How to Make Gunpowder with Salt and Sugar!

We here at Don’t Get Bit have always held the ideas that, sure we’re awesome, sure we are deadly and sure we give great advice. But underlying that is the idea that, FOR GOD SAKES WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU GUYS F*CKING YOURSELVES UP!

The best chemistry experiments are those you can perform with items already laying around your house. With only some sugar, salt substitute and an instant cold pack, you can make your very own gunpowder! Being able to make homemade gunpowder without a trip to the store can be a lifesaver, no matter if it’s just for testing out a Civil War-era musket, blowing up stubborn tree stumps, or preparing for battle when imperialists overrun your country.

Materials You Need…

  • Instant cold pack
  • Salt substitute
  • Water
  • Glass jars
  • Coffee filters
  • Scale that can measure grams
  • Stove or hotplate

In making saltpeter, we combined ammonium nitrate from the cold pack with potassium chloride from the salt substitute. Chemically, the equation looks like this:

NH4NO3 + KCl -> KNO3 + NH4Cl

Essentially, what we are doing is switching around the compound words in the chemicals. We are inducing the two chemicals to exchange ions so that ammonium nitrate and potassium chloride become potassium nitrate and ammonium chloride. The potassium nitrate crystalizes while the ammonium chloride remains a liquid.

For the complete directions head over to Mad Science!