Do Homemade Bubble Baths Make More Bubbles for Kids?
A homemade bubble bath will not make more bubbles than a commercial one if there is no chemical bubbling agent.
However, with the right ingredients and running water, you can still fill your child's tub with a good amount of bubbles.
In this article, we will compare homemade and store-bought bubble bath products for kids and the science behind bubble formation. We will also touch on the key ingredients and tips for creating the most bubbles with your homemade product.
Of course, we will also provide homemade bubble bath recipes for those who want to try a DIY bubble bath for toddlers.
Do Homemade Bubble Baths Create More Bubbles?
A homemade bubble bath will not make more bubbles. This is because a commercial bubble bath achieves its bubbling effect through chemicals. It often includes sodium laureth sulfate, which is not ideal for a toddler's delicate skin.
However, you can treat the creation of your own bubble bath as a science experiment since your ingredients and recipe will affect how it will turn out.
As such, picking the right soap, using vegetable glycerin, and choosing the best water can help make better foams for extra fun in the bath. Alongside that, agitating the water even as you are still just filling the tub is good too.
Merissa from Little House Living stated that creating a DIY foamy bath recipe may not replicate the exact experience of a commercial recipe. However, it is effective enough.
Meanwhile, Scott Woodside from Utopia suggests using simple vegetable oil and egg whites. Also, vegetable glycerin soaps should be made from good oils like coconut, hemp, and olive instead of foamy bath solutions.
Homemade Bubble Baths vs. Store-Bought Bubble Baths
In this section, we will be comparing homemade and commercial bubble baths in terms of their ingredients, benefits, customization, and cost.
Homemade Bubble Baths
- Ingredients: A homemade recipe uses more natural ingredients. When you make a foamy bath at home, you can use castile soap, vegetable glycerin, and essential oils like coconut, hemp, or olive. These things are good for your skin.
- Benefits: You can make your own bubble bath recipe and decide what ingredients go into it (which may include essential oils and organic herbs). This way, you can avoid harmful chemicals and personalize the end product to what your child would like. For instance, you can make a DIY bubble bath for children by adding egg white foam. If your child likes lavender (whether because of the smell or its soothing benefits), you can add lavender oil to your mix too.
- Cost: Making your own bubble bath in your house can be cheaper since you can buy the separate ingredients at a lower price. On top of that, you can get better value for your money since you can make a big batch.
Store-Bought Bubble Baths
- Ingredients: Foamy baths from the store may also contain some natural ingredients, but you can also certainly expect them to have chemicals. These chemicals keep them smelling fresh and nice.
- Benefits: Store-bought foams are available in various scents and skin-friendly options, making them more convenient. However, choose something that is still safe for your child.
- Cost: Commercial products tend to cost more because you are also paying for things like the brand name and production process.
Regardless of whether you are using your own recipe or buying the product, it is best to take your child's preferences in mind.
Parents must also avoid harmful ingredients in DIY recipes and read the labels of store-bought products to stay clear of bad chemicals as well. This is to prevent any health risks, such as organ system toxicity.
Packagings on store-bought bubble baths tend to have health warnings, telling consumers that they may experience skin irritations or even urinary tract infections. This might be especially the case for products that are heavily fragranced.
However, regardless of whether you are making your own or buying from the store, remember that bathing does not have to be done daily if your child is not physically active or does not sweat a lot.
That is because bathing too often might disrupt your child's skin microbiome. This can actually cause problems like eczema and asthma.
The Science Behind Bubble Formation
Bubbles are formed when soap molecules gather at the water's surface, creating a thin layer of soap.
More specifically, the hydrophobic parts stick out, while the hydrophilic parts go into the bath water, creating a super-thin layer. The air gets caught in this soapy layer, forming foams when agitated.
We will mention several factors that influence the quantity and longevity of bubbles created from a bubble bath.
Factors Influencing the Quantity of Bubbles
- Soap concentration: More soap usually means more bubbles. So, if you want a bubblier bath, add a bit more soap. You can also use a body wash too.
- Water agitation: Splashing and running water helps trap more air, creating more foams. Let your children participate in the creation of bubbles by letting them have fun in the bath water even while you are just pouring the solution in.
Factors Influencing the Longevity of Bubbles
- Soap quality: A high-quality soap brand with good bubble-forming properties can make bubbles last longer.
- Humidity: The humidity in the air affects foams. Lower humidity may make foams last longer because there is less moisture in the air to pop them.
Tips for Creating Maximum Bubbles
With the right recipe, it is not hard to make bubbles during bath times. However, there are also several ways to ensure you get maximum bubbles for maximum fun.
- Add more real soap (such as castile soap or body wash) to your homemade foamy mix in a bottle. The more soap you put in, the more bubbles you can create.
- Agitate the water. The more it is agitated, the more air gets incorporated into the water to make suds.
- Use warm water for the bath to help the soap make extra bubbles.
- Dip a bubble wand or filter into the water and blow it to make bigger bubbles.
PRO TIP: Enhance sensory play by giving kids measuring cups, letters, and bath animals for exploration. Any activity in the water causes agitation, which can also result in more foam.
What are the Ingredients for Homemade Bubble Baths?
There are different DIY recipes out there. However, they have common ingredients that you should also include in your creation.
- Water: Water is the base of any bubble bath recipe. It serves as a carrier for other ingredients and helps make the liquid solution. Typically, you will need 1 to 2 cups of water, depending on the desired volume of your bath.
- Soap: Soap is essential for creating bubbles. It lowers the surface tension of water, allowing it to trap air and form bubbles. Use 1/2 to 1 cup of dish soap or castile soap. Adjust the quantity based on your preference for bubble thickness.
- Glycerin or coconut oil: Glycerin and coconut oil are humectants, helping to retain moisture and prevent the skin from drying out. They also contribute to a silky feel in the water. Add around 1-2 tablespoons of glycerin or coconut oil per batch.
IDEA: Make a soothing natural bubble bath for kids by adding Epsom salt to ease sore muscles. It makes bathtime more relaxing and comforting.
Can You Use Shampoo to Make Bubble Baths?
Yes, you can use shampoo to make a bubble bath as it contains surfactants, like liquid soap, which reduce water surface tension and make bubbles.
After all, you can lather it into foam when you rub it into your scalp.
If you are wondering how to make a bubble bath with shampoo, just pour whatever amount you want into warm water. Just remember that the bubbles may not be as long-lasting or abundant compared to dedicated bubble bath products.
Liquid soaps and shower gels are formulated with similar ingredients to shampoo, so what you choose for your bath really comes down to preference and availability.
However, hand soap and detergent are not ideal substitutes to put in the bath since they can dry out the skin, so it is not a good idea to recycle laundry water either.
Hand soap and detergent contain antibacterial agents that strip the body of natural flora that it needs to be healthy. They are also more abrasive than body wash.
Homemade Bubble Bath Recipes to Try
Bubble baths are fun sensory experiences for kids to help them enjoy their bath time routine more.
In this section, we will give you a few homemade bubble bath recipes you can try. Once you get the hang of them, you may even be able to develop your own DIY bubble bath recipe that is more tailored to what your child wants.
Bubble Bath for Kids
This is a basic recipe that will give you sweet-smelling suds that your kids can enjoy while washing up.
- 1 cup liquid soap (e.g., liquid castile soap or body wash)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (for a sweet aroma)
- Food coloring (optional, for a pop of color)
- In a mixing bowl, pour the liquid soap (or a liquid castile soap) to create our base for the recipe. Make sure the soap you use is gentle on your child's skin.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of honey.
- Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to add scent.
- If your kids love colors, drop in a few dashes of food coloring.
- Gently stir the mixture before pouring it into a bottle.
Bubble Bath with Honey
Honey is great for moisturizing the skin. On top of that, it is rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help wounds heal faster.
So, if your child has dry skin or comes home with a cut or scrape from their afternoon playtime, put them in a tub of this to help their skin recover.
- 1 cup liquid soap (mild and no scent)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons glycerin or coconut oil (optional for extra bubbles)
- 5-7 drops of essential oils (like lavender or chamomile)
- Mix 1 cup of mild, unscented liquid soap and 3 tablespoons of honey in a mixing bowl.
- Glycerin helps create more bubbles if combined with actual soap. Add 2 tablespoons of glycerin for bubbles. However, it can sometimes be hard to obtain, so you can use coconut oil as an alternative.
- Add 5-7 drops of essential oils diluted in a carrier oil. Different essential oils have various benefits as well. For instance, lavender oil promotes sleep and relaxation during bedtime.
- Gently mix the ingredients, then transfer it into a bottle.
Bubble Bath with Chamomile
Essential oils need extreme care in handling since they can be irritating or even toxic if not used properly.
If you want something with similar benefits as an essential oil, you can go straight to the source. For instance, instead of using lavender oil, why not use lavender itself?
In the recipe below, we will be working with chamomile, which has several benefits — such as promoting restful sleep and soothing skin.
- 1 cup liquid soap (gentle and scent-free)
- 1/4 cup dried chamomile flower petals (or 4-5 chamomile tea bags)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon almond oil (or other essential oils)
- Start by heating 1 cup of liquid soap on the stove until it is warm but not boiling.
- Add 1/4 cup of dried chamomile flower petals or 4 to 5 chamomile tea bags directly into the warm liquid soap. Let it steep for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the soap to remove the chamomile flowers or tea bags.
- Mix in 2 tablespoons of honey.
- Add 1 tablespoon of almond oil (or a carrier oil blended with another essential oil).
- Stir the ingredients gently to ensure they blend well.
What are the Downsides of Homemade Bubble Bath?
Some may wonder, "Are bubble baths bad for you?" even if you are using a natural bubble bath recipe. That is because some ingredients might have health concerns.
For instance, essential oils must be mixed carefully since too much might cause skin irritation.
Homemade bubble baths can be very convenient and cheaper than commercial ones. However, below are some downsides to consider when considering creating your own natural bubble bath.
- Less suds: Homemade mixes might not create as many suds as store-bought versions. That is because a commercial bubble bath will have chemical bubbling agents that let it produce more bubbles under running water.
- Ingredient awareness: Some ingredients, like essential oils or fragrances, might not suit everyone. They can cause crazy irritation or allergies, so it is crucial to be aware of any sensitivities.
- Soap selection: The type of soap matters. Some soaps can be rough on the skin, especially for little ones. Choosing a mild, gentle soap is essential to keep skin happy.
- Health concerns: Be cautious with ingredients like food coloring. They might be fun, but some people can have reactions. Always wait and check for skin allergies and choose ingredients wisely.
- Slippery factor: Be mindful of the slippery factor. The added oils in homemade recipes can make the tub extra slippery, so be careful when getting your kid in and out.
Finding the best natural bubble bath recipe can be like a science experiment. However, not everything that can create bubbles is child-friendly.
As such, when creating your DIY bubble bath, always prioritize what is safe for your child. Stick to common ingredients like egg white and read up on any potential pros and cons of other possible ingredients.
Key Takeaways on Homemade Bubble Bath for Kids
DIY bubble baths offer you more control over what goes into the tub when bathing your little ones. On top of that, they can give you better value for your money since you can make more batches with the ingredients you buy.
However, if you value the convenience of getting a pre-made product more, then you can buy commercial bubble baths.
If you have decided to make a kids' bubble bath, make sure you are filling the tub with skin-friendly ingredients. Be careful in how you handle certain ingredients, such as essential oils.
There are several ways to increase the amount of bubbles to make bath time more fun. These include agitating the water by running water or letting your child start playing even before you mix the solution in the tub.