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Soap solution for bubble shows

It's hard to argue that the bubble solution is the most necessary component of the bubble show. You can make a show without it, but it's impossible to do the bubble show. And, of course, performers create their own solutions. They might choose the concentration of the solution, tests the solution formulas or sometimes do both.

I have been preparing the solution by my own for a long time. I almost used everything that was nearby. I know a lot of formulas. I have tested each of them. I have experimented with the proportions. The results were diverse.
I would like to tell you about some principles
Every bubble solution is made of soap and water. According to the majority of the formulas, people use the dishwashing detergents of Procter & Gamble. Such dishwashing detergents are "Fairy" and "Миф" in Russia and "Dawn", "Joy" and "Yes" in other countries. Their compositions are very similar and the results are almost the same. The only thing that I would like to point out is that the content of surfactants differs from one to another product. Moreover, we can notice the difference in products of the same brand. Please mind that the detergents made in Russia usually contain the following percentage of surfactants: 5-15% of anionic surfactants and <5% of non ionic surfactants. Almost all formulas, based on Russian detergents, have this percentage. If the information on the bottle says that the percentage is 15-30% for anionic surfactants and <15% for non ionic surfactants, you should use only half of the detergent. If you already use the formula of our foreign colleagues, it's better to specify the percentage of surfactants in their detergents. By the way, you can find an interesting video where I compare foreign and domestic dishwashing detergents on my Youtube channel.

Polymers are equally important components for bubble solutions. The most often cases are the "homemade" formulas, where people use different lubricants (powder and helium ones). These components makes the soap film more elastic. It's also the common practise, when people add gums and cellulose esters. It's the field for making experiments and applying your creativity. I have heard about circus performers who use egg white as the polymer.

You might buy the formula from the masters of this genre or try to make your own. Another option is to find it on the internet. You can try to look for information on Russian sites, but for those, who want to have an eye for this topic, I recommend this site on English: That's the best thing which is publicity available. There you can find the formulas and the other useful information. But I want to warn you right away, that it's not the recipe how to get the free formula. You will spend quite a lot of time, money and efforts on ingredients and experiments. Therefore, for those, who prefer the easiest way, I recommend to use concentrate. If you want to make the solution by your own, it's better to find the experience master to give the pieces of advice and support you while searching for the formula.
I want to point out right away, that I no longer sell the formula and do not consult on how to make the solution. This process is very labour-consuming. Now I completely switched over to the concentrate. It's more convenient for me. The goods made in factory help to get stable results.
Next, I want to tell you about the storage of the solution
If we talk about our concentrate Arista, the solution based on it doesn't get soured and doesn't loose its initial qualities for a long time (even if you have used it). I suggest that the prepared solution might be stored for a year. But why do we need to keep it for so long? That's the question. The only detail that should be taken into account is chemicals that can cause the loss of the solution qualities. I will write about that later in this article, in the part about enemies of the solution. You can store our concentrate in the room conditions, but you should prevent it from direct sunlight and heating above 30℃.
Many performers use "homemade" formulas. Almost every solution, made at home with the help of household detergents, is the subject to fermentation and souring if the dirt gets into it (such as your skin, dust from the props, leaves, hair). It happens, because in the solution there is a lack of preservatives and other substances, that can help to maintain the initial qualities. As the result, a lot of such products spoils and is disposed.
What can prolong the life of the solution?
Expert's Life Hacks
  • 1
    Always prepare the solution in a clean container. The preferable option is to use disposable ones.

  • 2
    If you work outdoors, strain the solution after the usage. Divide the solution into several containers. Carry the solution for hand bubble shows in a separate container. Use it only for such kind of shows. It will help to maintain the proper condition of the solution to blow the giant bubbles.
  • 3
    Store the solution in a dark, cool place.
  • 4
    If you plan to store it for the long time, you might freeze many of the solutions.
  • 5
    Don't mix a soured solution with the non-soured one. Although many formulas say that you should mix both solutions. It helps to make the bubbles more elastic, but the solution will also sour faster.
  • 6
    The more natural substances (polymers) you use, the faster your solution will sour. The less soap (dishwashing detergents) there is in the solution, the faster it will sour. In some cases, you can add a certain amount of alkali (for instance, soda). It will help with souring, but not for a long time and it's not always an option. Everything individual if we talk about concentrates. But if the solution contains a dishwashing detergent, it will probably be the subject to the souring.
Safety of solutions
If we talk about the safety of the solutions in their standard use, almost all "homemade" solutions are relatively safe. The explanation is very simple: this solutions are made of the household ingredients. As we know, the household chemicals are relatively safe, unless you don't drink or eat it. It's especially important to choose the ingredients properly. The same substances might be used in food or technical purposes. Technical ones are less refined and may correspondingly contain inappropriate substances. For instance, glycerin might be both food, medical, pure and technical. The technical one may have a yellow color and an unpleasant smell. Judging by my experience, the solution with this substance is worse. And it makes the hands even more dry.
In any case, the solution with the high concentration of soap disinfects the skin. And any solution that can be used to blow stable bubbles will dry the skin of the hands. The containing of polymers in the formulas worsen the situation, because it makes it more difficult to wash off surfactants from the skin. Therefore, the performers should take care of it. If they prepare the solution by their own, they should minimize the amount of detergents.
You should wash the hands properly after working with the solution. During the rehearsals, it's better to use nitril gloves. And you should moisturize and nourish the hand skin after the work. Another option is to use petrolatum to create the barrier between the skin and the solution.
As for breathing safety, in my opinion, flavoring substances can affect badly on the respiratory organs. But I haven't noticed or heard of any cases of vivid allergic reactions, that the audience had.
As for the concentrates, they are also safe as the soap bubbles for children made in a factory. If they have a safety certificate. As an example, I attach the certificate for our Arisa concentrate They also dry the hand skin, because the concentrates contain a huge amount of surfactants and polymers. But many concentrates have an undoubted benefit: there is no dyes or flavoring substances in it.
Whatever solution you use, I advice you not to let children inflate soap bubbles with their hands. Although it's also relatively safe. But you can use special props for this purpose. Children's skin is very delicate. Make sure that children don't drink soap solution or the foam.
Enemies of the solution
The most "powerful enemies" of the solution are silicones, dry and contaminated air, high temperatures and strong wind currents.
I want to start with the chemistry. Many products contain silicones. The examples of such products are creams, lipsticks, air fresheners and e.t.c. Silicons allow you to better distribute any substance on the surface. A foundation, that contains silicones, will better smooth the skin. A aerosol will better distribute in the air. But silicone bursts bubbles into small droplets. And the bubbles seem to bust in the air before appearing. Silicone might be sprayed in the air with the help of any aerosol. That's why it's so important to avoid using them. I also don't recommend to use any perfume (except the ones that were tested through the time). Think twice before using new cosmetics and don't let anyone be nearby your solution. If you know that the audience will have contact with the solution (they will splash in it), you should use a separate container.
Dry and dusty air can also negatively affect the soap film. Clean autumn air after the rain is the perfect condition for the bubble show. According to my expirience, I can say that the best bubbles are inflated after the rain, when the temperature is from +10°C up to +15°C, and the wind is slight. That's the ideal case. But you can make such conditions by your own. Just ventilate the room, cool it before working with the solution and moisten the air in any possible way. By the way, I want to note that air conditioners and heating devices dry the air very much. Mind this fact. Sometimes ventilating the room is better option that using an air conditioner. But if it's +40°C outside, air conditioning is significant. After using air conditioner, you may moisten the air using a steam generator (as an example).
It's not always necessary to turn the air conditioner off during the performance. The main thing is that you shouldn't stand directly under the flow of air from it. Choosing between the stuffiness and a light draft, I would prefer to keep the draft, because it's possible to adapt the performance to it.
The most common mistakes while working with the solutions
If all the rules of storing are followed, the most common mistake is wetted edges of the equipment. The soap film bursts, when it slides along the edge of the table or a tray and comes into the contact with the dry part. It's important to wet everything, that might have a contact with the soap film.
Another important condition is the temperature of the liquid. The ideal case is when the temperature of the solution corresponds to the environment temperature. Too cold or too hot solution will always work worse. The bigger difference between these two temperatures is, the worse the result will be. For instance, after being excessively cooled, the solution based on Arista concentrate becomes thicker and changes its color to pearl. This solution is inappropriate to use. It's necessary to warm it up. You can do that as follows: fill the bucket with the hot water, put a canister with the solution in it. Add more hot water as it cools. Soon the solution will become transparent and it will be ready for usage.
One more important thing to mention. After preparing the new solution, you should shake the canister and stir the liquid before the first use. If this isn't done, many of the solutions stratify. The upper layer of the liquid becomes less thick. So the proportion is violated and the solution works worse.
I will describe the tricks and its technique in a subsequent article. There are a lot of important things to keep in mind.
Why do I choose concentrate
I have worked with "homemade" solutions for many years. They had different compositions. The last one I used for 5 years. But when I started to use Arista, I could finally sit back.
  • 1
    The results are more stable. It is easier not to make mistakes while preparing the solution.
  • 2
    And the process itself goes faster.
  • 3
    The prepared solution does not spoil for a very long time. There is almost nothing to dispose.
  • 4
    It's easy to control how much concentrate is left. There is no need to run in different places to buy the ingredients.
  • 5
    The bubbles are elastic, bright, stable.
  • 6
    There is no smell.
  • 7
    There is the safety certificate.
Props from my store
Props, with which the artist looks decent
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