Ginormous Bubbles

mammoth bubbles-19 squareSo you guys…I know you want dinner recipes. I hear you. It’s on my brain (in fact, it was on my brain at 4:30 in the morning when I woke up in a cold sweat…between 3 birthdays, Father’s Day, writing a cookbook, and leaving on a 3-day-each-way road trip to Utah, I have, in fact, many things on my brain.) I was going to post a dinner recipe today. And life got in the way. I was overly stressed and under-ly slept and sometimes you just need bubbles.

Ginormous Bubbles! Our Best Bites

We have an awesome basic giant bubble recipe, but I saw these awhile back and wanted to take things to the next level. Once we got the hang of things, they were huge–like some of them were 15-20 feet long.

Giant bubbles on Our Best Bites!

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You’re going to need a few supplies that you probably don’t have lurking in your cupboards:

*Original Dawn dish soap (not concentrated, Ultra, or anything–just regular, original Dawn. Supposedly you can get it at Walmart; I just ordered mine on Amazon with the other, stranger supplies.)

*Glycerin. You can find it in the cake decorating supplies or ask a pharmacist–they often have it behind the counter. I also just ordered mine from Amazon.

*J-Lube. This is both the most…unusual as well as important ingredient. It’s a polymer that helps make those giant, sturdy bubbles. It’s a veterinary obstetrical lubrication and can be difficult to find. You can order it from farm supply stores (if you live in a farming community, you may be able to find it locally) or you can order it from Amazon (the price is slightly higher, but it may offset shipping costs from other sites. Warning: some of the Amazon reviews/suggested products are a little graphic because, believe it or not, some people use it for things other than assisting in the birth of baby animals and other veterinary care. If this is something that potentially concerns you, just go to the order page and don’t scroll much further.)

*Baking powder. This improves the longevity and strength of the bubbles.

*2 wooden dowels

*About 6-7 feet of 100% cotton yarn (the thicker the better)

*Optional: A weight to help the yarn from getting tangled. We used a paperclip, but ended up having better results when we removed it, we just had to be more careful not to get tangly.

bubble ingredients

Tie one end of the yarn tightly near the top of one of the dowels (you can notch it with a knife first to make it more secure. Run a line of yarn about 1 1/2-2 feet to the same spot on the other dowel and tie it securely. Tie the remaining end near the original knot, so you have a taut horizontal line on top and loose, drapey yarn on bottom.

bubble wandMy son was decidedly not thrilled to be a part of this.

In a large, very clean bucket or container, combine the J-Lube and the baking powder. Slowly whisk in a gallon of warm water and mix until combined. Add 1 cup of Dawn and 2 tablespoons of glycerin and stir to combine completely.

Dip the yarn sticks (is that a thing? I just made it up) in the water. When you pull them out, keep the sticks as far apart as possible and start walking backwards. You’ll kind of get a feel for it and what works for you, but we all eventually got the hang of it!

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woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Thank you so much for your post..,great recipe for bubble formula …my grandsons love this…but I really enjoy this as well…I find it meditative ????

  2. I’m happy to report this was a big hit even though I used my Costco-sized Dawn Ultra! Wanted to throw that out there in case others were in my predicament–dawn ultra worked perfectly (other ingredients purchased from amazon exactly as listed above). Bubbles were HUGE and it was so fun!

  3. We tried this this morning with no success! 🙁 I even made the recipe twice (following exactly) and no luck. Super bummed! The bubble mix didn’t seem to work well – wouldn’t even work with our store-bought bubble wands. Any troubleshooting tips?

  4. We made this over the last week and it was a BIG hit with my kids and most of the neighborhood too! I called around to a few vets and found some J-Lube from one of them, so that was a big win.

  5. Wow….this recipe is the best I have yet tried. It is easy, quick, and inexpensive to make. I kept all the kids (and parents) on the block entertained for two hours, and they were still yelling for more (the kids not the parents) as they were hauled away to eat lunch. Thank you!!!!

  6. For a much smother mix, stir the j-lube into the soap first in a tall plastic cup for a minute or so. then pour into the warmed water/baking powder solution and mix. Let it sit out at least overnight before using.

  7. There is no quantity of j lube and baking powder specified. Does it mean we use the whole bottle of j lube and the whole container of baking powder.
    Please reply soon as I have all the ingredients assembled and need this info to get the kids all excited.

    1. There is definitely a quantity listed, it says 1/2 teaspoon. Do NOT use the whole bottle, haha!

  8. I just tried these today. They were awesome!! I have tried other recipes in the past including ones with KY and there weren’t even close to this one. The J-lube is expensive but you will have enough to last until your unborn child is out of the house ;). I just used the Dawn I had and it worked fine. I also cut the dowels in half and made two sets of sticks rather than one. Thank you!!

  9. I just looked at amazon and found out that J-lube is quite expensive. By any chance do you know if anything else can be substituted like KY Jelly. Has anyone tried it with KY jelly if so what is the amount that should be used? Thanks, Lori

  10. These were great! After searching the stores for original Dawn, we just settled with the Ultra Dawn Dishsoap, and they still worked great!

  11. we made these and we had a hard time getting them to work they kept popping . i don’t know if we stirred the water in too fast or if it is a technique thing? any help please thanks

  12. I can’t believe you posted these! I’ve recently been bookmarking a few posts on bubble recipes & how to make the sticks just like these for some summer fun & was so surprised to see them on here. You ladies are the best!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing these!! My kids and neighborhood kids had a blast with this.

  14. Awesome. Everybody needs to have giant bubbles in their life every now and then.

  15. Mackenzie made some of these last week. Her’s were fantastic too. Fun summer activity. Way to go kids!

  16. Now I know we are all adults here but do you know that when you go on Amazon’s link for J-Lube and then scroll down. you get several ads for dildoes. not sure if you are aware of this. My daughter and I were looking at your blog and then I quickly shut my computer. Just thought you would want to know.

    1. Yep–that’s why I included the warning when I was talking about the J-Lube.

  17. We’ve tried so many homemade bubble recipes that were no good, the J-Lube is a new ingredient we’ve never tried. It seems nothing homemade works as well as Gazillion Bubbles.. My daughter has one of those bubble trays that are dinner plate size, have you tried the recipe with something like that? Or with regular bubble blowers?

    1. I haven’t tried the smaller bubbles, but I’m almost positive they would work! 🙂

  18. Looks like tons of fun!!

    Any idea how long you can store this for? Thinking it would be good to make up and have on hand ….

    1. I don’t really know for sure. IT seems like everything should hold up pretty well–I think the biggest concern would be bacteria growth. But I can’t say for sure. 🙂

  19. Oh my gosh, this looks SO fun! I just happen to have a giant bottle of J-Lube in my cupboard and I’ve been looking for ways to use it up. Just kidding, I have no J-lube. Lol. But I’m going to order some because this looks awesome.

  20. Amazing!! Saw someone doing this on a square in St. Petersburg Russia last summer…and getting a TON of tips from tourists. Great to have the recipe so we can try it at home!

    Good luck on your road trip. I hope you have a portable DVD player..or maybe 2!!!

  21. Not that this is what this post is about, but your kiddos are really flippin cute. And the bubbles look seriously fun!

  22. What a perfect summer activity. My kids will love this!

    Good luck on your car trip! We have driven twice from Virginia to Utah and it’s definitely long. Do you have a good supply of tootsie pop microphones for family sing-a-longs and surprise activities (i.e. everyone run around the car 7 times or everyone do 20 jumping jacks) to draw out of a hat every time you stop for gas? Our best trick is that when we stop for lunch my husband drops the kids and me off at a fast food place with a playground and we hit the bathrooms then go straight to the playground. While the kids play, my husband gets gas, orders all the food, and eats his food, then we all get back in the car and everyone else eats in the car. It gives the kids a nice break without taking any extra time and then having lunch in the car gives us something do do for the next 20ish minutes. Oh, last year we gave all the kids an assignment (my son kept the roadkill tally, my daughter counted yellow and orange cars to see what state had the most and which was more common, etc.) and it was surprising how much they got into it and how it kept them occupied and interested for the whole drive. I have lots of other ideas if you are looking for them. Good luck!

  23. Well, you’re right, I wanted a dinner recipe but….these look so fun! I can’t wait to try them with my oldest daughter. 🙂

  24. Those look amazing. That may be just the thing that we need to do on our long road trip this summer.