We went to the bay area recently and while at Delores Park, we saw a man come out of nowhere and started making giant bubbles.
People started gathering and the kids were chasing the bubbles with eyes full of wonder. It was a wonderful end to our park day and I just couldn’t believe someone could just show up, make bubbles, and bring happiness to so many random people. I overheard someone ask The Bubble Man how he got started on this hobby and he mentioned Soap Bubble Wikia and when I got home, I looked it up. It is the definitive guide to giant bubbles. After reading about the science of bubble making on the wikia site, what I found out was that a good solution needed water, Dawn dishwashing liquid, and some kind of binding solution (corn starch, glycerine, starch, etc.). The best kind of binding solutions are lubes, the most popular being J-lube which the Bubble Man uses but needs to be bought online. There are a lot of recipes on the wikia site but the easiest and most child-friendly one is GUAR JUICE. The binder it uses is guar gum. Guar gum is used in a lot of gluten-free cook books and made from guar beans. You can find guar gum in health food stores. I found it at Whole Foods in the spice bins. To make the guar juice recipe, you need tap water, Dawn dishwashing liquid, guar gum, and baking powder. Rubbing alcohol is optional. Mix the guar gum and rubbing alcohol to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the rest of the ingredients. Here is how much you need for a 1 gallon jug of guar juice (info copied from the wikia site):
Guar gum. 1 tsp. | 5 ml | 5.25 grams. Use a bit more or less to suit your preferences.
Baking powder. 2 tsp or 10 ml. You can use a little more without any problem.
Alcohol (for slurry). 2 tbsp. | 30 ml.
Detergent (Dawn Pro). 140 grams | 9.5 tablespoons (or very slightly less) | 1/2 cup plus 1.5 tbsp.
Water. 3640 ml | 15.5 cups.
As for wands, we saw The Bubble Man pull out a lot of different kinds. The one for the giant bubbles is called a tri-string wand which consists of two dowels with a string going straight from one dowel to the other and then a longer string with a washer to weigh it down creating a triangle shape to create the bubbles. I am not sure how he clips the different wands on but Andy and I found two dowels and put eyelets on them and then attached them with these clips.
Here is the tri-wand we made using string I had available:
And we are off!
We also used it at Zack’s 4th birthday party, the kids loved it.
We also used a fishing net which made a bunch of small bubbles that stuck to each other and a garland to make larger bubbles that did not stick together.
So now you know the secret to giant bubbles. Go out there and bring joy to everyone!