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Black smoke, grey smoke


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Here are two formulas I've used with success. I don't know the source of either formula.


1: Black smoke

56% KClO4

33% Naphthalene

11% S


Crush naphthalene in a mortar if necessary, sieve the other chemicals to get rid of lumps, and mix them all together. I've burned the mix in a tin can with loose fitting lid, a thick cardboard tube should also work. The mix appears to burn at a similar temperature to salpeter/sugar smoke, so a thin tibe will ignite. If the mix is burned in an open tube, flames will consume some of the soot produced.


100g in a tin can:


2: Grey smoke

Ammonium nitrate




Create a saturated solution of ammonium nitrate in water. Hot water is preferrable since it can dissolve a lot more (200g/liter at room temp, almost 900g/liter at boiling). Note that the reaction is endothermic.

Soak the paper in the solution. The more absorbent the paper is, the more smoke you'll get.

Dry the paper. Ammonium nitrate is hygroscopic, so additional heat may be needed. Any stains from dried nitrate can easily be rinsed away from the drying location afterwards.

Roll the dried paper tightly and ignite. It will smolder and emit billows of grey smoke.


I had the best success with an entire roll of tissue paper. It would've been even better if I had unrolled it first, as it was a lot of the nitrate crystallized on the outside of the roll. It still smoldered quietly all the way through.

This is the safest smoke formula I've seen. No flames, no sparks and minimal heat. The paper simply smolders and smokes a lot, and leaves behind normal paper ash.

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the amonium nitrate smoke bomb is pure clasic. one of the first things i ever made in pyro.
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Yeah I like those AN smokers, super easy, and produces pretty good smoke. I've always made it with newspaper, and usually wrap the outside in some masking tape to keep it from unrolling of spreading fire randomly. Dry the sheets good and keep them in sealed zip locks and you can use it later. But if they are damp from atmospheric moisture, they don't work so well.
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