Do Fog Machines Leave Residue?

  • By: Kevin
  • Date: May 26, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.
Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Yes, fog machines do leave a residue if they contain a Glycol and water oil based mixture. To get around this you can use an all water based fog juice, however; you will then have moisture and lighter fog. If you want to avoid both of these all together a dry ice fogger machine is what you would need.

Fog machines are great for spooky Halloween celebrations, but what about the aftermath? Do they leave residue behind and if so, how do we get rid of it?

This blog post will answer those questions and more.

Which Types of Fog Machines Leave Residue

Residue can be rough when using a Fogger, especially if you have electronics around. These electronics all have fans to keep them ventilated and can bring in the chemicals inside the machines and cause issues.

The residue will occur more often with oil based fog machines. Don’t worry; there is an alternative! You can use water based fog fluid which doesn’t have any oils in it and is better to breathe when in the air.

The one downfall of this is that the smoke may not be as dense and thick.

A fog machine that uses oil based fog fluid will create residue. However, it usually isn’t a large amount unless you are in a smaller room. If this is the case, then water based fluid is a much better choice.

With the water version, the smoke will be more of a low lying smoke. You must be careful with all water based and make sure that the hose is pointed into the air and not down at the ground. They do even make low-lying fog machines.

Make sure no one is near the hose with any fog machine, as, at times, the machine can malfunction and spit out the hot fluid. Now there is one issue with using water fluid, and that is that it will create a lot of moisture in the air and can even cause things to get slippery if it is not far off the ground, but at least it will not leave a residue.

Alternatives to Fog Machines that Leave Residue

Haze Machine

A haze machine is a great alternative to a fog machine, but it doesn’t build up smoke like a fog machine. Instead, the haze machine puts a thin layer of water droplets in the air, which works amazingly with intelligent lighting.

You can shoot laser beams all around with an amazing lighting show and the haze equipment will really bring out some amazing effects. A light system like this can really bring the fans to their feet as the haze pumps through the machine and makes an amazing spectacle of lights.

Dry Ice Fogger

A dry ice fogger is another solution that won’t risk residue. The dry ice fog machine will use dry ice to create white smoke.

It can be expensive to purchase and transport the dry ice, but if you have a supplier near you, it may be worth it. The dry ice then turns directly into a gas and never hits liquid form.

You won’t have to worry about a residue film on your surfaces of equipment or furniture. Read more on can fog machines can cause damage to furniture here.

Fog Fluid Without Glycerin

You can also go the route of using a fog fluid that doesn’t have glycerin at all or add water to the fog juice so it has less oil base.

How do you get Rid of Smoke Machine Residue?

To clean your surfaces you can just use a damp paper towel to pull the residue up. Generally, it’s not that noticeable unless you are in a small room or using the machine very often.

When it comes to your electrical equipment, you may want to lay something over things like your laptop just to avoid the chemicals getting into the system and burning it out.

If you are using dry ice you won’t have to worry about any of this. If you are using water based then you would just have to worry about the moisture coming out of the foggers or hazer unit. If you notice a large buildup you can also use a liquid all-purpose cleaner to make sure you are able to remove all the chemicals that are left behind.

Fog Machine FAQ

{“@context”:””,”@type”:”FAQPage”,”@id”:””,”mainEntity”:[{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Is it a Fog Machine or Smoke Machine?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”<a href=\”\”>Fog machines</a> or fogger machines are the names of fog machines in the US. Outside of the US, most people call them smoke machines. Some people think its name is different because of the type of smoke it outputs, but that is not the case. Most of the time, that is based on the fog juice that is used for that machine.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How do you Clean a Fog Machine?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”Cleaning a fog machine is easy just purchase some distilled water and allow it to run through the machine. The distilled water will then penetrate the <a href=\”\”>areas that are almost clogged</a> and help open them.<br><br>Always clean the machine when you are noticing the smoke output has slowed down before it is completely clogged. <strong>Once cleaned you must run the machine for 5 minutes or risk the machine not working for your next session.</strong><br><br>Avoiding maintenance of the <a href=\”\”>fog machine will stop the pump from working</a>.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”What are the Big Differences between Cheaper Fog Machines?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”Cheaper fog machines don’t heat as well, and this causes them to need a break in the middle of the fog session. It may also take longer for the heater to warm up to the right temperature and start to pump the smoke out.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Can a Smoke Machine Trigger a fire alarm?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”Some smoke detectors will go off when the right amount of smoke is pumped through the machines. <a href=\”\”>This will not set off sprinkler systems</a> as something would need to burn and increase the heat on the sprinkler system.<br><br>Water-based machines are less likely to trigger them, but oil juice will definitely cause heavy and thick smoke. In fact, a lot of fire training is done with this type of machine.”}}]}


In this article, you learned the difference between oil and water fogger fluid to help not cause any film build-up. Now you properly know all the ways to avoid this.

Did you know there are also some chemicals that are not safe for you to breathe?

Please be careful and use at your own risk
None of the authors, contributors, administrators, or anyone else connected with Wild Fog, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in or linked from these web pages.