Did you know that bubbles are actually air trapped inside a film of soapy water that contains a little amount of water in between? Thus, a bubble is a three-layered sphere with air inside it (Source). They can be created easily with some soap and water using a bubble machine, and are often seen in normal drinking water, as well as in some other drinks too but in drinks, they only contain air and are very ephemeral compared to soapy bubbles.
Bubbles are a great and fun way to enliven any lazy afternoon or take a normal party to the next level. These soapy globules have the power to entrance little kids like no other toy or video game can. Although there was a time when we had to blow bubbles in a time-consuming process through a wand and other messy techniques, technology has come a long way and making bubbles is now easier and more fun than ever before but most of all, it is largely a mess-free activity, fortunately for all the parents.
Now, there is a wide range of products available that can entertain your kids for hours such as a bubble machine gun, bubble machine for bath, fog bubble machine, bubble machine with smoke and many, many more. In this blog, we will be discussing all things bubbles but most importantly how a bubble machine works and the best ones available in the market for different purposes.
Table of Contents
- What is a bubble machine?
- How does a bubble machine work?
- How to make a bubble machine at home?
- List of top bubble machine that you can buy
- Bubble machine safety and usage
- FAQs about Bubble Machine
What is a bubble machine?
A bubble machine is a wonderful invention that excites both children and adults alike. It is a machine that can rapidly produce a large amount of bubbles at a time using a reservoir of soapy liquid. They come in a lot of sizes and shapes and can be placed on a flat surface or mounted on a wall and may be used for a variety of purposes depending on their type.
These machines now come in many different forms, the most popular one being the bubble machine gun, but many more variations have also come up since its invention many, many years ago during the twentieth century.
How does a bubble machine work?
While bubbles are seen everywhere in nature and in our normal life, like while pouring fizzy drinks and water, the soapy bubbles that children enjoy playing with were originally and still produced using a bubble wand. This wand is basically a thin stick with, usually, a bigger ring-like and circular structure or hole at one end. There can also be a star, an oval, or a heart-shaped hole instead of the circle as the bubbles formed will always be in the shape of a sphere.
When this wand is dipped into a soap or bubble solution, a film of soapy liquid forms between the ring at the end of the wand. A bubble is formed when wind is blown through the ring, a little amount of air gets trapped inside the soapy film and we see a beautiful, shiny, and colorful bubble!
It also uses the same concept and idea, but at a larger scale and pace. Most common machines involve a rotating wand or wands (may also be a disc with circular holes on its border to act as the circular ring of a bubble wand), a reservoir of bubble or soap solution, and a fan or propeller. The rotating wands or disc dips into the bubble solution and a film of soapy liquid forms on the ring. The fan or propeller blows wind through the rotating wands or disc to produce a stream of bubbles.
The fan or propeller and the rotating wands or disc needs a motor, which is why all bubble machines use electricity, batteries, or any source of power to operate. The bubble solution also has to be the appropriate one as different machines require different types of solutions. Just a solution of soap or dishwashing liquid and water won’t work for a bubble machine.
How to make a bubble machine at home?
Making a bubble machine at home is fairly easy and even more fun. All you will need for this science project is a bunch of bubble wands or a disc, a geared motor, a centrifugal fan or propeller, batteries, a DC motor for the propeller, a container for the bubble solution, bubble solution, and a glue gun for assembling all the pieces together. Following are the steps to building a DIY bubble machine at home:
1. Rotating bubble wands or disc
To make this rotating contraption, you will need wands that come with bubble making toys. If they are not of the same size, you may cut them so that they are the same length. Arrange and glue them in a circle such that their ends with the circular ends point outwards. Attach a battery operated geared motor by gluing it or using a piece of plastic between the wands and the motor to glue them together.
You can also use a circular disc made of plastic or acrylic and cut holes on its border that will pick up the bubble solution. For best results, make sure that the holes have ridges around them like a bubble wand has so that it may pick up more bubble solution than one without a ridge.
2. Fan or propeller
It has been found that a centrifugal fan works best for these kinds of projects as it will direct air flow in a particular desired direction but a propeller with a DC motor also works great. You can also use a hair dryer on its coldest setting but it may be difficult to assemble with the rest of the pieces of the bubble machine.
3. Container of bubble solution
The container can be a milk carton, an ice cream box, or even a plastic water bottle. Fill the container with 4 cups of warm water, half a cup of sugar, and half a cup of dish soap. You may also use half a cup of glycerin instead of sugar and adjust the amount of dish soap as required after a few test runs once your DIY bubble machine is ready.
Attach and glue the rotating bubble wands or disc with the motor to the bubble solution container in such a way that the bottommost wand or the lower part of the disc is submerged in the bubble solution. Fix the fan so that points towards the wands or the disc. It is preferable to place it where the wands or disc is just coming up after dipping into the solution so that the most bubbles are produced as the soap film on the rings will be fresh. For example, if your rings are rotating clockwise, you would want to attach the fan or propeller on the left side of the container, pointing towards the rings. Add the solution to the container and your machine is ready for a party!
Remember to test it first in a safe place before using it with kids and pets nearby. While there is not much scope for accidents with such a project, it is always best to be safe than sorry.
List of top bubble machine that you can buy
1. Gazillion Bubble Machine
The Gazillion Bubble Machine is an amazing automatic bubble blower device that can blow thousands of bubbles in the matter of seconds while being largely mess-free. Its unique design allows the machine to be divided into three sections: the top, the middle, and the bottom.
The top part is where the bubbles come from and also from where the bottle of bubble solution is emptied into the reservoir. The middle section acts as a solution recycling tray as all the excess solution that normally gets spilled out, gets collected here and can be easily poured back into the reservoir so that no drop gets wasted. The bottom part contains the motor that operates the bubble machine and the batteries to power it.
The Gazillion Bubble Rush Bubble Machine (Walmart and Amazon) is available online for $13.91-$21.99 and comes with an 8 oz Bubble bottle of Gazillion solution. It also requires 6 AA batteries to operate, which are not included in the pack.
Many customer reviews agree that “the clean-up has been a breeze.” and how they “love how easy it is to clean so it doesn’t get gunky!!”
2. Pineapple Bubble Maker – Sun Squad™
This wonderful bubble machine sold by Sun Squad™ comes in the shape of a pineapple and a refreshing yellow color that is sure to brighten up any dull afternoon with its endless stream of bubbles, produced with the help of rotating bubble wands. All you have to do is pour the bubble solution into the container up to the fill line, press the button, and watch the bubbles come out in an “endless stream”!
The Pineapple Bubble Maker – Sun Squad™ available on Target for $10.00 and comes with a 4 oz bubble solution but does not include the 4 AA batteries that it requires to run. You can buy a refill for the bubble solution in different sizes. The company also sells on Target, bubble machine guns, bubble wands, and bubble machines in different shapes and sizes that all children will love.
The reviews for this product are mostly positive with a customer saying, “my daughter loves this so much! it works well and has been a favorite all spring and summer!”
3. Gatling Bubble Machine Gun
The Gatling gun was a very early form of a machine gun as it was a rapid-firing, multiple barrel gun that was hand-driven. This Gatling bubble machine gun sold by the MARIDA store, although not hand-driven, has the same appearance and can produce tons of bubbles at the pressing of a button, for up to 5 seconds. This is one of the best bubble machine guns and is perfect for a gift for children on birthdays because of its durability and how lightweight it is.
The pack includes a 10 ml bubble solution that has to be mixed with 60 ml water and then poured in the spare board provided with the pack. Simply dip the end of the gun in the bubble water and press the button to produce bubbles. The toy works on 3 AA batteries, which are not included with the set, which is available for $7.99 on Amazon.
Many customers report a small size of the machine but agree that it is completely worth the price and produces a lot of bubbles. One customer said “Tiny but works amazing”, while another said “It puts out a lot of bubbles at once and works better than I expected.”
4. Fubbles Bubble Machine for Party
The Fubbles Sky High Bubble Machine is a great choice for any party or as a birthday or anniversary gift. It is a great way to keep kids busy and entertained by the tons of bubbles it can produce. It is also very easy to use as you only have to pour the bubble solution in the container on top, press a button, and the bubble machine will start producing bubbles at a high speed that shoot up high in the sky.
The Fubbles Sky High Bubble Machine comes with 4 oz premium Fubbles Non-Toxic Bubble Solution, which you can also buy as a refill once this one runs out. Since a non-toxic solution is put into this machine, dogs, kids, and teenagers can play with it safely, although it may require cleaning up afterward. The 4 AA batteries required for this machine are not included and will have to be bought separately. It is available to purchase for $10.00-$12.99.
Customer reviews for this product include “This bubble machine is so cool! My kids love it and it comes out good! It isn’t too messy and the kids have fun while I can relax! Easy to use and last for a long time without having to refill it often.” and “…easy to use and for a relatively reasonable price”.
5. Lydaz Bubble Machine Lawn Mower
Kids always love toys in different shapes and sizes, especially if those shapes happen to resemble the things their parents use, such as a car or a motorcycle. Another fun thing that children find really interesting is lawn mowers and what’s more fun than a bubble machine lawn mower? Now your child will be able to play outside in the yard with lots of fascinating and colorful bubbles.
The Lydaz Bubble Machine Lawn Mower comes in various colors and will include three bottles of bubble solutions as well as bubble sticks or wands. It will need 3 AA batteries that will need to be bought separately. It comes at the price of $20.99-$39.99 but is definitely worth it.
Customers have said that it was “It was really easy and simple to assemble”. Even in the case of replacements and other issues, the product was highly reviewed: “Wonderful customer service and highly recommended them.”
6. Bubble Machine Durable Automatic Bubble Blower
This sturdy bubble machine is sure to blow your mind with its ability to produce more than 8,000 a minute. It comes in a sleek black color with 6 rotating bubble wands that can even work at two different speed levels with the help of a dial on the top of the machine. This product is a perfect fit for parties and celebrations but will also help you and your child to pass some time during a lazy afternoon.
One of the most useful qualities of this machine is that it is very safe for kids, toddlers, and even pets due to its One Touch, One Stop feature. It means that if the fast-rotating bubble wands are accidentally touched by a curious child or pet, they will stop rotating at once so nobody is hurt.
The bubble solution tank can hold up to 12.5 oz of bubble solution at a time, which can last for almost half an hour of a continuous stream of bubbles with this machine. This machine can run on either a plug-in adapter that comes with the pack or 6 batteries that will not be included in it. For so many features, it does have a slightly higher price of $33.95-$59.99 but is worth it as a long-term investment.
Many customers have rated this amazing bubble machine 5/5 stars and given it positive reviews: “I got this for my son’s first birthday and it was such a great hit! This machine is perfect for bubbles being made during a long period of time. Quality of speed and bubbles are awesome!”
Bubble machine safety and usage
While using bubble machines does not usually come with high risks and hazards, there are still some things that should be kept in mind before, during, and after using ite.
- Wet or damp floor
Bubble solutions are mostly made from soap and water, which is why they can be very dangerous if spilled on the floor as people could slip and fall very easily, hurting themselves. Thus, care should be taken when handling bubble solutions or when it is being poured into the machine’s container. It is also recommended that good quality bubble solutions are used as the bubbles from such solutions leave less residue when popped.
- Damage to eyes
Since they are made of soap, bubbles and bubble solutions can be very harmful if they get in someone’s eyes. This can happen if they are standing too close to the machine or touching their eyes after handling bubble solution with bare hands. Fresh water needs to be available on site to wash and irrigate the affected eyes thoroughly before getting them treated by a doctor.
- Skin reactions
Bubble solutions can lead to unwanted skin reactions if not washed off carefully afterwards. Thus, always remember to wash all the residue to avoid any irritation or other skin problems.
- Electric shock
Bubbles should be directed away from any electrical sockets or other electric appliances that may be dangerous when contacted with water. Bottles of bubble solutions should also be tightly capped and closed to avoid any accidental spillage.
Bubbles are a fun way to entertain any child and a bubble machine ought to be even more exciting. Such machines can produce thousands of bubbles every minute on their own and make any party ten times more interesting.
They produce bubbles by blowing air through rapidly rotating bubble wands. (Source) Many are available in the market and work in a similar fashion, with some producing more bubbles per minute than others. So for your kid’s next birthday party, consider getting a bubble machine to enliven the whole day and add to the fun!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bubble Machines
Bubble machines are available on many online shopping sites such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Party City, etc. These will usually deliver to your doorstep within a few days or a week. A supermarket or a retail store for toys is also very likely to sell them on-site for affordable prices. You can also get a bubble machine to rent from party rental companies that offer supplies for a party or celebration. However, it is also possible and quite easy to build your own machine in simple steps using bubble wands, a motor, batteries, a fan or propeller, and homemade bubble solution.
Bubble machines come in all ranges and sizes and their cost usually depends on their type and features. A good quality one can cost anywhere from $7-$50. Bubble machine guns tend to cost lower than the machines, they can range between $7-$45, depending on their size and function. Most bubble machines operate on 3-6 batteries that are not usually sold with the pack so an additional cost of $7-$10 will also be required to use them.
The longest a bubble has ever lasted has been 465 days! Unfortunately, that bubble was made by scientists using plastic particles and glycerol. Normal bubbles that we make using bubble solutions can last anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes at most. This is because gravity pushes the water trapped between two layers of soap downwards to collect at the bottom. A bubble made from a solution of soap, glycerin or sugar, and water will often last longer than a bubble made from a solution of only soap and water.
A bubble machine can cost anywhere between $7-$50 depending on many factors such as the size, features, seller, color, etc. Some bubble machine guns tend to be on the cheaper side but most such products require batteries and refills of bubble solutions once the complimentary bottle runs out.
A bubble machine will usually come with a 4-12 oz bottle of a bubble solution that is most suitable for the particular machine and you will be able to buy a similar bubble solution in a larger quantity as a refill. This solution has to be poured into the bubble solution reservoir or container in the machine, which will usually be located beneath the rotating bubble wands. However, this is not always the case and you should check the user’s manual accompanying the bubble machine for correct and safe usage of the product.
A bubble machine often contains the required bubble solution used in the machine in a small amount. You can also purchase a refill once the given amount is used up. If you want to make your own solution, you will need 4 cups of water, half a cup of glycerin, and half a cup of dish soap or liquid detergent. You can also add a little bit of sugar as it may make the bubbles last longer. Mix everything together gently by stirring until everything is dissolved.
While it is difficult to make an automated machine that will produce cloud-like bubbles, it is easy to make a cloud bubble blower. All you need to do is take a plastic water bottle and cut out its bottom. Secure with the help of duct tape a sock over the big opening, stretching it as tight as you can. Now, simply dip this end into a pan of bubble solution and blow into the bottle’s mouth piece (do not breathe or suck in air) and a large collection of small bubbles will come out on the other end through the sock in the form of a cloud!