Best Bubblebath
February 25, 2005 6:52 AM   Subscribe

I just bought some Mr. Bubble for my children and it has not worked at all. I live in NYC and put the required amount under a running faucet and agitate but still a measly froth. Any child friendly suggestions appreciated.
posted by mookie to Shopping (10 answers total)
Not in NYC, so I'll ask: you suspecting hard water, or a bad batch of bubbles? Hard water will kill the foam, and short of a water softener I don't know what you can do about that. Bath salts in the water first, then bubbles, maybe?

You could also try upping the surface tension of your water, with a little glycerol perhaps. Works when blowing bubbles, but I don't know how much it would be helpful at bath time, as glycerol is pretty sticky stuff.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:01 AM on February 25, 2005

Not directly relevant to your question, but I feel obliged to pipe in, just in case. My wife tells me that if you have daughters, bubble baths might not be such a great idea--they can cause yeast infections.
posted by kimota at 7:09 AM on February 25, 2005

My mom used to just use Tide or someother powdered detergent if I wanted Mr. Bubble and we were out. I liked it fine and was unencumbered with static cling.
posted by jonmc at 7:18 AM on February 25, 2005

Ack! Don't use Tide! A lot of young children are allergic to the chemicals in it. If you want to go cheap like that, use Ivory snow. You won't have the possible cost of a doctor's visit.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:55 AM on February 25, 2005

Ack! Don't use Tide!
It is a harsh detergent which will burn the eyes which may cause lasting damage to them.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:19 AM on February 25, 2005

which and may cause
Supposedly Robert Wagner as a young actor was blinded this way for more than 6 months. While filming a commercial, laundry detergent was substituted for bubble bath for the suds effect.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:30 AM on February 25, 2005

Probably hard water is the culprit. Cheat with a drop of dish liquid for foamyness. A squirt of foaming facial cleanser works, too. And body wash-type stuff works better than bubble bath in hard water sometimes, due to water softeners in the product.

FYI, if your kids have sensitive skin -- some of the stuff out there that should be gentle on a kid's skin isn't so gentle. I remember having a bad reaction to Mr. Bubble as a kid (granted, they may have changed the formula sometime in the last 20-something years.) If you have a daughter, yeast infections and UTIs (for which bubble baths are also sometimes suspected to be a factor) shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't let you don't let her sit in the tub for hours.
posted by desuetude at 8:39 AM on February 25, 2005

Make sure you're doing the "thumb over end of faucet" trick to ensure that the water is coming out at a high enough pressure to bubblify the Mr. Bubble. If you have low water pressure this is also a culprit.
posted by jessamyn at 8:42 AM on February 25, 2005

"Hard water", i bet. Put a half cup of baking soda in the bottom of the tub and dissolve it .. let the tub fill about 1/4 of the way before adding the bubblicious stuff.

It's worth a try, and in bulk, baking soda is cheap. I use it in in the rinse cycle of my laundry, so the soap (that didn't bubble, but DID clean the clothes) will rinse out.
posted by reflecked at 11:49 AM on February 25, 2005

Bar soap may also be the problem here. It can kill the bubbles. I'd keep the bar soap out of the bath until the novelty and joy of the foam are long gone. That ought to help.
posted by yellowcandy at 1:42 AM on February 26, 2005

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