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Oct 25, 2023 01:46

Making a very bubbly bubble bath

New York City Advice
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Advice Details

Hello! I need to create a bubble bath for a shoot this week, does anyone have any advice on how to make a bubble bath both VERY bubbly and also any tips or tricks to sustain the foam/bubbles so they last for a bit? Ideally we only fill the tub about 1/4 - 1/2 way full and then the rest would be bubbles (due to constraints of the bath/at location - it cannot be filled all the way) so want to make it look as full as possible. Thank you in advance :) Additional info: talent does not have to be IN the bath! Thank you!

3 Responses

  1. I worked for Playboy for 15 years. We use something like this at special effects unlimited to generator bubbles.

    What’s important is you fill up the bubbles in large plastic trash bags and walk it into the set and deposit the bubbles were desired. Otherwise it’s a great big mess.

    It’s not a one off. You’ll be constantly adding fresh bubbles to the set.

  2. Hi! I had to make an iconic bubble bath a year or so again and did a lot of research. I think you should take Gary’s advice absolutely. I’d like to add a few things.
    1) The thing that gives bubbles staying power in a bubble bath is called a surfactant. The most common surfactants in modern bubble bath products are SLS or SLSa. SLS can sometimes irritate skin so you can get powdered SLSa which is naturally derived and add it to your bubbles when you’re making them to keep them around longer. I tried to essentially make my own version of the foam saver you can get for beer foam and just thought of it as a large version of that same problem.
    2) Aside from the surfactant, you need to think about color. Using any dish soap will create bubbles that have iridescent color schemes to them. It can be really obvious on camera when someone has gone the cheap route. I was shooting on film so it was important to me not to mess my colors up. I used a mixture of organic bubble bath and a product from Lush called “Milk Bath” They look like little jugs of milk. You hold it under your water source to make the bubbles. It makes the water look milky which can help with privacy for your model/actors. And the bubbles look really lush and white. It also has the added benefit of not getting really slimy and slippery. The person in the bath can end up really slimy and slip trying to get out if you use other products.
    3) No matter what you use, you will end up needing to add more bubbles to the bath as the shoot moves on. Depending on how long the day is going you should be prepared to reset the bath a few times on top of just adding extra bubbles. I used buckets and whisks but a shop vac or another machine will save your arm. Make sure you have buckets or tubs off to the side with extra bubbles made, with the same ingredients, and be prepared to add them on top as you go.
    4) SLS or SLSa Powder, Lush Milk Bath (the one that looks like little jugs of milk, not bath bombs which get slimy and don’t really make bubbles) and organic bubble bath were my go to ingredients, along with a water source, and the technique can be automated with the shop vac or you can use whisks or an automated whisk feature from an immersion blender, and you should be good!

    You can test everything out in advance in a sink or tub and get a sense of how long the bubbles last based on how much surfactant you use. When I tested mine I was pretty light on the SLSa so on the day I used a lot more and it helped. But you will need to be prepared to reset it and definitely be prepared with extra bubbles to add on top depending on how long you’ll be in that setup.


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