Soap bubbles are one of the best babysitting tools. Children will spend a good amount of time watch and making bubbles. As adults we are still a little entranced by bubbles. There is something about soap bubbles that attracts our attention and holds it.
Soap bubbles are made when water and a soap product come into contact with one another. A spherical layer of soap holds in gas or air and creates a beautiful, delicate sphere. This occurs because water is held between two soap molecules. One end of the soap molecule is hydrophobic, meaning that it is draw to water. The other end of the soap molecule is made up of a hydrophobic hydrocarbon chain that fights to stay away from water.
Bubbles have to hold that sphere like shape they have because it works to cut down on the amount of energy that is used by the bubble. That is why all bubbles wind up finding their way into some sort of sphere shape.
Glycerin, which is typically taken out of commercial soap, extends the life of soap bubbles. That is why when soap is homemade it tends to hold bubbles longer. Glycerin creates hydrogen bonds with water and slows down the dehydration of the bubble which holds off evaporation for a while. Dehydration causes soap bubbles to burst. This is why when someone with dry hands touches a bubble it will burst.
Soap bubbles are desired in dish detergents. With this in mind manufacturers do not put the same chemicals in dish detergent. That is why dish detergent does not react to the induction of hard water the way that hand and body soap do.
For some there is a desire for the bubble to be strengthened. Our simple fascination with soap bubbles has prompted one computer to work on ways to fortify bubbles so that they can last for a number of days. One company claims that they can extend a bubbles life span for 10 days or more.