Last Updated on July 31, 2011 by Dave Farquhar
My oldest son’s obsession is blowing bubbles. If he’s awake, it’s what he wants to do. If he doesn’t want to do something, offering to let him blow bubbles if he does that something often works.
The trouble is that an 8 ounce bottle lasts him about an hour and costs between 75 cents and a dollar. That can make for an expensive 3-day weekend, unless you make it yourself.I’ve seen a number of recipes. The recipe I tried may not be the best, but it’s better than any of the commercial formulations we’ve tried.
I took 1/4 cup of Costco dish detergent (it was what I had), 1/2 cup of water, and a tablespoon of sugar, which I stirred and poured into his used bubble bottle.
Most recipes suggest Dawn or Joy. For these purposes, I’m sure concentration matters a lot more than brand. Some recipes call for glycerin or corn syrup instead of sugar. Corn syrup and glycerin aren’t things I have any other reason to keep around, so I used sugar.
The concoction left enough room in his 8-ounce bottle to make it easier to use.
Google says a gallon of Dawn costs $15 at warehouse stores. That would make 64 refills, cutting the cost to about 25 cents a pop. I don’t remember what the Costco brand costs, but it’s probably less than that.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.
2 thoughts on “I wanna blow bubbles!”
You say those bottles last an hour, but that’s only if
they don’t get spilled — which, ours seem to do more
often than not. Refilling them for a quarter would make
me feel better about it.
The Costco brand is about $8 for 135 ounces, so that works out to about 12 cents worth for each refill, plus the cost of the sugar.
The name brands at Costco cost anywhere from 2-3 cents more per ounce.
For the price difference, I’m not going to bother trying other brands. Yeah, I’m a stingy miser.
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