The Matzav Shmoooze: Beware of Bottle Bombs


bottle-bombDear Editor,

Kids and others are putting Drano, tin foil, and a little water in plastic drink bottles and capping it up, leaving it on lawns, in mail boxes, in gardens, on driveways, etc. just waiting for you to pick it up intending to put it in the garbage, but you’ll never make it…

If the bottle is picked up, and the bottle is shaken even just a little, in about 30 seconds or less it builds up enough gas which then explodes with enough force to remove some of your extremities. The liquid that comes out is boiling hot as well.

Don’t pick up any plastic bottles that may be lying in your yards or in the gutter, etc.

Pay attention to this. A plastic bottle with a cap. A little Drano. A little water. A small piece of foil. Disturb it by moving it and BOOM! No fingers left and other serious effects to your face, eyes, etc.


A Matzav Reader


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. Thanks for the “recipe.” You should have stuck with the warning and not gone into details on the method. Not everyone who reads this site is an eidel baal-midos. All you need is one nut-case….

  2. Why are urban legends being posted here in the form of a letter? No identifying words as to the author, area in which it’s happening, etc…

  3. I think the author needs to supply more details regarding the areas where these incidents are taking place and the number of reportings. A general warning is good and appropriate, but there should be as many details supplied as possible.

  4. Are you trying to teach people how to make these bombs, or are you trying to warn people of the danger? You put in too much detail.

  5. I really am utterly shocked (!!) that you provided CLEAR instructions to everyone out there on how to create a simple and harmful homemade bomb! Please have it removed- (or you can post the article without the “recipe”. I feel it is dangerous information if a curious person (be it child/adult) wants to experiment with it.

  6. I appreciate the warning but why did you give the recipe for this dangerous thing (see Gemara baba Mitzea story Rav Yochanan ) I hope no boys will be encouraged to try it

  7. While the above may have been true (as it did supposedly happen somewhere in Michigan in late 2010,) if this hasn’t been verified as happening currently or lately in our area it doesn’t belong here on

    At best, its fear-mongering; at worst teaching immature kids a VERY dangerous trick.

    I respectfully suggest this article be removed, unless matzav has a very practical reason for posting this now.

  8. “Don¬ít pick up any plastic bottles that may be lying in your yards or in the gutter”.

    Yeh, right! So Bl$$mberg can give us a sanitation ticket? Come on.

  9. to all you brilliant posters:

    This is not the full recipe. Not all the ingredients were included here. so get off your high horse and chill.

  10. agreed with posters. You can say to avoid any bottles since they have dangerous substances, but posting the ‘recipe’ is not a very good idea, to say the least!

  11. WELL,
    first I learned what to be aware of, and how dangerous it is.I never would’ve dreamed an innocent bottle is all evil.
    now we need to know what to do if one is discovered?
    are WE expected to remove it?
    Imagine how many childrens lifes and ours are saved by the article….
    as far as the ingredient listing.
    Yes it did go to far

  12. P.S…on second thought…it is stupid to report the ingredients…..really silly…but then again, you won’t print my post

  13. what a world we live in, I am so happy that we have such caring people now that just like to do things like this…

  14. just FYI that recipe is available everywhere and is basic chemistry, the author was doing you a favor by informing you of a threat, appreciate it.