Fog machines have long been a useful unit for enhancing lighting effects. Whether creating a mysterious atmosphere of giving your light beams a visual boost, fog machines have been a staple for quite some time. But the downside of a fog machine is that the fluid often creates a sweet and acrid odor that may not be very appealing to most. While not intolerable to many, there are some that can't stand it, but all notice it.
Why Does My Fog Machine Smell?
The answer to this one is quite simple. When fog fluid is pulled from the tank, it's sprayed or dispensed onto the heating element inside the unit. This heating element vaporizes the fluid and blows the vapors out of the machine. That smell you pick up on is from the chemicals literally burning on the heating element.
If the odor is getting stronger or not so sweet, it could be the sign of further trouble. It's not uncommon for fog machine users to neglect their machines over time. If you're a yearly user, like only powering up your fog machine during halloween or a once-in-a-while gig, this problem can grow exponentially. In most cases, the more foul odors come from failing to clean the unit, or buildup inside the tubes. This old fog fluid can not only give you a stronger odor, but can seriously deteriorate the life of your fog machine.
Here are a few tips to minimize the that smell:
1. Empty Your Tank After Every UseNot the most convenient tactic, but emptying your fluid back into the original container will certainly prevent the fluid from drying inside the lines. Empty your fog machine tank and leave the tank cap open. Store your fog machine in a cool, dry environment. This will help prevent buildup inside the lines when the unit isn't in use.
2. Clean Your Fog Machine Regularly
Cleaning your fog machine can not only reduce the smell significantly, but it prevents the lines from clogging up and ruining your machine. Stale fluid in the lines is the leading cause of deterioration on fog machine life. Chauvet DJ's FCQ is a quart of fog machine cleaner. When used, this fluid can create a very strong vinegar odor, but rest assured it's for the best of the machine.
3. Use ADJ Fog Scents
A little bit of work can go a long way in getting rid of that fog machine smell, and does wonders for the people more sensitive to it. If you've tried all of these tricks and still seem to be having problems, consider a water-based haze machine, or something that significantly lowers the amount of fog dispersed at one time.