How to Clean a Fog Machine: A Complete Guide

Fog machines are great additions to home parties, concerts, and other events. They help set a mood and add energy to any environment. Unfortunately, if you don’t clean your fog machine correctly it can create hazardous buildup.

Professional cleaners aren’t cheap and it’s easy to waste money on misdiagnosed repairs. The key is to keep your fog machine clean and identify potential problems before they become costly!

In this article, I will share with you my foolproof method on how to clean a fog machine so that you can avoid costly repairs and ensure that the fog you need for your event isn’t lost in a mist of smoke.

fog machine cleaning

How Do You Clean Your Fog Machine

Keeping your fog machine clean is the key to effective and efficient fog production. Regular maintenance is important to prevent premature clogging and blocked passages, which can reduce performance. To efficiently clean your fog machine, here are the steps you need to take.

1. Take the Fog Machine Outside

When it comes time to flush the fog machine with vinegar and water, it’s important to take the fog machine outside. This cleaner can emit a strong odor that could be overwhelming when used indoors, so it’s best to move your fog machine outdoors. You would be much better off out in the fresh air versus stuck inside a smelly room!

To make this process even easier on you, try to locate an outdoor electrical outlet so you can plug in your fog machine for cleaning. If there are no options outdoors, you can always set up shop in the garage with the door open for ventilation. Taking your fog machine outside makes all of the difference when cleaning!

2. Empty the Tank

Before you get started on flushing your fog machine tank with vinegar and water, it’s essential to empty the tank first. To do this, simply remove the tank from the machine and unscrew the cap to drain out any remaining fog liquid in the sink.

It’s important to completely empty the tank before you start cleaning it with vinegar – no need for rinsing out afterward! Just make sure the tank is fully emptied and you’re ready to go for a thorough cleanse.

3. Make a Mixture of Water And Vinegar

Creating a mixture of water and vinegar is a great way to clean the inside of your tank. A simple solution of equal parts distilled white vinegar and distilled water can do wonders for maintaining your machine. It’s important to note that tap water should be avoided, as its mineral content can cause deposits over time and lead to other issues.

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Using a combination of distilled water and distilled white vinegar will effectively flush out any debris and provide an overall cleaner tank. With this cleaning solution, you’ll experience a longer-lasting, healthier machine that works optimally for years to come.

4. Pour the Vinegar Mixture into the Fog Machine

Adding the vinegar mixture to your fog machine is a must. In order to ensure that your fog machine is thoroughly cleaned and performing optimally, you’ll need to pour half a liter of the distilled water and vinegar mixture into it. This goes directly into the tank that typically holds fogging fluid – just make sure it’s filled up enough to get the job done properly.

Once you’ve poured in the mix, turn on the fog machine and let it run for a few minutes or so. This will help loosen any debris built up within its system, allowing for a more efficient cleanse that will leave your fog machine working like new again!

How to Clean a Fog Machine- White Vinegar

5. Rinse with Distilled Water

Flushing your fog machine with distilled water is an essential step in the process of cleaning it with vinegar and water. Once the vinegar and water solution has passed through the machine, add pure distillated water to the fog machine and repeat the process. This will help eliminate any remaining smell of vinegar and thoroughly clean all components of the machine.

Once this has been done, leave your fog machine to air dry. Doing so will ensure that your machine is free from any residual vinegar odor. Flushing your fog machine with distilled water is a surefire way to make sure that your device remains clean!

6. Scrape out the Nozzle

When you’re cleaning other parts of your machine, make sure you scrape out the nozzle. Unplug your machine and allow it to cool down completely before getting started. Then, take a close look at the output nozzle – this is where all the fog steam comes out.

If you notice any deposits or debris, use something firm like your fingernail or a small needle to quickly scrape them away. It’s especially important to move the tool in and out of the nozzle hole a few times so that all remaining dirt is removed!

7. Wipe Down the Exterior

It’s important to take good care of your fog machine by regularly wiping down the exterior. With a damp cloth, you should clean off any dust or residue that may have accumulated in all the nooks and crannies of the machine over time.

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With proper maintenance like this, you won’t need to perform aggressive cleaning on your fog machine as often and it will help extend its life span.

8. Test the Fog Fluid

After you have finished cleaning your fog machine, it’s important to test the fog fluid. This will ensure that your machine is running properly again before you put it back in use or store it away. Simply fill your machine with another batch of fog liquid and let it run for at least a few minutes.

Make sure that the fog liquid is producing a satisfactory amount of fog before you assume that everything is working as expected.

Why Should You Clean Your Fog Machine

It is essential to clean your fog machine regularly in order to ensure optimal performance and output. If your fog machine isn’t properly cared for, the nozzle will become clogged with residue over time, causing the outputs to be distorted and weak.

Fog machine cleaner works similarly to fuel injector cleaner on a car: it cleans out all of the dirt and debris that has settled into those tiny nozzles so the fluid can move more efficiently.

Regular cleaning of your fog machine not only helps maintain a strong output but also extends its lifespan, saving you money in the long run by avoiding repairs or replacements. So don’t wait any longer – make sure you clean your fog machine regularly and keep it performing at its best!

How Often Should You Clean Your Fog Machine

It is recommended to regularly maintain your fog machine by cleaning it every 80 hours of use. You may get away with a few extra hours, but the longer you let go without cleaning, the greater the risk of damaging your nozzle from overheating.

That being said, it is important to get into the habit of regularly cleaning your fog machine as not doing so could result in damage that may be irreversible and costly. Taking a few minutes every 80 hours to clean and maintain your fog machine will help ensure that it runs properly and won’t have any issues down the road.


How Do I Clean a Fog Machine Without a Fog Machine Cleaner?

Mix water and vinegar in a 50/50 solution. Ensure you are in a well ventilated area then turn on the fogger, let it heat up and fog as normal. This solution should help to remove any impurities from the pump and/or heater while flushing them out.

Should I Use Regular Or Distilled Water To Clean My Fog Machine?

It is best to use a mixture of 50% distilled water and 50% vinegar to clean your fog machine properly.

What Do I Do If My Fog Machine Is Spitting Out Fluid?

This typically happens when the heater core isn’t hot enough to evaporate the water that is in the fluid. It can become very dangerous and can also result in first degree burns if you are not careful. Heater cores are capable of reaching 700 degrees or higher. If this happens, turn the fog machine off and make sure to put distance between you and the machine to prevent any of the fluid from hitting your bare skin at close range.

How Do You Unclog A Fog Machine?

Clogging happens more often when you use a lower quality fluid. A clogged machine will not function as it should and can ultimately destroy the machine’s heating element. Unplug the machine and drain the reservoir of all fluid. Then fill the reservoir halfway up with distilled water and then add distilled vinegar until the reservoir is full. The vinegar will help dissolve whatever may be clogging the system.

Can Fog Machine Fluid Go Bad?

Fog machine fluid typically only has a shelf life of between 12 and 18 months, and that is if it is being stored in a heat-sealed container.

How Do You Store A Fog Machine?

To store a fog machine, you will want to make sure there is a small amount of fog fluid in the lines. You will also want to store the machine in a climate-controlled area and on a very level surface.


In conclusion, cleaning your fog machine is an essential part of keeping it safe and in top condition. By following the simple steps outlined in this article you can easily keep your fog machine running smoothly and safely for years to come.

Just be sure to use only approved cleaning products and always wear protective gear when working with fog machines.