The Solo Stove is a popular portable fire pit that uses a double wall design to promote more efficient burning and less smoke. Some people like to add fire colorant packets to the fire in their Solo Stove to change the flames to different colors like blue, green, or purple for aesthetic purposes or during celebrations. However, there has been some debate around whether or not these fire colorants are safe and effective to use in a Solo Stove.
What are fire colorants?
Fire colorant packets, sometimes called fire colors or flame colors, are chemicals made up of metallic salts that are designed to change the color of flames when burned. Common fire colorants include:
- Copper chloride – blue flame
- Barium chloride – green flame
- Calcium chloride – orange flame
- Strontium chloride – red flame
- Sodium chloride – yellow flame
These metallic salts get vaporized when heated and then get deposited on the soot particles in the flame, changing the way the soot emits light and resulting in colored flames. The color depends on the specific metallic ions present.
Fire colorants are commonly sold in packet form to be tossed directly into an open fire. Some key considerations with fire colorant packets:
- They typically burn for 30-60 seconds per packet.
- Multiple packets can be used for a longer lasting effect.
- The flames start changing color once the packet contents vaporize and hit the flames.
- Fire colors are safe for wood fires when used as directed.
Are fire colors safe to use in a Solo Stove?
The short answer is yes, fire colorant packets are generally considered safe to use in a Solo Stove in small quantities.
However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind:
- Only use a small amount – 1-2 packets at a time max.
- Avoid prolonged use – just occasional color bursts are recommended.
- Use caution and supervise at all times.
- Make sure the stove is on a fireproof surface.
- Follow all safety directions on the package.
The double wall design of the Solo Stove already promotes more complete burning and less smoke. Adding a fire colorant can temporarily disrupt the flame pattern and air flow when first added. But using a modest amount at a time minimizes any issues.
Solo Stove themselves say small quantities of fire colorants are generally ok to use as an occasional festive accent. But they advise against sustained use during normal burning.
Will fire colors work well in a Solo Stove?
Fire colorant packets can work in a Solo Stove, but the results may be a bit mixed compared to an open campfire pit.
There are a few factors that influence how well flame colors will show up and work when used in a Solo Stove:
- Enclosed space – The enclosed design means less wind/air mixing initially as the packets burn.
- Smaller flames – The smaller, hotter flames inside the stove don’t provide as much surface area for colors.
- Good ventilation – The packets need adequate airflow to vaporize and circulate.
- Temperature – Needs to be hot enough (600+°F) to vaporize the metallic salts.
- Wood type – Softwoods like pine produce more smoke and soot to capture colors.
Under optimal conditions, fire colors can work decently in a Solo Stove for short bursts. The metallic ions still vaporize and get taken upwards by convection before cooling and depositing on soot particles.
But don’t expect as bold or long-lasting effects compared to a big open campfire. Start with 1 packet and increase as needed for better color versus overdosing.
Tips for the best results
Here are some tips for success when using fire colorant packets in a Solo Stove:
- Use softwoods like pine for more smoke/soot.
- Let the fire establish and preheat before adding packets.
- Toss packets directly into flames for fastest vaporization.
- Try 1 packet at a time and increase as needed.
- Reload fresh packets as needed for longer shows.
- Avoid strong winds which dissipate the colored smoke.
- Consider a stove screen for better containment.
- Watch your face/hands when adding packets.
The Solo Stove Bonfire model is the best choice if you want to regularly use fire colors. The larger flames and airflow better launch the metallic ions upwards for coloring.
For best results, let the fire get very hot first and use softwoods for more smoke. Toss a packet directly into the flames and allow it to fully vaporize before adding more. Using a stove screen can help confinement.
Any safety concerns?
There are no major safety issues with occasionally using small amounts of fire colorant packets in a Solo Stove. But proper precautions are advised:
- Use only 1-2 packets at once and don’t overuse them.
- Follow all warning labels and directions.
- Watch for product residue on the stove edges.
- Avoid breathing in any vapors or ash.
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case.
- Exercise caution when adding packets to the fire.
- Supervise at all times.
- Stop use if irritation occurs.
The main hazards would be accidentally ingesting or inhaling the metallic salts and any product residue left on the stove surfaces. Barium chloride is toxic if ingested in large amounts. But the small quantity contained in a packet is not hazardous with proper handling.
Any safety risks can be further reduced by using the minimum number of packets, avoiding prolonged use, following directions, supervising children, and practicing general fire pit safety. Overall, occasional fire colorant use in a Solo Stove is considered reasonably safe if done properly.
Are there other options besides packets?
If you want colored flames in your Solo Stove but are hesitant about chemical powder packets, there are some alternative options:
Wood fire colorants
These liquid solutions can be directly applied to logs or charcoal. As the treated wood burns, it changes the flame colors for a longer lasting effect compared to powder packets.
You can buy the chloride salt compounds like calcium chloride or sodium chloride in bulk powder form. These can be safely sprinkled into the fire in small amounts.
Colored fire glass crystals
Adding a few colored fire glass crystals like blues and greens can tint the flames without chemicals. These are made from colored glass crystals.
These plastic disposable products have color embedded inside a clear wrap. As it heats up, the colors drip down into the flames for a lasting effect.
Some liquid fire colorants come in spray bottle form for application onto logs or charcoal just prior to burning. Misting on the colors allows for a more controlled and longer lasting effect.
While an occasional fire colorant packet can be used safely in a Solo Stove, the results may not be as bold or long-lasting compared to an open campfire. Using softwoods, adequate preheating, and tossing packets directly into flames can help maximize the colorful effect. Exercising proper safety precautions like using only 1-2 packets at once, avoiding inhalation of vapors, and supervising children is important. For best results and safety, limit colorful flame use to special occasions. Alternatives like colored crystals or treated wood can also provide a fun pop of color without the need for chemical packets.
|Pros of using fire colors in Solo Stove
|Cons of using fire colors in Solo Stove
Summary of key points
- Use only 1-2 fire color packets at once in Solo Stove.
- Allow stove and fire to preheat before adding packets.
- Toss packets directly into flames for best results.
- Supervise carefully and avoid breathing vapors.
- Consider alternatives like treated wood for longer color.
- Limit colorful flame use to special occasions.
While fire colorant packets can be used safely in a Solo Stove in small amounts, take proper safety precautions. The performance and results may not be as strong as an open campfire. But the occasional festive burst of color can still add some flare to your Solo Stove experience.