Sunday, June 14, 2015

Giant Bubbles

I wanted try this recipe that I found here: 
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-HUGE-Bubbles/The recipe this guy used called for J-lube. One bottle was $23.00 on amazon.. so I read the comments and a lady who won the 
Guinness World Record for largest free floating soap bubble. used this recipe.

She had this to say
"
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. :)