1. Education

Video:How to Make A Stink Bomb

with Dr. Anne Helmenstine

A stink bomb is a classic chemistry prank. While not actually a bomb in any sense, stink bombs make people scatter like one has been set off.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Education Videos
  • Chemistry Videos

Transcript:How to Make A Stink Bomb

A stink bomb is a classic chemistry prank. While not actually a bomb in any sense, people scatter like one had been set off. Hi, I'm Dr. Anne Helmenstine for About.com. I'm going to show you how to make your own stink bomb from two common household ingredients.

Easy Stink Bomb

The easiest stink bomb is made by crushing an old rotten egg. The rotten egg smell is hydrogen sulfide gas. Commercial stink bombs use a related stinky molecule, ammonium sulfide, which smells terrible but is less toxic than hydrogen sulfide.

Ammonium Sulfide Stink Bomb

The stink bomb we're making today produces ammonium sulfide, just like a stink bomb you'd get at a store.

Supplies for Making a Stink Bomb

All you need to make your own stink bomb is:
  • a book of matches
  • some household ammonia
  • and an empty plastic bottle with a cap

Directions for Making a Stink Bomb

Cut the heads off 20 matches, which is the number in a book, and put them into the bottle. Add two tablespoons of ammonia. Cap the bottle and let your stink bomb sit for a few days. The ammonium sulfide is formed from a reaction between hydrogen sulfide from the match heads and excess ammonia. This reaction takes some time, so it's important to give your stink bomb a few days to ripen before setting it off.

The stink bomb is flammable and toxic in high concentrations, so only use it in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors.

I hope you've enjoyed this easy chemistry prank. To get ideas for more science pranks and tricks please visit me on the web at About.com. Thanks for watching!
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.