By Peggy Ryden, Becketwood Member
Who doesn’t remember the magic of bubbles as a child? Bubbles were great summer fun with readily available ingredients found at home. Today, bubble science has also become a serious adult hobby, with a listing in the Guinness World Records:
The largest outdoor free floating soap bubble has a volume of 96.27 m³ (3,399.7 ft³) and was achieved by Gary Pearlman (USA) at Wade Oval Park, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, on 20 June, 2015. Gary used two fishing poles with string tied between as the apparatus with which to make the bubble. An independent scientist calculated the volume through photography from orthogonal angles. Guinness World Records
My bubble ambitions were a bit more modest than a world record. Utilizing 30-inch wooden dowels, rope, and a recipe for a magnificent bubble solution, I set out to see what I could do. After many web researches, and six bubble solutions, I found the perfect recipe for my needs. As for the water, good old Minneapolis water worked great and I abandoned the recommended distilled water. So, for all Becketwood members and their families who have celebrated bubbles with me, here’s the final recipe. If you don’t want to order guar gum, do a web search for recipes with glycerin and cornstarch.
In answer to the earlier question are bubbles child’s play, adult hobby, or science project: yes to all. Look for my next setup--telescoping fishing poles; now we’re getting serious!
Giant Bubble Recipe
16 cups room temperature tap water
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. guar gum powder (thickener) Here is one online source for guar gum.
2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
1 C. Dawn Ultra dishwashing liquid (original scent)
- Put the water in a large container. Add the baking powder to the water and mix well, preferably with a whisk, until there are no lumps.
- In a separate smaller bowl, add guar gum powder to the rubbing alcohol and blend it into a lump-free slurry.
- Begin stirring the water in the container until it creates a vortex in the center. Pour the guar gum/alcohol slurry into it and continue stirring it for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in the Dawn Ultra gently to avoid foaming.
- While you can use the solution after 15 minutes, it’s better the next day and will keep for a couple of weeks (stir again before using).
PS. Do a web search for giant bubbles and you will find a dizzying array of simple to complex bubble wands and recipes.