Easy Homemade Bubble Recipe with Glycerin for Giant Bubbles!

Easy Homemade Bubble Recipe with Glycerin for Giant Bubbles!

Once you have had the experience of making giant bubbles, you will want to do it again and again and again! The little bit of prep work to make your own homemade bubble solution and your DIY bubble wand really is 100% worth it! 

bubble recipe with glycerin

While I can only play so much Hot Wheels with my 4-year-old, I can spend a whole afternoon making gigantic bubbles in the backyard with him. In fact, I think I may enjoy this activity more than he does. 

He has a pretty great time too though. He especially loves chasing and popping all the bubbles!

kid popping big bubble

Making huge bubbles is so much fun and a surprisingly easy activity to organize. All you need to make giant homemade bubbles is a good recipe and a giant bubble wand. 

Luckily, both these things are budget friendly and require very little effort on the part of exhausted parents.

Finding the Best Homemade Bubble Solution

Every homemade bubble recipe floating around online claims to be the very best homemade bubble solution. How can they all be the very best?

What I found from experimenting with a couple of different recipes is that they all seem to produce pretty good results and great bubbles. I felt like the weather and wand technique was a bigger factor in bubble quality than the slight variations among the recipes I experimented with.

Making bubbles on an overcast day that is cool and humid with a slight breeze is optimal bubble weather. High humidity will help the water in the bubbles evaporate more slowly, and a breeze will help give them some lift and carry them up up and away!

big floating bubble

So I would not fret too much about picking the “best” recipe. This is an activity that is worth doing more than once, so you can experiment with different ingredients each time. It’s a great learning opportunity and science experiment for kids of all ages this way too!

Bubble Mixture Ingredient Options

Do a search for giant bubble recipes online, and you will find a variety of recipes with a combination of some of the following ingredients;

  • corn syrup
  • baking powder
  • glycerin
  • sugar
  • dawn dish soap
  • cornstarch
As I was trying to decide what bubble recipe to make, I wondered what the purpose of each of these ingredients was. What scientific properties do each contribute to big bubbles?
  • Corn syrup, glycerin, sugar, and cornstarch all have a similar role when it comes to making big bubbles. Their purpose is to make stronger bubbles that last longer by slowing down the evaporation of the water in the bubbles.
  • Dish soap helps increase the stretchability and stability of bubbles by lowering their surface tension. University of Wisconsin explains that more soap = bigger bubbles! 
  • Baking powder increases the pH of your bubble solution. Something about making the mixture more alkaline is apparently a good thing for bigger stronger bubbles.
I also saw several bubble recipes with a supposedly super magic secret ingredient; J-Lube. While I’m sure it does make the best bubbles, I did not want to bother spending $25 on a bottle of lube. Maybe if I get super into bubble making I’ll drop 20-plus dollars on some lube. For now, I do not see a need for the extra cost and think glycerin is a perfectly good substitute for the key ingredient.  

Homemade Big Bubble Recipe

  • 12 cups water
  • 1 cup of Dawn dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons of glycerin

Big Bubble Recipe Instructions

There’s really not much in the way of instructions when it comes to putting together this bubble recipe. 

Put all the ingredients in a big bucket and gently stir everything together for a few seconds. 

A lot of recipes online recommend letting your bubble solution sit for a day or 2 so that all the ingredients can properly combine. I honestly did not see any difference in the bubble quality when we let it sit overnight or when we used it an hour or so after making it. Feel free to run your own experiments with this. 

child making bubble mixture
Making our bubble mixture

Gathering Your Bubble Solution Ingredients

homemade bubble recipe ingredients


While corn syrup, cornstarch, sugar, and glycerin all perform a similar function in a bubble recipe, I decided I’d go with glycerin. Scientific American claims that glycerin does a better job than ingredients like corn syrup even though they perform a similar function.

You can of course easily order a bottle of glycerin online, but if you want to shop in-store, I’d check out a Walmart or Michaels first.

As I’m writing this, my local Walmart has a small 6 oz bottle of basic vegetable-based glycerin for about $5. And Michaels has a small 4 oz bottle for about $6. These little bottles will make plenty of batches of bubbles and hours and hours of fun!

Dish Soap

Pretty much every bubble recipe I found online recommended using blue Dawn dish soap. So I bought an 18 oz bottle of Dawn Ultra for about $4 at the grocery store. This one bottle provides hours of fun!

Since animal rescue workers douse animals impacted by oil and pollution in Dawn, I figure it is probably a pretty safe product toxicly speaking!

Baking Powder

Most people have baking powder sitting in their cupboards, but if you don’t, you can get some for around $3 at the grocery store. Just be sure you’re getting baking powder and not baking soda. 


A lot of recipes online call for distilled water for a giant bubble recipe. I’m not going to go buy big plastic jugs of distilled water though if I can use what comes from the tap or our water filter. And as it turns out, our tap water worked just fine!
Science World does note, however, that soft water is better for making bubbles. So if you live somewhere where the tap water is very hard, you may want to try distilled water instead. 

DIY Bubble Wands

You will of course need some good bubble wands to use with your magic bubble solution!

While you can buy a giant bubble wand, it is really easy to make one yourself. You will need;

  • 2 long sticks or wooden dowels
  • cotton rope
little kid gathering sticks for a diy bubble wand
Gathering sticks for our giant bubble wand!

How to Make a Giant Bubble Wand

Lay your two sticks out parallel to each other. 

Cut one piece of rope about 2.5 – 3 feet long. Cut a second piece about 3.5-4 feet long. 

Tie one end of your shorter piece of rope to the top of one stick. Tie the other end to the top of the other stick.

Take your longer piece of rope and tie one end onto the first rope, close to the stick. 

String a washer onto the longer rope if you’d like. It’s not necessary but can add a little weight to straighten out your rope when using it. 

Tie the last end of your longer rope to the opposite end of the shorter rope.

Voila! You have a big bubble wand.

Pouring some of your bubble solution into a shallow baking pan is sometimes easier than dipping your wand into a big bucket.  

giant bubble wand instructions

DIY Bubble Wands with Pipe Cleaners

Gather some sticks and wrap a pipe cleaner around one end, leaving an inch or two of the end poking up above the end of the stick. Take another pipe cleaner and twist it onto the end of the first pipe cleaner. Then loop it around and twist it to form a loop. You can then shape your loop into any shape you’d like! 

diy bubble wand instructions with pipe cleaners and sticks

You can point out to kids how even though the bubbles come out of one shape, they always end up as a sphere.

Little kids love using these little pipe cleaner bubble wands and it is a fun activity to gather the sticks and choose their own pipe cleaner colors and shapes!

More DIY Activities for Kids:
Homemade Kinetic Sand 
DIY Playdough Recipe
Homemade Cardboard Toys

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