When temperatures are low, creating bubbles can be a challenge. This page provides tips that bubblers around the world have provided.
As time goes on this page should become more organized and condensed. For the sake of getting the page done, I am posting information more-or-less as found.
Thommy's Tips From SBF
For more info see the original message and thread on SBF :
- Hi all out there in the cold!
- Some information on cold weather bubbling which might be helpful:
- Currently we (Germany) are experiencing a cold front which comes from East/North East which not only cares for frosty temperatures
but also cutting cold and dry winds. More cold to come the next days ... Trying to do some bubbling was not really fun as the bubbles almost immediately break with the frost spots appearing on them. A wobbling bubble with frost spots breaks at those hard spots which then fall to ground like snowflakes.
- Today I tried some anti-freeze which you normally use in your car during winter for the windscreen cleaner.
- And it works! I made a juice where I replaced a third of the water with an anti-freeze concentrate good for -30C. This stuff
contains (listed) anionic surfactants (<5%), "alcohols" (the one I used separately lists ethylene-glycol), scents and coloring. I didn't go for really big bubbles but 1m spheres are not a problem and look the same as when only water is used. Even it might not have the same performance anti-freeze provides a possibility to deal with the cold to a certain extent. I've got the feeling that one even could use some more of that anti-freeze! The one I used also says that when used 50:50 with water (for its intended purpose) it's good for -8C.
Steven's Warm Bucket Tip
- In low 40's, with 40% humidity, you should get decent results without too much fussing. Although 40% RH sounds low, evaporation is slowed by the cooler temperatures and if it's overcast too, you should have an awesome day. I find that warming the solution helps when the temperature is closer to or below freezing.
- When I warm my solution, what I do is warm it in the microwave then use 3 nested buckets. Bottom one empty, second one has heat packs in it and the top one has the solution. The packs will warm the solution from the bottom and the extra buckets provide a bit of insulation and keep the bucket with the solution off the cold ground ...
- ... If it were me and it's going to be in the 40's, I wouldn't even bother warming the solution. I can't speak for yours but I know that my solution is good at those temps. I usually don't find that heating is necessary until it gets down to near freezing ...
- Agreed... This is more of a tip for when it gets down below freezing. I've had success doing this in temperatures as low as about 27 degrees. The solution stays warm enough to work with for about a half hour or so, at which point the rim of the bucket will be caked with bubble snow... [Steven]
Jay in Alaska has posted these tips in his great Winter_Bubbling blog entry.
Calcium Chloride. He finds that 2 Tablespoons (45 ml) Calcium Chloride granules per liter of water can really help even when temps are below freezing. Please note that heat is given off and the juice may become pretty hot.
Propylene Glycol. He has found that 1-1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces) of Propylene Glycol is effective when added to 1 gallon of bubble juice. Megan Parker reports that only 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) PG in a gallon of juice is effective in preventing frost spots--even at 10F!