Do you want to make unbelievably giant bubbles? How about an endless stream of long-lasting super-bubbles? Or maybe you just want an easy way to mix up your own bubble solution when yours runs out? Look no further! Everything you need to know about DIY bubbles is right here for you.

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Bubbles are the ultimate good clean fun.

They can keep kids of all ages entertained for hours with hardly any prep or mess. I especially love using no-spill bubbles. (I actually found some at my Dollar Tree once!) You can even get a giant no-spill pail, I definitely have one on my wish-list.

But what happens with the bubble juice runs out? In a pinch, I’ve often mixed some dish soap with water, but it’s just not the same.

A good bubble solution has three main elements.

1. Water — Some say that distilled or filtered water works better, especially if you have hard water, but this isn’t true, tap water works just fine.
2. Surfactant — This is your soap. It reduces the surface tension of water. That is what allows it to penetrate dirt and oils for cleaning purposes, and it’s also what makes it sudsy.
3. Polymer — The polymer is what separates soapy water from a true bubble solution. It adds strength to make bigger bubbles that last longer.

What about glycerin?

A quick perusal of Pinterest would lead anyone to think glycerin is the key to any DIY bubble solution, but it turns out it’s not much more than an old wives’ tale.

A bubble forms when the surfactant (the soap) separates the water molecules, which usually have an extremely strong bond. Essentially, a bubble has an outer layer of soap, a middle layer of water, and an inner layer of soap. The soap is what makes some water be able to separate from the rest, but the water is what actually holds it together, so once the water evaporates, the bubble pops.

Glycerin helps keep the water from evaporating as quickly, making the bubble last longer. However, it’s not actually the most effective way to do this.

Corn syrup works much better, plus it’s easier to find!

I’ve also seen recipes that use plain white sugar. This is based on the same principle, but it doesn’t actually work well.

Some also attempt to “thicken” the solution with cornstarch to make an especially strong solution for giant bubbles. Believe me, this is not the answer. The cornstarch creates a funky foam at the top, then just settles into an unmixable mess at the bottom. It might work once, but it definitely isn’t the answer for mixing a batch of solution that can be saved for more than just one day.

There are actually entire sites devoted to professional competitive giant bubble blowers detailing the perfect ratios and the best types of polymers. Many include hard to find ingredients and complicated mixing processes. However, there is one secret ingredient that you can get at your local drugstore or supermarket that gives incredible results. You’ll never believe what it is.

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For longer lasting bubbles, add baking powder.

This isn’t the secret ingredient I promised, you’ll have to keep reading through to the giant bubble super-mix recipe for that. It’s actually a fourth element in addition to your water, surfactant, and polymer. A pH balancer.

This is the ingredient that I researched that led me to the professional bubble blower forums to begin with. I had seen it in some of the cornstarch and glycerin concoctions from Pinterest and I wanted to know why.

It turns out that bubble solutions work better with a more neutral pH. Soap is a base, so adding a bit of acidity brings it back to neutral. Some professionals use other things like citric acid, but you have to be much more careful about how much you use and how you mix it in.

Make sure that you use baking powder, NOT baking soda. Baking powder has an acidic element to it, baking soda does not.

Small batch quick and easy DIY bubble solution.

If all you want to do is quickly mix up a little bit of DIY bubble solution to play with or refill a small container, this is a quick and easy recipe. Just mix it up, grab some bubble wands, and start playing!

Small Batch Bubble Solution

Yield: 1 Cup

Materials

  • 2 tablespoons Dish Soap
  • 2 tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3/4 cup Water

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup.
  • Mix together slowly. Try not to mix too vigorously to avoid making it foamy.
  • Get out your bubble wands and have fun!

Large batch DIY bubble solution refill.

This recipe makes a gallon of bubble solution to keep on hand all summer long. I like to keep it in a laundry detergent container for a convenient refill station.

Large Batch Bubble Solution

Yield: 1 Gallon

Materials

  • 14-16 ounces Dish Soap
  • 16 ounces Corn Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 12 cups Water

Instructions

  • Mix dish soap, corn syrup, and baking powder in a large bowl.
  • Slowly add water. Try not to mix too vigorously to avoid making it foamy.
  • Get out your bubble wands and have fun!
  • Gently swish container around before use after it's been in storage for a while.

Super-mix for giant bubbles.

Here it is. The secret you’ve been waiting for. To get amazing giant bubbles, the key ingredient is a bottle of personal lubricant. Strange, I know, but it really does work! You can always buy giant bubble mix instead, but this DIY recipe is recommended by the experts!

Giant Bubble Solution

Yield: 1 Gallon

Materials

  • 4-5 ounces Personal Lubricant
  • 1 1/2 cups Hot Water
  • 14-16 ounces Dish Soap
  • 12 cups Water

Instructions

  • Pour the lubricant into a medium bowl or large measuring cup.
  • Add the hot water to the lubricant just a splash at a time, mixing thoroughly with a whisk after each addition.
  • Combine with the remaining ingredients. Try not to mix too vigorously to avoid making it foamy.
  • Get out your bubble wands and have fun!
  • Gently swish container around before use after it's been in storage for a while.

Make your own giant bubble wand.

So now that you’ve got your giant bubble mix, how do you make giant bubbles? With this fancy tool called a tri-string wand! It’s super easy to make your own, all you need is a couple of sticks, a piece of yarn or twine, and a small washer.

Materials

  • String Yarn, cooking twine, or even a shoelace
  • Sticks Dowels, twigs, or even a couple of pencils
  • Weight A washer, a nut, or even a paperclip

Instructions

Preparing the string

  • Cut one length of string between 18 and 36 inches. The longer the string, the bigger the bubbles, but also the more difficult it is to use. For truly enormous bubbles, you can even make your string 5 feet long or more and use extra-long dowels, but you may want to try a smaller version first to get the hang of it.
  • Cut another length of string twice as long as the first.
  • To make even bigger bubbles, twist or braid several pieces of string together or make a crocheted chain. The more bubble solution that the string can hold, the longer bubbles you can create.

Making the tri-string wand

  • Tie one end of the shorter string to one end of the longer string. Leave a couple of inches of length on the other end of the knot, you will use this to tie the loop to the sticks.
  • Slide the weight onto the longer string, then tie the other ends of the strings together the same way.
  • Attach one end of the loop to one of the sticks. Tie the string onto the stick close to the knot, wrap it around the stick a few times, then tie again. Repeat with the other end and the other stick.
  • That's it! Mix up a batch of giant bubble solution and have fun!

Using the tri-string wand

  • Fill a container with giant bubble solution. A one gallon ice cream bucket works great. (We always have a lot of those at our house.)
  • Dip the loop into the solution. Be sure to get the entire loop saturated.
  • Keep the sticks close together as you lift them, then bring them apart to blow a bubble.
  • Wave the wand gently through the air to create a bubble. Experiment with different motions to find a technique you like. Some find taking a big step backwards works well, Others like to use the wind to their advantage.
  • Optional: bring the sticks close together again to "close" the bubble so it can float away.

Now that you know more than you ever thought you could about bubbles, go have some fun!

Let me know what you made and how much you enjoyed it! Watch out, you just may love it so much that you become a professional bubbler yourself!

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