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So-called 'Drano bombs' are making a comeback — and it's scary

Homemade bombs are popping up in yards around the Northeast.
drano bomb spotting
Photo: Twitter / JoshEiniger7

They might not be as damaging as devices made with metal fragments and pressure cookers, but a type of homemade bomb called the Drano bomb that’s been used to prank people for decades is making a comeback.

And it’s all thanks to the viral nature of social media sites like YouTube and Facebook.

The Drano bomb — a type of bottle bomb also known as a works bomb — is made with household items like (without going into too much detail) plastic bottles (obviously) and some sort of household cleaner such as Drano (again, obviously from the name).

How a bottle bomb works

Again without going into too much detail, the idea behind a bottle bomb or Drano bomb is essentially to use common household items to create a strong chemical reaction. This type of chemical reaction creates gases, which in turn create pressure within the bottle. Once it builds up enough pressure it ruptures, resulting in an explosion.

And it’s scaring some unsuspecting homeowners throughout the Northeast. A Hudson, N.H., homeowner spotted two bottle bombs in his yard in September 2017 — just months after a Maryland homeowner spotted similar bombs in his yard.

Are bottle bombs like the Drano bomb dangerous?

Bottle bombs and the Drano bomb apparently making a comeback might not be deadly, but they can cause serious burns and injuries.

A few people in Harlem — including a 12-year-old child — were injured when bottle bombs exploded in the area over two days in May 2017.

"I'm walking and then I just heard this big boom, it sounded like an M-80," Nicky Ramos told ABC7 of the Sprite bottle explosion that was caught on tape. "And then I just felt liquid all over me."



"It hurts when I'm sleeping because the bandages still pull on the wounds, so it feels like my skin is getting pulled off," another bottle bomb victim told the news station.

"My main issue is to get the word out so, being aware of this new chemical bomb these children are creating copying off YouTube," the 12-year-old’s mother told ABC7.

So just don’t try this at home — and don’t be afraid to call police if you find one (just don’t pick it up).

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