Jumbo Juice is a great bubble solution for creating giant bubbles. In October 2010, the original Jumbo Juice became unavailable for purchase over the internet, and its creator, Dustin Skye, and granted permission for the publication of its recipe on this wiki.
Update [June 2012]: Jumbo Juice Pro concentrate (an evolution of original Jumbo Juice very similar to the 2012 version) is now available in cases of 2 gallons from Dustin's Etsy.com webstore: Jumbo Juice at Etsy.com
Recipe update (Feb. 2012): Dustin has informed me that he has dropped Xanthan from the recipe and uses the equivalent of what would be just less than 1 gram of baking soda (and half that amount of citric acid) per liter of water once the concentrate is diluted. People that have seen this version of the recipe in action claim that it is a significant improvement on what was already a great recipe.
VideosEditThese videos inspired me to explore bubblemaking. They feature amazing bubbles created with Jumbo Juice.
SuperGiantBubbles channel on YouTube.
More of Dustin's YouTube bubble videos.
Keith Johnson's YouTube review of Jumbo Juice. (Update: Video no longer available)
Original Recipe (2010 Version)Edit
The official recipe (as published in June 23, 2010) is found in this section. See the notes above about the improved recipe (which drops the Xanthan Gum and adds baking soda/citric acid).
This section reproduces the recipe exactly as presented on the Jumbo Juice site. It creates a bit over 4 gallons of concentrate which when diluted brews up between 34 and 39 gallons of bubble juice. This recipe requires an accurate microgram scale that can measure up to 200 grams. Such scales can be found (as of 2010) for about $20 U.S.
bu Dustin Skye (text copied here by permission from his old site)
PLEASE NOTE: THE FORMULA BELOW HAS BEEN REVISED AS OF JUNE 23, 2010 I am not affiliated with any of the suppliers or websites linked below. I AM however a happy repeat customer of them all. I receive no compensation from them. Below you will find my formula for giant bubble juice. The Dawn Professional Pot and Pan detergent I use is not available globally. In my experience Dawn liquid dish washing detergent of any variety (although I haven't tried the "Direct Foam" types) works very well. Joy brand dish washing liquid works very well too. Folks in Europe should try to get "Fairy" brand dish washing liquid. It is made by the same company that makes Dawn and Joy, and I've heard from folks that have tried it that it works pretty well. Without further ado, my formula:
Jumbo Juice super concentrate giant bubble formula created by Dustin Skye. All rights reserved.
No warranties or suitability for any particular task given or implied.
All units of measure are US standard
1.16 gallons distilled water (1 gallon +2.5cups)= 4377grams
240 grams baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) This ingredient is only used when the cellulose thickener (HydroxyPropyl Methylcellulose etc.) is treated to be cold water dispersible. DO NOT ADD baking soda if you use K15M premium HPMC. If you are unsure whether your cellulose thickener is cold water dispersible, please do the following test: Put about .25 cups cold water into a suitably sized container. Measure about 1/4 teaspoon cellulose thickener and put it onto the water. If the cellulose thickener is wetted and sinks into the water by its self, the thickener is treated and you should add the baking soda. If the thickener sits on top of the water and doesn't become wetted, DO NOT add the baking soda. The varieties of cellulose thickeners that have been treated to disperse into cold water alter the pH of solutions they are added to. The baking soda in this formula is to correct this change.
3 gallons Dawn Pro (Pot and Pan) detergent = 384 fl oz. (Joy Pot and Pan works fine too) Add baking soda into water (only if you are using HPMC that readily disperses in cold water), stir 'till dissolved., Add the Dawn dish detergent and stir until mixed.
32.7 grams hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) I get my HPMC from Burman Industries: Burman Industries HPMC There are many different grades of cellulose thickeners on the market- be aware that I have only tested the HPMC that Burman Industries sells (K15M Premium) for suitability in this formula. Other types may not work for this formula at all (although they may, and they may work even better!)
27.9 grams xanthan gum (I use a food grade) (I get this from my local supermarket in the natural food section. You may omit this ingredient if you can't find it.
12.9 grams polyethylene oxide (Dow WSR 301) I get my PEO from Educational Innovations: Educational Innovations PEO
Combine above dry ingredients (carefully!) and mix them into 1.5 cups glycerin (446.93grams).
Pour a thin stream of the polymer/glycerin mix into the Dawn/water/baking soda mix while stirring the Dawn mix (a paint mixer attached to a hand drill should work). The mixture will thicken fairly quickly. Continue to mix for about 3 minutes, or until you can see that the mixture is homogeneous and that the polymers have dissolved. Use just enough speed with the hand drill/paint mixer to combine the ingredients because some of the polymers can be damaged by shear forces that are too great. Damaged polymers are less effective for their intended purposes. The concentrated mix will settle over time.
Use about 16 to 18 fluid (US) ounces of concentrate per gallon of water. Dustin prefers a water to detergent ratio of 16:1.
I use a "squirrel mixer" suitable for mixing 5-10 gallons.
I mix my batches of concentrate in a 5 gallon bucket.
A scale accurate to .01 grams is required for measuring the polymers. They can be found online for less than $20 shipped. Get one that has a capacity of at least 200 grams.
The material used for the wand strings can have a dramatic affect on the size of bubbles possible. One common problem for beginning users is tangled strings. The best way to prevent tangled strings is to keep the tips of the wands together as you dip the strings in the bubble juice, while the strings are in the juice, and to keep the tips together as you lift the strings out of the juice. It's also very important to not “stir” the string while dipping it. Straight down and straight back up works best.
Not sure which way the wind is blowing? Make a small bubble and then turn to face whichever direction it flies away to. If there isn't any wind, slowly walk backwards as smoothly as you can with the wand open. Sometimes the bubbles just don't want to form, or they pop before they fly away. This can be caused by unclean air; make giant bubbles in the cleanest air you can. Car exhaust or restaurant deep fryer exhaust can cause poor bubble performance. Insects can also be a major problem, and the only way to deal with them is to avoid making bubbles where they are. The beach at the morning or evening is great, due to the cleanliness and high humidity of the air, as well as the usual lack of insects (if the wind is from off-shore). After a rain shower can be problematic if you don't wait long enough after it stops. The fresh smell that occurs right as it starts to rain and for a while after it stops is caused by micro-organisms in the soil/pavement that release spores in large quantities. These spores (as well as some car exhaust and deep fryer exhaust) have a static electrical charge that interacts with the bubbles in an unfavorable way. Dust can also be a problematic element in making giant bubbles; avoid it if you can.
See this blog entry for a preliminary version of the single-batch recipe based on the 'old' Jumbo Juice recipe. To make it "current", remove the xanthan and add 3.2 grams baking soda and 1.6 grams citric acid.
Notes and SubstitutionsEditOn SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group, it has been reported that you can successfully use Fairy Ultra (made by Procter & Gamble and similar to Dawn Ultra) which is available in Germany and was found to work well in this recipe (Dawn Manual Pot & Pan not being readily available there).
Todd K has posted some beautiful giant bubbles create with a Jumbo Juice variant. He omits the Xanthan Gum from the concentrate and mixes 3.2 grams of baking soda plus 1.6 grams of citric acid per gallon of water used to dilute the concentrate. See the video. His loop has a 110 inch top-string made from the yarn from Rubbermaid super-absorbent mop-head yarn. The yarn color is blue.