Make your own soap bubble mixture
Many different recipes on soap bubble mixtures are described on the internet. Usually these include products that are available in the US only. Here we present two good recipes based on European products.
Sterling Johnsonís bubble mixture:
- 1 liter of water (Preferably distilled, demineralized or rain water)
- 8 deciliters of Bubbles (which is a pre-made bubble mixture you will find in most toy stores in Denmark and other European countries. If you cannot find Bubbles in your local toy store, you will probably find an equally good brand. We have used different brands with success)
- 1 deciliter of detergent (If you live in Denmark, then use Fairy Ultra.)
- 1 deciliter of glycerin
This recipe was given to us by Sterling Johnson, the master-of-hand-tricks bubble artist. We are using Sterling mixture for almost all our soap bubble tricks and experiments.
Experimentariumís bubble mixture:
- 1 deciliter of detergent (If you live in Denmark, then use Fairy Ultra. In Sweden you can use Yes)
- 2 tablespoons of glycerin
- Fill in water until you have a total mixture volume of two liters
This mixture has been used for many years in the science centre in Copenhagen, Experimentarium. It is an OK mixture, and it is cheap.
You can also simply use pre-made bubble mixtures from toy stores. It is more expensive and in our point of view, they are not as good as the Sterling Johnson bubble mixture. The good thing about pre-made mixtures is that they donít grow old as quickly as the mixtures you make yourself.
Why canít I make big long lasting bubbles with my mixture?
Here are some of the things that can influence the bubble performance.
The bubble mixture
Different detergents really make a difference! We prefer Fairy Ultra (but no other variants of Fairy). This brand was found best in a test made by Experimentarium.
The softer water, the better mixture. Avoid water with much calcium carbonate. This is why we prefer distilled, demineralized or rain water.
Only mix and store your bubble mixture in a clean container. Impurities can decrease the quality of the mixture.
Leave the soap bubble mixture in a closed container for 24 hours before using it. Hereafter the quality of the bubble mixture will decrease slowly.
In dry air the bubbles will break quickly because of vaporization of water. For this reason it is best to make the bubbles where the humidity is high. If your bubbles continue to break even though you are using a good bubble mixture, it is most probably because of a too low humidity.
A baking sun will also break the bubbles. I you make bubbles on a hot beautiful sunny day then make them in the shadows of buildings or trees.
Foam consists of multiple small bubbles. If you use water with foam, you big soap bubble will contain many small bubbles from the foam. If one of these tiny bubbles breaks, it will probably break your big bubble too. Therefore it is always a good idea to remove the foam from the bubble mixture when using it.
If the bubbles are still misbehaving even though you have taken care of all the above mentioned, the problems can result from particles in the air, or from the technique or tools you are using. Take a closer look on the bubble videos on this homepage to get inspiration.