Bubbles and summer go hand in hand. On a warm summer evening, my daughters and I love to head outside for bubble play. Bubbles are good, clean fun but do you know the science behind the bubble?
The lifespan of an average bubble is mere seconds, but there is a way to extend the life of a bubble. All you need is a few secret ingredients and you’re on your way to being a real bubbleologist.
Super Bubble Recipe
– 1 cup Distilled water
– 2 tbsp Dawn® dish soap
– 1 tbsp glycerin
– Pair of cotton gloves
– Bubble wand or pipette
A little about the ingredients –
Water is the single most important part of the bubble solution. Good quality water that does not contain high levels of iron or minerals is best. If you’re uncertain as to the quality of your tap water, invest in a gallon of distilled water from the grocery store.
When it comes to soap, Dawn® dish soap just seems to work the best for homemade bubble solutions.
Glycerin is the secret additive that will give your bubble extra strength. Adding glycerin keeps the water from evaporating and makes the bubbles much stronger and longer lasting. Try not to be shocked by the price on a bottle of high quality glycerin. Contact the pharmacist at your local grocery store for availability. (Note: Some bubble recipes substitute Karo® Syrup for glycerin due to the expense and availability of glycerin.) Also, like fine wine, bubble solution improves with age. If you can, leave the mixture in an open container for at least one day before using it.
Cotton gloves are needed not to protect your hands but to protect the bubble from the dirt and oil on your hands. Dirt and oil particles are the greatest enemies to bubbles and break down the soap film. The cotton gloves will protect the bubbles and help them survive a little longer. Bounce the bubbles off your gloves or sleeve. Then try touching it with your skin.
Standard bubble wands work great and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes for your bubble creating enjoyment. You can use all kinds of household items for bubble wands. Spatulas or slotted spoons make fun bubbles. Pipettes with the tip of the bulb end cut off are fun individual bubble blowers. Be creative and look around your home to find some items that you think will work and experiment. It’s part of the fun.
Some interesting scientific information on bubbles –