Monday, July 27, 2015

Hand Made Bubbles

Making Bubbles without bubble soap or wands

Since Matthew still isn't permitted to blow up the house, even in the name of science, he had to settle for "make a huge mess."  He decided to determine which soap will make good bubble soap.  To up the mess potential, there were no bubble wands involved -- your hands made the bubble wands.  I have to admit, this was a pretty clever project.

He discovered that just "any old" liquid soap wouldn't do.  He first tried hand soap, but it didn't create any bubbles.  It just wasn't "soapy" enough.  He wanted to try shampoo, and again found that the ones that don't make a lot of suds don't make for good bubble blowing.  The higher sudsing ones worked, but not very reliably.

 Finally, he used Dawn dishwashing liquid, and got some pretty giant bubbles!

middle school child blowing bubbles with his hand instead of a bubble wand

4 square image of 4 sizes of bubbles

Dawn dish detergent for the win, and fun for everyone!

blowing a bubble

blowing a two-handed bubble

You can also make larger containers of it so that many hands can play.  Simply scale accordingly, using about 2 tablespoons detergent per cup of water.  If you're just eyeballing the soap, use a heavy hand -- you want a very soapy solution.  It appears that high-sudsing and viscous liquid soaps work best for making bubble solutions, so while other dish soaps might work, you want to make sure it's one that isn't thin and watery, and makes lots of bubbles when you fill your sink to do the dishes.


1 cup of very warm water
2 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent
measuring spoon

Note: this project can be messy. Try it either outside or in the bathtub/shower - make sure to put a towel down on the floor to catch drips so you don't slip.  If you are wearing long sleeves, roll them up or take your shirt off to do this. 


Fill the cup with very warm water. (You want it "not quite" hot from the tap, but as warm as you can comfortably stand.)

measure dish detergent

Put 2 tbs. of dishwashing detergent into the bowl.

Pour the water into the bowl and mix the water with the soap.

mix soap and water

Cup your hand into a circle to make the “bubble wand.” Dip it into the water and remove it. Make sure to keep the shape!

Gently blow into the circle to make bubbles.

 blowing bubbles

To try this with other soaps,  repeat steps 1-4 with a clean bowl, more water, and shampoo etc.

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