how to make stupendous bubbles...

Juice... here is a simple & reliable

recipe from the Soap-bubble-wiki. It makes

1 US gallon and uses easy to find

ingredients:

 

175ml Green Fairy Liquid Original.

5gms (1 teaspoon) Guar gum powder.

10-15gms (2-3 teaspoons) Baking powder.

3.5l (1 US gallon) Tap water.

 

Method:

Part fill a large, wide container eg a bucket

or bowl, with 3.5 liters of tap water.

 

Measure 175ml of Green Fairy Liquid

Original into a measuring jug, add one

heaped teaspoon of guar gum  powder,

mix well to form a slurry.

 

Add a little water to the jug by dipping it

into the main container. Mix until it

becomes runny and easily poured.

 

Pour the jug into the main container,

stirring all the time. Dip to rinse it out.

 

Finally, stir in the baking powder.

That's it!

 

It can be used immediately, but it may

improve over 24 hrs.

Note: the baking powder does not fully

dissolve so there will be a sediment, don't

worry about it!

 

See here for other ingredients.

Tools...  to get deeper.

* An inexpensive micro-balance.

* Small measuring containers.

* Ph meter, ideally Ph needs to be 7.2 - 7.5.

* A combined thermometer & RH meter.

* A food mixer or magnetic stirrer.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 17.34.22

Other stuff...

* If portability is important a collapsible

bowl is better than a bucket.

 

Bowl

* Try to keep unused juice clean to prolong

it's shelf life.

 

After a bubble session don't tip juice from

the bucket back into your stock bottle.

During storage, bacteria may thrive on the

bits & pieces it contains and ruin the lot.

 

If possible, strain any leftover juice and

store in a separate bottle.

 

* A few hours mechanical mixing may be

beneficial.

My impression is that this produces a

more homogenous mix of ingredients

which results in bubbles of more uniform

thickness and colour.

 

Wicks 'n Sticks...  a loop of

cotton string tied to two bamboo sticks is

a very good place to start.

 

Cotton string or butchers twine makes an

excellent first wick. It's strong, cheap and

readily available, perfect for impatient

children or adults.

 

Aim for a triangular shape with about

50-75cm sides to begin with. Larger

wicks produce larger bubbles but their

short lifespan will be a disappointment.

 

Each 'ear' needs to be about 75mm long

and fixed to the end of a stick.  Use a

simple hitch and a dab of glue.

 

Adding a small weight may be helpful.

.

Basic string c
Hitch c

After each use, rinse well and hang up to

dry. Mould is a bubble killer.

Wicks in more detail...

A wick made from a seamless, spiral-cut

(see here)   pure cotton tee shirt is very

good indeed.

 

A single garment will provide 100-150ft of

wick material.

 

below:  part of  a tee-shirt tri-string wick.

 

Spiral cut c

Aging cotton wicks with a few machine

washes followed by thorough rinsing will

improve them. So will boiling in caustic

soda for 20 mins. Or try both.

 

The Rubbermaid Microfiber Webfoot mop

also provides highly regarded wick

material but is not always easy to source

outside the USA (try Amazon).

It requires some tedious time & effort

deconstructing the mop-head to separate

out the useful green strands.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 17.21.40

below:  4 strand, braided top string made

from Rubbermaid mop yarn.

Braiding rather than twisting, helps prevent

tangling.

 

4 ply c

Sticks in more detail...

While any stick will do, there are some

refinements that will enhance the overall

experience.

 

Keep it light. Anything over 2.0m long

needs to be very light.

 

Re-purposed carbon-fiber telescopic

fishing rods or poles are truly excellent!

Snip off any metal fittings and file smooth.

They also make transport and storage

much easier. 

Available on ebay.

 

A longer stick means the bubble will be

higher at launch (good)...and more difficult

to dip the wick in the bucket (bad).

Wands...

Adding a pair of sticks to a wick makes a

bubble-wand.

If a short, 15cm length of cord is

permanently attached to the end of each

stick and terminated with a swivel & clip,

wicks with rings (see tri-strings) can be

changed quickly & easily.

This is useful when experimenting with

different wick lengths or materials.

Adding swivels reduces the tendency for

wicks to twist and  become tangled.

 

Leader

Leaders attached to the yellow tip of  a

cheap telescopic fishing rod.

 

 

Leader 1 c

When...  the best days are dull

and overcast with little or no wind.

In these conditions the bubbles will last

longest and have intense, vibrant colours.

 

 

.

How...  a wide shallow bowl is best.

Partially fill it with enough juice to work

with, keep the remainder clean in a

separate container.

 

Dip the wick, after a brief soak raise

the sticks and allow excess juice to drain

back into the bowl for at least 10 seconds.

 

Slowly open the sticks, allowing the bubble

to inflate... then bring the sticks together

which will close the bubble and release it.

Wow!

Repeat.

 

 

.

 


Acknowledgment:
Most of the information on this page came from one of the best available on-line resources for bubblers: http://soapbubble.wikia.com
Highly recommended!


 

Colours...  these are produced

in a similar way to drops of water creating

a rainbow. Light refracts in the tiny space

between the bubble's inner and outer

walls.

 

Colours are affected by wall thickness,

which depends on the amount of

detergent used. More equals thinner and

up to a point, more intense colours.


Overly thick or thin walls tend to be

colourless.

 

The optimum concentration is found by

trial and error. Intense colours may come

at the expense of longevity

 

Bummer.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 20.39.58

 

 

 

Duration...  humidity is probably

the single most important factor in the life

of a bubble.

By far the longest lived ones I have made

were on a misty morning. Some lasted so

long they just disappeared.

 

Then there is wall thickness: in a typical

bubble session, a single dip will produce a

train of bubbles.

The longest lived are not the first or last,

but somewhere in between; with some

lasting much longer than others.

The first off will be thickest, the last off

the thinnest.

 

My guess is that one or two bubbles form

with the optimum wall thickness for the

prevailing conditions... and last the longest.

 

 

 

.

 

Purchase...

1.0m tri-string (3.0m long overall) - £15.00

(Rubbermaid Microfiber mop yarn).

 

Stupendous Bubble Powder - £5.00 each

(makes 4l of bubble juice).

 

Available from the Takeaway gallery.

 

You provide sticks, detergent and water.

Stupendous bubble Label