HOWTO make a $5 homebrew fog machine

Here's a quick and easy recipe for making your own fog machine for $5 worth of household objects: a candle, glycerin, water, a pop bottle, and a disposable pieplate.

5 Dollar Fog Machine (via Red Ferret)


  1. I was all excited for a moment when I thought this machine would create a fog of homebrew, I mean how cool would that be, like a fluffy cloud but made of beer!

  2. Not impressed! Although Glycerine is present in loads of cosmetic product, the BBQ foil dish and naked flame candle doesn’t cut it.

    Go eBay buy a mist fogger, cheap. You can power it with laptop adpater DC ~19V to 24V max, oh yes that cost 5 bucks too, free delivery from HK, direct a gentle breeze over the mist, you got your fog. 

    1. I thought that you were in the Richmond. 31st and Lincoln was my home for 12 dark, damp years.

  3. @pizzicato
    The whole concept is a neat DIY project, 
    not an ebay or store “purchase”.

    The safety part is always incumbent on the user.

  4. @Kyle Hertler: Unfortunately no, you can’t make colored fog. I’m pretty sure the water/glycerine mixture would boil off and leave a thin film of dye in the pan, but even if the food colorant had the same evaporation point as the other liquids the resulting gases would be way too diffuse to be visible in the air. For that effect you’d need to put some kind of solid particles in the air using a smoke machine.

    1. “Experimentation has been done in the past with adding coloured dyes to smoke fluid to produce coloured smoke, however, the amount of dye required is high and the risk of staining is also too high to make the technique worthwhile. In the pyrotechnic coloured smoke devices dye is also used to add the colour, and these smoke devices also pose a high stain risk. The best advice for producing clean coloured smoke is to colour the smoke with light using beam control to selectively colour smoke in a scene.”

  5. I’m so down with this. Wondering what sort of experience this liquid concoction would create in an electric tea kettle or a cold mist humidifier…

  6. I just use bottled fog. Save it up all year, let it out on All Hallow’s. Cheap, effective, free. but use glass bottles; it slowly diffuses through plastic.

    1. Glycerine is widely used in food and drugs so you should be OK as long as you’re not huffing it straight in lieu of air.

    2. They use it in those electric cigarettes, apparently:

  7. It’s fine.  Commercial “fog juice” is either glycerine or propylene glycol mixed with water.  Glycol is also used in asthma inhalers, and they used to pump it through hospital ductwork because it’s actually a mild antibiotic.  It helps kill the bugs that spread through the HVAC system.

  8. Hm. I have suitable lab flask. Need to think about heat source and stand, but definitely A Thought.

    1. Anecdotal reports elsewhere say fire alarms don’t seem to complain. But, yeah, that’s a valid warning.

      I’m planning on using it on the porch, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

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