After a few years of trying various concoctions, here’s my current recipe with more natural ingredients adapted from my favorite bubble site: SoapBubbleWiki.com.
As a dad, I rediscovered bubbles a few years ago as every parent does. Being who I am of course, the fascination went well beyond the store-bought bubble kits as I searched online for ways to make GIANT bubbles. Since then, I’ve been fascinating my family, friends, neighbors and even co-workers with them. Of course, there are always the few who won’t participate but anyone with a bit of a kid in their heart seems to love them.
I’ll follow-up with a more detailed review on the science of giant bubbles but the quick story is that besides soap (surfactant), you need something to strengthen the bubbles. In concrete, you need steel re-bar, in bubbles you’re looking for slime (long-chain water soluble polymers). More on that later, but here is a recipe with great results and requires relatively easy to get ingredients. I’ve gone through dozens of recipes – those that use KY jelly, corn syrup, obstetrical lube and other exotic ingredients but this one works among the best and doesn’t have anything in there that’s embarrassing to explain to other parents. 🙂
- 100 mL (or 3.5 oz) Blue Dawn Ultra (why blue? not sure but the bubble community insists on it)
- 1 tsp Guar Gum (Like Bob’s Red Mill Brand – usually in natural foods section of grocery stores or in whole foods stores)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups hot water
- 5 cups cool water
To mix, I put the hot water into a large mixing bowl and slowly add the guar gum while I use a whisk to mix it in. The goal is the get all the powder mixed in without having any clumps. The original recipe from soap bubble wiki has a multitude of ways of mixing: (http://soapbubble.wikia.com/wiki/Recipes_Guar) I use boiled water from a water heater. Once it’s mixed in, wait a few minutes for the guar mixture to thicken. Then add the 100 mL (3.5 oz) of Dawn to the mixture and then the baking powder. Stir it together and store as a concentrate or add the 5 cups of water immediately.
Check it out, I made my first YouTube video with iMovie on mixing. I don’t know if you can hear but that’s my son complaining mid-way. Had to pause before filming the rest. Of course, with kids, there’s only time for one take ;).
And that’s about it! Well you’ll need to make some bubble wands; the design I use is the tri-string. There are some good instructions at Soap Bubble Wikia. Its a great site with tons of information and where I learned the most. Have fun and check out my other bubble inventions, the bubble plane and bubble bazooka!
My mission through Daddy Engineer is to encourage people of all ages to enjoy engineering play. Between work, kids and actually doing some of these projects, there’s little time left for blogging but I hope you enjoy my efforts. Let me know what you think, your feedback and encouragement is much appreciated.
If you like this blog, please share with your network by: