The warm glow of a campfire has an entrancing effect that causes people to stare at it in mesmerized awe for hours at a time. It’s easy to get lost in thoughtful reverie while gazing into the orange and yellow flames of a campfire. However, you can take your mystical musings one step further when you know how to change the color of fire in your wood burning fire pit.
Imagine the astonishment in your children’s faces when you magically change the scarlet tainted yellow of the flames to a vibrant purple or emerald green. Changing the color of fire is actually very easy to do – it is cool, funky and fun!
Making Colored Fire
Changing the color of a fire is very easy once you learn how. It’s fun, inexpensive, and will create novel moments that you and your family will remember for years to come. Just follow these simple steps to add a little flair to your flames and keep the kids entertained when they get bored.
Step 1 Exercise Safety When Using Colorants in a Fire
There are plenty of dangers associated with a normal fire that you have to be aware of. These include; sparks flying through the air and starting an unintentional fire, logs rolling out of the fire, smoke inhalation, burns, and high winds. It’s important to pay attention to all of these concerns, and when making colored flames, there are a few more unique safety measures that you must abide by.
A. Cook Food Before Using Colorants This is extremely important due to the toxicity found in many of the chemicals used to create color in fire. These toxins, when released, can settle in food, causing everyone who eats it to become sick. So cook the marshmallows first!
- SAFETY WARNING Cook all food prior to using colorants. This includes the main course as well as s’mores, marshmallows, popcorn, and anything else you intend to eat.
B. Avoid Smoke Inhalation Heat, ash, and gas in smoke treat your lungs harshly. Add to that the toxins in colorants and you’ve got some really good reasons to avoid inhaling smoke from a colored fire. Use caution when tending the fire and make sure everyone sits upwind to avoid breathing the toxic fumes.
C. Wash Your Hands After Handling Treated Materials The last thing you want to do is have a lot of flammable chemicals on your hands when working around a fire, so be sure to wash them thoroughly after handling any treated materials. A good soapy scrubbing will also keep you from inadvertently rubbing chemicals into your eyes or mouth.
D. No Need to Avoid Indoor Fires Most manufacturers allow you to use the colorants indoors as well. Colorants will work in any wood burning fire, but for safety and ventilation, its best to use them outdoors whenever possible. Read the instructions on the packet from different campanies.
E. Fire Extinguisher Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand when burning a fire. This is especially important when handling and storing objects treated with flammable materials.
Step 2 Select a Festive Reason to Change the Color of a Fire
It may seem odd at the first mention of altering your flame’s color, but if you think about it for a few minutes, it turns out there are all sorts of occasions when it makes sense.
- Child’s Birthday Party
- New Year’s
- Independence Day
- Backyard Parties
- Special Occasions (during a meteor shower or when your team wins the big game)
Step 3 Choose From Several Easy Methods of Coloring Fire
A. Add Colorants You can find some really amazing color changing products such as Mystical Fire and Rainbow Flame Crystals at online stores. Not only are these products long-lasting in your fire, they are surprisingly inexpensive. For most manufacturers, just throw the unopened packets in the flames. Buying packs of 12 are 50 are most economical. hey make inexpensive and novel gifts for any season. Adin gmore packs will also give you a bigger, longer lasting fire.
B. Pine Cones Pine cones are a natural burning material, that when treated with chemicals, burn bright blues and greens. You can learn more about colored pine cones here.
C. Add Chemicals to the Fire See “How to Make Colored Flames with Chemicals.”
D. Make Your Own Color Changing Materials If you have access to certain chemicals, you can treat logs, sawdust, and rolled up newspapers to burn astonishingly vivid colors. You can also mix chemicals with wax thereby allowing them to ignite slowly as the wax melts. You can find a more detailed discussion on this topic at “How to Make Colored Flames with Chemicals.”
Step 4 Add Colorants to the Fire
A. Remove the Cooking Grill If you used one; remove it so that it doesn’t get chemicals on it.
B. Add Coloring Packets Carefully place flame coloring containers from products such as Mystical Fire and Rainbow Flame Crystals into the fire in an area where they can burn and become part of the flames. Remember, these products have been designed to change the color of the flames, so make sure your fire has flames and isn’t just a bed of embers.
C. Use Pine Cones and other Alternatives You can also feed the fire with treated pine cones, chemical-filled wax, or treated logs. Be sure to wash your hands frequently for personal safety.
Step 5 Manage the Fire Safely
A. Add Fuel or Colorant as Desired A typical coloring packet will burn for as little as 10 minutes and as long as 40 minutes. You may choose to add more wood to the fire or possibly more colorant.
B. Let the Fire Burn Down You won’t want any chemical residue in your fire that could effect the next time you burn, especially if it involves cooking food. To be safe, make sure everything burns completely whenever you use chemically treated items.
C. Ensure Everything is Cool Never leave hot coals in a fire pit. Ensure everything is cool to the touch before you call it a night.
Step 6 Tidy Up
You will need to clean out the fire pit after everything has cooled down and properly dispose of the ashes after they are completely cool. Because you have used chemicals in the fire, it is best to throw the ashes away and not in the compost bin or garden.
Step 7 Take Photos
Remember to take photos of the kids and your friends enjoying the ultimate campfire party.
When you know how to change the color of fire, it will only give you the ultimate experience when watching wood burning flames.
Watch the video below to see what colored flames look like in action.