The Quest to Create Hot Air Soap Bubbles

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Hot Air Bubble Production Proves Elusive

Since my lighter-than-air hot air bubbles success on February 2nd, 2009, I've tried to repeat that success several times.

The first try was in the direct sunlight of February 14. I started with about four gallons of boiling hot water and set up the pool inflator to blow air down into and through it.

It didn't work. The bubbles were hot, but they fell over the sides of the bucket and onto the patio. They did not fly.

My first impression was that the bubbles looked wet, and they didn't seem like they had enough room to mass together at the top of the bucket.

The space at the top of the bucket probably didn't matter. If they were lighter than air, they wouldn't have needed walls holding them there. Nevertheless I stuck the whole rig inside a 30-gallon trash can and watched to see if a mass of bubbles would have better lift. It didn't work.




A few tiny clumps of bubbles got caught in the wind and took off flying, but they weren't lighter than air.

Looking back I believe the weather was too warm and that there was no saving this attempt. Maybe the season for hot air bubbles was over.

I had one more idea, and a few people had written in with a similar suggestion - Use hot air from a heat gun or hair dryer.

I tried it.

I was not at all confident that the heat gun would put out enough pressure to push air underwater (see the clothes dryer experiment), so I coupled it with the air pump.


To give myself the best chance, I started again with boiling hot soap water and waited until the cool of the evening.

It wasn't enough. I could see steam rising but the bubbles were still stuck to the earth. Halfway through filming a little movie, the air pump began to whine.

Ah crap! I was baking it!

I flipped the power off and back on again, killing the heat but trying to keep air flowing through the fan. The pump didn't recover. Damn!

I had melted it by foolishly connecting a heat gun directly to the air intake.

Damn. Hot air bubble season was definitely over now.

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