These recipes make use of 3 polymers: PEO, HPMC and CMC. They were inspired by reports from Doc Groebel on SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group that suggest that HPMC and CMC together have a synergy and improve a mix when used together in a way that they do not on their own. PHC mixes seem superior to PEO/HPMC or PEO/CMC mixes. It has been hard to make a definitive determination as to whether the mixes are superior to PEO-only mixes. It may be largely an issue of personal preference.
For history and thoughts, see my original blog post. These recipes work nicely. Which one is best seems largely a matter of personal preference. The feel of the different versions of this juice, the flow off the string, is definitely different, but it isn't clear that this has significant difference on the resulting bubble. Try them yourself and see what you like. More extensive testing and comparisons are still to be done. I have a backlog of videos to review to compare the performance.
One thing was certain, whether or not these perform better than PEO-only mixes, they certainly do not perform worse. They have been compared to PEO-only mixes in varied conditions from cool/humid to hot/dry and have performed at least as well as the PEO-only versions.
I decided to try somewhat ridiculous amounts figuring that I could always dilute (with water and detergent) as necessary. I somewhat arbitrarily decided on these amounts:
- 1.5 gr hpmc powder (Methocel K15M)
- 3.0 gr cmc (Aqualon 7h4f)
- 1.0 gram degraded wsr301 (in freezer) [I guess this is about 1/3 to 1/4 the potency of 'fresh PEO from hell']
- 146 grams Dawn Pro
- 7 grams baking soda
- 3644 grams water
- 3.5 grams citric acid
The result is a very thick mix that is a bit stringy. With small loops, the size potential seems less than my standard PEO or guar-based mixes. However, when I tried it with very large loops (well, very large for me) on the order of a 100" top-string, I found it to work at least as well if not better than my standard mix. With such large loops, the issues that influence maximum size are different than with smaller loops.
VERSION 1.1EditOn Sept. 17, I mixed up a version with less PEO and a slightly different mixing protocol which I am calling version 1.1. It worked quite well in a Sept. 18, 2012 test session. You can watch video of the session here .
Slurry the polymer mix with 20 grams glycerine:
- 0.5 grams (quarter-potency) wsr301
- 1.5 grams HPMC (K15M)
- 3.0 grams CMC (7H4F)
Add 146 grams dawn pro [this is to be mixed with 3644 total grams water for 25:1 water:detergent ratio]
Add 7 grams baking soda
Add 200 grams hot water and stir
Add 300 grams hot water and stir
Measure 3144 grams water into a gallon jug
Put citric acid in a glass and pour in enough water from the jug to easily dissolve the citric acid (maybe 50 ml water)
Add polymer goo to the jug and turn over a few times to mix
Add citric acid waterOne hour after mixing it gets 5 to 8 colorful bubbles when using a small plastic wand. The mix is a bit stringy and thick.
Version 1.2EditThis was intended to be viscous (thick) to the point of being ridiculousness. I assumed it would not work well. I was wrong.
Version 1.2 uses these amounts of polymer:
- 2.5 gr hpmc powder (Methocel K15M) [5 heaping 1/4 tsp]
- 5 gr cmc (Aqualon 7h4f) [5+ heaping 1/4 tsp]
- 1.0 gram degraded wsr301 (in freezer) [I guess this is about 1/3 to 1/4 the potency of 'fresh PEO from hell'] [2+ level 1/4 tsp]
Version 1.3EditThis version is intended to be ridiculously thick to see if the extra viscosity is beneficial for making giant tubes and bubbles with the 100" top string. The exploration of slow flowing solutions is to see if this quality of the Bangwool solution that created such large bubbles is generally useful. It is quite possible that the high viscosity of the Bangwool solution is a side-effect of the chemistry that creates such a nice mix and not the cause. This solution -- given the ridiculously large amounts of polymers -- should also give some insight into the validity of John P's claim on SBF that using HPMC and CMC along with PEO will result in a solution inferior to one that is PEO only.
For the base recipe, see above but substitute this amount of polymer powders.
- 4 grams HPMC (K15M)
- 8 grams CMC (Aqualon 7H4F)
- 1 gram WSR301 (of degraded PEO that is approximately 1/4 strength)
Original blog post with more detailed information about the history and "theory".
Watch these videos in HD on YouTube if you can.
This video was taken on a ridiculously hot and dry day to test the contention that under such conditions a multi-polymer mix would fare much worse than a PEO-only mix.