Bouncing Bubbles – Science Experiment

Water, dish soap and glycerin... but what else do you need to make a bubble bounce? No pop bubbles are just a glove away.

Bouncing Bubbles Science Fair Experiment 

You have your water, your dish soap and your glycerin: What else is needed to make incredible bouncing bubbles? Find out how to make bouncing bubbles by reading our step-by-step instructions on how to make bubble that don’t pop at home!

Unpoppable Bubbles

With our amazing Bouncing Bubbles Science Experiment, that small bouncing bubble with the little puff of air trapped inside it by a thin soap film will bounce. Seem too amazing to be true? It isn’t! These aren’t your normal, everyday bubbles. Our bouncing bubbles are formulated to be stronger than normal; they can, however, still burst if they came into contact with your skin or with the ground. The secret to how to make bouncing bubbles is in our special Bubble Gloves that keep that floating soap’s protective sphere from bursting when it touches your hand. Read on to learn how to make bubbles that don’t pop!

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Experiment Videos

Experiment

1

Pour 3 parts water and 1 part dish soap into a small cup.

2

Stir to combine. We suggest letting your bubble solution rest for 24 hours for best results. You can also use a small amount of Bouncing Bubble Solution instead of making your own, if you would prefer.

3

Test your solution with your bubble wand. Try holding a bubble in your hand.

4

Put on the glove. Now, blow a bubble. Try holding the bubble and bouncing it.

How Does It Work

Unpoppable bubbles are pretty amazing. Most people have never seen a bubble bounce, much less be the person who actually does the bouncing! Experience has shown us that bubbles usually burst when they come into contact with just about anything. So, why do bubbles pop? A bubble’s worst enemies are oil, dirt and gravity. A “super” bouncing bubble will bounce off of a surface if that surface is free of oil or dirt particles that would normally cause a break in the thin soap film of the bubble. The problem with gravity and evaporation is that the water film gets very thin (down to a millionth of an inch) on the top surface as time passes. It finally gets too thin to hold onto itself and the wall collapses completely.

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; rather, a bubble reflects color from its surroundings.

Take It Further

Want to make your bouncing bubble solution even stronger? Read the information below and see if it helps you make an even stronger bubble solution and learn how to make the best bubbles that won’t pop.

  • Water: Water is the single most important part of the bubble solution. Good, quality water that does not contain high levels of iron or minerals is best. If you’re uncertain about 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.
  • GlycerinGlycerin is the secret additive that gives our unpoppable bubbles their amazing strength. Don’t be too shocked by the price on a bottle of high-quality glycerin. Contact the pharmacist at your local grocery store for availability. (Note: Due to the expense and the availability of glycerin, some bubble recipes substitute Karo® Syrup for glycerin.)

When making your new batch of bouncing bubble solution, remember to use two parts water to one-part soap. Experiment with how much glycerin to add to make the strongest and bounciest bubbles.

Science Fair Connection

Demonstrating the properties of bubbles, learning why do bubbles pop and learning how to make bubbles that won’t pop are all pretty cool things to learn and to experiment.  All of these aren’t necessarily a science fair project, however. 

To create a science fair experiment with bubble solutions, you will need to identify a variable (or something that changes) within this experiment. Let’s take a look at some of the variable options that might work.

  • Test different dish soaps. You can blow bouncing bubbles with different brands or try using the same brand, but with different scents. Which dish soap creates the longest lasting bubble?
  • Test different bouncing materials. In addition to the bouncing Bubble Gloves, try T-shirts, towels, pants — whatever you would like. Set a timer to see how long the bubbles last and how long it takes for them to pop!

Those are just a couple of ideas; you aren’t limited to only those, however. Try coming up with different ideas of variables and ideas on how to make bubbles that don’t pop and then give ‘em a try. Remember, you can only change one thing at a time. If you are testing different liquids, make sure that the other factors remain the same.

Unpoppable Bubbles: What Did You Learn?

What did you learn in this experiment that showed you how to make bubbles that don’t pop? What did you learn from making these unpoppable bubbles at home? This experiment makes a great, easy after-school activity or an activity for your STEM club — take the experiment outside and watch as the unpoppable bubbles float away! The sky is the limit, literally, with this science fair experiment with bubble solutions. Be sure to check out our other fantastic online science experiments for activities with the Steve Spangler Science WOW factor!