Looking for the best and safest bubble solution for kids/Is J Lube safe?
May 16, 2016 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Would a bubble solution made with J Lube be safe for children? And/or, do you have a tried and true homemade bubble solution for making giant bubbles, etc? I also welcome any recommendations for tools. We have many (both commercial and homemade), but I am sure there are more out there.

I am putting together a bubble extravaganza for my daughter's birthday party and I am hoping to improve on last year's bubble recipe (Joy, water, and glycerin). A promising recipe I have learned about includes J Lube, a powder-based lubricant used by vets during the birth of farm animals. A quick Google search will also show that it has a following among sexually adventurous types. The company who makes J Lube offers a safety sheet that says the ingredients are powdered sucrose, polyethylene oxide, and fumed silica. Is this safe? The sheet seems to imply that it is except for one alarming line that reads, "CAUTION: LEAKAGE OF THIS PRODUCT INTO THE PERITONEAL CAVITY MAY CAUSE ILLNESS AND/OR DEATH." I don't anticipate anyone getting it there, but what if it got into a cut or something? Is this recipe safe to use to make a bubble solution that I will allow young children to play in? Do you have a different tried and true recipe for bubbles that you love?

I'm happy to hear any recommendations for bubble tools. We have the hula hoop with a handle/baby pool, the dowels with rope, fly swatters, plastic construction fencing, and many commercial products, but I'd love to hear about any and all of your ideas.
posted by Original 1928 Flavor to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So, the peritoneal cavity is the space between the outer and inner peritoneal membranes — they're basically what holds your organs together. Inflammation and infection there are nasty — peritonitis is no joke.

BUT — it's pretty unlikely that the kids are going to figure out a way to get the stuff into their peritoneal cavity. It's a concern for the people using this for its intended purpose — delivering animals — because peritoneal tears can occur during labor, especially if you have a foreign body (e.g. vet hand) grabbing around inside the uterus. Almost anything foreign that gets in there is a problem. DO NOT PIERCE YOUR CHILDREN'S ABDOMENS WITH SPEARS COATED IN J-LUBE.

Beyond that, it's worth noting that the MDS for polyethylene oxide does say that it's a potential skin irritant and that exposure should be limited. Since the other ingredients (sucrose; fumed silica; presumably water) are pretty inert, it's something that would likely be fine but you'd want to make sure your kids weren't just wading around in it, and getting it in your eyes seems like it'd be at least kinda nasty.

I dunno — my mom's a photographer, so I grew up playing around with far worse, and I don't think it would be a big deal if you were supervising them, but it's also something that you're going to have to make a judgment call about your comfort level with the risk of them ingesting some or getting some in their eyes — again, only an irritant so far as anyone can tell, but irritants in your eyes or throat are no fun either. If I were you, I'd at least take a test run playing around with the recipe before unleashing it on the kids, just to see if you notice any irritation or anything on your hands after playing with it for a while. Kinda the same way that I'd advise people who were planning on being sexually adventurous that they'd probably be best served making up a small batch first and seeing whether it was something they wanted to proceed with getting on their mucous membranes.
posted by klangklangston at 3:07 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There are other recipes (one here) that use guar gum instead of J-Lube.

More recipes.
posted by BillMcMurdo at 4:37 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I couldn't have said it better myself. If you think this is going to be a problem then do not buy or use the J-lube.

My J-lube purchase, amazon reviews/comments aside, has been nothing but a positive one. I use it in bubble solution and made a splash with the neighbors and the kiddo.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:55 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I always had good luck as a kid with mixing some flour in with dish soap and water for huge bubbles that would last in the rain. Probably not as long-lasting as some recipes, but it was certainly safe enough. Unless it's important that the bubbles be gluten-free, I guess.
posted by asperity at 8:21 PM on May 16, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. I'm going to try the guar gum to be on the safe side. I would rather not have to limit the kids in their play and experimentation, worrying about consuming it or getting it in a cut.

If any of you are interested, Dollar Tree has many summer items right now that would be great for playing in bubbles, laundry baskets that are more holes than basket (even on the bottom) and other types of containers that are full of interesting holes. I plan to have a couple of tiny pools full of the solution and let them experiment.
posted by Original 1928 Flavor at 7:25 PM on May 17, 2016

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