The Best Homemade Bubble Recipes (Part 1) - Mama Say What?! (2024)

Making your own bubble solution is a fun, easy, and cheap way to keep your kids entertained.

My son loves playing with bubbles and I do as well. This is an outdoor activity that we enjoy almost any time of the year.

Many years ago, I worked as the arts and crafts director at a local Girl Scout Camp.

I would make two gallons of bubble solution to have ready as an activity to do after tie-dying. Not only it’s fun, but the soap serves the double duty of getting the dye off of the girls’ hands.

Many years ago, I was given a receipe which I use to this day and have etched to my memory!

Now that I am a parent, I have tried making that same recipe a couple of times but haven’t been able to get the same large, stretchy bubbles that we got years earlier.

Homemade Bubble Recipes

I decided to try as many bubble recipes as possible before finding one that works both at home in Texas and at Grandparents’ house in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In this post (part 1), I will share the recipes that we tried and the results while playing in our backyard in Texas. I’ll share the results from Grandma and Grandpa’s house in another post.

How to Get Set Up

To keep the experiment consistent, I used filtered water for all the recipes. The water in parts of Texas is pretty hard, so I am sure that would make a difference.

For the dish-washing soap, I used the blue bottle of regular scented Dawn, the one they use to wash birds during an oil spill.

We played on a relatively clear and warm day in May that only had a little breeze, and the humidity was at about 27%.

#1 – The Recipe I Learned Years Ago and Used at Camp:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup of dish-washing soap
  • 2 tablespoons of liquid glycerin (can be found in drug stores)

Gently mix the ingredients together by hand and let the solution sit overnight, uncovered. The “sitting overnight” part is really important.

Results in Texas:

These weren’t great.

The solution did produce some bubbles, but they often popped very quickly. They rarely got a chance to float away from the wand where a toddler would want to chase after them.

I’m curious that they might work better if I cut back the water a bit.

But I honestly don’t think I’ll make this one again. I wonder if they were just as bad when I made them at Girl Scout Camp, and my memory has just exaggeratedhow fun they were to play with.

#2 – A Recipe They Used on Sesame Street Episode #4259 “The Bubble Fest”:

  • 1 1/2 quarts of water
  • 1 cup dish-washing soap
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup

Gently mix together by hand, but don’t mix so vigorously that you produce foam.

Results in Texas:

This one did better than I expected. It produced a decent amount of bubbles, and they stuck around long enough to actually float away. I’m curious if I increase the amount of water a little bit, if I will get better results.

The ratio of water to soap in this recipe is a lot of soap for just one and a half quarts of water. If I were filling small bottles of bubble solution for a birthday party, though, this is the recipe I would use.

#3 – Recipe I Borrowed From the Book: “How to Make Monstrous, Huge, Unbelievably Big Bubbles” by David Stein:

  • 12 cups of water
  • 1 cup of dish-washing soap (the book recommended original Ivory, blue Dawn or yellow Joy)
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder

Gently mix the solution together and let it sit, uncovered, for one hour. Stir occasionally to help dissolve the cornstarch.

Results in Texas:

The author of the book that I borrowed this recipe from claims it produces really large bubbles – the kind you can make with a hula hoop.

The book also states that relative humidity plays a large role; higher humidity helps to make larger bubbles that last longer.Perhaps in Texas, there just wasn’t enough humidity in the air.

Not all of the cornstarch dissolved in the solution despite stirring it like I was told, so there was a gloppy layer of goo at the bottom of my bowl.

The bubbles were just as disappointing as they were in Recipe #1. Very few survived long enough to fly beyond the bubble wand, and the few that did popped very quickly.

#4 – Another Version of Recipe #3:

  • 12 cups of water
  • 1 cup of dish-washing soap
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder
  • one 2.5 to 3oz tube of personal lubricant (like KY Jelly)
  • 1 cup of very warm water

Gently mix the first four ingredients together and let it sit, uncovered, for one hour. Stir occasionally to help dissolve the cornstarch.

Mix the personal lubricant and the warm water in a separate cup. Once the lubricant has dissolved, add it to the bubble mix.

This last added step is supposed to help the bubbles have better staying-power and be stretchier.

Results in Texas:

Of the four recipes, this one worked the best. The personal lubricant must have really done the trick! Like Recipe #3, I still had a layer of cornstarch at the bottom of the bowl, but it was totally worth it.

The bubbles produced were stretchy and fun to chase after. I really want to buy a kiddie pool and a hula hoop so we can try making some giant bubbles!


The winner of our Texas bubble recipe experiment goes to – Recipe #4.

With the odd ingredient in this recipe, it produced some really stretchy bubbles. My husband thought I must have looked a little crazy at the store when I bought these ingredients all at the same time.

So far, none of the recipes have produced as many bubbles as the store-bought solutions, though.

When I look at the store-bought ones, they are much thicker than any of the recipes above, so I’m curious what ingredients they are using to get such stretchy, long-lasting bubbles. I’m pretty sure it’s a trade secret, though.

Stay tuned for the results of these same recipes made at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in the San Francisco Bay Area. The humidity is higher there, so I’m hoping we will get better results.

More Articles From Mama Say What?!

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  • The Best Homemade Bubble Recipes (Part 1)
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  • Here’s a Great Idea for a DIY Smart Phone Holder to Use in Your Car

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The Best Homemade Bubble Recipes (Part 1) - Mama Say What?! (1)

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The Best Homemade Bubble Recipes (Part 1) - Mama Say What?! (2024)


What is the secret ingredient in making the perfect bubble? ›

You'll need glycerine!

Glycerine (sometimes spelt 'glycerin' but the same thing really) is the secret ingredient you need to make excellent homemade bubble mixture.

What is the secret to good bubbles? ›

The secret to making bubbles is surface tension. Adding soap (such as the kind you use to wash dishes in the sink) to water changes the surface tension of that water, and this creates a great solution to make bubbles from.

What is the strongest bubble solution? ›

Getting the Biggest, Strongest Bubbles

If you use "ultra" dishwashing liquid, you'll probably need to add more syrup or glycerin. If you are having trouble getting big bubbles, you might want to use distilled water rather than tap water.

What is the best solution for making the longest lasting bubbles? ›

Adding glycerin to the water and dish detergent helps make the bubbles last by slowing down how quickly the bubbles dry out. Sugar also makes the bubbles last longer by not letting them dry out as quickly.

What is the perfect bubble mixture? ›

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of dish soap into a large cup. The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the dish soap in the cup. The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak.
  3. Measure 2 teaspoons of sugar and add it to the water/soap mixture. ...
  4. Gently stir your mixture. ...
  5. Go outside and have fun blowing bubbles.
Sep 16, 2022

How do you make unbreakable bubble solution? ›

  1. A clean glass cup.
  2. 8 oz of distilled water – Minerals and particulate in normal tap water can hamper the making of larger bubbles, but it can still work if you don't have distilled.
  3. One tablespoon of dish soap – Any type is fine!
  4. 0.5 Tablespoon glycerin – This is what strengthens your bubbles!
Mar 27, 2020

What liquid makes the best bubbles? ›

Tips for great bubble solutions
  • Glycerine helps soap bubbles hold water, so that they last longer. ...
  • The key ingredient: water, varies widely in its quality. ...
  • Johnson's® baby shampoo produces better bubbles than any of the dish soaps we tried, Dawn® dishwashing liquid (blue) was our soap of choice.

How do you make cheap homemade bubble solution? ›

Mile High Bubbles
  1. 2 cups warm water.
  2. 1/3 cup dish soap.
  3. 1/4 cup corn syrup.

How to make professional bubble solution? ›

Homemade Bubble Solutions Recipe
  1. 2 cups Washing Up Liquid (dish soap in the USA my sister-in-law recommends Dawn Dish Soap)
  2. 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
  3. Few Drops of vegetable oil.
  4. 1 cup Warm Water.
Apr 5, 2023

Why do my homemade bubbles keep popping? ›

Bubbles pop when they dehydrate or when they touch something dry like a dry part of the wand, hand or object. On the flip side of this if you wet your hands with liquid then you will be able to hold the bubbles!

What bubble solution makes the most bubbles? ›

Johnson's® baby shampoo produces better bubbles than any of the dish soaps we tried, Dawn® dishwashing liquid (blue) was our soap of choice. All of these solutions work better if you “age” them overnight in an open container.

How do you make unpoppable bubble solution? ›

BOUNCING BUBBLES Ingredients/Equipment: - 4 tbsp water - 1 tbsp dish soap (I used Dawn brand) - 2 tbsp sugar - Winter glove - Bubble wand Instructions: Combine warm water with dish soap and stir. Then mix in the sugar until it dissolves. Put on a winter glove (this stops the bubbles from popping.)

How to make bubbles that don't pop without glycerin? ›

We find that this basic recipe of 4 cups warm water, plus 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup blue Dawn dish soap works great without glycerin!

Why does my homemade bubble solution keep popping? ›

Bubbles can pop for a number of reasons. Water evaporation, strong direct sunlight, high temperatures, strong winds, dryness, dry particles in the air (dust, pollen, pollutants, etc), bugs, exhaust fumes, and dry surfaces. As you can see the chief reason that bubbles pop are environmental issues.


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