Dry ice fog is a fun and spooky effect that can upgrade your Halloween decorations or stage productions. The billowing white mist creates an eerie, smoke-like atmosphere perfect for haunted houses, theater productions, and more. While renting a professional fog machine is one option, you can also create DIY dry ice fog at home with a few key tips.
What is Dry Ice?
Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2). It’s called “dry ice” because it skips the liquid phase and transitions directly from a solid to a gas through a process called sublimation. The surface temperature of dry ice is about -109°F (-78°C), which is why it creates dense fog when added to hot water. The cold temperature causes the water to immediately evaporate, while the dry ice transforms into CO2 gas.
How to Make Dry Ice Fog?
Making DIY dry ice fog is a simple process, though safety precautions are essential. Here are the basic steps:
- Dry ice (typically available at grocery stores)
- Hot water
- Metal or high-temperature plastic container
- Oven mitts or insulated gloves
- Long handled spoon or tongs
Steps to DIY Dry Ice Fog
- Put on insulated gloves before handling dry ice. Never touch it directly with your bare skin.
- Place a few pounds of dry ice blocks or pellets into a metal or high-temperature plastic container. Avoid glass.
- Carefully pour hot water from a kettle or pot over the dry ice. The hotter the water, the more fog produced.
- Use a spoon or tongs to occasionally stir the dry ice and water. This helps maximize fog production.
- Add more hot water as needed to sustain the fog effect.
- Allow the cold vapor to flow out of the container. A small fan can help direct the fog.
- Replace the water when it cools down to continue making thick fog.
Safety Tips – You Should Know
Dry ice requires some safety precautions:
- Use well-insulated gloves when handling it
- Keep out of reach of children
- Avoid inhaling the CO2 vapors
- Work in a well-ventilated area
- Never seal dry ice in a fully closed container
With a few simple supplies and safety measures, you can easily create eerie dry ice fog for your own Halloween or theater effects!
FAQs When DIY Dry Ice Fog at Home
- Can you put dry ice in a fog machine?
Yes, specialized dry ice fog machines use an insulated chamber to contain the dry ice away from the hot water. The fog flows out vents directed by built-in fans.
But if it is a fog machine only, do not manually make it a dry ice fog machine, because dry ice fog machines need to use water to make CO2 vaporing. Ordinary fog machine does not support that running method due to its machine structure.
- What kind of bowl can I put dry ice in?
Use metal or plastic. Avoid glass bowls which can shatter from the cold.
- What happens if you put dry ice on metal?
The extreme temperature difference makes the metal screech or scream loudly.
- What material can you store dry ice in?
Styrofoam works well since it’s insulated yet still vents gas.
- Can I put dry ice in the freezer?
No, it can make your freezer too cold, and even turn it off. But if you lose power for a period of time, you can use dry ice to keep things cold!
- How long does dry ice last?
About 18–24 hours in a cooler, 3-5 hours outdoors, and 45 minutes in liquid.
Recommendation for MOKA SFX’s Dry Ice Fog Machine
For larger-scale fog needs, a professional dry ice fog machine like the MOKA SFX H-D6000 model is recommended. This theater-grade unit has dual fog outputs with adjustable fog volume levels. It can fill a 150 sqm area in just 50 seconds on the highest setting!
The H-D6000 dry ice fog machine separates the dry ice from the hot water in an insulated chamber. With the press of a remote or DMX console, the fog starts and stops on command. This makes it perfect for stage productions where controlled fog effects are needed.
So for big Halloween parties or theatrical performances, renting or purchasing a pro dry ice fogger like the MOKA SFX unit will take your fog game to the next level!