If the Winter looks more like a grey Autumn and you’re left yearning for a nice, thick blanket of crisp snow, then why not give mother nature the break she deserves and take things into your own hands with a snow machine? Even if it’s not to save Christmas, a snow machine adds a festive vibe to any party, film shoot, or event. Here, we offer an answer to the ten most frequently asked questions about snow machines.

The Top 10 Snow Machine Themed Questions

#1: Does a Snow Machine Make Real Snow?

In a word: no. To make proper, real snow, you’ll need some professional gear with cooling, like the stuff used to make snow at indoor (and outdoor) ski slopes. The kind of … more humble … snow machines we’ll be talking about, generally use a special fluid that’s literally blown through a nylon gauze to mimic snow.

#2: Does it Really Look Like Snow?

Yes! It looks a lot like snow! The fluid is forced through the gauze to make snow-like foam. A powerful fan then disperses the foam, breaking it into little pieces that fly away like snowflakes.

#3: You Can Make Snowballs Out of it, Right?

It would take a fair bit of patience, and you’d end up making more of a soap-ball than a snowball. It will also leave your hands feeling slippery.

#4: Does the Snow Settle?

Yes, but it’s still foam-based stuff, much like soap-suds. As long as the surface is reasonably dry, and the texture of the floor has some grip, like a pavement, then the snow can stick around for maybe quarter of an hour.

#5: Is the Snow Toxic or Dangerous?

Nothing is healthy in large amounts, but if a little flake of foam-based snow happens to land on your face or fall into your mouth, it’s ok. Contact with the skin is not dangerous and very rarely causes any irritation. However, it is best to pay attention to where your snow machine is aimed and where the snow is likely to fall. To avoid causing any accidents, never use a snow machine where the floor can easily become slippery.

#6: What’s that Weird Thing Sticking Out of the Front of the Machine?

The front of a snow machine will usually have a little nylon stocking-looking thing sticking out of it and this is secured by a tie-wrap. This weird looking thing needs to stay exactly where it is! The snow juice builds up behind the ‘stocking’ and is then forced through and it’s this that creates the pretty little snow-flake effect. The little flakes are then dispersed by a powerful fan.

#7: What Kind of Fluid Goes in a Snow Machine?

The kind of snow machines we’re talking about only work with specialised snow fluid. This is a substance that looks a little like soapy water and is the only kind of fluid that a snow machine can use. So don’t try filling your machine with some water and a little dish soap because it unfortunately just won’t work. Be careful when filling your machine to avoid making a mess. In fact, it’s best to use a funnel to fill it up. Most machines will come with a removable fluid tank so that you can neatly refill it over a sink or drain.

#8: How Long Will a Litre or a Whole Jerry Can Last?

This totally depends on the snow machine you’re using and what you’re using it for. If you want to spread a nice shower of snow that leaves a light layer behind, then there’s no need to run the machine continuously and/or at full power. This also depends on the power of the snow machine. The more powerful the fan and pump, the more snow you get – but, you also use up more fluid. Even a smaller snow machine can produce a generous amount of snow only using a litre of fluid, which is perfect for producing a nice amount of snow for up to around 30 minutes. Bigger machines often have a capacity of about 3 to 5 litres and can go on for longer when not used at full power.

#9: Can a Snow Machine Stand On its Own? Can it be Suspended?

You get the best effect out of a snow machine when it’s placed in a higher position (so, higher than your audience, for example). They can be mounted on something like a lighting stand or a balcony, or above the entry of a building or shop. Positioning the snow machine on a higher level means that the spread of the snow is greater, creating a more convincing effect – just make sure it’s not too windy. If you are using the machine outside, make sure to keep it out of the rain or any moisture, or even real snow, since it’s still an electrical device. Make sure not to position the snow machine so that the nozzle is pointing against the wind. While it’s not necessarily the case that a small blizzard of snow will be blown back into your face, prevention is always the best solution.

#10 How Do You Clean a Snow Machine After Use?

After use, you’ll notice that you’re surrounded by foam and there’s foam all over the machine. Normally, these machines are finished with a protective coating to prevent rust, but it’s always wise to unplug the machine then give it a good wipe with a lightly damp cloth to keep it in good condition. If you know that you’re not going to be using it for a long time, then remove the suction tube from the tank then run the machine until you can hear that the pump has run completely dry. You’ll know as soon as this happens since it makes a bit of a racket. This completely clears out the fluid system so that no little deposits of liquid are left behind.

If you have any other snow machine related questions, let us know in the comments!

4 responses
  1. Bill Nelson says:

    Can you point the snow machine straight up?

  2. Amanda Smith says:

    Can you lengthen the solution tube to put in a bigger bottle for longer running time on a snow machine

    • Since extending the tube requires making modifications to the machine, that’s something we unfortunately have to advise against.

      But, if the built-in tank is too small, you can set up a larger jerry can and see if the fitted tube will reach. Theoretically, this should work, and won’t cause any damage.

      Marnix | Bax Music

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