How to Make HUGE Bubbles

240,618

1,215

87

Published

Introduction: How to Make HUGE Bubbles

About: I like turning boring things into awesome things! Usually on video.

For best viewing click the gear in the bottom right corner of the video and change the quality to 720p!

I had more fun making this video than any I can remember in the recent past. Making giant bubbles may turn into an ongoing hobby. Some of my younger cousins have certainly enjoyed it as well! The bubbles seen in this video all used the three part bubble mix that I show being made.

24 oz Dishwashing Liquid
1 tbsp J-Lube (The most important part for giant bubbles)
3 US gal Water

After filming all the shots used in this video I started experimenting with baking powder and found that 3 tbsp added to the above mix improves the longevity and durability of the bubbles significantly. The ones in the video may have been large, but I have since been able to make them much larger! As I mention at the end of the video, the size increases greatly as you learn.

Here is a source for J-Lube as promised (one bottle makes hundreds of gallons of bubble mix): http://www.amazon.com/One-10-oz-bottle-Mix---Water/dp/B00BISI6HC/

For those outside of the USA it may be difficult to find J-Lube. An alternative giant bubble mix uses Guar Gum instead, and quite effectively. Guar Gum is common worldwide. More info about bubble mixes using Guar Gum and where it is usually available for purchase can be found here: http://soapbubble.wikia.com/wiki/Recipes_Guar_EAS

For my bubble wand I use two fishing poles similar to this model: http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeare-Four-Piece-Wonder-Pole-13-Feet/dp/B003D5XJFW/

The fishing poles come in four sections, but I removed the last section because it was too flimsy to support the heavy wet rope. The tri string loop is attached to the end of the third section of each pole. As shown in the video, I use carabiners as an easy way of taking loops on and off, though a loop could just as easily be taped directly to the pole.

The rope I use for my tri string loop is 100% cotton clothes line with the core removed as demonstrated. Removing the core allows the rope to absorb significantly more bubble mix which allows much larger bubbles to be made. For more information about making a tri string wand (it's not a difficult thing to figure out on your own) you can do more reading here (there are also listed a number of other wand types that may be of interest): http://soapbubble.wikia.com/wiki/Getting_Started_With_Tri-Strings

If you enjoyed this project please share it with your friends, it would really help me out! Thanks!

3 People Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Clocks Contest

    Clocks Contest
  • Make it Move Contest

    Make it Move Contest
  • Woodworking Contest

    Woodworking Contest
user

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.

Tips

Questions

I mixed the dry ingredients first (the baking powder and j-lube powder) and added a splash of water to dissolve - and the fizzing from the baking powder seems to have totally killed the snot-consistency of the j-lube! Anyone else run into an order-of-ingredients issue?

87 Comments

I've been doing this for a couple of years now, following NightHawk's instructions on YouTube. Everytime that I set up, a large crowd gathers to play and I love it. I do this for my grandkids (and truth be told, for myself, too), but there is always plenty for anyone that wants to jump in. I'm not speaking from personal experience, but do NOT do this in a parking lot with cars nearby or any other place that the bubbles can damage something. That being said, you folks need to check out NightHawk's YouTube channel. His videos are amazing. In my humble opinion, he is one of the two best YouTubers out there.

5 replies

Agreed. I'm sad winter is coming up so will have to go months without doing it. My wife is like "you take the kids to make bubbles but in reality you are the one who likes it more than them" which is probably true.

Only thing frustrating with the crowd is that kids will stand 2 feet away from me and pop the bubbles before it even forms and no matter how many times you tell them to stay back, they just can't help but pop it.

I lay down a tarp. I tell the children this is to protect them from slipping. They need to stay off the tarp, for safety. It gives the bubbles a chance to float away, before they have a chance to pop them! lol Also using telescoping fishing poles helps, they tend to get the bubbles up high enough over the children's heads so they can't reach them so easily.

Well boatingman i have the same experience. Children just love to pop them. What works for me is take some sticks, put them in the ground a bit so they stand up and put a piece of rope from stick to stick. Children see a physical line. Tell them to stay behind it. If there are choldren you do not know tell it loud enough so the parrents hear it.

too funny! i just posted the same info regarding "nighthawk" and how fierce public curiosity is! I have gone out, on my own, to play with my bubbles! never fails! these bubbles draw a crowd!

I LOVE that the art of giant bubble making is spreading!
Something to consider though, if you're going to try this - please be aware of your surroundings, and other people. In other words, be careful not to smack a kid in the head while dipping your string. Excited children do not pay attention - you must. Also be a considerate bubbler and dont dump out your leftover solution in a public area. Always rinse down the grass when you're done too, to avoid others slipping and falling after you've left. These simple courtesies go a long way toward helping us professionals maintain our reputations. Nothing worse than a careless amature setting a poor example and getting all bubblers banned from a park or public garden we're fond of.
Also - not every dishwashing liquid will work well for making bubbles. I use a professional grade detergent that I have to special order from a janitorial supply company, however, the best off the shelf alternative I've found is Dawn Power Clean Platinum.
For the absolute beginner, I'd recommend the guar gum recipe over j-lube for two reasons. 1) j-lube is extremely slimy and not that easy to clean up if you happen to spill 2) the polymer in j-lube degrades over time, which leads to poorer bubble performance. to correct it, you can add a bit more, but then run the risk of overdosing your bubble solution and then it gets stringy and harder to use. Fine tuning your bubble juice takes time, patience and practice. If you just want to dig in and let the bubbles fly on your first try, go guar gum.
The guar gum recipe is very easy to mix and I'll also add a link to the poles I use. their cheap, super light weight and telescoping, so you dont have to carry multiple sections with you to wherever you're going bubbling. I also remove the last section, and then use a bit of mighty putty to embed a brass fishing swivel in the end of the poles, to which you can attach your string. I like the diamond braid clothesline rope for certain things, but for a big loop, I much prefer using Rubbermaid brand Rayon Finish mop string. Just buy the mop head replacement, pull out the stitching and you've got about 200 feet of good bubble yarn.
Here are the poles I use:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/15908258?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227000693168&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=14062157590&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=34978554310&veh=sem
And here is the guar gum recipe (Incidentally, this is the same recipe I used in April, to break the Guinness World Record for largest free floating soap bubble. It's quite effective and even outperforms j-lube mixes in low humidity)
This recipe is very forgiving. Exact measurements aren't going to make it or break it.
As long as everything is pretty close to this, you should be fine.

1.5 teaspoons guar gum powder
1-2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol (to make a guar slurry, before adding it to the water)
1 gallon HOT tap water
1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
6-8 oz. Dawn Power Clean Platinum dish soap

Be sure to use clean containers for mixing and storage, to avoid contaminating your bubble solution and only pour out as much solution as you'll be using at that time, into a separate pan for dipping in. never dip your wand directly into the whole gallon, because it introduces bacteria, which can make the solution go bad and turn smelly.

Into a bucket or other large container, draw 1 gallon of the hottest tap water you can and add the baking powder. Mix it up well, until there are no lumps. Set aside. Measure the guar gum powder into a small bowl and add enough rubbing alcohol to blend it into a smooth, lump-free slurry that will pour easily. This only takes about 1 minute, using a fork. Start stirring the water in the bucket and when it's moving quickly enough to create a slight vortex in the center, pour the guar/alcohol slurry into it and continue to stir for a minute or two as it thickens slightly and the guar hydrates. Then, gently mix in the dish soap (try to avoid foaming) and you're done! Let the whole thing sit for about 15 minutes and you're good to go.
You will notice some sediment at the bottom of the bucket. This is the cornstarch from the baking powder, which doesn't stay suspended in the solution. It's of no consequence and doesn't need to be either strained or mixed back into the solution before you use it.
Store your solution in a leak-proof container (I find that 1 gallon Arizona Iced Tea jugs work well for this). Just be sure it's been cleaned thoroughly first.
Good luck and happy bubbling. :)

2 replies

Hi , Would you let me know what kind of professional grade detergent you use? I am from Poland and do not have any Dawn liquid available, while other liquid from shelf do not work well. So I would like to order good one in amount sufficient for 1 year bubbling ( I work as clown and sometimes bubbling is a good way of icebreaking games or simply to atract people on the street ), Thanks for you advices , Grzegorz

Thank you for your very detailed comment! I have some guar gum that I intend to do some experimenting with to see how I like it. I'll be sure to try your recipe. It's interesting how close it is to the proportions I use in my own J-Lube mix which I came up with through pure experimentation. Makes me think I maybe did something right. I have tried about half a dozen dish soaps so far and found that Dawn's hypoallergenic variety works the best from what is locally available. For consistency's sake I'll use that same detergent in my first guar test so it's a fair comparison with J-Lube. I have no doubt the the power clean or manual pot and pan detergents may work better, but having driven all over the county looking for it without success I decided for my video that it would be better to provide a recipe that utilizes something that's more common, even if the result is slightly less impressive than it could be. I have hundreds of thousands of viewers on my YouTube channel and they tend to buy out online supplies of items quickly, so I avoid making videos utilizing things that are not locally available when I can.

If you would not mind I would love to quote your comment in my video description on YouTube for the benefit of my viewers. Would that be ok? I can credit you to your real name or an alias if you would prefer.

I picked up a BubbleThing a few years ago, and had a blast with it. Then about a year ago I came across your video... And its all I can think about... I don't know what it is but its so relaxing... My goal this summer is to put my 6yr old son in a bubble. Which I'm welding up a platform now...lol Its been a lot of fun for the whole family and neighborhood. I send everyone to your youtube channel for directions.

1 reply

That's awesome! Glad you're having fun with it. You should post some pictures or a video when you get your human bubble platform working!

Awesome! When you are mixing up the solution, at what point would you add the baking powder?

hi umm..I have some questions for my project in this one so

1.How will you describe the mixture was formed?

2.How will you classify the mixture was formed?

3.What are the substances that form the mixture?

Please answer back..

It would be awesome to have these bubbles filled with helium!

Is there should using any specific types of Dawn Dishwashing? Because I found Dawn Ultra, Dawn Platinum, and others. Can U recommend any type to me? I'm excited to try your 'recipe' because I failed before!

1 reply

https://www.instructables.com/id/Batch-pc-speed-up-tool/

Speed up your pc

I love bubbles si much and big bubbles are the best this is so awesome

How would the bubbles perform in the winter? (i.e. on a cold, snowy day??)