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Super simple bubble juice with easily found ingredients! 
2013 11 04 giant bubble (flax mix)

2013 11 04 giant bubble (flax mix)

Second trial with the flax mix. Longevity was superior to the guar mix that I had on hand.

20131103 flax tube 1

Tube made with flax water and detergent!

When I first discovered bubblemaking a few years ago, one of the first recipes that I found was the one at BubbleTown. It uses just flax seed, water and detergent. For whatever reason, I never got around to trying it. This past summer on SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group there was a lot of discussion of tricks to use in low humidity. Flax seed water (more about that below) was mentioned as an ingredient that extended bubble life significantly.

This weekend, I made up a quick batch of very simple "flax juice" just to see if it was promising enough to pursue. It definitely is. I have no idea how it will end up comparing to other recipes, but it definitely works: for both small wand work and large bubbles.

Conditions were bad (swirling brisk winds and 30%-40% humidity) but I managed to create enough bubbles in a few minutes to determine that it is worth exploring some more and comparing to a known juice in somewhat better conditions (and in low humidity with winds that are less tricky).

Recipe

Here is the recipe that I used:

1 tablespoon whole flax seeds added to 250 ml (one cup) water

the mixture was simmered for about 6 minutes (I did it in the microwave -- be careful not to have it overflow)

I then strained the liquid and added enough water to bring the volume to 1 liter.

I let it sit till it got to room temperature and added 50 grams Dawn Pro (making the dilution 20:1 water-to-detergent).

WIth a dimestore wand, I was getting 10 to 20 colorful bubbles per dip.

I added 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/8 tsp citric acid (both tightly packed and then leveled). This brought an 8.5 pH solution down to 7.3.

I took the mix outside and tried it with a 29" rayon mop yarn top-string and a single strand soda-washed twine bottom.

The wind is so swirling that I don't feel it fair to make any judgement about the juice other than to say that it was quite bubble-friendly and bubbles were easy to close. It will a require a session with calmer wind when I have a known juice on-hand for a valid analysis.

Second Trial

The next morning with 50F and 80% humidity, I tried the flax juice alongside a standard guar mix using 30" topstring Lehigh diamond braid loops. The flax juice bubbles lasted longest. One 4 foot diameter bubble lasted 44 seconds before breaking on the ground. Size potential seemed good.

See this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPEXi6gt6qM

2013 11 11 Follow-up

It seems that the solution has lost a bit of oomph over the 9 days since I mixed up the last batch. It still works, and the solution is clear with no off-odors, but there are noticeably fewers bubbles-per-dip with a small plastic wand than when the mix was fresh.

More Updates

See the Nov. 17, 2013 update.

Read other articles in the Flax Seed category.

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