20170417 babyshampoo 6to1 retouched cropped

6:1 Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo, water and WSR-301

People have periodically mentioned Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo as a possible bubble juice ingredient over the years. I did a little experimenting when I started out but wasn't impressed.

Recently, Rick Findley and I have been discussing his RAD formulation and the possibility that J&J baby shampoo might be a useful additive.

I was testing some RAD 1.0 the other day. I made some nice bubbles, but the film is not as forgiving as Dawn-based solutions. I recalled that Rick had mentioned baby shampoo in a past discussion. I decided to add a little and see what would happen.

Yesterday, I had a few minutes to do some bubbling. The conditions were ok but not great. I didn't have time for a formal test or to set up a camera. I made some bubbles with RAD 1.0 then added an unknown small amount of baby shampoo. It felt like the mix became a little more forgiving. I added a little bit of water and that helped a bit.

It seems like an area that is worth exploring more seriously. It didn't change the bubble size dramatically, but the film felt a bit more friendly -- closer to what I am used to with my standard mixes.

I realized afterwards that I really should study the baby shampoo by itself to get a sense for what dilutions are effective.

In the kitchen, I mixed 1 tsp (5 ml) of the shampoo with 30 ml of tap water. I was able to get a bubble or two per dip with my standard small wand.

I added a drop of 1% PolyOx WSR-301 (PEO) solution and the bubbles-per-dip jumped to over 15.

I mixed up a larger batch at this 6:1 dilution and headed outside with the camera. Just tap water, Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo and a little bit of PEO (just enough to make the juice slightly stringy). 1/2 cup baby shampoo. 3 cups tap water. Enough 1% PEO solution to make solution slightly stringy. pH was about 7.3-7.4 (note: our tap is about 8.9).

The conditions were good (60F: 88% humidity). I used a 30" top-string. I was able to make 3-foot bubbles. Not the giants that I get with my standard mixes, but a lot of people would be happy with these.

I noticed that the colors tended to red and pink with little or no yellow and no blue. So, the film is pretty thick. When I looked at the pictures, I'd say that at 6:1 (without any pH adjustment), the shampoo was giving me a film something like Dawn at 40:1.


This was really just a quick test to get a sense of what dilution might be good. The film is so thick that I am thinking that I should see what 3:1 and 4:1 look like.

I also need to see what impact pH has on the film.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.