This Giant Bubble recipe has been adapted from the Soap Bubble Wiki, a community of the worlds giant bubble enthusiasts – the best the world has to offer. Its a simple recipe that we use at events and sell kits to make your own.
We have created GiantBubbles.co.nz to make these amazing, huge soap bubbles easily available in New Zealand. If you have seen a recipe of Insta, Facebook or YouTube and tried to make it, you’ll know it does not work. That’s not because the recipe was bad, but because the detergents sold in New Zealand do not work. But you can buy our 10L Concentrate which uses Fairy Washing Liquid and the most reliable Guar Gum source we have found or try our Pre-Mix Here or Concentrate solution here.
Giant Bubble Recipe Overview:
Guar Gum – We use Bob’s Red Mill or Pure Nature (other NZ brands don’t work as consistently, though I have heard Bin Inn is ok)
Dishwashing liquid (detergent). The type of dishwashing liquid is critical (see below).
(optional but highly recommended) baking powder OR other recommended pH adjuster. See related article
(optional but recommended) Glycerin or isopropel alcohol or other slurry liquid (see details below)
Giant Bubble Recipe Details:
Water. Generally, tap water is best. Even if you think your tap water is terrible, try it. If it doesn’t work, try distilled water with a little bit of tap water added. The minerals in tap water seem to benefit soap films despite what you may read elsewhere. More about water here.
Dishwashing liquid (detergent). The dishwashing liquid that you use is critical. I generally use Fairy Dishwashing Liquid (which we import). Similar detergents from Procter and Gamble are available under different names in US & UK (but not available in New Zealand). You can buy from Fishpond – Fairy Original Washing Up Liquid (433ml)
Guar gum (powder). The amount of guar gum will influence the ‘feel’ of the mix. This recipe is based on guar gum powder that’s sold under the Bob’s Red Mill label. I have tried other NZ brands and they work sometimes, it is never consistent. A pretty wide range of amounts can be used. The optimal amount may depend both on personal preference and the brand that you use. See more in the Guar Gum article.
(optional) Baking powder (or other pH Adjuster). Baking powder is slightly acidic (and many brands seem to be slightly buffered) which is beneficial to bubble juice. Other pH adjusters can be used, but baking powder is the place to start as nothing works better and it is almost impossible to overdo. It improves the soap film strength, bubble longevity and the ease with which the bubbles can be made. Baking powder will result in some sediment at the bottom of the container (which is just undissolved cornstarch). The sediment has no ill-effect, but some people prefer a sediment-free look. If this is the case, you can use one of the other pH adjusters discussed here. You can make the bubble juice without these ingredients, but you will find that they improve the juice significantly.
(optional) Slurry liquid: isopropyl alcohol (or grain alcohol or glycerine or propylene glycol or mouthwash or even detergent). A slurry liquid makes it easy to mix the guar gum without clumping. Guar gum powder tends to clump when it is added directly to water or if water is added to it. If you mix the guar gum powder with any of the liquids in the preceding list, there will be no clumping. Mixing a powder with a liquid in which it does not dissolve is called making a slurry. Unlike many polymers, guar will slurry well even with standard rubbing alcohol. 50% (or higher) isopropyl is inexpensive and works well. Only a little bit is used. Update Sept. 2013: on SBF, it has been reported that mouthwash can be used as a slurry liquid.