Smoke Bombs


Used in the military, video games, and as a source of entertainment, the smoke bomb is a small fog generating object capable of emitting large clouds of smoke. Within this article you will learn how to use a ping-pong ball and some aluminum foil to create a dense fog, that can be used to entertain guests or yourself.

To create a smoke bomb you will need:

-Aluminum Foil

-A lighter (preferably one with a long shaft)

-A Ping Pong Ball


make sure it is the right kind of ball. When testing this for myself I first attempted a cheap and shiny dollar store ball, however it was made from plastic resulting in the ball melting instead of bursting into smoke. So it turned out the chemical that allows the ball to ignite is found in more professional ping-pong balls. Finally when I had obtained the correct ball the reaction worked just as planed. So you don’t make the same mistake I did, try to look for a few key features in the ball you are planning to ignite (See First Image). One feature is texture, plastic balls are more shiny than the professional balls. Another is the softness, a plastic ball can be bent more easily than a professional ball. Once you have obtained your ball look out for any warnings about the product (See Second Image), for example, the balls that I used had warnings of harm towards my health, so I avoided breathing in the smoke itself and when I smelled something that did not smell very natural I got a safe distance away, while still watching the fog rise into the air. Side note: try not to get the smoke on fire, it’s highly flammable.

Step 1)

Get a sheet of aluminum with a width of about 15cm (approx. 6in) and place the ball in the center. Then align the lighter so it is touching the ball, where the flame is emitted, with the majority of the handle not touching the aluminum.

Step 2)

Wrap the aluminum around the lighter and the ball from the top and bottom of the sheet, so there is an aluminum ball with an extended tube.

Step 3)

Pull the lighter out of the aluminum wrapping, and now you have a ready smoke bomb.

Step 4)

Go outside or in a extremely well ventilated area and light the bottom of the bomb with the lighter, if it’s windy I recommend using a wind resistant lighter or a propane torch kept at a far enough distance. Once smoke is visible, stand a few feet back, if you smell a funny smell, back up some more.

That is how you create a small smoke bomb out of ping-pong balls! Below are the videos where I learned about this bomb and I encourage you to click on those videos to learn some extra stuff on flammable ping-pong balls. At the very end of this article will be my very short hypothesis on why this happens, which is based off of prior knowledge, please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Anyways thank you for reading the article and I highly recommend viewing the other projects located within this website.


If ping-pong balls are flammable and fire needs oxygen to burn, then by isolating the ball in an area with little oxygen and heating the ball to a burning point the ball should emit smoke instead of a bursting flame.