How to Make Fog Without Dry Ice

Lead Image
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-20
What You'll Need
Black paper
A glass jar
A zip top bag
Blue food coloring
A spoon
Rubbing alcohol

Dry ice is made with carbon dioxide, which can be a dangerous chemical and lead to serious injuries; however, dry ice is the most reliable substance for creating fog effects. But, did you know that it is possible to create fog with simple home freezer ice?

Fog is a type of mist that forms close to the ground, and it is created when warm water vapor mixes with cool air. The cool air is unable to hold as much water as the warmer air, so the moisture condenses and fog develops. This project is easy and requires only a few basic materials you probably have in your home.

Step 1 - Address Safety

The use of a lit match is required to complete this process, so that part of the procedure should be performed by an adult or with adult supervision. You will be holding the lit match for a short time. If possible, use a pair of metal tongs to hold the match, to prevent any possibility of burn injury. Be sure to store the matches in a safe place, out of the reach of children. Remember to reinforce the dangers of matches if you are helping a younger person to complete this project.

Step 2 - Prepare Your Glass Jar

Use tape to secure your black paper to the side of a 1 gallon jar. Be sure to use clear tape, so that you are unable to see it. The papered side will become the backing for the fog demonstration, so you should not be able to see out of or into the back side of your jar.

Step 3 - Prepare the Water and Ice

Fill a gallon-sized zip top bag with ice from your freezer, and press the two edges of the bag firmly together to close it. Carefully pour a cup of warm water into a bowl. Then, add three drops of blue food coloring to it, and combine the coloring and water with a spoon.

Step 4 - Create the Fog

Pour your warm, blue water into your glass jar. Carefully light one of your matches and hold it over the jar for about three seconds, holding it as close to the opening as possible without placing it inside the jar. Drop the lit match into the blue water in the jar. Immediately place your zip locked bag of ice on top of the opening of your glass jar, and your fog will begin to form inside.

Step 5 - Add Alcohol

You can also create fog with the addition of rubbing alcohol, although the alcohol additive will vaporize faster than the water. Carefully fill your jar with 1½ quarts of hot water and add three drops of rubbing alcohol. Place the bag of ice over the bottle and the fog will begin to form.