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How to make the perfect bubble

Want to make the perfect bubble?

Find out how with our amazing bubble recipe, then discover our top-tips for longer-lasting bubbles and some great bubble tricks.

Our amazing bubble recipe

To make the perfect bubble, simply mix the following ingredients together.

• 95% water
• 3% washing up liquid
• 2% glycerine

The science behind the recipe

Want to know why the recipe works?

Read on to find out the science behind the bubbles.

Water

The smallest unit of water is called a water molecule.

A water molecule is so tiny there are around 1,390,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules in a single drop of water!

These water molecules are attracted to each other which causes something called surface tension, this creates a sort of skin on top of the surface of water. This is how pondskaters can sit on top of ponds and how you can balance a paper clip on top of water.

   pond skater on water  paperclip on water       

Washing up liquid

We add washing up liquid to water to lower the surface tension. It makes the water stretchy and wibbly-wobbly so that you can blow bubbles.

Glycerine

This is our special ingredient.

Glycerine stops bubbles from drying out so they don’t pop as quickly.

Top tips

Want to keep your bubbles happy and alive for longer?

In our Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles show we demonstrate the art of wafting. Here are some other tips to help your bubbles last.

Bubbles like

  • Clean things
  • Humidity - when there is lots of moisture in the air

Bubbles don't like

  • Dirty things
  • Pointy things
  • Dry things
  • Wind 

Bubble tricks

Think you’re a bubble expert?

First make a giant bubble wand by bending an old coat hanger into a shape and wrapping string around it.

Then try some of these amazing bubble tricks.

Different types of bubbles

Then try one of the bubble tricks below

Make a bubble caterpillar

To make a bubble caterpillar you will need bubble mix, a bubble wand and a straw.

  • Blow a single bubble, catch it on your wand and hold it upside down
  • Dip your straw into the bubble mix and use it to blow a bubble underneath the previous bubble
  • Keep adding bubbles to create a long caterpillar.

Blow a bubble in a bubble

To blow a bubble in a bubble you will need bubble mix, a bubble wand and a giant bubble wand.

  • Blow a small to medium-sized bubble
  • Dip your your giant bubble wand in the bubble mix then sweep it while trying to catch your little bubble inside it

This may take a bit of practice but keep trying.

Play bubble tennis

To play bubble tennis you will need bubble mix, a bubble wand and a giant bubble wand.

  • Blow a medium-sized bubble.
  • Dip your giant bubble wand into the bubble mix to get a film across it.
  • Use the giant bubble wand to gently bounce your medium sized bubble up and down or to another friend holding another giant bubble wand.

Make a bubble dome

To make a bubble dome you will need bubble mix, a flat tray and a straw.

  • Dip your straw in the bubble mix, and then blow a bubble on the tray to form a dome.
  • Dip your straw into the bubble mix again, poke it through the bubble dome and blow another bubble against the bottom of the tray.
  • Try blowing a third bubble inside the others.

Look at your bubbles from the side for the best view.

Museum links

You can see more bubbles around the Museum, but they are not always made using bubble mix.

If you like bubbles, come to Launchpad and see our amazing Bubble Wall.

Watch air bubbles float to the top of our water exhibit in The Garden or in the Challenge of Materials gallery.