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November 11, 2021 6 min read

Just about everyone has experienced the simple joy of blowing bubbles at some point or another. It’s something that’s hard not to get a kick out of (for children and adults alike). Traditionally it’s associated with blue skies and warm weather, at summer picnics perhaps.

Giant bubbles created with hula hoops and akiddie pool is a classic summer camp favorite. Blowing bubbles in winter is an entirely different experience that you need to try. 

Here is what you need to know about creating beautiful frozen orbs this winter:

Why Blow Bubbles in Winter? 

Blowing bubbles outside might not be the first activity to come to mind during the dead of winter. But it’s actually a rare opportunity to partner with nature and watch a liquid turn into a solid right in front of your eyes. Creating frozen bubbles is a fun activity for the whole family to try this winter.

Not only does it result in a beautiful crystallized orb, but it’s a chance to exercise the scientific part of your brain. It’s time for science and nature to impress you with their intricate and precise natural reactions. 

This how-to guide will offer tips for the best mixtures for creating frozen bubbles, multiple bubble blowing techniques, games to play with frozen bubbles, and a little science behind the magic of crystallization.

What Are the Ingredients For a Frozen Bubble Solution? 

While more than one solution can work for creating frozen bubbles, there are certain ingredients that tend to be a part of each mixture. These ingredients each serve a purpose in bubble formation and freeze-bility.

Learn what each ingredient does and start with this list as a base. Then, you can try out substitutions or experiment with your own scientific ideas to create the perfect solution. 

Water 

Water is an essential ingredient to your mixture because of its ability to freeze. If you remember from grade school science, water consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, bonded together by acovalent bond.

Water molecules that find themselves next to each other will bond together naturally with a hydrogen bond. That’s why water blends together with itself so easily as opposed to molecules staying separate as if they were a pile of sand. 

Thisdiagram of water molecules will help you visualize how water molecules are constructed and the way they stick together.

Water can also exist in three different states: solid, liquid, and gas. In this frozen bubble experiment, you’ll get to see O turn from a liquid to a solid right in front of you as the solution freezes. 

For your bubble mixture, 1.5 cups of water is a good amount to make a solution that you can use throughout the winter. Some prefer to use warm water when mixing ingredients together as it can help ingredients blend together. 

Corn Syrup 

Corn syrup is essentially the sugar derived from corn starch. It is an ingredient commonly used in baked goods, candies, jellies, ice cream, and more. The role it has in your bubble mixture is to thicken up the consistency. This will give a bit of extra durability to your bubbles and help them avoid breaking as they freeze. 

You’re going to need just 1/4 cup of corn syrup for your bubble mixture. 

Dish Soap 

Everyone at some point or another has messed around withdish soap to create bubbles. Sometimes bubbles form and float around the kitchen unintentionally while you do the dishes.

These bubbles are formed by a thin layer of water sandwiched in between two layers of soap molecules, creating a film that houses air inside. The air is lighter than water, which is why bubbles will float on top of the water while you do dishes the same way agroovy pool float will rest on top of the pool’s water. 

Any dish soap should work for your bubble mixture. Take note that whether you use clear dish soap or colored dish soap, the bubbles will look the same. However, depending on the surface upon which you conduct your experiment, colored soap may leave a spot indicating the original color of the soap. 

You will need 1/2 cup of dish soap for your frozen bubble potion.

Optional Ingredients 

While the ingredients mentioned should be enough to create frozen bubbles, there are two additional ingredients you may want to give a try.

Try dissolving sugar into your mixture to thicken it up even more and help with the crystallization process. Another option is to include a few drops of food coloring to give your bubbles a fun pop of color. 

What Is the Best Technique For Creating Frozen Bubbles? 

Successfully blowing frozen bubbles may require a bit of a learning curve. It is an experiment, after all, so you’ll want to experiment with different techniques to find out what works best for you.

Here are a few techniques that frozen bubble blowers have used with success: 

Mixing Technique 

  1. First, you’re going to mix 1.5 cups of water with a 1/4 cup of corn syrup. Mixing in a jar will allow you to store the unused bubble solution for another day! 
  2. Next, mix in seven oz. of sugar if you want to try a thicker mixture. 
  3. Once that has emulsified, add in your 1/5 of dish soap. Be sure to mix slowly to avoid unwanted bubbles in your mixture.
  4. Add coloring.
  5. Pat yourself on the back or engage in a celebratory high-five.

Techniques for Blowing Frozen Bubbles 

Once your mixture is ready, it’s time to blow the perfect frozen bubbles! Remember that to create frozen bubbles; the temperature must be freezing. That is 0° C or -32 °F.

The colder it is, the better chance your bubbles will have holding up while they freeze. It’s also important that there isthe least amount of wind possible!  Bubbles will pop before they're fully frozen if you are in a windy area. 

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find success right away; it is a delicate craft.

Try these techniques and see what works best for you:

Straw Technique

Dip a straw into your bubble mixture and blow lightly through one end with the other end aimed at a flat frozen surface. The bubble should form and stick to the surface. Watch it crystallize as it freezes.

Wand Technique

You can also try blowing frozen bubbles with a regular bubble wand. For this technique, you’ll want to put your mixture in the freezer or leave it outside ahead of time so that it’s already cold and ready to freeze more quickly.

This technique works better the colder it is. While this is a difficult technique to master, it’s awesome to see the bubbles freeze in mid-air as they float down to the ground.

Bowl Technique

This technique works well for children who are having a hard time with the techniques mentioned above. Put your bubble mixture in a bowl, blow into the mixture with a straw, and watch several bubbles form at once. Watching a whole little village of frozen orbs crystalize together is peak winter vibes.

Indoor Technique

If it’s not quite cold enough where you live, don’t worry! You can still make frozen bubbles using a technique involving your freezer! To make frozen bubbles indoors, you’ll need a baking sheet in addition to your bubble mix. 

  1. Put a baking sheet in the freezer for five to ten minutes
  2. Remove the baking sheet and pour some of your bubble solution in the middle of the sheet
  3. Use a bubble wand to blow a bubble, getting it to stick to the mixture in the middle of the baking sheet.
  4. Carefully transfer the sheet back into the freezer. Don’t fully close the freezer door, or the pressure will change when you open it will burst your bubble!
  5. Wait five to ten minutes, and you should have a frozen bubble.

Fun With Bubbles 

The process of making your bubble solution and watching them freeze is a blast in itself, but you can also play games once you get the hang of it. Try out these games and make some up for yourself to play with family and friends.

See who can make the largest frozen bubble. To create large bubbles requires control over the air you breathe through your straw or wand. Go slow and steady to create a huge bubble.

See which bubble lasts the longest!Frozen bubbles usually don’t last long, so it’s really fun when you make one that hangs in there for a while. Get out a stopwatch and see who can create the longest-lasting bubble of the day.

Stack your bubbles!Get one bubble frozen on the ground, and then blow another one to stick on top of it. Try and stack as many of you can or form frozen bubble snowmen.

Bubbles are no longer confined to the warm weather! Making frozen bubbles is a fun winter activity that anyone can enjoy and a great plus side to the freezing days ahead. 


Sources:

Covalent Bond | Science Direct

Flash Molecules | NSF

Soap Bubbles | Chemical and Engineering News


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