How to Make a Dry Ice Fog Machine: Step-by-Step Guide

To make a dry ice fog machine, you will need an insulated container, a heating element, and dry ice pellets. Start by drilling a small hole in the container for the heating element and attach it to a 9V battery. Place the dry ice pellets inside the container and close it tightly.

The heating element will heat up the pellets, causing them to release carbon dioxide gas, creating the fog effect. Make sure to use caution and follow safety guidelines when handling dry ice. This DIY fog machine is a cost-effective way to create special effects for parties, dance floors, or theatrical performances.

Remember to use in a well-ventilated area and keep smoke detectors and fire safety precautions in mind. Enjoy your low-lying fog effects!

How to Make a Dry Ice Fog Machine

Materials Needed for Dry Ice Fog Machine

To make a dry ice fog machine, you will need the following materials:

1. Dry Ice

This is the primary ingredient that produces the fog effect. Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide and creates fog when it is exposed to warm water.

2. Water Heating Element

You will need a method to heat the water to create steam. Hot water is essential for creating the fog effect. A heating element can be used to heat the water to the desired temperature.

3. Hose or Vent Outlet

A hose or vent outlet is required to channel the fog from the machine to the desired location. This allows you to direct the fog towards the dance floor or any other specific area.

4. Insulated Container

A well-insulated container is necessary to hold the hot water and dry ice mixture. It helps to maintain the temperature and prolong the fog effect.

5. 9V Battery and Indicator Light

These components are needed to power the fog machine. The indicator light will let you know when the machine is operational.

6. Rotary Tool or Sharp Scissors

You may need these tools to cut and shape the container to accommodate the heating element and hose or vent outlet.

By acquiring these materials, you can easily assemble your own dry ice fog machine and create stunning fog effects for parties, special events, or theatrical performances.

How To Make A Dry Ice Fog Machine: Step-By-Step Guide

Creating a dry ice fog machine is a fun and creative way to add a special effect to parties, theatrical performances, or other events. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to produce a mesmerizing fog that will enhance the ambiance and atmosphere of any space.

Step 1: Find a Suitable Container

The first step in making a dry ice fog machine is to find a suitable container. Depending on the desired size of the fog machine, you can use either a small plastic container or a trash can. A small plastic container is ideal for making a small-scale fog machine, while a larger trash can can be used for a bigger machine.

When selecting the container, it’s important to consider the size and the material. Make sure the container is large enough to accommodate the dry ice and the necessary components for creating the fog effect. Additionally, ensure that the container is made of a sturdy material that can withstand the cold temperatures generated by the dry ice.

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By finding a suitable container for your dry ice fog machine, you’ll be one step closer to creating impressive fog effects for various applications, such as theatrical performances, dance floors, or even special events. Remember to choose a container that suits your needs and provides enough space for dry ice and other necessary components.

How To Make A Dry Ice Fog Machine - Find a Suitable Container

Step 2: Create a Ventilation Hole

Once you have chosen a suitable container for your dry ice fog machine, the next step is to create a ventilation hole in the lid. This hole will allow the fog to escape and create the desired effect. Start by measuring the dimensions needed for the ventilation hole. Use a measuring tape and mark the dimensions on the lid using masking tape. This will serve as a guide for cutting.

There are a few methods you can use to cut the ventilation hole. One option is to use a rotary tool or sharp scissors. This allows for precise and controlled cuts. Another option is to use a hole saw, which is specifically designed for cutting holes in various materials.

Carefully follow the markings on the lid and start cutting the hole using your chosen cutting tool. Take your time to ensure accuracy and safety. Remember to wear protective gloves and eyewear to prevent any injuries while cutting the hole. Once the ventilation hole is created, proceed to the next step to complete your dry ice fog machine.

Step 3: Add Water to the Container

To create a dry ice fog effect using a fog machine, you will need to add water to the container. Start by boiling a few cups of water either in the microwave or on a stove. Once the water is boiling, carefully pour it into the container, taking extra caution not to spill it.

Next, it’s time to add the dry ice to the boiling water. Make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the freezing temperatures of the dry ice. Gently place the dry ice into the container with the boiling water.

As the dry ice comes into contact with the hot water, it will quickly start to create a fog effect. Be prepared to enjoy the special effects as the fog begins to flow out of the machine. Remember, safety is of utmost importance when working with dry ice and hot water. Always handle the dry ice with care and ensure proper ventilation in the area.

How To Make A Dry Ice Fog Machine - Add Water to the Container

Step 4: Securely Place Dry Ice Inside the Container

To create a dry ice fog machine, it is crucial to securely place the dry ice inside the container. This step requires caution and proper handling to ensure safety and optimal fog effects.

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First and foremost, always wear gloves when handling dry ice to protect your hands from extreme temperatures. Start by preparing a container that can safely hold the dry ice and hot water. An insulated container, such as a cooler or a large bucket, is recommended for this purpose.

Carefully place the dry ice into the container, avoiding any splashing or dropping. The amount of dry ice needed depends on the size of the container and the desired fog effect. A rule of thumb is to use approximately 1 to 2 cups of dry ice per gallon of boiling water.

Using tongs or gloved hands, place the dry ice as close to the bottom of the container as possible. This will help maximize the fog effect by allowing the hot water to come in direct contact with the dry ice, causing it to sublimate and create a thick fog.

Remember, safety is paramount when working with dry ice. Ensure proper ventilation in the performance area and avoid operating the machine near smoke detectors or exposed flames.

Step 5: Activate the Fog Effect

Once you have securely placed the dry ice in the insulated container, it’s time to activate the fog effect. This process typically involves adding hot water to the container. The hot water will interact with the dry ice, causing it to sublimate and create a dense fog.

To activate the fog effect, carefully pour hot water into the container. The amount of hot water needed may vary depending on the size of your container and the desired level of fog. As a general rule of thumb, start with a few cups of hot water and adjust accordingly.

After adding the hot water, make sure the container is sealed tightly to prevent any fog from escaping. Give the dry ice and hot water a few moments to interact. As the dry ice sublimates, it will release carbon dioxide gas, which will mix with the hot water and create the fog effect.

Remember to periodically refresh the hot water to maintain the fog effect. As the hot water cools down, the fog may start to dissipate. Adding more hot water as needed will help sustain the fog effect throughout your event.

How To Make A Dry Ice Fog Machine - Activate the Fog Effect

Safety Precautions When Working with Dry Ice

When working with dry ice, it is important to take certain safety precautions to ensure your well-being. Handling dry ice can be hazardous if not done properly. Here are some key safety measures to keep in mind:

1. Protect yourself

Always wear insulated gloves and safety goggles when handling dry ice. This will safeguard your skin and eyes from potential frostbite and injuries caused by contact.

2. Adequate ventilation

Work in a well-ventilated area to prevent the accumulation of carbon dioxide gas, which can displace oxygen and lead to asphyxiation.

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3. Use appropriate containers

Store dry ice in insulated containers specifically designed to withstand its extremely low temperatures. Never seal dry ice in an airtight container, as the buildup of pressure can cause an explosion.

4. Safe handling techniques

Handle dry ice with tongs or gloves to avoid direct contact. Avoid placing dry ice in glass or delicate containers, as they may shatter due to the extreme cold.

5. Storage

Store dry ice in a well-ventilated area away from children and pets. Never store it in a refrigerator or freezer, as extremely low temperatures can damage these appliances.

Following these safety precautions will help ensure a safe working environment when using dry ice. Proper storage, handling techniques, and the use of protective clothing are crucial to prevent accidents and injuries.


What is a dry ice fog machine?

A dry ice fog machine is a device that creates a foggy effect by using dry ice. It is commonly used in various stage productions, parties, and special effects events.

What kind of container is suitable for a dry ice fog machine?

It is important to use a well-insulated container, such as a high-temperature plastic container or a steel drum, to ensure safe and efficient fog production.

Do I need to create a ventilation hole in the container?

Yes, it is crucial to create a small ventilation hole in the container to allow the release of carbon dioxide gas produced by the dry ice.

How should I secure the dry ice in the container?

Use a wire mesh or a metal screen to cover the container opening, ensuring that the dry ice does not come into direct contact with the fog machine components.

Can I use regular water in the container for the fog effect?

No, to create the fog effect, use hot water in the container. The hot water helps in the evaporation of dry ice and creates the desired foggy effect.


In conclusion, creating a dry ice fog machine can be a fun and exciting way to enhance special effects for parties, theatrical performances, or other events. However, it is crucial to prioritize safety when working with dry ice. Always remember to protect against frostbite by using gloves or tongs and avoid direct contact with bare skin.

Good ventilation is essential to prevent the risk of asphyxiation, so be sure to work in well-ventilated areas. Wearing protective clothing, such as safety goggles and long sleeves, is vital to protect against any flying particles. When storing dry ice, use insulated containers that are well-ventilated to avoid a buildup of carbon dioxide gas.

Lastly, handle dry ice with care due to its extremely cold temperatures and avoid placing it directly on surfaces that can be damaged. By following these safety precautions, you can enjoy the mesmerizing fog effects created by your homemade dry ice fog machine without any risks or accidents.