Ever since I found the 16-to-1 water, Dawn Pro, HEC-only solution, I have wanted to see if I can find a similarly dilute PEO-only solution that works as well. The HEC solution has worked well for Thommy in dry conditions when standard Jumbo Juice style solutions weren't working.
Last night, it was about a billion degrees in our house at midnight and I decided to step outside where it was a nice 70F. I brought a few pairs of Dip Stix and some recently mixed solutions to play with in the still night air. There was 60% humidity (it had been 30% from about 10 am till 6 pm). I had two PEO-only (as added polymers) solutions, and HEC-only mix (16 parts water per 1 part Dawn Pro plus 8 grams HEC per gallon of water and about an equal amount of a baking soda/citric acid mix that is 2 parts baking soda to 1 part citric acid). I also had a bit of "Mike's Gooey Mix".
I was able to get nice bubbles with all the mixes but the PEO-based mixes were more finicky. I could walk quite briskly with the HEC-solution and an open wand to create 20 to 25 foot bubbles. At the same pace, the PEO-based solutions were breaking pretty quickly. I had to move more slowly to make them work. Generally, the PEO-solutions (including the 'gooey' mix) required more care to bubble-in-bubble or to make very large bubbles.
It wouldn't be fair to say that the HEC mix is better than PEO-mixes based on this evening's exploration. I probably have just happened upon a very forgiving HEC-based recipe and a similar PEO-based recipe will require some more work. I have so far tried .005% PEO (derived from J-Lube using a 0.79% solution) and .008% PEO with the 16 to 1 and 20 to 1 solutions. I will try both more and less PEO as well as a little HEC in future trials.