How to Make Homemade Bubble Solution

These recipes only require a few ingredients

Little girl blowing bubbles
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Blowing and chasing bubbles with your kids will get you outdoors and enjoying healthy exercise. It can be a fun activity for all ages. Fortunately, you don't have to spend money on store-bought bubbles. Learning how to make bubble solution at home is often a much more affordable option.

Not only does making a bubble solution at home save money, but it also introduce kids to how to use the kitchen, measure ingredients, and perform a little easy math. Making homemade bubbles also teaches lessons about reusing and repurposing materials, sparking your child's imagination. Here's how you can make your own bubbles at home.

The Science of Making Bubbles

There is science to the process of making good bubble solution. Water by itself has a high surface tension and plain water bubbles are small and quick to burst.

Adding soap or detergent to the solution lowers the surface tension and allows larger bubbles to form. Glycerin and corn syrup help the bubbles last longer by slowing down evaporation that causes them to burst.

Before You Start

When making homemade bubbles, it is best to do it in large batches. Use either a clean bucket or a washed-out gallon-sized milk container. Then store the leftover bubbles in the milk container or a large plastic pitcher.

To use the bubble solution, pour it into an empty store-bought bubble container or a cleaned out, cylindrical-shaped frozen juice container.

Basic Homemade Bubble Solution

This simple recipe produces good bubbles. Many people use just water and dishwashing liquid, but the addition of corn syrup, like Karo syrup, or glycerin holds the solution together to make better bubbles.

You'll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light Karo syrup or 2 tablespoons glycerin
  • 4 tablespoons dishwashing liquid

Stir together until everything is dissolved.

Colored Bubbles

Regular bubbles have a nice sheen of their own, but adding a few drops of liquid food coloring to the mixture really makes a big difference.

Make sure you make this outside, and stay away from anything that you don't want stained like cars, patios, and decks. The food coloring usually washes away, but you don't want to take any chances.

Use this bubble-making solution as an opportunity to discuss how colors combine with your child. For example, yellow and blue make green, and blue and red make purple.

You'll Need:

  • 1 cup granulated soap or soap powder
  • 1-quart warm water
  • Liquid food coloring

Dissolve soap in warm water. Mix in the food coloring until you get the shade you want.

Sugar Bubbles

Adding sugar also seems to produce bubbles that are bigger and slower to pop. If you are having a bubble-blowing contest, that could be your secret advantage.

You'll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons liquid detergent
  • 1 tablespoon glycerin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Mix all ingredients together until sugar dissolves.

Homemade Bubble Wands

If you happen to have bubble wands from store-bought bubbles lying around the house, you can use those. But experimenting with different household items can also be a lot of fun.

You can find things that you are either getting rid of or serve a different purpose but are a good fit for making bubbles. This sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Involve your kids in looking for items that have holes that could serve as bubble wands. You'll be exercising their creativity.

10 Ideas for Bubble Wands

Here are 10 ideas on what you can use as bubble wands to get you started.

  • A ball with holes in it like a Wiffle ball
  • Colanders (for this one, you need a big bowl to dip into the bubble solution, and instead of blowing the bubbles, move your arms back and forth so the force of the wind does the work for you)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Fly or bug swatters
  • Make your own wand using pipe cleaners
  • Plastic baskets that hold berries (again, you can try blowing, but moving your arms might be less tiring and leave you less winded)
  • Plastic slotted spoons
  • Straws
  • The top end of a salt shaker or spice container
  • The top end of a plastic bottle (like a water bottle)

Bubble Games to Play

Blowing bubbles is fun, but why not turn it into a game, too? For instance, create a contest to see who can blow the largest bubble or who can keep their bubble from popping the longest. You also can see who can blow the most bubbles in 30 seconds.

Other options include using different body parts to pop bubbles like your elbow, nose, or big toe. Or, instead, put a sock on your hand and see how many bubbles you can catch without popping. For an extra challenge, try racing with your bubbles, too. Who can catch a bubble and run to a designated point first without it popping?

Use your imagination and have fun. Lots of childhood games can be adapted for bubbles. Could you play a game of Simon Says with bubbles? What about a game of bubble tag or even bubble baseball? The options are endless.

A Word From Verywell

Bubble blowing is a fun and creative way to get your kids outside for some old-fashioned fun. Encourage them to use their imagination and get lots of healthy movement and play.

Create games like bubble catching, Simon Says, and tag to extend your child's interest around blowing bubbles. Soon bubble blowing may become one your favorite—and most affordable ways—for you and your kids to spend time together, enjoy the outdoors, and move around.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you make unpoppable bubbles?

    Most people just use water and dish soap when making a bubble solution. But adding sugar and glycerin or corn syrup can help you make bigger, sturdier bubbles that tend to last a little longer.

  • Can you use vegetable oil instead of glycerin to make bubbles?

    Although many bubble recipes call for making bubbles with glycerin or corn syrup, you also can use a plant-based oil like olive oil or vegetable oil to make your bubbles. Some people prefer this option because vegetable oils are more readily available in their home. To make a bubble solution using vegetable oil, simply use 1 cup of water, 4 tablespoons of dish soap, and 2 to 4 drops of vegetable oil.

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2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cohen C, Darbois Texier B, et al. On the shape of giant soap bubbles. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017;114(10):2515-2519. doi:10.1073/pnas.1616904114

  2. Emile J, Emile O, Ghoufi A, et al. Giant optical activity of sugar in thin soap films. J Colloid Interface Sci. 2013;408:113-6. doi.10.1016/j.jcis.2013.07.030