Tips on using a Cotton Candy Machine

A cotton candy machine sounds like a good idea for every party. It brings color, activity and excitement to your event. It’s easy to rent and comes with instructions, a piece of cake right? Well, not exactly. It’s a little more tricky than that. I’ve rented many machines for events in the past and handed over the instructions to a group of volunteers and had them figure it out. However, we rented a machine for a birthday party back in March and had to figure it out ourselves. When you’re crunched for time, it’s not so easy. We didn’t need to return the machine right away so I took the time the next day to practice a bit, and here is what I learned…

You will need:

Cotton candy machine

Floss sugar (flavored sugar)

Paper cones



Bowl with netting and clips


1. Follow the directions completely, don’t skip a step, it’s worth being patient.

2. It’s best outdoors.  We used the machine indoors and it set off the smoke detectors.  It doesn’t create smoke but there are small sugar particles that fly into the air and cause some detectors to go off.

3. This is a two person job.  It is not easy to be successful alone.  One person should make the candy and one person should bag the candy.

4. Don’t let the bowl get too full.  If you don’t have two people your bowl will get full (see picture below) which makes it hard to wrap the candy up.

5. Spin the stick while you are making the circular motion around the bowl, otherwise you create a blob that is hard to get into a bag.

6. Bigger is not always better.  If you are going for looks, a smaller portion is better and will stay on the stick while eating.

7. Try to keep up with the machine, if you aren’t able to go fast, you leave too much waiting to be bagged.  It becomes hard and the hard crystals (think wet cotton candy) will get into your future packages.

8. Don’t wear your Sunday best.  You will get messy and sticky (see picture below). I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because I was an amateur.  I think you will get cotton candy on your regardless.

9. Do your best to clean out the bowl for the rental company but don’t clean too much as you might damage the machine by getting something wet that isn’t suppose to be wet.  They will gladly clean the machine for you.

10. Have fun and eat LOTS of candy. 🙂

Machine from All Events Rental