Ever wonder why Science World’s bubbles are thicker, bouncier and more amazing than the rest? It isn’t a secret; it’s science! Check out our very own bubble recipes.

Our latest recipe calls for Polyetheylene oxide, a cool polymer that helps the bubbles to self-repair. It is non-toxic and used in some food and pharmacy products as a binding/thickening agent. In higher concentrations it also makes pretty cool slime for science fiction and horror movies.

  • 400 ml Dawn dishwashing liquid (blue) 
  • 4800 ml water (warm) 
  • 1g high molecular weight (approximately 4,000,000) polyethylene oxide. 1 g is roughtly 1/2 teaspoon. 

Polyethylene oxide is tricky to find but may be available to order through a chemistry supply company (e.g. Northwest). 

All-Purpose Bubble Solution

This solution is great for most bubble tricks, activities, and experiments. Mix the ingredients gently and let the solution stand for a couple of hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 part water to 1 part Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
  • glycerine*

Bouncy Bubble Solution

You can bounce these bubbles off your clothes! Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water. Add the shampoo and glycerine. Stir gently. This solution will gel as it cools. Reheat it carefully in the microwave (about two minutes).

Ingredients:

  • 1 package unflavoured gelatin (e.g. Knox brand)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) hot water (just boiled)
  • 50–70 ml glycerine*
  • 250 ml Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

Thick Bubble Solution

This goopy solution makes bubbles strong enough to withstand a puff of air. When you make a bubble with this solution, try puffing at it to make a bubble inside a bubble.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 to 3 parts Johnson’s baby shampoo to 1 part water
  • glycerine

What does the glycerine do?

Glycerine helps soap bubbles hold water, so that they last longer. It’s very helpful if you’re doing bubble tricks, but less important if you’re mixing up a bucket of bubble solution for preschoolers to mess about with. Most pharmacies carry glycerine. You’ll only need a small bottle—try 1–3 teaspoons for about a litre of bubble solution.

Check out various activities investigating the geometry and chemistry of bubbles:

Science World Resources