How Does A Fog Machine Work? The Truth Behind The Hazy Fog

Have you ever attended a concert, particularly an EDM festival? Have you ever observed all those light effects and visual displays on the stage? However, there seems to be something lacking which appeals to the tumultuous atmosphere. That’s true, it’s the fog machine’s smoke. So now you’re probably wondering, “How does a fog machine work?”

What exactly is the backstory of these fog machines? With just a little fog, how could it be that thrilling? You might well have noticed puffs of smoke remaining in the area, giving it a mystic air. You might also have observed that people are putting on a bit of fog to improve the ambiance at Halloween, disco clubs, plays, as well as musicals, and especially at EDM festivals.

So how do the staff create this awesome yet alluring kind of smoke? You’re about to learn it, as we will show you a thorough look into this amazing equipment.

What Is A Fog Machine?

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Have you really come across equipment known as fog machines? If you aren’t already aware of this machine, then you might want to in case you need to make those massive plumes of smoke to raise everybody’s mood.

Yet, until we learn further, are they really deployed as smoke makers to improve the atmosphere of a concert? Is there something else these devices could do?  There really is, without a doubt! Antiseptics now are applied using these fog makers! And it’s something users might all benefit from in these difficult moments.

Components Of A Fog Machine

To understand how all these machines make mist, you must first understand the machine’s components. These fog machines mainly consist of:

  • A jug contains the raw resources/fluid that would be transformed into fog later on.
  • A pump that takes the raw resources/fluid out from the jug and transports it to the remainder of said equipment.
  • Its heating core is perhaps the most crucial component of the fog machine. This really is the main component of the equipment that creates smoke.
  • The motherboard/memory card manages and helps the machine function properly.

Effects That A Fog Machine Can Make

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  • Smoke: Utilizing smoke cookies and smoke cartridges, and perhaps other combustible material, fog machines could be modified to produce smoke displays.
  • Fog: A mist fluid is mixed within the heat exchanger, often referred to as a fog engine, to generate such an effect. Its fluid portion including its material would be heated till it combusts and forms a dense visual fog.
  • Haze: To produce illusions resembling lightning rays, this equipment employs a chemical called haze liquid.
  • CO₂ in liquid form: This could be combined with such a specifically formulated fog liquid to create extremely rich and forceful sweeping clouds. This chemical swells into a mist once emitted into the environment, condensing the water vapor to create spectacular effects.
  • Dry Ice: When CO₂ and dry ice are combined, they sublimate into a gas. The gas eventually compresses carbon dioxide, resulting in a thick white fog with lesser mist effects.
  • Liquid Nitrogen: This chemical could be raised to a melting temperature within the fog generator, resulting in vapor as well as increased moisture.
  • Once the humidity from the inside of the equipment compresses, it produces a dense white mist that floats to the floor.

Types Of Fog Machines

Despite the fact that it’s the mechanism in most fog machines, there seem to be two common and extensively utilized approaches for fog machines to operate. There are indeed two types of fog makers, depending upon the basic materials utilized and how these are employed. These are as follows:

  • Fog machines that use dry ice.
  • Fog machines that work with fluids.

How Does A Fog Machine Work?

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Fluid For The Fog Machine

With the assistance of a pumping system, the fluid, also called fog juice, is put within the fluid container and forced to travel through the heat exchanger.

The fluid material is reduced to a mist whenever its heat exchanger exceeds the threshold heat of 400 degrees F. This mist is transported via the device’s nozzle and discharged into the atmosphere.

When this discharged mist comes into contact with the chilly environment, it turns into the transparent mist we describe as mist or haze, which is observable to all of us. The procedure of vaporizing fog machine liquid has been commonly referred to as “flashing.”

Most fog machine fluids on the market these days are based on water or maybe a blend of water and glycol. As a result, do ensure that the fog juice you’re applying is really the one suggested for your equipment.

Each fog maker does have its own set of fluids that allow it to function properly. Unless you ignore this warning and utilize fog juice instead, you would almost certainly get a poor fog that would be potentially damaging or harmful to the equipment.

The Pump

The machine pump is indeed an integral part of the fog liquid delivery operation. It also is known as a piston pump, and it’s responsible for transferring fog juice first from the equipment container to the heat exchanger.

Once the piston pump starts running, you’ll hear a distinct noise coming from its piston to ensure that it is really working. Assure the pump doesn’t discharge the fluid overly fast, otherwise, the heater might shut off quickly. This seems to be linked to an overwhelming amount of fluid passing through its metal block.

The Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is installed in this device, which is constructed like solid metal. It has a thermometer integrated inside that controls the heat within. Whenever the fluid finishes heating, it becomes a mist and passes through the fog maker’s nozzle.

The Nozzle 

Brass is used to constructing fog machines nozzles. Once high compression is applied, it does have small gaps which enable steam to escape. As a result, the nozzle, as well as its aperture, remains extremely hot and combustible.

Control System

The fog generator includes a single-button remote that makes administration easier. Whenever you want to discharge the fog into the air, you normally push the button on the remote control downwards.

It is indeed best to utilize a remote with time adjustments so you can regulate when the fog would be produced. The fog machine control system may be used to determine the amount of mist you would like to emit as well as how long it could stay.

Fog machines could be utilized in television shows, studio films, festivals, theme parks, concerts, clubs, as well as other potential entertainment locations to generate unusual specular lighting.

As a matter of fact, if you’d like to create mid-air beam visual effects where you can utilize to build the ambiance in a particular theme to excite the crowd, a fog generator should always be a must-have.

If you somehow still find it hard to swallow all the information, feel free to check out this video:

Fog Machines That Use Dry Ice

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These fog generators, as their title indicates, operate by utilizing dry ice to create the mist required. Dry ice is a term that every science learner should be familiar with. It is indeed solid CO₂, and thus the fog created with it includes a large quantity of CO₂ as well.

This typical fog machine generates a mystical fog illusion that clings to the bottom instead of floating about the area, despite the fact that CO₂ is not eco-friendly. This distinguishes it from the latter in terms of aesthetics.

How Does A Dry Ice Fog Machine Work?

Dry ice fog generators are enormous barrels with such a water heater that are commonly featured in theatre and film settings. Outside of the container, a valve or pipe transfers the fog. The dry ice, as well as a mechanism that could increase or reduce the tank’s dry ice, is perhaps the most significant aspect of the installation. This is the inside of a dry ice fog maker.

What Is The Process Of Using A Dry Ice Fog Machine?

  • The water heater is powered on in order to heat the water in the tank.
  • The dry ice is placed in the container and connected with the hot water.
  • Then it’s time to get down to business with science! Condensation occurs as dry ice is put into the container, in which it conducts disintegration to create cold CO₂ gas.
  • As the fog is made out of cool co2 gas which is absolutely non-poisonous, it would minimize risk.
  • The main drawback that consumers may have would be that the fog might not last long because it evaporates quickly, plus it also requires a huge amount of dry ice, making it tough to generate, considering the mystical effect the mist produces in the surrounding.

Fog Machines That Work With Fluids

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Fluid-based fog makers are the most up-to-date fog generators, using the most cutting-edge techniques. These types of fog machines could be more useful than dry ice fog makers because the fog could last much longer. Just about everything in the fog produced by this machine is unique, such as the chemical structure of the fog.

As such, what was in this type of fog generator? And if you’re not familiar with chemicals and science, guessing could be challenging. It makes extensive use of a chemical component known as glycerol. Nonetheless, there’ve been certain variants and advances which use more practicable and much less dangerous substances.

The fluid in this system is swapped with disinfection fluids such as chlorine, allowing you to mist any region you desire while keeping it germ-free.

Feel free to take a glance at these typical fluid-based fog machines that we’ve picked out:

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How Does A Fluid-Based Fog Machine Work?

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Even though there’ve been many changes and modifications of these fluid-based fog machines, the basic version and structure have remained nearly unchanged. It indeed is made up of fluid storage, a compressor that enables the liquid to circulate through the equipment, a heat exchanger, which we consider to be the most important portion of the equipment, as well as a nozzle that lets the fog exit the fog generators.

You might be questioning, how does a fog machine work with that kind of arrangement within the fluid-based fog maker, which is completely distinct from the typical dry ice fogger and its arrangement. Well here’s the solution to your query!

What Is The Process Of Using A Fluid-Based Fog Machine?

  • In the fluid storage of the machine, there is indeed a chemical component named glycol. In certain cases, the fluid storage is made up of a blend of water & glycol.
  • The fluid is pumped further into the heat exchanger by the fog maker’s pump gear. The combination of glycol & water is warmed in the heat exchanger to create steam.
  • Whenever needed, this mist, which is rapidly growing owing to the temperature, is blasted outside the nozzle. The mist is created when this mist combination encounters the cool air outside.

This would be precisely how the modern fogging devices create the appropriate fog effect. They’re a lot simpler to use, and they can generate fog that lasts far better than that of a dry ice fog maker. There really are various possibilities, though select for a fog generator that reduces danger while maintaining the very same core concept and functionality!


Even though we’ve all experienced fog machines in various locations, we’re not quite aware of the function or how they work. Therefore, we expect that this information can answer your question of “How does a fog machine work?”, and thus helpful in enlightening you as well as giving you a better understanding of their functions.

Even when you’re not fond of the music industry, you may want to buy your personal fog machine loaded with sanitizer so that both you and other partygoers can avoid any unwanted diseases which would drop everyone’s mood!

We hope that you find this article informative and helpful!

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