How to Change The Color of a Campfire Flame

By eHow Contributor
Various flame colors on the same fire using multiple chemicals
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How to change the color of the flame on a campfire (or almost any other fire) to red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, purple, or white.

Step 1

The most important and first step is read all the warnings for this article. If you don't, very bad things could happen.

Step 2

Now determine what color you want to change the flame to. The options are red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, purple, and bright white.

Step 3

Now you need to get some of the material required to give you your desired color. Do note ahead of time that all of these materials are available on ebay or from specialized online retailers. You can search ebay or google products to find someone that sells them. None of them are terribly expensive. But if there's an easier way to get some, I'll mention it below. Here's the breakdown by color:

Red: any Strontium salt like Strontium carbonate, Strontium nitrate, and Strontium sulfate. It's commonly found in road flares so if you have one, gut it.

Orange: calcium chloride. It's in laundry bleach but it's too difficult to separate out from there

Yellow: Sodium Nitrate

Green: Barium salts such as Barium nitrate or Barium chlorate. Chlorate works the best by far.

Turquoise: Copper sulfate. It's found in algaecides for pools and ponds and possibly in a high enough concentration to work.

Blue: Copper Chloride

Purple: Potassium permanganate

White: Magnesium Sulfate. It's found in epsom salts but I haven't gotten it to react very well myself. I've heard plain old magnesium filings works so well, the intensity can damage your eyes so you might want to try that

Step 4

Build a campfire and let it burn until there is a decent bed of red embers present. Let the flames die down a little but there should still be some visible. Usually about 1 foot flames with brightly glowing red embers is about right.

Step 5

Carefully add your chosen material directly onto the embers. Add only a small amount at first to test and make sure no unexpected chemical reactions like an explosion occurs. Keep adding more until you see a noticeable change. It may take up to a minute for the effect on the flame to be visible.