Picture of Torches and Firebreathing

This instructable describes how to make a torch, and also how to breathe fire. All the materials needed should cost under 20$. Its also safer then you might imagine for a few reasons, the first is that kerosene (The liquid used to breathe fire) has a high flash point, meaning its not an extremely flammable liquid, I have put matches out in cups of kerosene. It ignites because you make it into a mist (aspirating) when you spray it from your mouth. Another reason is as long as there is sufficient pressure the flames will stay a safe distance from your face.
With that being said it is still a dangerous project and should only be attempted if you consider yourself responsible enough to follow the directions exactly. I have confidence that as long as you follow my directions you will not be burned, so thats my disclaimer if you dont follow the rules don't blame me.
Now with all the boring stuff aside, get ready to impress your friends and family at your next summer bbq. It never gets old hearing people say how crazy you are.

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Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts List
This parts list contains all the materials needed to make 2 torches and the things used to breathe fire.


1. Kerosene a.k.a. paraffin oil, make sure it is high quality with nothing added. (I bought mine in this big jug at sears hardware for about 6$)
2. 4' long 1" diameter wooden dowel or (2) 2' long metal pipes with similar or smaller diameter (Note: If using the metal pipes the following materials are not necessary: aluminum foil, nails, hammer, saw, or tin can)
3. Aluminum foil
4. Hammer with 5 or 6 nails about an inch long
5. Metal can of some kind( A soup can works, but a coffee can is better because it is longer and will protect the dowel better
6. Kevlar wick about 2" wide (Can be bought on e-bay for a few dollars a foot, just search for "kevlar fire poi"). You will need about 2-3 feet per torch, I have also heard that cloth belts can be used instead of the kevlar, but I have never tried this method.
7. Plastic water bottle
8. Small funnel
9. Tin snips or heavy duty scissors capable of cutting a coffee can
10. A wood saw
11. Ruler
12. A wet towel, bucket of water, and fire extinguisher are also a good idea (not just one but all three)
LeroyD26 months ago
First test the liquid with a spray. Take care.
gearup5009 months ago
Dangerous and cool
thedog4587 years ago
this is ok but i would never put kerosene in my mouth what else can u use for fuel?

Kerosen is so dangerous and more volatile. For your healt, please use Paraffine. It's more gentle for you troath, le light of the flamme is whiter than kerosen. Never breath near of a cable as the photo, always have 10 meter of safety that there are anything around.


100% Non-Toxic, and impossible to backfeed into your lungs seeing as the oil puts off no vapors, and best of all if this stuff is on your skin and you tried to light it, it would not even catch fire :D

Tiki torch fluid. the taste is not bad and its a nice bright orange. i'v swallowed some on accident and i was fine.
bsush tigertail4 years ago
lmao like the citronella oil? that cant be tasty.
Or moonshine
or rum
Or corn starch.
or powdered coffee whitener
or solid fire retardent
"lol" isn't combustible.......
And solid fire retardent is.
that's the joke....
A26O4 thedog4586 years ago
Lamp oil. Works good and not as volatile as the rest. Never had problems with it.
Radar252 A26O46 years ago
spit 151 rum or isopropyl alcohol at that torch-good not nearly as toxic or volatile as petrol products.
never use isopropyl alcohol!!!!!!!!!!!! you obviously have never used it. if you had,you wouldn't be typing this. period!
isopropyl is good for the torch itself (if you want to eat fire too) but not the breathing liquid
lasermaster, said no isopropyl, but CVS sells ethyl alcohol, which works well and wont kill you if you swallow it, no denature alcohol or methanol either, they WILL kill you without even swallowing them.
 Use corn starch or powdered sugar.
u should put a straw filled with flour in ur mouth then blow it out. the axis experimented with using flour and charcoal dust to strengthen the power of their tornado gun
Flour only works as a flash powder though, so you'd have to throw it. It's much cooler to make like a dragon and breathe some fire.
Dilute the kerosine with water.
what?? that would not work
cool20003 years ago
can you use peanut oil? (acts just like Diesel)

I use Canola Instead, it work fine so long as you heat it up to thin it out a little before you try it... Good to see someone else is on the same mindset tough... XD

kerosene and paraffin are completely different well sort of......Paraffin just means it is a fuel that has an oily composition and kerosene is a carcinogen and If you don't know what that means it means it causes cancer. Kero comes from petroleum that has been highly refined but Lamp Oil doesn't......you are going to get someone hurt and that would be grounds for suing because you didn't state a waver from responsibility and if you decide to put one up it won't matter because It hasn't always been up therefore they can still sue so you should take this article down.
but everything causes cancer these days
Kataze mowie6 years ago
only in the state of California.


mowie Kataze6 years ago
haha i got a butane torch a few weeks ago and it says on it something about it causing cancer in California
so does California have a high death rate? and if everything causes cancer there, should i go there to get cancer removed? since the doctors would have so much practice.....
But while you're there, your cancer will get cancer. You'll need to be on one side of the state line and have them operate from the other.
but wouldn't that still exspose the cancer to the cancer? could we just kill of the cancer with cancer while we stay safely on the other side?
I heard you like cancer so we put cancer in your cancer so you can die while you die.

seriously, use paraffin.
Im not usually one to talk about irresponsibility
parafin can be found at any walmart or hardware store.  it is called lamp oil and is used for tiki torches.  Paraffin is used for its low flash point, and it is for the most part odorless and not terrible tasting, you really want to stay away from anything else.  And Jesus, please read all the precautions first.  Practice with water first, it sounds dumb but DO IT.  The most important factor is when you blow the flame and then close your mouth when you reopen your mouth you need to blow out again incase the fire has been trapped in your mouth waiting for oxygen.  If you were to inhale, the flame would fill your lungs and we can only hope after that.  Try not to wear any synthetic material when attempting, I have seen peoples clothing melt onto their body. Just as you would not piss into the wind, do not blow into the wind. And always have a towel that has been soaked in water and wipe your face in between blows, the liquid likes to dribble down your chin, and a little goes a long way.  Start off small,  do not rush it,  you dont need a whole mouth full.  If you really must breathe fire, research it first. There is plenty of info on Wiki and other sites that will give you correct info and they all agree.   USE PARAFFIN.  lord Im getting old

I use Canola Oil... All that stuff above... Yeah, I worry about none of it XD

Your advice is better but why not be safe and not try it at all. People that try this could end up being visited at a funeral home with the lid closed due to being burnt beyond recognition. Ouch!
isn't paraffin just the british word for kerosine? (wikipedia: Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage,[1] also known as paraffin in UK and South Africa, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid) also, kerosine is quite safe when ingested (just some explosive diarrhea, pun intended) while lamp oil usually has some added chemicals to make it burn more beautiful or easier (look at the back, according to wikipedia the flash point for pure paraffin/kerosine is 90 degrees centigrade, while most lamp oils light at 61
=3 damasta5 years ago
All in all, to be safer, just fill your mouth with some corn starch. Use the same fire type thing and blow. :P
kujoton =34 years ago
DO NOT use cornstarch under any circumstances, as a fine powder it's far too easy inhale which, when making contact with the flame, puts you in a far too vulnerable position. I would put kerosene/paraffin liquid before cornstarch as far as saftey is concerned. Easy to manipulate, low flash point and only ignites when aspirating (in mist form).
=3 kujoton4 years ago
But if you swallow kerosene/paraffin, isn't that poisonous?
damasta =34 years ago
Yes, it is poisonous, but if you swallow a little bit (let's just say the amount you use for breathing one flame) all you get is diarrhea for a couple of days, sure, it's annoying, but it's better then dying

posted from experience
=3 damasta4 years ago
Wait, if you died from using corn starch, then how are you commenting?
damasta =34 years ago
I didn't say anything about cornstarch, I was talking about what happens if you swallow paraffin. It's poisonous, but with small amounts you don' t die

the experience was about the diarrhea (which is so bad you want to kill yourself anyway)
=3 damasta4 years ago
Oh, I see, well thanks for the insight, if I ever have to fire breathe, I know who to discuss with.
_-MacGyver-_ =34 years ago
even safer...
use flour

TRUST MEH IT WORKS.. DOnt belive me? try it
spazmanx11 =34 years ago
I have been doing that too. it's not as big but it still works for me!
paraffin is wax, correct? wouldn't it cool in your mouth and harden?
You are right. Paraffin is indeed wax. He was referring to paraffin oil, which is kerosene.
Not this parrafin.

this looks scary but pretty awesome. someone tried doing this before but then a couple of days after, they died so this is why i havent tried it.

Yeah this stuff is extremely bad to swallow, that is why I had come up with a non-toxic and safer alternative, using just vegetable oil, doing it that way also reduces your chances on chatching on fire to almost None-Existent...



Link above broke for some reason... here is new one...


Incredibly good...!!
ilpug3 years ago
Well, this is a great way to die. If you are careful, take it slow, follow all precaution,s and USE PARAFFIN INSTEAD OF KEROSENE you might not die. i know someone who died from this, when he accidentally inhaled and blew his lungs up.
ajmontag7 years ago
i use heavy duty aluminum foil. more manipulative, and easier to use and remove.
kgoll ajmontag2 years ago
Would aluminum tape work?
ajmontag kgoll2 years ago
Probably. However, the foil gets charred, and its nice to remove it after each use to use new foil. You may not be able to remove the tape. Also the adhesive may melt.
Vladamier3 years ago
Seeing "how to's" like this just breaks my heart.

I was performing at a graduation party about a week ago and, as always, I gave my little disclaimer about not trusting online instructions. After the show, someone came up from the audience and told me that he was going to learn online, and I could not stop him. *eyeroll*

Seriously, guys, there's nothing wrong with wanting to do this, but find a real teacher. The real people (like me) who do this train for years. Sure, you might be able to do it without getting burned, but when a single teeny tiny mistake can burn your lungs and make you suffocate to death, do you really want to chance it?
punkhead583 years ago
Kerosene? Whatever happened to good ole white flour? It's non-toxic!
i would assume its the 'if you inhale with this in your mouth you'll suffocate' argument....
LaBeasy3 years ago
Instead of using kerosene, can you use some sort of alcohol?
372jpeg4 years ago
This might sound kind of wimpy but I don't think Paraffin Oil tastes very good so what if you filled a water balloon with paraffin and put it in your mouth clenched the tip shut with your teeth and then opened your mouth and the balloon would propel the oil out and maybe igniting.
teawrecks6 years ago
Just don't be stupid and use camping fuel like me... ouch lol
I used white camp fuel and i almost burnt myself too. luckily for me, i walked away unburned.
You're so lucky
I was at Philmont, and we just switched cooks, so I was helping the cooks learn how to use the stove. My friend couldn't get the white gas to work, so he asked me to do it. The problem is that he forgot to turn of the gas. I lit it with a match, and almost burned myself with a 6 foot flame. Other people from my troop were in a 10 foot ditch getting water from the river and could see the flame.
Does it hurt?
Careful with the wind!!
sundet8 years ago
This is pretty good. How do you all think a coffee can for the container for the oil and a piece of cotton for a wick would work? I want to make a big and inexpensive torch that lasts for at least a few hours.
arduinoe sundet6 years ago
use a coke bottle and fill it with keresone and put a rag onn the top and secure with elastic band , JUST DONT SQUESE it lol
Sounds like you're describing a Molotov Cocktail.
only if the coke bottle is made of glass. and he said not to squeeze it, so it's obviously plastic...... though that may not be so good of an idea either.
AHA!!!! A MOLOTOV!!!! lol
i use them for bond fires
that you build or just throw it in a field of dry crops?
*insert evil laugh*
the field was an accident  
actually  it was a truck that we did it to chase threw a cigarette  in to the bed on to dry corn husks and tumble weeds we had been picking up and they lit which lit the spare gas can but we got it out eventuality
oxidase6 years ago
could you use a ZIPPO lighter instead of a torch, or... ?
kujoton oxidase4 years ago
If you want to blow your hand off.
ZantoD oxidase5 years ago
 This wouldn't be a great idea. Only EXTREMELY skilled fire breathers can do this, as you can be burned badly.
Yes, but you will burn your hand.
Yes using cloth belts work, we made torches at Scouts one time, and one of the older scouts juggled flaming torches
spazmanx114 years ago
The very first picture looks like a flaming fist tryin' ta punch the next house over/
AjWasHere4 years ago
Altormer is correct. Kerosene, along with most similar chemicals, can and will melt through most standard plastics. Keep it in the jug it came in.
An Villain5 years ago
NetReaper5 years ago
is it ok to touch with your tongue?
Quick question, Kerosene will melt rubber, and eat it away, would it by chance screw with the glue used to affix permanent wire retainers behind one's teeth? Due to my crappy teeth, i have a thin strip of wire behind my front teeth now, after the nightmare of braces, with some hard plastic-esque glue. would it eat it away or would i be safe to do it?
neivadan5 years ago
wow thats awsome but hey isnt there some sort of safty tip or somthin.
Am-Nuel5 years ago
do not use alcohol!!!!! its not working! never use it. it'll burn your mouth.  using kerosene and gasoline is common in my place (indonesia) for fire breathing. my friends use it all the time. but alcohol? please dont.
pyro PJ6 years ago
Great instructable, but wouldn't it be a better idea to try it with a safer, non-toxic fuel? Like ethanol? I've gotta try this with vodka....
try methonal, lol
Stephon #96 years ago
doesnt the kerosein mess up your mouth
with repetition it can. it can erode tooth enamel. your mouth and throat is made of mucus membrane, which absorbs various substances pretty well. you can develop some mouth and throat irritation from the kerosene. I know circus performers that do it 3 to 4 times a week and don't have lasting issues. I think you would have to do it every day for a good while before you would have problems. DON'T SWALLOW IT!!! if you swallow any you need to call poison control.
funky monk5 years ago
I did it with some paraffin and swallowed like a quarter of a teaspoon, will this do anything bad or is swallowing only something to be concerned about if you swallow a whole mouth full? It was my first time and given what people have said about using paraffin, I think I won't use it again
Were I'm from fire is illeagal with in the city limits without a permit check at city hall or on the inernet.
Where are you from?!
So you need a permit to grill?
Dude, he needs a permit to smoke, and one to light the cig in the first place
or to rub two sticks together.
I wonder if it also includes ovens and gas rings and such-like?
lil jon1686 years ago
ive seen people do it with everclear
oo also, i use a bright purple bleach-type bottle, these are great because not only would no-one be stupid enough to drink from it, but it also has a child safety cap on, and a small removable nozzle in the top so you can squirt directly onto the tourch, and remove it to re-fill with a funell :) also, you can get different sizes, depending on your outing!
drinking any sort of alkali will help before hand, i like to use milk of magnesia, i suppose you could go as far as toothpaste if your desperate! could i suggest moving the 'its dangerous' part to the top and the 'its safer than you think' part to the end? some horrific accidents have happened and i think these should be noted before people even consider doing this. just one small breath of the paraffin particles can put you in hospital for months! overall, great instructable, was very good and brilliantly detailed, with safety nicely considered :) though i dont think it should have been featured as it could tempt people jsut stumbling across it to try it! Godd work and keep it up :)
awang86 years ago
Hey, isn't kerosene poisonous?
Kataze awang86 years ago
If ingested, yes, which is why he suggests swallowing activated charcoal before hand, as it would help to keep the toxins out of your system should you swallow any.
Rock n roll- fire control!! Wheeeeeeeee!!
I have a very specific question that hopefully one of you more experience performers can answer. I always have used ultra-pure lamp oil and always will. I try to take things as slow as possible to avoid breathing in any atomized oil, breathe only through the nose etc. I perform pretty much never more than a half dozen times a year. Given all that, what is the risk of aspirating more than a negligible ("safe") amount of oil? (We're constantly exposed to nasty things, dioxin, chloroform, etc, but they all are below limits which are Generally Regarded As Safe). I really enjoy doing it, but I also don't want to mess up my lungs on top of the work I do as a chemist and just sort of all around pyro.
twenglish16 years ago
hey this is awesome i have done it a few times today and i think i may have swallowed some kerosene(a very little bit) should i get medical help or just ignore it
I am an experienced Fire Performer, member of the Grasshopper Fire Arts Collective, I have taught "Advanced Fire Breathing" at WildFire Fire Arts Training Retreat, and I also teach breathwork workshops without incorporating Fire. I have also been Fire Breathing for three years without a single burn or incident. That being said, perhaps you will listen to what I have to say...


1)DO NOT USE KEROSENE: "Ultra-Pure Lamp Oil" (that's the brand name), in the same family as Kerosene, but extremely purified. If you buy kerosene at the hardware store to breathe with, I sure hope you know a good Oncologist. I asked my local hardware store to order a case of Ultra-Pure for me, and after a few strange looks, they did.

2)Fire Breathing is a dangerous art - it REALLY helps to have the individualized attention of an experienced breather to help you minimize risk and maximize effect. Variables such as Aperture, Breath Power, Epiglottial engagement, Duration, and diaphragmatic breathing are NOT addressed in this article.

3)Torch: If you're breathing fire for the first time, you want the BEST materials - a first-time homemade torch is only going to increase the risk factor. Order a torch from www.Bearclawmfg.com or www.Copperheadfire.com

4)Injuries: There are serious and potentially fatal risks involved. Risk assessment and reduction are pivotal. Factors such as wind, lighting, safety training, emergency medical access, and more are NOT covered here. It is possible to burn off your face, scorch the inside of your lungs or worse landing you in a hospital bed if you practice this without proper safety training.

5)Alternative Fuels: The article does not mention this, but there has been conversation about 151 drinking alcohol. I advise against this as it will intoxicate you simply from being in your mouth. One breath, fine. But if you're looking to do a performance, it is an undeniable increase in risk factor to be breathing fire under the influence of alcohol - I don't care how well you hold your booze. Also, the viscosity of 151 is not equivalent to Lamp Oil making for less structured breaths and more challenging sustains. I have heard of people using olive oil with 151 successfully, but I have only witnessed failed attempts with this mixture.
While I do not use Isporopyl Alcohol (I prefer Ultra-Pure) I know of other Fire Artists who do use it for indoorfire-breathing. They say it is easier to control and does not leave behind nasty smells or smoke. Go put some on your finger and touch it to your tongue, that was enough for me to never even think of it - but if you can make it work, rock it out.

6)Responsibility: The author of this article displays a lack of responsibility, by informing people how to do something very dangerous without properly addressing the widely and professionally accepted safety concerns. If Safety First if true, why is it step number 6?

If you have questions for me, please feel free to contact me:
Gabriel [at] GrasshopperCollective.org

Peace, Love and Fire,
aka Little Dragon
Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/ThinkingUpwards

yeah, safety first not sixth
BTW, what are the stitches from?
As much fun as this looks, there are some SERIOUS injuries not covered, mainly blowback. There is always the chance that the aerated fuel goes back into your body and then burns up. Accidental inhalation post blow, not blowing hard enough, wind change... Go to www.homeofpoi.com and get their free video for an interview with a woman who had this happen, 8 weeks of coma, months of convalescence, years of therapy, permanent damage. Voice changes can occur over time, not to mention increased cancer risk. Next day you'll still reek of fuel. Talk to veteran fire performers, a lot of them won't touch the stuff, or if they do, it's on a rare occasion. p.s. Don't even think of adding heavy metal colourants to your fuel, I've seen that done and damn is that dumb.
i feel the suspicious need to do this t an ant hill
lol, u go get them ants :P i lit a fire on top of an ant hill at my house once. I think i killed most of them, but they just kept streaming out of the hole, and getting roasted ??? will they ever learn? :P
non dairy coffee creamer or powdered sugar work 2
Matt D6557 years ago
try spitting 151 rum at your flame stick
hi I've been fire breathing with paraffin for a year now and feel its too harmful to my body! I'm interested to know if you get the same effect with 151 rum and is the flash point high and if is do you find this a problem? thanks sorry so many questions.
bowmaster6 years ago
I would use altoids to get rid of the taste because you can make stuff out of the tins when you are done.
JohnJY6 years ago
Very cool Dustfinger (from the book Inkheart) but what brand wick did you use?
good book =]
gingertech6 years ago
1. Never play dragon and set anyone on fire <<<<
Radar2526 years ago
dude cool instructable but dont put solvents in ur mouth it can hurt you.
very cool:to the guy that said the torch is quality who cares what it looks like as if its not gonna be on fire any ways.
Rolla7 years ago
i have gotten so A LOT of requests saying "OMG! WILL YOU TEACH ME!?" on this video i posted : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt_mJcMEmW4

so i am going just going to direct them here to you instructable

YoungPyro197 years ago
Do you ever worry about accidently swallowing the kerosene? Can't the kerosene harm you if you swallow it, or no? I want to try this.
Matt D6557 years ago
Never put any kind of petroleum substance in your mouth, use 151 rum or whiskey
Rolla7 years ago
so just how illegal is this? can you legally do it on your own property? how about a park? in the street late at night? is there a permit required to do this? if so how old do you have to be to get the permit? thank you for your time!
Matt D655 Rolla7 years ago
none of the above it is illegal to do that unless you had some kind of license. -mcd
if its illegal do it more
ainemoire Rolla7 years ago
As already stated, if you're on private property you're essentially good to go - but I would advise considering insurance issues. Even if it's on your own property, if you have some friends over and one of them gets hurt, you're looking at a big liability mess. If you are in ANY sort of public space (park, street, etc.) you need to have a permit from the local Fire Marshal, and other city codes may come into play as well (varies from city to city). I'm fairly certain you'd have to be a minimum of 18 to obtain said permits. Some Fire Marshalls won't even consider it, regardless of your experience, preparedness, etc. (we have Great White to thank for that one). Also, all professional fire performers carry their own specific liability insurance (yes it's totally different from any other insurance like health, homeowners, etc.). Many also take the extra step of getting their pyrotechnics license as well.
Rolla ainemoire7 years ago
haha, i meet none of the qualifications
ainemoire Rolla7 years ago
suck! well, for one of them you'll just have to wait patiently... sadly, the rest involve money.
Rolla ainemoire7 years ago
lol, sweetness! where do you do it at?
ainemoire Rolla7 years ago
well, I used to perform at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, but now I just do private gigs.
Rolla ainemoire7 years ago
my friend wanted me to do it there but i fgured i'd get into some kind of trouble
lol nor do I and we are the 2 with the fire coming out of our mouths
i am using part of a collapsible fishing pole with a cotton ball on top and i just change the cotton ball when needed the cotton ball is held on by a bent up paper clip it is way more convenient because it can go from 6 inches to a foot and a half (it fits in your pocket or a sand which sized zip lock bag) and the best part about it is that the torch reeked of kerosene but the fishing pole has no scent of kerosene once you remove the cotton ball the fire breathing is a lot of fun because there are no deserted places in my town but i found that the best place to do it is this area where only stoners hang out, so there is usually an audience of people that are insanely impressed
meh - screwing around in your own yard is a bit more "unofficial" - just pointing out some of the risks.
yeah sorry I don't have any userpics uploaded yet! :)
but if you'd like to see some performance pics, go here:
thanks! :)
Tetranitrate (author)  Ministryofhate7 years ago
Rishnai Rolla7 years ago
Really, the question is how likely are your neighbors to call the cops? My neighbors would be at the fence with a camera and their kids saying "Oh look, the neighbor man's finally lost it! Stay back. Mijo, go get a fire extinguisher in case the wind shifts." If you do it in a park the cop might try to ticket you for open burning without a permit, reckless endangerment, or any other violation which tries to make stupidity a crime. I've had cops take model rockets before just to be assholes, and I've had cops tell me to take my potato cannon out to state land where only cows are around so I don't get a ticket for the noise. If you do it in the street you'll probably end up on the news even if it's not illegal. But no, you probably won't get arrested unless you live somewhere really uptight or do it near trees. And the fines around here aren't that high, so I'd just try it and see who stops me.
Rolla Rishnai7 years ago
Well I live in Fort Collins, Colorado so yes, everyone here is pretty badly stuck up
pyro13 Rolla7 years ago
I live in Longmont, Colorado, and my neighbors called the cops on me. turns out its not illegal, but they made me stop because they were :concerned for my safety. *sigh* people these days
Rishnai Rolla7 years ago
Ouch, man. I've done some stuff there. Here in Denver, if you do anything pyro-like downtown, the cops are all over you, but if you go out to the suburbs, you're okay, probably. Last I met them the Fort Collins cops wouldn't have arrested me for this, but maybe stay on private property just to be safe. Maybe way out east on county road 14 if you feel the compulsion to do it somewhere else. Last I saw, that was pretty deserted.
Rolla Rishnai7 years ago
Still is pretty deserted, only farm land and field, but that is A WAYS AWAY from where i live, I'm over by Fort Collins High School
Rishnai Rolla7 years ago
Ah. The old distance issue. Well good luck with your firebreathing experiments, wherever you try 'em!
Kuhan Rishnai7 years ago
my neighbors would call the fire department. or rather, they did...
u can aply to get a busking permit if you take a circus corse in fire and have the corect safety gear, i have none of these however, after perfecting my chosen fire acts i just do privet party's and make shore the host signs a disclaimer
well i have no intention of taking a course, this will probably be a couple week hobby that i do a lot then forget about it till a party comes around
Rolla7 years ago
that exact gallon of kerosene is now $ 9.07 at my ace hardware
now let us all thank this gentleman for our awesome avatar pics. Thank you.
Tetranitrate (author)  Ministryofhate7 years ago
Wow, there are people out there as crazy as me ... Awesome!
Hi I just signed up and wanted to say U have the best instructsables
just wondering, Where did you learn how to do this?? i think its really brilliant, i will most likely set my face on fire... but i wont hold it against you. :)
Tetranitrate (author)  Molly Malevolent7 years ago
50% internet 50% trial and error (That last 50% hurts)
tetranitrate I understand your point but safety nerds are rife in the internet and I was ondering how in the hell you managed for that photo to be taken in daylight, the detail in the fire's great... I used to be a bit of a pyro and experimented with fire breathing in my opinion kerosene is far less dangerous than pure alcohol which burns, gives ya cotton mouth , ignites a bit too fast for my liking and can put ya blind for a few minutes if swallowed... Kerosene is not that dangerous to your system and is reccomended as a worm prevention by drinking one small cup a day as it's hydrocarbons are undigestable or some such.... What's your preference on afters, mint aint much use but milk and bread sem good, any others. Also last thing have you tried fire hands?, the idea is to create a glove which outside of acts as a wick andthe inside is heatproof. my ovenglove coated in flexible exhaust joint paste and wrapped in tea towels was quite fun but the material has to be really absorbent or dense to keep the flame from burning as big as in a torch.
for the after beverage. diet cherry coke. I'm not kidding :)
It's not a bad one, also most energy drinks like boost or redbull help...
all_thumbs9 years ago
Ah, yes, safety.

When I fooled around teaching myself breathing fire, I figured out/thought about the following safety precautions:
  • Use 100% pure paraffine oil rather than kerosen, as (I think) the latter may contain all kinds of things you don't want to know about.
  • Clothing may act as wicks, making you burn more easily. Paraffine oil on bare skin does not ignite as readily.
  • Do not underestimate/forget the danger of "chemical pnemonia"! That is, it is probably much more harmful to get paraffine oil into your lungs than into your stomach.
  • Don't do this when drunk.
With a big torch, fire-breathing might be possible with wheat flour. I have tried this, but failed. Someone else might succeed.
I know you guys are using kerosene, but why not use alcohol? Wouldn't a mouthful of Jack, or Everclear give you a good enough fireball, without the risk of ingesting harmful chemicals? Worse thing that happens with Jack, is you might get a little drunk!! A little sidenote, I saw on one of those true videos shows, a guy trying to blow a fireball using gasoline. I laughed my ass off! Why? If he was dumb enough to use gasoline, he deserved to get laughed at. At least you are using a flammable with a high flashpoint.
alcohol burns EXTREMELY hot and is incredibly dangerous to use. Don't even think about it unless you want 3rd or even 4th degree burns and to possibly end up getting killed.
i did it with many things: wheat flower funnel cake mix pancake mix powdered sugar baking powder(not baking soda) and im sure there are many more
Using the same principle as a grain dust explosion? I never thought of firebreathing that way, but back in high school me and my buddies would light fires in an old metal drum and have fun spraying various powders into them and watch the fireballs. Powdered milk was fun, and non-dairy creamer does kind of an interesting ember thing inthe air right before it fireballs.
yah like i said before you can use the same principle for fire breathing. and you don't have to worry about putting that dangerous stuff in your mouth
I'll have to try that! I assume that you have to put a lot in your mouth, so your spit doesn't soak it and turn it to nonflammable goo?
yah pretty much, but if you dry your mouth out first you wont need as much and you will get the hang of it the first times i tried it i started choking on the powdered sugar lol! just when you put it in your mouth breath through your nose
Tetranitrate (author)  all_thumbs9 years ago
Paraffine oil is kerosene, they are the exact same thing, its just paraffin is the UK term for it. You are right though, you only want to use 100% paraffin oil / kerosene because any impurities can make you really sick And yes I probably should mention something about chemical pnemonia, you are right that it is actually more harmful to get this stuff into your lungs then your stomach. Its also known as firebreathers pnemonia, probably because no other hobby requires putting dangerous chemical in your mouth.
Umm I have several hobbies that do... My favourite is called under the kitchen sink shots...

I have you to thank for getting me back in to fireblowing again... After the incident I had stopped and now I've started after seeing your two 'ibles float around for so long...
again kero is different than paraffin. kero is a carcinogenic and paraffin means its just oily fuel. you want to use Ultra-pure lamp oil it doesn't cause cancer
glenderson7 years ago
Here is my two cents from fire breathing for a number of years: -only use paraffin oil, high proof alcohol gets you drunk, not a good idea (I have experimented with other fuels like veggie oil which crackles and smells like French fries) -practice fire safety, a marine fire extinguisher isn't a bad idea for fuel fires, water doesn't help too much, only spreads the fuel out -a towel to wipe the mouth is pivotal, its a mistake most make, each time you breath you need to wipe your mouth of excess fuel -don't breath back in afterwards, you can scorch your lungs if the fire blows back -its dangerous, duh, use extreme caution. Just as a heads up this can be considered illegal in some states in the US (open flame law I think), I've been warned for blowing fire for a friends show near a street
Tetranitrate (author)  glenderson7 years ago
Good advice, thanks!
Glenderson has some excellent pointers here. I would like to add another consideration: fuel inhalation. Somewhat similar to what he points out with breathing back in after a blow - but it doesn't have to necessarily be ignited to damage your lungs. A long time, very talented and very responsible fire performer nearly died after an incident like this. It goes to show that even if you're at the top of the game, accidents still happen.
ainemoire7 years ago
Hey kiddo. I'm sure you're just trying to figure this all out, and you've made some progress obviously. But I have got to say, and for the sake of other people who are trying to do the same thing: This is pretty inaccurate instruction. I'm a professional fire manipulator. The methods explained in this post only cover about 25% of what you need to know before engaging in this art. Not only are some major safety issues and risks not covered, but barely anything of proper technique is discussed. Also, never ever EVER do any fire stunts without a trained safety spotter with you. All that being said, I would very much like to open up a discussion on this topic. If anyone has questions, I'd be glad to talk. I can't promise I'll give away all of the "tricks of the trade," but I'm more than happy to talk.
Just a little tip I picked up. One thing I like to do is take a tube sock and cut the top off, soak it in water, and wear it like an arm band, a) it's good practice to wipe your mouth between shots in general and b) I've heard facial hair makes an excellent wick... Sometimes it just takes a few seconds too long to grab a towel.
OK, someone may have discussed this already. ... but from all the research I did prior to "eating fire" and my own experiences, petroleum naptha is best to use for eating fire, and kerosene is best for blowing fire... many physics laws behind these principles. as far as laws, arguing with police can be interesting, but mainly as long as the fire is on a "stick" in your hand and going into your mouth, and you are on private property, there are really no laws about sticking a flaming stick in your mouth. However, as I learned, lighting a pool of water on fire IS illegal within city limits as it is then considered an "open flame"
teamcoltra7 years ago
Wouldn't hard-A be better since there are things in kerosene that you don't want to drink. I am pretty sure it says somewhere "don't ingest", and if it gets in your mouth you WILL ingest some.
Treupp7 years ago
There's one, pretty important thing that's missing. First-hand experience. Always breathe fire upwards. Never aim at the ground, as the flame will bounce back right in your face.
hydrnium.h27 years ago
There is an instructable telling you how to low flames WITHOUT using dangerous/explosive/not healthy things like kerosen. You just blow flour or corn starch (particle explosion) , and you won't be swallowing something best left outside the body.
Rolla7 years ago

so what am i doing wrong? the flame isn't quite as big as in your video
Tetranitrate (author)  Rolla7 years ago
It is just a matter of adjusting your technique and the amount of kerosene you use. Small things, like the direction of the wind, will make a big difference.
do you think it could be from how much i press my lips together?
prank7 years ago
the way I learned was to practice in front of a bathroom mirror. From about 3 feet away, take some water in your mouth and blow towards the mirror. You want a fine mist on the mirror, with no big droplets that run down the mirror. Keep practicing until the mirror is covered with tiny little drops, and no big drops or streaks in there.
Sandisk1duo7 years ago
The last photo in 7th step looks like you are projecting those flames with your mind
Tetranitrate (author)  Sandisk1duo7 years ago
Who says I'm not.
you actually did step No. 5
Tetranitrate (author)  Sandisk1duo7 years ago
Or did I ...
hi, great 'ible as always just a suggestion on making the torch... i'm planning on making a fire staff soon (i've had the plans for a while and have just got some pipe from an old clothes rack so i just need the wick)in my plans, i'm using metal pipe with a dowel inside it, wrap the wick on the pipe, drill through both, put dowel in the middle then use screws with washers to go through the wick and pipe and attach to dowel. i think it would hold better and probably look neater than wraping it and tucking it into itself. also, you said about ebay for the wick, but a good place if youre in the uk is firetoys.co.uk
depayton7 years ago
Using petroleum based fluids in your mouth is crazy. You will die if you do this. We use a grain alcohol called "Everclear" which is combustible and safe to ingest if you accidentally swallow it. I can't believe there are people who are stupid enough to do this.
Grain alcohol is FAR too combustible for fire blowing. You'll change your tune when someone catches a bad draft the fumes ignite down there windpipe. Seen it happen. Interior 3rd degree burns are not a fun thing to watch. Kerosene (or better yet, liquid paraffin/pure lamp oil) only ignites when atomized and will only give you the runs if you swallow it.
altoidsrox7 years ago
Recently, my biggest struggle is to make a torch that can be kept in a pocket for easy transport. I've had some success with a laser pointer shell which I water-proofed (or rather kero-proofed) filled with kero and with a cotton wick out the hole, but I've found the kero burns out too quickly. If anyone has any suggestions...
Take a zippo wick (around 50p), some lighter fluid and make a small torch with a cap, make a ring at the top of the zippo wick and it should keep lit enough to do the job, or a souped up lighter works under dire need...
Try attaching a wick to the end of a collapsible pocket sized pointer.
grungehead9 years ago
correct me if im wrong but you said nothing remotely flammable around you , 20 feet infront or above you ; yet i see a clothesline above you and a nice wooden house... :|
Tetranitrate (author)  grungehead9 years ago
That is just the way the photo came out. The clothesline is a few feet behind my head and the house is 10 ft to my left. I also was paying attention to the direction of the wind. Im not sure if you can tell but in the first few times in the video I was facing the other direction, and the wind pulled it back towards me, so I changed direction.
Lol, I noticed that in the video. The way you changed direction after it blew back at you. Also you are very lucky, in the third picture on this step those flames came very close to your face. Oh yeah and you mentioned in the intro you like being told how crazy you are, well I'm not going to get over the fact that you make touch powder anytime soon. I know of a person who blew off a hand doing that and ever since it has always seemed too risky for me. Lol, thanks for the instructable it was very good.
dude i have been fire breathing for over a year now and have continued to master several other fire acts thing is u have forgotten one of the key factors in fire breathing, always do it facing away from the wind, i learnt this the hard way much to displeasure of my girlfriend who is regularly complaining about my uneven eye brow growth
Tetranitrate (author)  born-renegade7 years ago
Actually, I didn't forget that part. If you are going to attempt dangerous projects, such as this, than you should make sure to read the directions very carefully before you begin.
Kweltan7 years ago
Hi, recently i tried fire-breathing using cornflour and a fire-lighter on a skewer, it worked perfectly (after about twenty attempts). But after reading these comments i have to ask, will using cornflour/icing sugar etc. cause any illnesses/cancers or anything along those lines???? Stupidly i didnt take into account the fact that taking risks like these are seriously dangerous before attempting amateur fire-breathing. BTW Great Instructable!!!!!!!!!
if any thing the kerosene will be worse for you
twenglish17 years ago
cool instructable just one thing when you are doing this make sure your not blowing it into the wind or the fire will come right back in your face
Thats a awesome intruduction picture.
--Thatguy--8 years ago
i couldnt help but say that wtf r u thinking? telling people to put kerosene in their mouths??? the fumes damage your brain worse than a cigarrette. try mixing it with water just enough so its still flammable, im a firetwirler and i know firebreathers, they never use kerosene, anyways, the last pic is completely awesome
ciggarettes dont dammage your brain they damage your lungs now crack on the other hand...
You are 1 of those people who should not attempt this. As you believe cigarettes do no brain damage, it seems you have been inhabiting a deep, dark hole for a very long time and are likely surprised to learn that man has even made fire.
what else do they use?
ajmontag7 years ago
i use toilet paper as my wicking material. it works great, and produces a big flame. i screw it on instead of nailing, makes for easier removal. try it!
nate711737 years ago
thank you! great instructable! i used to do this with 101, and sometimes rubbing alcohol. i had to abandon the practice altogether. let me stress, DO NOT TRY EITHER. it leaves a terrible raw mouth, and peeling skin. remember that even if u took a straight shot of 101 it just goes over the tongue and down the gullet. the inside of the cheeks are MUCH more sensitive. even when only holding for 2-3 seconds. thanks again.
Corin7 years ago
haha i would never use kerosene to breathe fire! the one thing i use is pure lamp oil and you can get at at walmart for like 3 bucks for a pretty big bottle. and the good thing about lamp oil is that is has no taste but its the consistency of vegetable oil. but make sure to wipe your mouth after you breathe becuause one of my friends got a bad chemical burn down his neck from it.
i can get a mist realy easy but i will always get full drops of the stuff when im spraying what am i going wrong?
*doing sorry and what should i do if i accedntly swallow a little bit?
Did you actually swallow some?! :O
Oh no :O What day did you swallow it?
Tobita Sunbanks7 years ago
lol, ever watch atlantis? the bit where the demo guy plays a prank on milo?
Sunbanks Tobita7 years ago
quent7 years ago
What could be a more healtier alternative than kerosene? like alcohol or somethin, everclear sounds pretty good, anything else?
Heywasup7 years ago
Do your parents know wat u do? And if they do wat happened or wat did they say. Do they encourage u?
i have succeded with powdered sugar. just get a flame and blow away. ive gotten a mouthful and blown three times, hardly any danger of being burned. unless your hair catches on fire like mine.... but im still anxious about trying fluid but sugar works great. supposedly flour and cornstarch work too, but i think powdered sugar would taste the best. note: powdered sugaris also known as icing sugar.
tron1o77 years ago
lol i acctually got it to work a couple times :D. i guess soon i will be ready to go get a job at the local carnival lol
zamirii7 years ago
grain alcohol is not the best to use as a fire breathing fuel. It's got one of the highest possibility of blowback. I haven't tried white gas for breathing but it works well for fire-eating and my firetoys. (poi, staff, fans). To be brutally honest, there isn't a "safe" fuel to use and i would definately recommend having a small ABC extinguisher handy. the kids will do it cause they think they're invincible (we all felt that way at their age(s). Adult performers take safety very seriously, not only our own which most of the comments seem to be going on about... but also extremely important is the safety of the audience. If someone gets hurt or property damage - depending on what happens can result in fines, lawsuits, or jail time. not to mention that if something does happen, you and anybody else that wants to do fire there could get banned.
altoidsrox7 years ago
Well, I practiced this alot this weekend and my beautiful face is still beautiful! I found www.homeofpoi.org very helpful as well. Also, one change I made is that I used 100% ultra-pure lamp oil which is uber expensive, but according to the chemical breakdown sheets provided by the manufacturer, it has far fewer cancer-causing chemicals than kerosene. Guys, be safe, be smart, and have lots of fun with this!
altoidsrox7 years ago
First off, I am definitely going to try this this weekend. Secondly, I do agree that www.homeofpoi.com is definitely more thorough, however, if one is serious enough about this, as I am, they would have read at least most of the comments. As per the horror stories, thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of people die a year due to car accidents, some of which are caused by drunk people. Do you question getting in your car to get to work the next day? Usually not. Now, this is NOT to say that this has a much higher possibility for injury, but if done correctly with correct safety equipment, then, like any other stunt-type activity (motocross, bungee jumping, hell, even playing football) you will LOWER your chances of getting hurt. This Instructable IS NOT telling you that this is a safe activity, it is just telling you a SAFER way to accomplish it. There are always bad things that can happen, but if you don't do anything daring, then where's the fun? If you want to be 100% safe, never leave your home, make sure that your house meets 120% of building code standards and build a nuclear safety bunker in your basement to hide in in case of alien/communist attacks, but other than that, there are always things that could go wrong, and it's better to be prepared for them then to try to pretend they could never happen. PS: Fricken hilarious statement! "Just remember this, the next time you are eating breakfast and are about to take a sip of hot coffee, you need to ask yourself, is it worth it?"
cant you use alchahol too?
I'm pretty sure u can use vodka
qualia7 years ago
soo.. would absinthe be any good? or would it have a lower flash point than kerosene? or vice versa...? anyways.. enlighten me whether i should try this or if it would be wasting good absinthe or being likely to blowback possibly.. (btw love the "a blowback did kill my father and rape my mother..." comment u put. very entertaining.)
hippojoe7 years ago
That picture is freakin' awesome. It looks kind of like a fist of fire.
pyro137 years ago
this looks awsome and i probably will try... but on the kerosene jug at the store(same brand as yours) it says that kerosene is harmful or fatal if swallowed. how easily will you be poisoned and what fuels might be safer? i also heard that this stuff gives you cancer and/or ulcers. I would love to do this though, especially for Halloween. Your faithful Pyro13
can it be done axe body spray
you shouldnt..its a spray, right? (i live in australia..no "axe"). although it might work well as a fuel, you have to spray for a while to get a sufficient pool of fuel, and youll end up inhaling potentially deadly amounts of propellant (as well as anything else in the fluid, like things to make it odourless/scents)
yeah you can make a flamethrower from it and if you spray it on your hand you can light it. a really cool effect can be made if you spray it untill there is almost a little pool of axe but only in your palms and cup your hands before you light it then it looks like ur holding a fireball
A.C.E. berky938 years ago
will it burn up ur hands? u would think it would.
berky93 A.C.E.8 years ago
actually it doest burn your hand if you only leave it for a second, because it is burning the axe not your flesh, but (and im not positive cause im too much of a wuss to try) if you leave it too long, it will burn through the axe and start on your hand.
It does burn your hand. Not a good idea. And believe me, I've tried.
Ive done it too. if you only leave it for a second, it will not burn your hand, while its still burning the axe. but if you leave it, it will burn you. its better the more you use, because then it has a cooler flame and is less likely to get through quickly. ALWAYS HAVE A BUCKEYT OF WATER OR SOME WAY TO DOUSE THE FLAME NEARBY
haha very good tip, I burned myself very badly lighting axe in my hand :P =] and no water was anywhere in sight so I was dying haha
Hm. Maybe it does work then. I've tried it with deodorant meths and lighter fuel. And they all burned me. Flash paper is cool because that doesn't burn you at all.
thanks but i tryed to spray it into my mouth it tastes so horrible plus when its mixed with spit it won't light so then i tryed it with pure boozes because i was at a bond fire a a guy coughed out some bozes it was really cool
Tetranitrate (author)  -envyswrath-8 years ago
You actually sprayed axe in your mouth?
hi, i am looking to make 20 torches for a ceremony. how long do they burn. Derrick
yeah not the best idea ive had so far
actualli i meant holding the flame infront of the can and spraying.
yeah i know that its prety cool
I'm somewhat new to fire eating and breathing and I have a question if you guys would be so kind to answer. first of all I've heard of this stuff called safex pyrofluid is this safer than most fluids such as carosine or other such fluids. I'm a magician who wants to put fire eating and or breathing into his act but is cautious about what lighter fluid to use if you can help me out.
kerosene is just as safe to you (and onlookers) as the safex pyrofluid fs...both dont taste spectacular, but any of those two is your safest bet. unrelated: can you put up some instructables for magic? :P
does most of the kerosene evaporate in your mouth? it would seem harmful to have a little bit in there..
snipegoat7 years ago
the kinda thing happens if you eat saltienes and gum
andy607 years ago
"Its also safer then you might imagine for a few reasons, the first is that kerosene (The liquid used to breathe fire) has a high flash point, meaning its not an extremely flammable liquid, I have put matches out in cups of kerosene. It ignites because you make it into a mist (aspirating) when you spray it from your mouth. Another reason is as long as there is sufficient pressure the flames will stay a safe distance from your face." I totaly agree, metal is the same way. you have to grind it in to a powder before it will burn.
aha so that explains why i couldint get a solid pice of magnesim to light but when i ground it into small bits it flamed!
Very well done. I'll have my favorite wife standing by with a hose and a fire extinguisher ready to go. One thing I've learned from my professional fireworks experience is that 100% cotton is flame resistant. If I wasn't wearing my NOMEX fire suit, I'd dress in jeans and a long sleeve 100% cotton shirt, good gloves, and I'd wrap my head and neck in old tee shits. If you do so, make sure the cotton is tight to the skin and nothing is left dangling or loose. I'd only go to all this trouble the first few live attempts, or until I felt comfortable. Even after that, I'll wear glasses and gloves, but I'm a safety nerd. I'll post some photos after I pull it off. What self respecting pyro would puss out of this?
wool is more fire resistant than cotton, MUCH more.
ionix unjust8 years ago
i believe it was even used as a fire suit back in the olden days... after watching some documentary not too long ago about it... i remember them saying they would light themselves on fire using gunpowder flashes as a scare tactic during wars...
Royal2000H8 years ago
Can someone experienced comment how the cornstarch technique works?
bedbugg28 years ago
old tee whats!!!
the only thing i wan t to know is how bad kerosene tastes
Pyro458 years ago
correct me if I'm wrong, but can't u just use alcohol. I don't know much about it, but I think that if it has a high percent of alcohol in it it is flamable enough to ignite. It would be safer than kerosene and taste better. But then again why waste perfectly good booze.
BlueFusion8 years ago
As always Tetranitrate, absolutely awesome. I just might try this.
outdoorsman8 years ago
how long do those torches last and can you still used them after a couple of days if you have not lit them yet
gyromild8 years ago
if theres an award for coolest instructables photo, this would be it..
camscam8 years ago
Why is everybody trippin'? The guy is just posting an instructable on the subject. He says how he does this, not that YOU SHOULD. Its up to you to decide what to do with the info. Its just like if you met some one on the street and told you about their project. I get sick of people complaining about how people don't post all the safety data or whatever like they are implying the post should get taken down. If you have safety advice just post it and don't act like knowledge is a crime.
well if you are going to post safety you cannot post all of it as there is to much I know this as I am a fire performer
LinuxH4x0r8 years ago
Match/Torch/lighter/etc + WD40!! Nice Instructable
Mosh2k28 years ago
How long did you practice with water before moving to fuel?
pyrophage8 years ago
I've been breathing/eating fire for about 7 years, frequently with facial hair. As long as you're using Kerosene/Lamp Oil you have to do something actively stupid to catch yourself on fire. Save the milk for after the fireball to get the foul, foul taste of fuel out of your mouth.
its good to know i probably wont get cut playing with fire i was worried for a sec
no offense but your torch is kind of poor quality
Tetranitrate (author)  hippieofvenus8 years ago
That was just a photo demonstrating the process of building one. When I wrote this instructable I already had a torch, and since I didn't want to build another one just yet, I quickly scrapped those pieces together for the photo.
the best thing to carry fuel in is MSR containers which can be purchased at any camping supply place
If you extinguish your torch before it burns out the wicking will last longer
ok I'm with pyromaniac on this now Tetranitratesays watch this and tell me what you have to say to this Interview with Pele
or if that doesn't work go here Interview with pele
som3thing8 years ago
i have tried this many a time with methalated spirits being extreemly carefull to not enhale or drink any which was pretty easy with little mouthfulls.. but its tastes like shit.. yes thats right metho tastes like shit its because hobos would buy it and drink it for a cheap drunk so companies started putting a foul taste detterent in it, so i was experimenting with lots of differnet flammable chemicals to see which dont taste terrible and it just so turns out that turps (mineral turpintine) used as a paint thinner, dosent taste at all! i am serious it just like having vegatable oil in your mouth its great, but i havent researched the toxixity of turps OR how good it is for firebreathing so could sombody please clear this up for me??? Cheers Tim
you should not use any fuel except lamp oil. Turpentine and paint thinner are extremely toxic. They will also cause cancer. Lamp oil is your best bet for safety and It is rather tasteless. Just bye Ultra-pure lamp oil. The unscented stuff
Cyrus som3thing8 years ago
hey man I'm not positive on this one but I think turpentine is pretty carcinogenic. I'm not sure on this one but as with any chemical your working with you should at least look up the Material Data Safety Sheet(MSDS) on it. Also where are you from I love the landscape looks a lot like either Louisiana or Mississippi.
som3thing Cyrus8 years ago
haha well you would be surpized i acutally found the msds prior to trying it and it ddidn't mention anything out of the ordinary.. but i think i will keep away from it after doing some kero + turps mix it stings even non sensitive skin and makes your lips do a little shudder when you smile, its quite strange realy. BAHA once again you would be surprized to know that its not even a state in america, funnily enough its beautiful australia, im an aussie lol isn't it great how instructables is more than a single culture community. a couple were shot in my backyard and the ones you commented on were shot on a bike track just west of my house. Adios Tim
I do fire breathing my self and you are showing the wrong fuel and people are going to hurt them selves now I would suggest telling them to use Lamp Oil don't say paraffin or kerosene because paraffin just means it has an oily characteristic kerosene is also a carcinogenic like all hydrocarbons so don't tell them to use any other fuel. Lamp oil is much safer and does not cause cancer. It also only burns under certain conditions and those are when in a mist or when its been heated such as on the wicking of a lamp. I'm not meaning to tear you down but I am actually trying to help people
When I started playing with this way back when, I used slightly largish wire roughly as thick as a wire coat hanger, though ripped out of a fastener for headstone pieces (hey, they were 5 cents a piece on clearance.. sooner or later, everyone needs thick metal wire for something or the other). At first I sewed the wick on, but the threat tended to burn really easily if lit very long. I tried sewing them on with thread from the actual wick (cheapish wick, not the kevlar glass fiber hyper teflon snakebite wick) which worked slightly better but eventually fell apart. Someone told me to try gluing it on with elmers or school glue (that cheap arts/crafts stuff kids use) and it worked amazingly well, it seems to harden together more the hotter it gets rather then burn. I've even used that with plain gauze rather then wick for additional and bigger/smaller torches and it's so far never failed me - they're still laying around somewhere. I used some for years, although probably like weekly or so - I'm not a pro by any means it's more of something I do once in a while when bored. Safety is certainly a big concern, I've burned myself a few times though not real bad, at best things that hurt for a week or so - no hospital stuff. I think as long as people are willing to realize and really be realistic about the risks, it's ok to take them at ones own discretion. It is important that people do realize that getting burned is a part of fire eating/breathing/rubbing on oneself/whatnot shows, it's possible nothing really bad will happen but the kind of burns one might get from dipping a finger in candle wax or bumping a hand against a hot stove (i.e. the "ouch goddammit!" kind) are next to inevitable, if that's not cool with you then don't.
knexlover8 years ago
never mind
Tetranitrate (author)  knexlover8 years ago
Well now I wish I read this comment first.
finally got a video up
this is me and my best mate michael breathing fire
hope you like it
(im tim the one in the the black shirt)

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/cQaUSRijqtQ"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/cQaUSRijqtQ" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

oh and also, turps is alright for firebreathing but it stings the sensitive skin in your mouth
so add a dash or 2 to kero and you get a increased flash point but not by much, its good for tuning your flames

awwr it didn't work

wait a tick

knexlover8 years ago
is cornstarch or karosene safer?
Tetranitrate (author)  knexlover8 years ago
Cornstarch is much much safer, but far less powerful. Pointless piggy posted a video in the comments of her using cornstarch.
qwerty8 years ago
i used to do this all the time with corn starch i had to stop thought cause i accidentally burned this dudes tent down
Metrokillah8 years ago
Hello. phidauex has described well the basics of firebreathing but Im sure for the younger and excitable readers there has not been a full heads up (I.E. SAFETY talk), About a decade and a half ago I was taught the basics of proper firebreathing or "atomisation and ignition" as it was shown to me. It involves the pursing of your mouth as you consistently blow and atomise the fuel (Blowing VERY HARD and evenly) while taking a good even torch quickly and smoothly AWAY from your fuel mist. The first fuel I used was "BARBEQWIK" barbeque fuel which was a paraffin/kerosene based one so I guessed all barbeque fuel was the same. IT IS NOT. I tried, after the initial success, to use a couple of different brands of barbeque lighter fluid and !!HEY!! most barbeque fluid/gels are highly chemically toxic and dont burn or are very hard to burn in atomisation and that stuff hurt me very badly. I learnt to use the right stuff, like coleman gas or refined paraffin if you can get it. Incidentally the person who taught me, a few years later very seriously burnt his lungs and ended up in ER after accidentally swallowing a VERY SMALL amount of some unlit fuel (all fuel is toxic). I hope that anyone interested will understand that this is not a game and will be with a competent person who has REALLY worked with fire, before accidentally doing a "full burn" or stripping their lung capillaries by mistake. I was taught well but everyone is fallible and only EVER attempt firebreathing when SOBER and with multiple smart compadres to put you out and whizz you to the Accident and Emergency. Its not really that cool.
carbon8 years ago
Reminds me of the "hydrogen beer" that was floating around in Japan. Someone would drink a lot of the stuff, burp the gas out, and light it with their cigarette. There's a story about a guy that inhaled his cigarette. Boom.
sucks to be him think it was an urban legend, tho
Yes it was indeed, courtesy of the Darwin Awards.
Doveman carbon8 years ago
a spray bottle is more dangerouse because the fire can go back in the bottel and exploude.
nope, that's unlikely. First, the stuff coming out of the spray bottle is liquid and propellant. It's the butane propellant that burns, and if there's only propellant and droplets of stuff, there's no oxygen. I think you meant that the flame can melt the plastic fittings on the can and make a leak which can catch fire. Which then burns down, mixing oxygen with the propellant THEN it plodes, but not as fast as you think
zako8 years ago
i work at a circus a i firebreath alot. i do like how u made the tourch but i was taught by pros if enyone is going to try this the i recomend having someone that has a car that can take u to the nearest hospital if enything gos rong. also have a glass of milk before so it will line your stomach.. enyway nice keep safe!!!!
propgod zako8 years ago
I agree with zako I have been eating and breathing fire for many year and it is very dangerous it is something that should not be learn from a website but from a pro. I know I am not any of your mothers and I can't stop you so if you want to learn by yourself check out brian brushwoods book at http://www.youcaneatfire.com/ it has alot of info in it. Be Safe
16bit8 years ago
That last picture of yours is probably the most buetiful thing i have ever seen...
Tetranitrate (author)  16bit8 years ago
I'm a DRAGON. Emmy wished on a dragon's scale and that's what started dragon tales Around the room the dragons flew but Emmy and Max knew what to do. They climbed on the backs of their dragon friends And now the adventure never ends. Dragon Tales, Dragon Tales, it's almost time for Dragon Tales. Come along, Take my hand, let's all go to Dragon Land. There's Ord, he's the biggest; not too brave of heart. There's Cassey, so shy; also very smart. There's Zack and Weezy who are tales of fun, 'Cause you know that two hears are better than one. Dragon Tales, Dragon Tales, it's almost time for Dragon Tales. Come along, Take my hand, let's all go to Dragon Land.
thanks to all my friends and proffessionals for not suing me... most of the first pics are with corn starch.. dry fuel = "safer"
it's only flamable when you breathe it out into a cloud. the flame only ignites the dust particles in the air... it'll leave you with a lovely white smile, and leave a wonderful tasting paste in your mouth, but you don't have to worry so much about wiping your face, or inhaling..
is corn starch the same as corn flower? and do u mix it with water?
sorry, i had the url from myspace...

i have bin called insane many many times (inumerable times) but i believe i have to give that title to you becase that is amazing your humbled predesesor to the title insane mcshane
Jurred8 years ago
Well I'm 16 and I have been blowing fire since I was around 13 or 14 I first did it by filling my mouth with the gas from a lighter, but I soon moved up to actualy fire blowing, I have exparimented with different compinations, and I found that if you really dislike the tast of what ever liquid your using, what you can do is mix in about a table spoon of MD which makes it takes a little better but you still get a strange fealing in your mouth. Also, I don't know about you but when I first started blowing fire, I would wipe the remaining liquid from my mouth using just the shirt I was wearing at the time, not only is this highly dangerous but its also extremly bad for your skin, I use tiki tourch fluid when I do it, I just found a certain type of it that tasts alot better, anyways... if your skin comes incontact with the fluid to long, you will end up with a nasty rash which could result in some medical problems, none being all the serious but they are quite an inconvenience. I have also found that depending on how you spray the fire from your mouth, you can get some really cool shapes from the fire! I would also like to add that I myself have never been burned by blowing fire, except for a missing eyebrow last summer, but a close firend of mine was seriously injured because he didn't take the proper safety measurse, so I would recomend befor trying it even once that you resurch the proper steps and prosedurs.
Bonzo Jurred8 years ago
But if the liquid causes a rash when coming in contact with your skin, won't it do the same in your mouth?
Tetranitrate (author)  Bonzo8 years ago
The my kerosene soaked flask was in my pocket against my skin for hours. Ideally the kerosene will be in your mouth for no longer then 10 seconds at a time. That being said it is not ideal to have the kerosene come in contact with any part of your body for longer then a few minutes.
not many people know this, but there is an even safer alternative to lamp oil.. powdered corn starch can give you a pretty decent flame... i do it all the time!
dkfa8 years ago
hey you should just take a spray bottle and do it its safer and better
Altromer5218 years ago
I would recommend keeping the fuel in something like glass or metal, if for some reason the fuel is ignited it will melt threw a plastic container and go all over the floor (I've herd stories about this), I would for sure keep it in a glass or metal container while breathing anywhere near it. I do like how you mentioned labeling the container, that is very important. Also wire coat hangers, or metal shishkabob scewers work great for the torches, then you won't have to worry about wood getting burned and whatnot, it also seem to me that they are much easier to make, just wrap your wick around it sew it, and bend the end up to ensure the wick wont fly off while preforming.(I can post a pic of it if you'd like.
Grain Alcohol = Bad. The second time I practiced with fire breathing it was with 100+ proof grain alchohol. It burned way to quick and started to come back to me. Luckily, I only slightly scorched the inside of my mouth before I blew it all out. Still, the taste of mouth charcoal is enough was enough for me to stop trying to do something half-assed.
Kold_Fusion8 years ago
i will tell you this.... THAT ROCKED.
phidauex8 years ago
Just a few additions from an experienced fire performer...

First, fire breathing really is dangerous. I know when you are young it doesn't seem like anything is dangerous, but this is. That said, if you really understand the dangers, you can work to mitigate them.


Kerosene is not the best choice for fuel, though it isn't terrible. Alcohol is a bad idea, it burns too fast, and after the first couple shots, you're drunk. Drunk + fire = hurt people. And finally, alcohol is low energy, and makes puny flames. And who wants that?

The "safest" fuel is Ultra Pure Lamp Oil. Lamplighter Farms brand is good, though others work too. Associates of mine have actually spoken with the distillery plant managers, and they let us know that their Ultra Pure Lamp Oil is distilled to the same level of purity as their Food Grade mineral oil sold at drugstores (as a laxative). They are pure aliphatic hydrocarbons (meaning straight chains, not toxic, instead of branched or ring hydrocarbons, which are toxic, and which give lighter fluid and kerosene their distinctive smells, lamp oil has no odor). Its burn characteristics are like Kero though, needs to be atomized for a good burn, and high energy content for large pillars.

Practice is critical. If you fill your mouth with water, then spray out anything other than a fine mist without drips down your chin, you need to keep practicing. In reality, you may never get perfect, but your mist should be very fine, with few drops, and no streams, and very little dribble down the chin. Focus on small blasts at first, its easier to control. As you get better, try to maintain a fine mist for a longer period of time. If you can do a three-count consistent mist, you are in good shape.

You should have a damp wipe cloth in one hand, like a damp wash cloth. Get in the habit of:

take a deep breath and hold it
fill your mouth with fuel
spray a mist over the torch flame (not the torch head)
pull away the torch as you spray fuel, for maximum fireball size
shut off the fuel flow when blowback gets too close, or if you start to dribble or 'squirt'

Frequent face wiping keeps you clean, and keeps you safer. I cringe whenever I see inexperienced breathers with fuel soaked shirts and faces. I can breathe for an hour and not have anything more than a slippery jaw. If you are doing straight ups, downward blasts, breather boxes, multiperson breathes, or anything funky, you really should be wearing goggles to keep fuel and fire out of your eyes. Get cool cyberpunk goggles, and you won't feel like a dweeb.

You should breathe as little as possible while the fuel is in your mouth. You really don't want droplets in your lungs, and any breath will suck a few down. Suck a lot down, and you'll have a bad case of chemical pneumonia.

Anyway, good idea for an instructable, and its in the right category. Just remember, pulling something off a few times is not a replacement for experience, the stakes are high when you are talking about things like this.
A few other tips... Don't drink anything hoping to 'coat' your mouth or stomach, it just makes it worse. Olive oil, milk, and other emulsifiers or oily substances will soften the mucus membranes, and allow for easier transport of all substances. Studies have shown that absorbtion rates for lamp oil are many times higher when it is mixed with olive oil or milk, than when it is all by itself. The only protective thing you should be injesting would be an activated charcoal capsule from the drug store.
You commented on your own comment? And how would you know that milk makes "easier transportation for all substances"?
Milk is an emulsifier of oil.
And commenting yourself allows you to put in things you forgot. Besides, all the cool kids are doing it.
linkspast8 years ago
What did your neighbors think
Tetranitrate (author)  linkspast8 years ago
They've known I'm crazy for a long time now.
Illidan8 years ago
Aidan0612808 years ago
Hey man, your video is fantastic. I do a bit of fire breathing, i'm no expert though. Can you give me any tips on your technique. I mean how do you make a fire ball float away at the end. Do you just blow for all your worth? Aidan Ireland.
thats pretty sweet but i would suggest using a metal rod with some yarn wrapped around it, it doesnt last as long but the supplies are alot cheaper and easier to get
illuminate8 years ago
I tried fire breathing with kerosene from the store and I noticed that it had addatives and I only got about a three foot flame when I was trying for a pillar about 8 or so feet I can pull it off with pure kerosene and lamp oil but the store bought kerosene had a low sulfur rating, does that have anything to do with how small the flame was or was it just the dye in it?
peterman9219 years ago
when I was in high school some 20 odd years ago we used everclear grain alcohol I belive it was over 90 proof and it tasted pretty bad but probably not as bad as kerosene
20 years ago? Damn.
hey, is the rope used to pull fiber optic cable usable for this? i do believe its kevlar, and i have LOTS of it.... and its free! woo...
Tetranitrate (author)  TheMadScientist8 years ago
Test it. Soak it in kerosene and light it, then wait for it to use up the fuel. If the rope burns then you cant use it, but if just the fuel burns and nothing else then its perfect.
I'm 17 and been fire blowing since I was about ten. I can't stand tiki fuel or kerosene taste, so I just use high proof alcohol (my everclear stash works nicely. Also that way you won't have a need to worry about swallowing.
clown2548 years ago
hi im a juggler from montreal i think i find the best way to practice fire blowing i try with a coffée its hot and missy if you miss so i did it on the first try but if you want the best instruction about fire blowing and fuel ask some profesionel juggling site like that one http://www.renegadejuggling.com/Web_store/rev3k/index.html they said everything and if you also want to by torches and safety thing this is the place
pluish8 years ago
or use roman oil, its the best, and it does not taste very baad
tahra5138 years ago
I have 5 guys from a renaissance faire i work at teaching me how to breathe fire and they use Nalgene bottles to transport their liquid. Nalgene bottles have leak proof screw top lids and if you also juggle fire the mouth of them is large enough to dip the tips of your torches in.
RVAkid8 years ago
beards can be very hazardous when breathing fire. One must be extremely cautious, your beard will catch fire if you get the flame too close.
I know it aint the best thing in the world but ive been using kingsford charcoal lighter fluid (i have thick chemical burn in my throught already from working with very toxic chemicals my whole life so it doesnt hurt, just bad for ya).....Im going to pick up the real stuff before I goto the next music festival.
roosta9 years ago
look rite, i have done fire breathing a lot of times. i practised with water and a mirror first, cos that way you can see how misty the spray is. as for burns, ONLY HAVE AS MUCH PARAFIN AS YOU CAN HANDLE IN YOUR MOUTH. DO NOT STOP BLOWING UNTIL YOU ARE SURE YOU HAVE GOT RID OF ALL THE PARAFIN IN YOUR MOUTH. blowbacks are a problem yes, and most of the time, if you inhale a blowback, ur dead. simple as. because your lungs will turn to ash, just before they explode. keep the torch away from your mouth. the further away, the safer, cos the pressure of you blowing will get the mist to the flame and ignite it, but the flame will not be able to fight against the pressure, unles you slow your blowing. DO NOT USE ALCOHOL OF ANY TYPE, pure or not, it burns too quickly, too easily. you will get a blowback imediatly (sp?), and bye bye life. if you dont want to use liquids, things like custard powder out of a tube will work well too. you will not get burnt doing this, unless you screw up. oh, and dont dribble. if you cant blow it properly with water, dont try it. dribble down ur front and it will burn ur t-shirt. i do it topless, cos parafin needs a wick to burn, or a fuel to air mix. drink milk before you do it as well. wash your mouth with it. parafin just tastes a bit oily anyway, nothing too bad. as for mixing stuff into it, we tried one, and it caused it to ignite faster, and ma mate almost died from it. stick to pure parafin...nothing else
sic dude. ill tell all the burglers i know to never mess with you lol.
Ha ha that would rock! "Gimme all your money!" WOOSH! "Never mind!"
15zack15ace9 years ago
your crazy and thats a cool ass scar
0.775volts9 years ago
in the video are you burning your mouth a little? it looks kind of like you are, or are you trying to shake drops free from your lips?
Tetranitrate (author)  0.775volts9 years ago
After Ive expelled all the kerosene from my mouth, I would reflexively pull my head back and wipe my mouth with a wet towel. Ive only slightly burned my lips once ever while doing this, and Im pretty sure its not one of the times I have on video.
theRIAA9 years ago
can you water down the kerosene to make it "safer" ? like 80%.. 90%.. 95% kerosene, or would that just not work?
Tetranitrate (author)  theRIAA9 years ago
Kerosene is oil based so Im pretty sure that water would not be able to mix with it. It would probably end up making it more dangerous. There are different "formulas" though, people mix it with other flammable substances to try and produce a brighter or cleaner burn, however I've never tried any of them.
meddler9 years ago
I always thought the higher the flash point the more flammable the liquid, did i get that wrong???
Tetranitrate (author)  meddler9 years ago
The flash point is the lowest temperature at which a liquid or solid gives off enough vapour to form a flammable air-vapour mixture near its surface.
belenus9 years ago
What you do to the fuel, that creates a fine mist with no droplets is called aspirating. I am a new member of a fire troup and i have learned from the guy who currently holds the world record for biggest fireball. Dont ever breathe with everclear, it WILL get you drunk just by sitting in your mouth. just use paraffin and dont swallow the stuff. have fun with this its one of the most awesome things to be able to do if you can do it well. have fun and dont kill yourselves
0.775volts9 years ago
i almost forgot. this is how i make my torches, the cost is about $7 to $10, and you can get everything from a lowes/home depot/etc. get an 18 to 24" length of 1/2" BIP (black iron water pipe) with threads on both ends. get a 1/2" metal pipe cap get a 1/2" metal union (it joins two pipes, but it has a large screw connection in the middle that can be removed. a union is three peices, basically two flanges and a screw ring that locks them together. make sure the screw ring screws onto the 1/2" part of the union, it dosen't matter what the other side is, you won't be using it) get a pack (usually two) of bamboo tiki torch wiks get a bottle of lamp fuel or kerosene (your fuel will do fine) to assemble: screw the pipe cap on one of the pipe, this will be the bottom of your torch and keeps fuel from dripping out onto you. dissasemble the metal union, screw the half-inch part onto the pipe. soak your wick in fuel for a minute or two, this is all you'll need, as the wick holds enough fuel to burn for 20-30 minutes (depending on the fuel) sick half the length of the wick through the union, down the pipe, lay the other half out on the flat surface of the union, and twist the ring of the union down around it to hold it in place. light it, and enjoy your nice professional looking torch. oh, and if you do breathe fire with facial hair, wet it down with water.
0.775volts9 years ago
you forgot to mention how incredibly dangerous this is. i've been a fire breather for 6 years. DO NOT BREATHE FIRE IF YOU HAVE FACIAL HAIR. untill you are well practiced at aersolizing the fuel, you risk setting your face on fire. the hair on your face (and hands) will act as a wick and hold the fuel in place to burn the hell out of you. you also forgot to mention when you're breating fire, you have a torch in one hand, and a damp (not soaking wet) cloth in your other hand. you keep your mouth covered, blow a burst, and then re-cover your mouth with the damp cloth, this helps keep your face from catching alight in case of flarebacks. Once you have any kind of fuel in your mouth YOU CANNOT BREATHE IN! not even through your nose, you will inhale fumes, and that is bad. everclear(pga) works,but it is a very low energy fuel. you need more of it to get a decent fireball, so only try it after you're well practiced. it will also make you quite drunk if you keep it in your mouth for any decent period of time. bicardi 151 works very poorly for breathing fire, unless you are highly skilled. if using alcohol, let it warm up first, and don't keep it in your mouth very long, it'll pull water out of your mouth and saliva and loose it's potency rather quickly. practice for about three hours with water before you attempt to use any kind of fuel. the idea is to be able to spray an entire mouthful of fuel (about 1/3 oz, a rablespoon is a good starter amount) without any dribbling on you lips or chin/cheeks. you also want as fine a mist as possible, no droplets as these will fall to the ground and continue burning, it's dangerous and ruins the effect. you want to keep your cloth damp. if you have a friend with a damp towel, again, damp, not soaking wet. the reason for this is simple: if you catch fire, the water in the towel will boil, and you will get steam burns. also, for oil-based fuels, don't just slosh the person with a bucket of water, oil and water don't mix, burning oil must be extingushed with co2 or by smothering. it's also faster (this is why stunt men don't use water) bottom line: DON'T BREATHE FIRE, you have to be an idiot to do this. i am said idiot.
Cyrus9 years ago
Using liquor is a bad idea because it burns at a much faster rate than kerosene. Which means a higher chance of burning your face, possibly even the inside of your mouth. Much safer to just use kerosene or a similar fuel.
nopokerman9 years ago
Anyone know about doing this w/ high-proof liquor? I can't risk "firebreather's pneumonia"
I'm still gunna play draggon and torch a prep shirt >:)
Cyrus9 years ago
I taught myself and a friend to do this a while back. Really does entertain those under the influnce. It's also a good idea to hold your kerosene bottle behind your back while you are breathing fire. Have fun and be safe people.
fishcatcher9 years ago
ill be givin this a go as soon as i can get a ride to walmart but i cant make the torch i should just use a liter>?
go ahead and use a lighter if you want tor isk your hand being blown off. if that lighter gets some spray & fire on it, bang. much better just make a torch. i'm SURE you've got a stick and an old sock somewhere. torches aren't the most advanced devices.
i got a sock but its old and smellhy
all the better to burn, my dear...tie it up with some baling wire or something else betal and be sure to anchor it to the stick or it'll just burn and fall off....
Scurl! Scurl!9 years ago
i of course meant metal....MEEETAAAAAAAALLL!!!! (read: warbling falsetto)
LOOK WHAT I INSPIRED!!!!! YAY!!!!!! that is a freaking cool guide, my favorite on this site by far. i plan on trying to dissolve the gum afterwards, too. thank you very much
alexsk8ca9 years ago
What if the worst thing happens and you set part of your face on fire or do something wrong. Can the paraffin be easily put out with the wet towel? And would it help if you put like lip chap or something on your lips before hand to give you a little extra time if you lips start to burn?
olijenks9 years ago
Nice guide, me and a couple of friends taught ourselves this too. The practice with water first and get a nice mist through. Kerosene (or paraffin for us in the UK) can be a bit nasty. After one long day of breathing fire a friend of mine was really sick. What can happen is you can accidentally swallow small amounts of the stuff. It can also be absorbed through the pores in your mouth. One little trick to limit this is drink some milk first (lines the stomach) and swill it around your mouth (like mouthwash) before and after the session. Enjoy