Instructables
loading
loading
video 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!
1-40 of 64Next »
BubbleMama1 year ago
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. :)

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

NightHawkInLight (author)  BubbleMama1 year ago
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.

NightHawkInLight (author)  AMassey088731 year ago
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!
Minolwen1 month ago
Thank you so much for sharing this, my boys and I had a blast making these bubbles today. Very much appreciated!!
temp_1387412228.jpgtemp_955576908.jpg
firebird982002 made it!1 month ago
Works great, just triple the baking soda in the recipe for longer lasting bubbles. Strong enough to make bubbles inside of bubbles.
temp_-1988744818.jpg

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?

NightHawkInLight (author)  thenatkingcole2 months ago
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/

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! :)

Hi, thanks writing back.

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)

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. ;)

Perhaps too much J-Lube?

steve.jupe2 months ago

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....

EVERYONE LOVES BUBBLES!!! . ₀ ⁰ o Ο O 0 o O

NightHawkInLight (author)  steve.jupe2 months ago
Yeah the baking powder really does make a difference. The bubbles probably last 50% longer and can be made much bugger.
sandy.brooks12 months ago

I used the guar gum recipe with the "bubble thing" and it worked very well, thanks! Only change was that I used Dawn Ultra as that is what they had at the grocery store.

willbubble.jpg
TonyC102 months ago

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.. ??

BW43 months ago

Hi NHL,

Is there something you can add to boost the viscosity of the bubble to make it last longer?

A bio-degradable plastic!

bob

jackjackflash3 months ago
How do you attach the string to the pole?
genevammills3 months ago

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 "STOP!!!! (he is in his 80's) please, there is a whole world in there. and you're killing them all!" 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, "there is a whole world in there!" 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!

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!

NightHawkInLight (author)  genevammills3 months ago
Thank you for your comment, that's a neat story.
tajagreenbird11 months ago

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!

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!

Thanks!!!

thank you for your "laugh out loud" comment about the gloves!!!! my daughter, age 7, and I both can't wait to get started on the bubble project!

NightHawkInLight (author)  tajagreenbird11 months ago
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.

how far in advance can the bubbles be made before the solution does not work. I need the mixture for tomorrow afternoon and would like to make it tonight. Approx. 19 hours in advance.

I've used it weeks and months after being made. It lasts a long time.

I used your recipe mparker3 (with jlube rather than guar gum though) and it works great but I was just curious if you know what the baking powder does to improve the bubbles?

Another question I had is why not a higher ratio of the Dawn platinum? Does the mix get too thick for good bubbles?

Cpt_Spaz1 year ago

the way they pop is awesome:D

vdisanza1 year ago

So I took a chance and bought the powdered veterinary gynecological lubricant (J lube) and made 3 gallons of this bubble slime.....HOLY FRIGGIN COW! This guy is a bubbling genius! There are bubbles the size of volkswagons floating over our house! The kids had so much fun popping these amoebas it was hilarious! EXCELLENT INSTRUCTABLE! BIG THANKS! I'm not posting photos so technically I can't click the "made it" button. BUT I MADE IT!

NightHawkInLight (author)  vdisanza1 year ago
Awesome! You should post photos, I would love to see them!
You also can use glycerin from the pharmacy.
Glycerin is really not very useful in giant, outdoor bubble recipes, except as a suspension agent for mixing slurries. Mainly, it's used more for smaller, indoor mixes, used for making bubble sculptures and such.
Also, it's been known to yellow the grass around buckets and dipping pans.
Hi,

thanks fer the heads up. We used it in every batch we made, I did most of my "bubbling" on the cold hard streets of NYC. Giant Bubbles rolling down the street are a sight not to be missed. Passers by are simply amazed.

We found the bubble were infinitely better when we used glycerin. When My kid gets back from internship I will ask if the results of the bubble experiments done in middle school are available, it gave the time they lasted, air temp, and recipe. They were all small though to keep the experiment doable, and it was a cold time of year if I remember.

Again, thanks fer the heads up on that. I am not too surprised it might kill grasses, but, it never killed the spot on the lawn where we made them on grass.

have a great day

This is toooo cool! I wish I knew it when I were little…!
uncbill1 year ago
Has anyone tried Polyethylene Glycol for the jlube? Sold as Mirilax in any drugstore. The same sort of polymer, but shorter chain polymers are referred to as glycol, the longer called oxide.
Mirilax has a very low molecular weight compared to the stuff in J-Lube (which has an MW of about 4,000,000). I have tried it and it does not work comparably -- it is also FAR more expensive than J-Lube (one 10 oz bottle of J-Lube will make hundreds of gallons of bubble juice). If you want a cheap, easy-to-find additive, you can use guar gum. You can find a lot of great recipes and other information about making giant bubbles at http://soapbubble.wikia.com
I must do this!!! This is now on my bucket list!
racoontnn1 year ago
A very funny thing - certainly need to do such a thing and give her grandchildren.
bgepp11 year ago
sweet home Alabama, I love this!
Boy if I had this 40 years ago!
daltah1 year ago
Nice a must try

1-40 of 64Next »