how to make stupendous bubbles...
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.
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.
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.
* If portability is important a collapsible
bowl is better than a bucket.
* 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
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.
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
A single garment will provide 100-150ft of
below: part of a tee-shirt tri-string wick.
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.
below: 4 strand, braided top string made
from Rubbermaid mop yarn.
Braiding rather than twisting, helps prevent
Sticks in more detail...
While any stick will do, there are some
refinements that will enhance the overall
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
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).
Adding a pair of sticks to a wick makes a
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.
Leaders attached to the yellow tip of a
cheap telescopic fishing rod.
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
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.
Most of the information on this page came from one of the best available on-line resources for bubblers: http://soapbubble.wikia.com
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
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
The optimum concentration is found by
trial and error. Intense colours may come
at the expense of longevity
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
My guess is that one or two bubbles form
with the optimum wall thickness for the
prevailing conditions... and last the longest.
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.