These eco-friendly bubbles are perfect for summer fun
Does this sustainable bubble solution perform as well it claims?
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As a mom, I try to be as sustainably minded as possible, but some things just skip my mind—like bubbles. They show up in party gift bags or you snag them on the way out of CVS with your sunscreen purchase. They feel like an easy, no-brainer kids’ entertainment option but, as it turns out, we should be giving a bit more thought to the bubbles we buy.
Bubbles have not changed in 70 years. Most are mass produced overseas, made from water, glycerin, and dishwashing soap. The ingredient list isn’t horrifying but, when you’re giving them to your kid, you realize they could probably use an overhaul.
Traditional dishwashing soap can contain a number of harmful chemicals, such as parabens, phosphates, sodium lauryl sulfates, and chlorine. While these ingredients won’t kill anyone in small doses, they can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Considering how many times I caught my son sucking on his bubble wand when he was smaller, I realized if I had a choice to do better, I should.
What is BubbleTree?
BubbleTree is a sustainability-focused company that professes to make a safer, more eco-friendly bubble solution. The founders looked at the current bubble solution market and saw room for change. What they’ve developed is a solution that is non-toxic and environmentally-friendly, packaging that is sustainably made using recycled materials, and a production practice that reduces their energy usage and carbon footprint and creates less waste.
They also profess to make “the best performing and most vibrant bubbles you will ever see.” When it comes down to it, the bubbles have to last, so my son (a bubble-blowing enthusiast and self-professed pro) and I (his faithful assistant) decided to test out their lofty claim.
How does it work?
Bottles are reusable
The packaging is darling. The solution comes in colorful, 4-ounce aluminum bottles with a soft coat enamel and bubble-style polka dot design in vibrant colors. The shape of the bottles has an ergonomic inward slope that helps them fit perfectly in small hands and the combo of the coating and the design shape make for a sturdy grip once fingers are slick with solution.
These aluminum containers are slightly heavier than their plastic counterparts, but not so much that it would bother a kid—they just feel sturdier. We also like that the side of each bottle has a little space to write the name of the owner, making these bottles a very sibling- and play-date-friendly solution.
While these bottles are recyclable, they are definitely built to last, so we were happy to see that—to further reduce waste—you can purchase a 1-, 2-, or 3-liter solution refill station, giving you the opportunity to hold onto these cute little bottles indefinitely. The stations are mostly cardboard with a thin plastic liner and nozzle—definitely a change from jugs of bubble solution past.
The refill station gave us a, “Why didn’t anyone ever think of that before” moment. Instead of shouting to my husband to find a funnel while I clumsily pour solution from a heavy bottle with a wide mouth into a flimsy plastic bottle that’s always tipping over, this has an easy-pour nozzle that fits just right into the mouth of the 4-ounce bottles. It was a much less messy option that was simple to use and had nice little grips to make it easy for kids to use as well.
The bubbles are impressive
The first thing my son and I noticed was the wand. It has six chambers of varying sizes, which makes you into a veritable bubble machine with each blow. Even though my son is a bubble-blowing pro at this point, he felt like the wand made the overall bubble-making experience easier. From a 7-year-old: “Look, I can blow really hard and I get bubbles. You don’t have to be so careful—you always get bubbles!” He made a really good point: You do get a ton of bubbles with each breath. We both felt like little kids would love the wand and would find the ease of bubble blowing gratifying, especially if they were just starting out.
As for the solution, BubbleTree claims it has created a stronger product than its less sustainable competitors. While the wand did make a ton of bubbles, I actually think the reason we saw so many bubbles was because of the strength of the solution. Bubbles didn’t pop mid-blow and we noticed that they hung around mid-air—most only popping when they hit a plant or the ground.
BubbleTree claims to make the best-performing bubbles around. From our experience, we agree. These bubbles are way more fun to blow than most others we own. If more bubbles don't pop as you're blowing, you're going to end up with a satisfying flurry of them. We did, and it was a blast. My son said he could blow these bubbles all day, and I tend to agree.
What we liked
We liked just about everything. Compared to $1.50 a bottle or about $15 for a refill for traditional bubbles, BubbleTree's $6.99 for a two-pack or $19 for a 1-liter refill is definitely pricier, but not prohibitively so. In our house a huge refill jug just ends up being obscene and we never use it in a season, and its contents have degraded by the next summer. With that in mind it seems pointless to save a buck just to pour it down the drain.
The bottles and the refills are the right size and you’re getting a better product out of the gate. Even if sustainability doesn't top your priority list, know that you’re getting far better bubbles with BubbleTree than what you’re probably using.
What we didn’t like
While initially we liked the wand, we did have a couple complaints. First, even though you’re working with some superior bubble solution, none of the chambers were big enough to make a really large, satisfying bubble the size of your head. Considering that’s one of my son and my favorite bubble-blowing activities—and how seemingly perfect the solution is for just that type of activity—that was a bit of a bummer.
Also, the wand itself kept coming disengaged from the cap. It was a bit annoying to dig out, but it was tall enough that we at least didn’t have to dig deep and get our fingers covered in soap. It was no worse than when you buy a bottle of bubbles without the wand attached to the cap, but it caused a little bit of frustration.
Are BubbleTree bubbles worth it?
Definitely! These bubbles are sustainably produced, every part of the packaging can be recycled, and the solution itself is safer for your kid and the environment. Plus, the bubble solution is, honestly, awesome. I’m doing better by my kid and the environment, and I'm getting a better product overall, it’s a no brainer and I’m sold.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.