Of all the amazing things I've learned from the Soap Bubble Wiki, a few of these things are not necessary at all to make giant bubbles. However, these things make the bubbling experience exponentially more consistent and/or awesome.
Here's my non-exhaustive, unordered list of simple things that have improved my bubbling experience:
- Make your bubble juice in jugs or bottles, or mix it in a bucket and pour it into a jug/bottle. I used to mix my juice in my dipping buckets (with lids). It didn't take long for the juice to get full of crud. Also, I would feel obligated to use up the entire bucket in a session...even if the conditions for making bubbles weren't that great. So now, my juice stays clean until I want to use it, and it lasts longer because I'm able to use it "smarter."
- Use good quality fishing swivels for your bubble wands. My first set of wands worked wonderfully...until the cheap fishing swivels that I bought rusted out and snapped. Make sure you buy swivels that not only spin smoothly, but are rated for saltwater use -- they will last longer, and do the job so much better than cheap swivels.
- Measure your juice ingredients with a scale. Mixing bubble juice has been easy from the start (thanks to this Wiki), but it became exceptionally easier once I picked up a scale (mine is a $10 kitchen scale from Amazon). Not only are my batches of juice more consistent, but I use less tools/utensils when mixing up a batch.
- Stop big bubbling when it gets really windy. When the wind was too hard and fast for big bubbles, I would often try to make bubbles anyway (because I love it so much). But, I would just end up getting frustrated. Or, I simply wouldn't have as much fun as the times when the weather was more accomodating. So, if it's windy and you really want to bubble, break out a garland. Garlands are great in the wind.
- Bubble with a (respectful) audience. Making big bubbles is almost always fun. However, it's way more fun when you have an audience that just wants to watch you create awesome bubbles. Even if that audience consists of only one person. More often than not, the audiences I attract are children that just want to pop all my bubbles. That's fine...most of the time. But sometimes you just want to see all your bubbles "roam free." It's fantastic when you have someone there with you who wants to watch your bubbles with you. Furthermore, you can "tame" an audience of children if you challenge them to blow bubbles in your bubbles, instead of popping them. Although, this only works about 50 per cent of the time.
- Give as little instruction as possible. When I get swarmed by children when I'm out bubbling, the inevitable question is never far away: "Can I try that?" When I let anyone try their hand at making big bubbles (child or adult), I've found that giving them less instruction (at first, anyway) is usually best. I don't offer any corrective advice until it's necessary. I'm amazed at how easily the younger children (somewhere between three and six years old) start making bubbles. Older children and adults seem to want to overcomplicate the process (sometimes). Anyway, when I hand over my wands, I typically just give three rules:
- Don't dip past the s-biners
- Keep the wicks off the ground (though I typically say "strings" so they know what I'm talking about)
- Move slowly
I'll keep adding to this list as I find more simple things that, again, are not necessary, but definitely make bubbling easier and/or more fun.