How to Make Homemade Bubble Solution

Have some good clean fun with your preschooler!

Little girl blowing bubbles
Natasha Sioss/Moment/Getty Images

Is there anything more fun on a warm afternoon than to go outside and blow bubbles? Whether you are 4, 44 or 104, blowing bubbles is just one of those activities that lends itself to smiling, laughing and just general happiness.

Make Your Own Bubble Solution to Save Money

For a long time, we were going through store-bought bubbles very quickly in our house -- the kids were blowing them, yes, but they also spilled a lot (as little kids are wont to do).

So I soon learned that making my own homemade bubbles was not only a good idea, it was one that saved money (hey, every little bit counts!) and one that the kids had fun being a part of -- another way to introduce them to the inner workings of the kitchen.

Before You Start

When making homemade bubbles, I find it is best to do it in large batches. I use either a clean bucket or even a washed-out milk gallon container (a great way to teach your little one about reusing unwanted materials). I then store the leftover bubbles in the milk container or a large plastic pitcher.

For use, I pour the bubbles in cleaned out, cylindrical-shaped frozen juice containers (again with the reusing) or even just empty store-bought bubble containers. (See below for ideas on homemade bubble wands).

But making homemade bubbles isn't as simple as it sounds. Through trial and error I learned that there is definitely a science to the process.

Here are some recipes I've had success with over the years. Try them out and then experiment on your own!

Basic Homemade Bubble Solution

As its name implies, this is a simple recipe that produces basic and good bubbles. For a long time I would always just use water and dishwashing liquid to make my homemade bubble recipes.

They would be OK, but it's the addition of Karo (liquid corn syrup) or glycerin that really holds the solution together to make nice, round, "solid" bubbles. Here's the "recipe."

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

Stir together until everything is dissolved.

Colored Bubbles

Yes, 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.

A note though, make sure you make this one outside, away from anything that you don't want stained (cars, patios, decks, etc.). While the food coloring usually washes away, you don't want to take any chances.

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

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

More Homemade Bubbles

To be honest, I'm not sure on a scientific level what the sugar does to the bubbles, but a friend of mine uses this recipe for homemade bubbles and swears by it.

When we make this one, I do notice that the bubbles seem bigger and are slower to pop -- always fun when you are having a bubble-blowing contest!

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

Mix all ingredients together until sugar dissolves.

10 Great Ideas for Homemade Bubble Wands

If you happen to have bubble wands from store-bought bubbles lying around the house (for some reason, we always seem to have a collection), by all means, use those. But experimenting with different household items can also be a lot of fun.

And, like our bubble containers above that use unwanted materials, you can definitely find things that you are either getting rid of or serve a different purpose but are a good fit here.

Here are some ideas for homemade bubble wands to get you started, but look around your house, too, to see if there is anything else that would be useful.

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

Happy bubble blowing!

Continue Reading