A simple PEO solution can turn water and detergent into world-class bubble juice. It is a very helpful additive to have on hand for any serious bubble mixologist. It is basically water plus PolyOx WSR-301 or J-Lube or some other type of PEO). You can use it as you would BLM though the amount you need might be different but it will be similar.
Usage. Add from 4-8ml (or even more) of this solution to 1 liter of bubble juice.
The recipe below creates a solution that is 1% PEO. If your PEO is no longer full-potency (see the PEO article for information about shelf-life and degradation), you may want to increase the amount of PEO you use to make this. When my WSR-301 lost its potency, I almost quadrupled the amount of it that I used in the recipe.
1% PEO SOLUTIONEdit
You can start using this right away, but testing has shown that this solution's properties can change over the first 24 hours. Store it in the refrigerator after mixing to maximize shelf-life.
You can adapt this recipe for other sources of PEO. Increase the amount of PEO for versions with lower molecular weight (lower viscosity) and decrease it for super-potent higher molecular weight sources.
WSR301 vs. J-Lube. You will notice the recipe is slightly different for WSR301 and J-Lube. This difference is because J-Lube is only 25% PEO while WSR301 is 100% PEO.
Water. If you are using this for test purposes, you might want to use distilled water. Otherwise, tap water is fine. Distilled water might maximize shelf-life.
Chilled Dry Alcohol. This protocol makes use of chilled dry alcohol. Get alcohol that is 90% or higher pure -- the higher the better. In the U.S., isopropyl alcohol is cheap and readily available. In other countries, other types of alcohol may be substituted (such as ethanol). Make sure that it is very dry or else the PEO will clump. Chill your alcohol by putting it in the freezer. The colder the alcohol, the less likely it is that the small amount of water will cause clumping. Normally, a tiny amount of clumping can be tolerated.
If you can't find dry alcohol, you can use glycerine or propylene glycol in its place.
The recipe below makes 100 grams which will be about 100 ml. Scale the recipe up to make larger batches. For instance, to make 250 grams of this solution, multiply amounts by 2.5,
Scale Accuracy Note! The amounts below assume that you have a scale accurate to .1 grams or better. If you do not have such a scale make a larger batch otherwise the scale's rounding error can throw things off significantly. If you are doing serious testing, get an really accurate scale. Otherwise, make a 200-500 gram batch (keep in mind that you only need about 5 grams of this per liter of bubble juice) to minimize the influence of the scale's rounding error.
WSR301 Recipe Ingredients:
- 9 grams chilled 90% (or higher) isopropyl alcohol
- 1 gram PolyOx WSR301
- 90 grams room temperature water (preferably distilled)
J-Lube Recipe Ingredients:
- 9 grams isopropyl alcohol
- 4 grams J-Lube (this contains 1 gram of PEO and 3 gram of sugar)
- 87 grams room temperature water (preferably distilled)
- small cup for mixing slurry
- 1 cup capable of holding 150 ml of liquid. A bit larger is OK. If making a large batch, make sure the container is at least 1.5 times the volume of the water used.
- optional identical cup for testing self-siphoning
- a stirring rod, chopstick or fork
- a squeeze bottle (or other storage container) for the finished solution.
- Make a slurry. Add the PEO (the J-Lube or the WSR301) to the chilled alcohol and stir with a stirring rod or chopstick (or fork) to distribute. There should be no clumps.
- Start stirring your water with a stirring rod, chopstick or fork and gently pour the slurry in a stream into the stirred water. If you pour too fast, you may get some clumping. If this happens, you should start over.
- Continue stirring for about 2 minutes.
The solution should be clump free. If it is not, make a note of it.
You can use this as you would BLM.
I tend to store it in a squeeze bottle. Keep in mind that it is very stringy.
You can also use this in any recipe that calls for PEO by using the amount needed to supply the required amount of PEO. Since this is a 1% solution, you seen 100 time as much of this solution as you do PEO. Technically, your measurement should be by weight, but 1 gram of this solution has a volume of very close to 1 ml. So, you can use ml instead of grams. Remember, though: a little goes a long way. A difference of a few ml can have a big impact on your juice.
Substituting for PEO Example. For example, let's say that you are using your 1% solution to make eGoo. eGoo uses 0.15 grams PEO and 76 grams water. To get 0.15 grams of PEO, you need 100 times 0.15 grams of the solution. So, you need 15 grams of this solution. Most of the solution is water. So, you should subtract 15 grams from the 70 grams of water needed. So, instead of 0.15 grams of WSR301 and 76 grams of water. Use 15 grams of 1% PEO solution and 61 grams of water.
Edward's Basic PEO Juice. I frequently use the following recipe when making bubbles. While this is a super simple recipe, the results are world-class:
- 1 liter water
- 40-62 ml (or grams) Dawn Pro or Fairly or their equivalent. (40 ml for a 25:1 dilution. 50 ml for a 20:1 dilution. 62 gives a dilution of about 16:1).
- 5 ml. (one teaspoon) PEO solution
- 1/2 slightly heaping teaspoon (about 3 ml) baking powder
I have always stored this in the fridge and have always used it up within a year. During that year it has remained quite stable. It is possible that I needed a little more of it at the end of the year as I did in the beginning, but it is was still very potent stuff.