2618 phc slightly slightly diluted 06 cropped
20120918 phc11 5

PHC 1.1. Humidity 70%. Temp: 60F.

PHC RecipesEdit

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.

Version 1.0Edit

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.


20120918 phc11 5

PHC 1.1. Humidity 70%. Temp: 60F.

On 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 water

One 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 1.2Edit

2702 100inch phc12 5 CROP

100-inch top string (full-ply mop yarn) with single-ply rayon mop strand

This 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]
2703 100inch phc12 1 CROP

PHC12. 100-inch top-string loop. (Full-ply top; single strand bottom)


Version 1.3Edit

A libman phc13 3a 20121010

PHC 1.3 with 1/8 part Mr. Bubbles to reduce ghosts

This 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)
A libman bottom phc13 CROP 20121010

Another picture form the 2012 10 10 session.

This recipe creates some pretty magnificent "ghosts". To test Louis Pearl's claim that Mr. Bubbles can reduce or eliminate ghosting, I did some tests and found that 1-1/2 cups of Mr. Bubbles added to one quart of PHC1.3 eliminated the ghosts. I didn't notice any other dramatic changes to the solution's behavior when the Mr. B was added. The pictures in this section had maybe 1/2 cup Mr. B in about 6-8 cups PHC1.3
A libman phc13 2 20121010

PHC1.3 (plus some Mr. Bubbles). 2012 10 10 session.


See AlsoEdit

Original blog post with more detailed information about the history and "theory".


Watch these videos in HD on YouTube if you can.

2012 09 18 "PHC 1

2012 09 18 "PHC 1.1" Test

20120918 Test of PHC 1.1.

2012 09 24 Long PHC Tubes

2012 09 24 Long PHC Tubes

20120924 PHC Tubes


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.

2012 09 30 PEO vs

2012 09 30 PEO vs. Multi-Polymer on a Hot Dry Day

20120930 Comparison of PHC 1.2 and a PEO-only mix on a ridiculously hot and dry day

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