Foggers, just like any other device in your haunt, need to be taken care of in order to continue working properly. Luckily, as they’re fairly simple in design, they’re easy to maintain.
We always recommend using actual fog machine cleaner fluid from companies such as Froggy’s, but in the event that you’re in a real pinch, you CAN use distilled water and vinegar to remove mineral deposits. Do not use tap-water. You’re also going to want to set some sort of schedule up – every 90 hours of use is a decent and memorable timeframe to clean your machine. And yes, we are aware that “clean your machine” probably sounds like a euphemism for something else.
One of the most common problems people have with their fog machines actually comes after a healthy season of use. The natural inclination is to perform a thorough cleaning and then store the fogger in a temperate, dry place. However, what many haunters find the next season is that their carefully cleaned and preciously stored little machine of evil ambience is no longer working. We’ve heard all sorts of explanations, including that cleaning the fog machine is actually the culprit behind why it stopped working. Of course, that’s simply not true.
What happens is that after cleaning, water and condensation remains inside of the unit. As it evaporates, the water rusts and corrodes the innards of the machine and in turn, your product turns into a very valuable piece of garbage that you’ll hold on for far too long, hoping to figure out a way to fix it.
So here we go – the proper way to clean your fog machine:
How to Clean a Fog Machine in 10 Steps
- The first thing you’re going to want to do is turn your fogger off and unplug it. Maybe a “duh” step for you, but as we’ve learned by getting a lot of electrical shocks/breaking a lot of products, it never hurts to be reminded.
- Wait for the fog machine to cool down, you impatient adrenaline junkie. After that, pour the fluid out and save it, unless you love wasting all your money on fog fluid.
- Rinse out the tank using distilled water. DISTILLED. Or reverse osmosis water. Whatever – just not tap water, enriched water, or a bunch of tobacco spit you’ve been holding on to.
- We’ll use Froggy’s Fog Machine Cleaner as an example product because hey – we’re a business and we sell it. Anyway, take one cup of the famous Froggy’s Fog Machine Cleaner, (Fully Clean! More Power! High Quality! Handmade in the USA!) and pour it into the tank.
- Turn the machine back on and run it until almost all of the liquid is used up. Don’t ever run your fog machine totally dry. Then turn the sucker off and unplug it again.
- Empty the rest of the cleaner out and rinse the tank with DISTILLED water.
- Pour one cup of DISTILLED water into the tank.
- Turn the fogger on and run the machine until almost all of the distilled water is used up. Dump out the remaining water – unless you’re extremely cheap and wish to save it.
- Turn the fogger off (and unplug it), then rinse once more with distilled water.
- Put a small amount of fog fluid into the tank, then turn the machine on and run it until you get maybe 8 good puffs of fog out of it.
That’s it! Your fogger is properly cleaned. Turn it off, unplug it, and then store it on a level surface somewhere that isn’t too cold and isn’t too hot.