Bouncing Bubbles - Bubble Solution
There's something magical about a bubble. It's just a little puff of air trapped in a thin film of soap and water, but its precise spherical shape and beautiful swirling colors make it a true wonder of science. A bubble's life expectancy is usually measured in seconds unless you know how to make a SUPER BUBBLE!
- 1 cup of distilled water (240 mL)
- 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap (30 mL)
- 1 tablespoon of glycerin (15 mL)
- Pair of inexpensive gloves
- Small bubble wand or pipette
- Make up a batch of Bouncing Bubble Solution with the ingredients listed above. Making your bubble solution at least 24 hours in advance and allowing it to sit undisturbed will allow the bonds in your bubble solution to strengthen. You know what that means, right? Stronger bubbles!
- Using a small bubble wand, blow a bubble about the size of a baseball. If you are using the pipette instead of the bubble wand, cut the bulb off the top of the pipette, dip it into the bubble solution, and blow into the other end of the pipette.
- Bounce the bubble off of your gloves. Try bouncing the bubble off of your shirt or pants. As you'll soon see, some fabrics work better than others.
About the Ingredients...
Water - The single most important part of the bubble solution is the water. Good quality water that does not contain high levels of iron or minerals is best. If you're uncertain as to the quality of your tap water, invest in a gallon of distilled water from the grocery store.
Soap - When it comes to soap, Dawn® dish soap just seems to work the best for homemade bubble solutions.
Glycerin - Glycerin is the secret additive that gives a bubble its extra strength. Don't be too shocked by the price on a bottleof high quality glycerin. Contact the pharmacist at your local grocery store for availability. (Note: Some bubble recipes substitute Karo® Syrup for glycerin due to the expense and availability of glycerin.)
Bubble Colors - Similar to the way we perceive the colors in a rainbow or an oil slick, we see the colors in a bubble through the reflection and the refraction of light waves off the inner and outer surfaces of the bubble wall. You can't color a bubble since its wall is only a few millionths of an inch thick. A bubble reflects color from its surroundings.
How Does It Work?
The bouncing bubble is amazing because most people have never seen a bubble bounce! Experience tells us that regular bubbles burst when they come in contact with just about anything. Why? A bubbles worst enemies are oil and dirt. A super bubble will bounce off of a surface if it is free of oil or dirt particles that would normally break down the soap film.
The Science of Bubbles Check out these websites to learn more about the fascinating science of bubbles. Learn more about bubbles
- Had soooo much fun with this! Review by J. Jamie Fackler
We did this experiment with our son for his science fair project. He chose Consumer science and decided to discover the longest lasting bubble solution. We bought cheap bubbles, expensive and then made these. We ended up tweaking the solution by mixing 1 cup of water, 5 tbls of Dawn Dish Soap, and then lastly 4 tbls of Glycerin. The listed measurements would not make as long of lasting bubbles for our winter gloves (the only kind we had at the time). This was the most bubble fun we have ever had! We put the bubble solution into an automatic bubble blower and had a bubble blast with the kids! The average bubble would last 1 1/2 minutes bouncing around!!! Eventually they began to bounce off our clothes, heads, gloves and the ground! So Much fun and we will never buy our bubbles again! Can't wait to blow them outside this winter and see if they will freeze for longer play! Thanks Steve Spangler Science for some long lasting inexpensive fun!
(Posted on November 13, 2012)