How to Make a Green Fire Tornado 1

Green Fire Tornado
Green Fire Tornado (Anne Helmenstine)

Make a green fire tornado using common household materials. It’s easy to do and looks amazing!

Green Fire Tornado Materials

  • lazy susan turntable (found this one at Bed Bath & Beyond) – [Non-Skid Cabinet Turntable, 9-Inch at Amazon]
  • mesh waste basket that fits on the turntable (also found at Bed Bath & Beyond) – [Round Mesh Wastebasket at Amazon]
  • methanol (I used Heet fuel treatment)
  • boric acid or borax

If you can’t find a lazy susan, you can use a stool or table or any other object you can spin. If you don’t have a mesh waste basket, you can make a cylinder out of chicken wire or window screen fabric. What matters is that air can enter the sides of the cylinder and you can see through it. If you don’t have methanol, you can use lighter fluid or rubbing alcohol. If you can’t find borax (laundry booster) or boric acid (disinfectant powder and roach killer), you can get green flames using copper sulfate (root killer and algicide).

Make a Green Fire Tornado

  1. Set the waste basket on the carousel.
  2. Practice spinning the container. You do not need to spin it quickly to get the vortex to form. You do need to make sure the set-up won’t fall over before you put fire inside, as a basic safety precaution.
  3. Sprinkle a bit of boric acid, borax, or copper sulfate in the middle of the container.
  4. Moisten it with a small amount of fuel.
  5. Use a long-handled lighter or candle to ignite the fuel. Pretty, right? (Yes, I am a pyro.)
  6. Slowly spin the carousel to form the tornado. The fuel will go out on its own fairly quickly, although you can also blow it out to stop the flame.