Bubbliest bubble bath?
December 4, 2020 2:39 AM   Subscribe

What brand of bubble bath produces the MOST bubbles physically possible? I want to luxuriate in the most unbelievably frothy bubble bath possible. I am in the UK, prepared to buy online or in store or ship from other countries if that's the right solution.

I want the kind of pillowy clouds of bubbles that you see in movie-baths. I want to be literally unable to see the rest of my bathroom through them. I want to be concerned that I may never escape from the bubbles.

I once added a whole travel-sized bubble bath to a bath in a hotel in Germany and it produced WAY TOO MANY BUBBLES. The manufacturers clearly didn't think any idiot would actually pour the whole thing into a single bath. It was perfect, and I've never been able to recreate it since.

Which brand should I buy to give me the bath I want? Is there some other trick I don't know about to create big frothy foam?!
posted by citands to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a recommendation of brand but I do have technical advice - scrub your bathtub to make sure it's 100% oil-free, squeaky clean, absolutely no residue from conditioners or shaving creams, and scrub yourself in the shower beforehand, as well, especially if you use lots of lotions. Oil kills bubbles faster than anything.
posted by cilantro at 3:41 AM on December 4, 2020 [11 favorites]

I've been pretty impressed with Neal's Yard, but we're talking "there are still bubbles when I let the water out" rather than "I may never escape from the bubbles". It's something like £12 a bottle so I use it in moderation, and I wouldn't rule out the possibility that a more generous application would get closer to your goal... but I bet you can do better.

At the other end of the scale, I can tell you that Senspa is definitely not what you're looking for.

Is there some other trick I don't know about to create big frothy foam?!

The hardness of your water will make a difference. If you're in a hard water area, a water softener will improve matters for you, although that may be rather more money than you were thinking of throwing at the problem!
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:45 AM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Treacle Moon packets (the ones with bubble shaped tops — the are labelled badeschaum in Germany). They make very good bubbles.
posted by dame at 3:49 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

There exist water softening agents for bath use, though I can't remember the name of any of the brands.

I do recall Mr. Bubble making some pretty darn bubbly baths with only capful or two when I was a kid, though. It was at least 1:1 water to bubbles at my house, if not more.
posted by wierdo at 4:04 AM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Oh, that's a good point: Matey bubble bath, which looked like this at the time, made for some very bubbly childhood baths. (I remember taking handfuls of the foam and trying to compress it into soap. To my disappointment, it didn't work, not even once.) The formulation has probably changed since the 1980s, but it's worth a try!
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:58 AM on December 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Calgon is one brand of water softener. Unless they have an unscented formulation, or your attempted bubble baths do, you may need to juggle the scentedness factor.
posted by dancing leaves at 5:44 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you have a tub with a flexible showerhead (like the kind that has a flexible hose and hangs from a hook), using that to fill the tub helps increase bubble volume.
Bubble solution in before water, then froth with showerhead.
Agree about oils killing bubbles.
I have an untested suspicion about epsom salts... I feel like a few scoops might help (I have hard water), but I haven't paid enough attention. The main bubble user in my household just wants to make bubble beards and to be a bathtub penguin.
posted by Acari at 6:45 AM on December 4, 2020 [7 favorites]

My most ridiculous bubble bath experience involved putting a small amount of shampoo into a whirlpool bath. Based on that, I'd say that the mode of stirring up the soapy water is key, and if you can get any kind of jets going.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:48 AM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

I agree big part is the method. Put the liquid in while running the water, just underneath the faucet.
When my boy was little he loved this product, if you add while the water runs it will make foam mountains. In addition the bottle contains a ring for blowing bubbles, similar to the ones sold with bubble blowing liquid.
posted by 15L06 at 7:29 AM on December 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Mr Bubble. Have a couple of inches of water in the bath before adding solution. Add by holding it under the tap you want maximum water pressure for maximum bubbles. Swishing vigorously with your hand in the water will help too. You may want to experiment with body washes & body soaps around your house too.

You might want to try a Soap Spinner. I have never tried the product but love me a bubble bath & have my eye on one of those to try if I ever get a house with a nice bath again.
posted by wwax at 8:17 AM on December 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

Badedas, the standard stuff.

Widely available I think, I'm also in the UK. Someone bought me some in a gift box and it regularly, from the tiniest amount, produced so many bubbles they spilled out of the bath before I even got in. Goddamnit I need another bottle of that weird stuff.
posted by greenish at 8:33 AM on December 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

Add a bit of straight glycerin to any other product to make the bubbles stronger and last longer. This also works for the kind of bubbles you blow for kids.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:04 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I haven't tried this myself, but maybe using an immersion blender or a hand-held mixer to whip up the bubbles before getting in might help? (For safety reasons I would definitely recommend doing this before you get in the bathtub)
posted by Sparky Buttons at 11:26 AM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

> Badedas, the standard stuff

AKA Vitabath, for bubble-craving Americans.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:58 AM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sali Hughes has some suggestions in today’s Guardian. She’s also previously talked about her love of Laura Mercier’s Almond Coconut Milk Honey Bath, which is Foamy and Delicious AF.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 9:05 PM on December 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Amazing, thanks everyone! Currently on order:
- Baedas
- Mr Matey
- Treacle Moon
- Philosophy
- 1l of pure glycerin

Remains elusive:
- Mr Bubble - seems to be US specific
- Soap-spinner - see above: both are on the list for the next time I'm in the States!

Will report back on:
- de-oiling the bathtub before use - planning to use isopropyl alcohol for this
- filling up the bath with the shower attachment

I will update with my findings.
posted by citands at 4:22 AM on December 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

Update as promised.

TLDR: nothing yet has yielded the kind of bathroom-obliterating bubbles I desire, so the search continues. However, the upside is that my boyfriend is THRILLED at the number of baths I've run for him in the name of science.

1. De-oiling the bathtub doesn't seem to make any difference whatsoever to the bubble formation or longevity. Perhaps our bathtub wasn't very oily to start with?
2. Glycerine also doesn't seem to add or detract from the situation
3. Filling the bath with the shower attachment while it's still attached to the wall produces a very nice fine bubble with a good structural integrity. This was a winner - much nicer than the bubbles created either by just pouring the bubble bath under the hot tap OR by fluffing the water by hand OR even those created by sticking the shower head under the water itself.
4. Dr Teal's has so far produced the best results of all the liquids tried.
5. Actually, the Dr Teals I have also contains Epsom salts. I wonder if that's aiding the solution, and if adding even more will bring me closer to my goal.
5. Badedas smells like toilet cleaner. Sorry not sorry. If anyone in North London can use a 750ml bottle of this stuff, with like 700ml still left in it, memail me.
posted by citands at 4:34 AM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

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