is harmful because it is
antifreeze” is a false analogy. Antifreeze is any chemical that lowers
the freezing point of a water-based liquid. Some of these chemicals are
toxic, and some of them are not. PG is not. Because of its non-toxic
nature, PG is used as antifreeze in food-processing plants and water
pipes, where accidental ingestion is inevitable." Read link for more excellent information:


robot7973 years ago
you can drink this if you use food grade glycerine
it will taste sweat
it is not toxic


"Glycols can undergo heat denaturation into highly toxic substances, such
as formaldehyde. This is one of the major problems with homemade smoke
machines - they may operate at a temperature that is incompatible with
the substances being used. Also, this is a danger with homemade fog
juice used in commercial machines." Also, "... some people may experience skin irritation from exposure to glycol fog."


So use food/pharmaceutical grade glycol (glycerine) and keep heating of glycerin-water mixtures to minimum necessary to create fog.

maxiaxie5 years ago
It would also be possible to use boiled-then-condensed water (distilled) that you can make at home

Yes, but at a dollar (usd) per gallon at the grocery store, is making your own really worth the hassle?

fabio.pira2 years ago
O aquecimento da água em torno de 40º a 50º graus na mistura se faz necessário para o perfeito envolvimento da água na glicerina.
Vulcanator5 years ago
could you add food coloring?
coloured smoke?
NTT (author)  Vulcanator5 years ago
I'm not sure. I don't think I've heard of it being used before. Sorry.
I herd that you needed a ton and it made if not toxic very unplesent smoke.
robot7973 years ago
btw can you make a vid?
crapflinger5 years ago
the glycerine makes it smell like pancake syrup...almost exactly like antifreze (Ethylene glycol....not good for smoke machines)
Antifreeze smells like formaldehyde.