Easy bubble juice

I’m going to be leading a workshop tomorrow at the “Pot of Gold” religious education conference. For the workshop, I’ll be demonstrating bubble juice that makes medium (9-12 in.) soap bubbles. Below is a recipe, and instructions for making a bubble wand.

Easy bubble juice for 9-12″ bubbles


4 oz. very hot (not boiling) water

3 oz. Dawn brand Ultra Concentrated dishwashing detergent

3 oz. personal lubricating jelly (K-Y Jelly or any generic brand)

water to make up approx. 1 quart, about 22 oz.

How to mix:

Put the 4 oz. of very hot water in a small sauce pan, and keep it very hot but not boiling on low heat on the stove.

Add the 3 oz. of personal lubricating jelly, and stir vigorously for about five minutes, until the jelly is dissolved.

Add the 3 oz. of Dawn brand Ultra Concentrated and stir gently (if you create bubbles, it’s harder to get it to dissolve completely) until the mixture is a uniform color.

Put the remaining water in the quart container that you will use to store the bubble juice. Slowly add the lube/Dawn mix. Cap the quart container, and gently turn it end over end a few times to mix the contents.

The lube can take one or two days to fully hydrate and dissolve. You can use the bubble juice immediately, but it you leave it for two days, turning the bottle end-for-end every once in a while, you will be able to make bigger bubbles.

Making a bubble wand:

A good bubble wand to use with this bubble juice is a so-called tri-string wand. I made mine using cotton string (artificial fibers don’t hold the bubble juice as well). Take about 15 in. of string, and tie the ends with a square knot so it becomes a loop. Use two disposable wood chopsticks (the string tends to slide off plastic) for the handles of the wand. If you know how to tie a clove hitch in the middle of a piece of string, attach the loop to the chopsticks using clove hitches, as in the photo below. (If you can’t tie a clove hitch, you can use rubber bands to attach the string to the chopsticks.)


This is a fun recipe to make for OWL sexuality education classes. The teens are usually embarrassed by the thought of buying personal lubricating jelly, so I tell them that they can say that they’re buying it to make bubble juice.

In low humidity, the bubbles usually don’t last as long as they do in high humidity, but they are entirely satisfactory.

You’ll probably want to use these bubbles outdoors — when they pop, they leave quite a little splash.

The original recipe called for 1 to 3 oz. of glycerin. I have never used glycerin, and have gotten satisfactory results without it.

3 thoughts on “Easy bubble juice”

  1. Here’s the bubble recipe I use every year at the library’s Ice Cream Social – it’s great because it’s really easy, can be used immediately, and I can assign the mixing to the teen volunteers:

    Exploratorium Bubble Formula
    (from the Exploratorium web site)

    2/3 cup Joy dishwashing soap
    1 gallon water (which is 16 cups)
    2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerin

    For bubble wands, we pre-make some from pipe cleaners, and then I put out a bunch of (several hundred) plain pipe cleaners and let the kids go to town. Some make huge bubble “wands” out of several pipe cleaners. It’s fun. Definitely an outdoors event.

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