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How did the game of blowing bubbles start?
The practice of blowing bubbles goes back as far as the 17th century when children would blow bubbles out of clay pipes or use leftover dishwater to blow bubbles. Bubbles blown in this matter did not last very long in the air.
Why are soap bubbles so fragile?
The water in soap bubbles evaporates over time, making the soap film thinner. Gravity pulls the water to the bottom of the bubble, making the soap film even thinner at the top. When the top film has become really thin, further evaporation of water will finally break the soap film.
To decrease the evaporation of water from the bubbles, one can add some glycerin to the soap-water mixture.
What makes glycerin the perfect ingredient for bubble-making?
Glycerin works by delaying the dehydration process. Glycerin has the unique property of being able to produce weak bonds with hydrogen. These bonds prevent the water from evaporating as quickly. Glycerine is also hygroscopic. This means that it has the ability to absorb water from air, which may also contribute to its abilities to resist evaporation longer.
How is glycerin made?
Glycerin is a neutral, sweet-tasting, colorless, thick liquid which freezes to a gummy paste and which has a high boiling point. Glycerin can be dissolved into water or alcohol, but not oils. On the other hand, many things will dissolve into glycerin easier than they do into water or alcohol. So it is a good solvent.
Where does glycerin come from?
Up until 1889, people didn't know how to recover glycerine from the soapmaking process, so commercially produced glycerin mostly came from the candlemaking industry. It was only in 1889 that a viable way to separate the glycerin out of the soap was finally implemented.
The process of removing the glycerin from the soap in the simplest terms involved making soap out of fats and lye. The fats already contain glycerin as part of their chemical makeup (both animal and vegetable fats contain from 7% - 13% glycerine). When the fats and lye interact, soap is formed, and the glycerin is left out as a byproduct. Commercial soap makers then strain this out of their soap formula.
How do you make glycerin bubbles?
Recipes usually would call for some dishwashing detergent (around 1/2 cup), 4-1/2 cups distilled water, and 4 tablespoons of glycerin, which is available in pharmacies or chemical supply houses. Simply mix these ingredients together into a container with a cover and stir gently. Let the the mixture set, preferably overnight; the longer they sit, the larger the bubbles are and the longer they last, as most detergents contain some alcohol that would have dissolved during this time.
Where can I get glycerin?
You can buy online here at Bubbles Glycerin Recipe, a division of ChemWorld. Our products are manufactured to ISO standards, as well as standards set by ASME. All products featured on site are in stock and ready to be shipped within 24 hours.
How do I store glycerin?
Use smoked or colored glass or plastic with the glycerin to avoid excess exposure to the light; repeated heating can break down the chemical bonds in the glycerin. Pour the glycerin into the container, making sure that it can sealed tightly, then store in a cabinet or drawer.
If your glycerin seems to dry out, take the lid off and let in some air. The glycerin will pull moisture from the air and rehydrate. Or you can add water a few drops at a time to help rehydrate the product.
The best storage temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees.
We typically ship the same day if ordered by 3pm EST. If it must ship today, please indicate so upon check out, we will contact you.
Glycerin USP transit time:
Same day shipping on all containers and drums if ordered by 3pm EST.
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