How to Make HUGE Bubbles

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!
<p>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.</p>
<p>Agreed. I'm sad winter is coming up so will have to go months without doing it. My wife is like &quot;you take the kids to make bubbles but in reality you are the one who likes it more than them&quot; which is probably true. </p><p>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. </p>
Thank you very much!
I LOVE that the art of giant bubble making is spreading! <br>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. <br>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. <br>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. <br>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. <br>Here are the poles I use: <br>http://www.walmart.com/ip/15908258?wmlspartner=wlpa&amp;adid=22222222227000693168&amp;wl0=&amp;wl1=g&amp;wl2=c&amp;wl3=14062157590&amp;wl4=&amp;wl5=pla&amp;wl6=34978554310&amp;veh=sem <br>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) <br>This recipe is very forgiving. Exact measurements aren't going to make it or break it. <br>As long as everything is pretty close to this, you should be fine. <br> <br>1.5 teaspoons guar gum powder <br>1-2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol (to make a guar slurry, before adding it to the water) <br>1 gallon HOT tap water <br>1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder <br>6-8 oz. Dawn Power Clean Platinum dish soap <br> <br>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. <br> <br>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. <br>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. <br>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. <br>Good luck and happy bubbling. :) <br>
<p>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 </p>
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. <br> <br>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.
<p>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. </p>
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!
<p>hi umm..I have some questions for my project in this one so</p><p>1.How will you describe the mixture was formed?</p><p>2.How will you classify the mixture was formed?</p><p>3.What are the substances that form the mixture?</p><p>Please answer back..</p>
It would be awesome to have these bubbles filled with helium!
<p>Is there should using any <strong>specific types of Dawn Dishwashing</strong>? 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!</p>
Platinum works well
<p>http://www.instructables.com/id/Batch-pc-speed-up-tool/</p><p>Speed up your pc</p>
<p>I love bubbles si much and big bubbles are the best this is so awesome</p>
<p>How would the bubbles perform in the winter? (i.e. on a cold, snowy day??)</p>
<p>WoW! This should be a world wrecord on the biggest soap bubble ever made!</p>
<p>Hi, I tried this today and I'm afraid to say it didn't go well! My solution seemed to be very slimy and quite stringy, even though I'm pretty sure I followed the recipe correctly. I'm in the uk and had to convert the units, and I used around 700ml of washing up liquid and 11 litres of water. I used one tbsp of J Lube and a heaped tsp of baking powder, and I used 100% cotton rope for the triangle. When I draw it up out of the bucket it bursts before I can even get it fully open, no matter how slowly and gently I move. Does anyone have any ideas where I went wrong?!</p><p>Craig. </p>
<p>Hammond - I am in Canada and basically use the same amounts you mentioned. I use about 700ml of dishwashing solution and 11L of water. <br><br>I have made 2 wands - one small one with dowels and a basic kitchen cotton rope. The second one i used the exact material mentioned by NighthawkinLight - bought the same poles from amazon, bought the same cottom rope and removed the core. With that one, i can't get any kind of bubble. It always bursts while trying to open. I can make great ones with the Dowel (my 5 year old can make even better ones than I can). But the ones with the fishing poles and cottom rope do not seem to work at all. I'd love to know what i'm doing wrong NightHawkInLight. </p>
I'm not sure, that's a pretty strange problem. Try making a loop the same size as the one currently on your larger poles but use your cotton rope that's on your dowels right now. If even that doesn't work then you know that either the loop is too big for the size of the rope, or the weather isn't favorable enough for extremely large bubbles. Bubbles will do best when it's cool and humid.
<p>Thanks - I was actually considering doing that - making a smaller loop with the cotton rope you suggested on my dowels and seeing if i had the same problem. Also trying the other rope on the big fishing poles. I haven't yet had enough practice to figure out which days work better for bubbles. Only thing I have noticed weather-wise is that if its a windy day, forget about making big bubbles - a wand with smaller loops works much much better. Here is a pic of my daughter a couple evenings ago using the smaller dowel wand with your J-lube recipe. I use the &quot;Clorex Greenworks&quot; dishsoap which is supposed to be &quot;natural&quot; as they do not have the Dawn Hypoallergenic anywhere I've looked. <br><br></p>
It could be that your lubricant is more highly concentrated than mine and you should use less, but the most common problem people seem to have is making bubbles when it's especially dry and hot out. Bubbles work best when it's cool and humid like night time or early morning.
<p>Okay so i got the core out - seemed like there was a defect of some sort on the one side, about 3 feet in as I had no problems with the other side. <br><br>Next question - the fishing rods you suggested on Amazon that I purchased is just a straight pole - no loops or anything. How did you connect the rope to it? Did you drill something into it?</p>
You can use tape or zip ties to hold on the rope, or shrink wrap tubing if you want it to look really good. I taped on a short piece of rope to each pole with a carabiner on the end so I could switch out loops quickly.
<p>Okay - so got everything going but man, once the bubble juice is on the ropes the rods are HEAVY! After about 5 dips I had to take a break. Also, not sure if it was the weather and lack of wind, but found that I couldn't make bubbles without it bursting before making any kind of bubble. Are you actually able to close the bubbles when they are that size or is it simply a game of letting it blow off the rods and eventually just burst on its own?</p>
<p>I bought the exact things you mentioned above - the fishing poles and cotton rope from Amazing. However, I'm having a hell of a time getting the core out of the rope. About 3 feet in it seems like the cotton twine is &quot;attached&quot; to the core, as there is absolutely no give to it and I can't retract it any further. Did you come across this situation? I Googled videos on how to remove the core, but in the demonstration, the person removes a core from a rope that must have been 2 feet. Very different from trying to remove a core from a 50 foot rope!</p>
As the rope bunches up too much to pull the core out any further you have to go to the back of where it's bunched and slide it down to the other end from there. That will allow you to pull the core out further before it binds up again and you repeat the process. As you've found it's a lot easier to only de-core as much rope as you need at a time rather than a whole roll.
<p>Thanks - but it seems to me that the core at that point is somehow &quot;glued&quot; or stitched to the outside part. I this the exact same rope you used? To make the massive loop like you did, would I not need to de-core the entire thing? I can't cut it and have 3 foot ropes...that would defeat the purpose of having massive rods no?</p>
<p>Looking at the blisters on my hands this morning I'd like to recommend when removing the inner section of the chord rope that you wear gloves. I realized just a moment too late. It is a LOT of work to remove that inner bit! It's NOT easy. But, with my welding gloves on at least I didn't totally wreck myself. Anyway, it's done now and I've got my poles. I can't wait to try a super giant bubble like you have here!</p><p>I've already used your bubble recipe with the jlube and it worked AMAZING! I'll try the guar gum recipe some time. But for now your original recipe has made some ginormous bubbles!</p><p>Thanks!!!</p>
<p>Did you use the cord that was recommended above from amazon.com? I'm having a hell of a time getting the core out. It is stuck about 3 feet in and won't budge. </p>
<p>thank you for your &quot;laugh out loud&quot; comment about the gloves!!!! my daughter, age 7, and I both can't wait to get started on the bubble project!</p>
Sorry! Yeah it is hard on your hands, especially if you are taking the core out of a long section all at once. Short ones aren't so bad.
<p>Bubblers, if you want to experience <em>ANOTHER </em>whole new world in bubbles... get a 2000 lumen headlight for the bubbler (~$16 US) and 2000 lumen flashlights ($5-$10) for others and watch the thrill of blowing <em><strong>NIGHT-TIME bubbles</strong></em>. The bubbles take on awesome colorful quadrated halos, center spots, and glows. Bubbles appear to be spinning as they go from odd shape worms to spheres! Remember how the space ships appeared in &quot;Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind&quot;? I bought my powerful headlights and flashlights at www.Banggood.com -- free shipping too.</p>
<p>Bubblers, if you want to experience ANOTHER whole new world in bubbles... get a 2000 lumen headlight for the bubbler (~$16 US) and 2000 lumen flashlights ($5-$10) for others and watch the thrill of blowing NIGHT-TIME bubbles. The bubbles take on awesome colorful quadrated halos, center spots, and glows. Bubbles appear to be spinning as they go from odd shape worms to spheres! Remember how the space ships appeared in Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind&quot;? I bought my powerful headlights and flashlights at www.Banggood.com -- free shipping too.</p>
Thank you so much for sharing this, my boys and I had a blast making these bubbles today. Very much appreciated!!
Works great, just triple the baking soda in the recipe for longer lasting bubbles. Strong enough to make bubbles inside of bubbles.
<p>Hi, I made the mix but its a little runny it just slips off the rope. Perhaps I need to experiment with some other dish washing liquid. Im in South Korea so I cant find the Dawn dish washing liquid. Any ideas before trying other soaps?</p>
What were the measurements for your mixture? You can try a Guar Gum recipe like the one here as well: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Giant-Bubbles-wGuar-Gum/
<p>Hi, I changed the dish washing soap and bought myself some proper measuring spoons. And the mix is a lot better. Following the proportions is vital, I used too much lube powder and the mix was too stringy. I managed to get some good bubbles happening, thanks! :)</p>
<p>Hi, thanks writing back. </p><p>My measurements were 'approximately' right. I used a soup spoon which is smaller; 2 soup spoons of J-Lube, 4 soup spoons of baking powder, 11 liters of water and about 700ml of dish washing liquid. (I used a conversion site)</p><p>After the first try I added in more dishwashing liquid and J-Lube, but still too runny. I will try another dish washing liquid tomorrow. I'm determined to make this work. ;)</p><p>Perhaps too much J-Lube?</p>
<p>Thanks for this awesome instructable. Found your YouTube vids a while back and decided to take the plunge. Haven't looked back since. Bubbles everywhere! Just a quick question - I've never added the baking powder before, does it really make that much of a difference? Is it baking powder or baking soda? Thanks again....</p><p>EVERYONE LOVES BUBBLES!!! . ₀ ⁰ o &Omicron; O 0 o O</p>
Yeah the baking powder really does make a difference. The bubbles probably last 50% longer and can be made much bugger.
<p>I used the guar gum recipe with the &quot;bubble thing&quot; and it worked very well, thanks! Only change was that I used Dawn Ultra as that is what they had at the grocery store. </p>
<p>Has anyone found a way to get warm air into the movement that forms the bubble to get the bubbles to rise? It would only need to be a few degrees warmer than the surrounding air. Perhaps the air discharge on a large heat pumb or air conditioner or other similar unit.. ??</p>
<p>Hi NHL,</p><p>Is there something you can add to boost the viscosity of the bubble to make it last longer?</p><p>A bio-degradable plastic!</p><p>bob</p>
How do you attach the string to the pole?
<p>i wanted to share a story about my 7yr old daughter, myself and our dear friend, peter, who after a day of blowing bubbles and watching mayah innocently destroy them, screamed out &quot;STOP!!!! (he is in his 80's) please, there is a whole world in there. and you're killing them all!&quot; he showed her how to get right up under them and gently blow on them to see how long she could keep them floating...it was an exercise in slowing down, and it worked! so a few weeks later, she and i were camping,deep in the woods but with plenty of little clearings for the sunlight to peak through the trees. this time, she was the bubble blower and it was i who stood under them and blew gently to try and keep them from crashing down...right at that moment i noticed something quite extraordinary that i had overlooked most of my life. it was right then that peter's voice flooded my memory, &quot;there is a whole world in there!&quot; and indeed there was! our reflected planet was being seen, for the first time, by my eyes, in every single bubble that was blown from that point on! </p><p>after seeing your video and showing it to my little girl, we were both brought back to a beautiful summer we shared with our friend peter! so thank you!</p>
Thank you for your comment, that's a neat story.

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