Easy to Make (and Safer to Breathe) Napalm




Make Napalm with two ingredients that can easily be found. This version of Napalm isn't as sticky as those others that have been posted, but burns well enough to make firestarters out of it and even an outdoor stove.

Materials that you will need:
Empty jar (I used a pickle jar, I also already have a little bit left from my last batch)
Stick (spoon, straw, etc.)
Citronella oil (Lighter's fluid will also work)
Powdered Sugar

Warning: This stuff will continue to burn as it falls apart. Fire burns. Ouch!

Just to answer everyones' questions/comments: This isn't Military grade napalm, nor does it use a Styrofoam and gasoline mixture (known famously as a "Homemade Napalm"). Also the oil is "Lemon scented" in this version, which usually means someone, somewhere was smelling the fumes let off by burning it, which means that you probably (I can't guarantee it cause you may be allergic to something in the oil) won't die from it.

Here's a Wiki excerpt explaining REAL NAPALM:
"Napalm is usually a mixture of gasoline with suitable thickening agents. The earliest thickeners were soaps, aluminum, and magnesium palmitates and stearates. Depending on the amount of added thickener, the resulting viscosity may range between syrupy liquid and thick rubbery gel. The content of long hydrocarbon chains makes the material highly hydrophobic (resistant to wetting with water), making it more difficult to extinguish. Thickened fuel also rebounds better from surfaces, making it more useful for operations in urban terrain.

There are two types of napalm: oil-based with aluminum soap thickener, and oil-based with polymeric thickener ("napalm-B").

The United States military uses three kinds of thickeners: M1, M2, and M4.

  • The M1 Thickener (Mil-t-589a), chemically a mixture of 25% wt. aluminum naphthenate, 25% aluminum oleate, and 50% aluminum laurate, (or, according to other sources, aluminum stearate soap) is a highly hygroscopic coarse tan-colored powder. As the water content impairs the quality of napalm, thickener from partially used open containers should not be used later. It is not maintained in the US Army inventory any more as it was replaced with M4.
  • The M2 Thickener (Mil-t-0903025b) is a whitish powder similar to M1, with added devolatilized silica and anticaking agent.
  • The M4 flame fuel thickening compound (Mil-t-50009a), hydroxyl aluminum bis(2-ethylhexanoate) with anti-caking agent, is a fine white powder. It is less hygroscopic than M1 and opened containers can be resealed and used within one day. About half the amount of M4 is needed for the same effect as of M1.

A later variant, napalm-B, also called "super napalm", is a mixture of low-octane gasoline with benzene and polystyrene. It was used in the Vietnam War. Unlike conventional napalm, which burns for only 15–30 seconds, napalm B burns for up to 10 minutes with fewer fireballs, sticks better to surfaces, and offers improved destruction effects. It is not as easy to ignite, which reduces the number of accidents caused by soldiers smoking. When it burns, it develops a characteristic smell.

Starting in the early 1990s, various websites including The Anarchist Cookbook advertised recipes for homemade napalm. These recipes were predominantly equal parts gasoline and styrofoam. This mixture closely resembles that of napalm-B, but lacks a percentage of benzene.
Napalm reaches burning temperatures of approximately 1,200 °C (2,200 °F). Other additives can be added, eg. powdered aluminum or magnesium, or white phosphorus.

In the early 1950s, Norway developed its own napalm, based on fatty acids in whale oil. The reason for this development was that the American-produced thickening agent performed rather poorly in the cold Norwegian climate. The product was known as Northick 11II.

Some weapons utilize a pyrophoric variant, known as TPA (thickened pyrophoric agent). Chemically it is a triethylaluminium thickened with polyisobutylene."

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Step 1: Mix Them Together and What Do You Get...

Video Below...

1. Take the powdered sugar and pour about a cup into the jar.

2. Now take the oil and pour about a 3/4 cup into the jar.

3. Mix them together, add more oil or sugar as needed until you get a mixture that resembles whipped cream or butter.

That's all there is to it. Easy as I said it would be. There's a Video below so you can watch how well this stuff burns (a nice steady pace). This stuff does become kind of hard after being stored for a while. Just take the spoon and mix it up, good as new.

Experiment with it to get new effects.
Add regular or brown sugar into the mix.
Try mixing some saw dust in.

Hope you've enjoyed this instructable. Next time you're at a BBQ, take a jar of this stuff out and smear it on the grill (on the coal, not the actual grill) to help start the fire.

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    181 Discussions


    Reply 1 year ago

    your comment is nine years old but to anyone else with the same problem try making a double boiler and leaving the gasoline in the inner tub or bowl or pot and slowly adding in shredded crumbled or torn up Styrofoam i also recommend taking a soap bar to a cheese grater and adding that to your mixture if its looking thin


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It has to do with what type of Styrofoam is used, I find that the white Styrofoam that is used to cushion large appliances and furniture works great but, the outer most part of the foam seems to be a coating or maybe just more compacted (probably the later) and does not dissolve as well. Another source of failure could possibly be caused by different additives to gasoline in different areas. The amount of benzene that is added to gasoline has steeply declined as it known to be very bad for you like most organic solvents and is more likely to be what dissolves the Styrofoam in the first place. I like to use a 2 stroke engine mixture for making napalm. If you are unaware, 2 strokes run off of a fuel/oil where you add oil to the gasoline to obtain a ration of gasoline to oil of around 20:1 or more. Sorry for such a long comment but i hope that it is an adequate explanation for your pyrotechnic/pyromanical dilemma . Feel free to message me if you have any questions.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction


    It's been five years since you posted this, but I'm not finding much help in determining the styrofoam to gasoline ratio to create a fuel that will be acceptable in an internal combustion engine. Do you have any experience with that?

    coolmh2Ish tar

    Reply 3 years ago

    if you leave the Napalm in a container filled with gas for more than a week it turns into a translosent putty


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     Any ideas on the various styrofoams- like packing peanuts- if it burns like sterno small quantities might be useful.

    u hav to heat the gas, VERY CAREFULLY, then u cut up a bar of soap into smal shavings and then break up the styfofoam and mix them together.


    1 year ago

    Well I’m on a list now


    3 years ago

    Styrofoam and 32:1 two-stroke gas works best. You can obtain various thicknesses by adding more or less Styrofoam and by letting it "cure" for several days and it works well as an improvised drip torch for setting backfires in the wild land fire fighting setting. I've used it on wet brush piles to good effect. It's nothing you want to be near while it's burning. The fumes are toxic and a thick sooty smoke it produced. The pros are that it's very sticky even while burning. At high ratios of foam to gas It can be twisted into a stick to form a drip torch or it can be dispersed manual by pouring from bucket. A remarkable amount of Styrofoam can be dissolved in a small volume of gas. It's been decades but I want to estimate about 5 pounds of Styrofoam per half coffee can of gas to make a super thick gel.

    The king of DIY

    3 years ago

    this stuff sticks to skin partially because thickening agents are pretty strong.


    3 years ago

    we made it in SF. gasoline, fab laundry detergent, burnt motor oil and Styrofoam. Styrofoam is just styrene with a blowing agent added to convert it to foam... in this mixture it helps it to be sticky and being foam helps it melt in quicker. the soap is the thickener and the oil prolongs the burn time. you can vary the percentages for different needs. the military m2 thickener worked great but we could get detailed results making out own... gas and styro first. then oil...last in is the fab...for some reason fab worked best


    3 years ago

    hey a quick question for the homemade napalm, can you use any type of styrofoam?

    by waxy stuff do u mean the napalm itself? ya u light it on fire and watch is burn. btu be carful u cant put it out with water

    well in the most basic way you can make an explosion out of flour but to get it to work you need so much room to do it, its just not worth it.

    also oils can be used to make an explosion. with great force

    the most basic example of these is the original diesel engine.

    it ran on peanut oil!