Bubble Machine Buying Guide

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Bubble Machine

Bubbles help to create a fun and festive atmosphere for birthday parties and other events. They are safe and environmentally sound, which makes them an appealing choice for people who are reluctant to use other decorations like streamers or balloons. While bubbles are traditionally associated with childhood, bubble machines have recently become more common for adult-oriented events like weddings. Regardless of the purpose for the bubble machine, researching the available models in advance will help a buyer make a wise investment.


About Bubble Machines

Bubble machine design is fairly simple and has not changed much since the first machines were released. Every bubble machine contains four components:
 

Tank

This is the largest component of a bubble machine. It consists of a water-proof reservoir, usually made of plastic, where the bubble solution is stored.

Motor

The motor is usually mounted above the tank and runs the electric fan. Depending on the model, this motor may be battery-operated or require power from a wall outlet.

Fan

The small electric fan is operated by the motor. As the fan turns, it propels the bubble solution through a small hole at the end of the machine. Stronger fans will produce a greater quantity of bubbles per use.

Wand disc

The wand disc rests in front of the fan. The bottom portion of the disc is submerged in the tank solution, and the top portion aligns with the hole in the machine. The disc then rotates to allow air to pass through the wand. As air passes through the hole from the fan, the bubble solution is caught in the wand and stretches to form bubbles. In effect, this wand is like a large-scale version of the small blowing wand in a child's bubble toy. Different discs can be purchased to create bubbles of different sizes and quantities.


Any machine with those four components will produce bubbles. Different aspects will control the final result. For example, the size of the machine's reservoir will determine how long the machine will run before it needs to be refilled. The motor's speed will control the number of bubbles produced, and different wands will create different effects. For example, a disc with a large opening will create large bubbles while a disc with several small openings will create a number of smaller bubbles. Many machines can be adjusted to provide a number of different effects.


Types of Bubble Machines

Depending on the needs of the buyer, different types of bubble machines may be appropriate. A person looking to buy a machine for a single, small event may have different needs from someone who intends to get multiple uses from the machine. Generally, machines are broken into commercial and personal types. Within these types, other differences may separate specific models.
Personal bubble machines are usually smaller and often geared toward use by children. They may be battery-powered and have brightly colored plastic casings. These machines will usually hold only small amounts of solution and are generally less expensive than commercial models.
Commercial bubble machines are a better choice for people using the machine for large events. These machines are usually larger, and the reservoir will hold more bubble solution. They also have stronger motors and are built to withstand a lot of use. Depending on the model, commercial machines may also have special effects such as lighting and even music that can accompany the bubbles.
One of the best ways to determine which type of machine to buy is to consider the volume of bubbles required for an event. If a buyer wishes to fill a large space, like a sports arena or ball room, the machine will need to be larger and sturdier. If the goal is to simply create bubbles for a single indoor room or for casual, outdoor use, a smaller machine is sufficient.


Other Considerations When Buying a Bubble Machine

Once the machine's type and size have been decided, there are several other things that must be considered when narrowing down bubble machine models:
 

Power source

Battery-powered machines are more portable and can be used anywhere. On the other hand, they may also be underpowered and might not work well in a large space. It's important to consider where a machine will be used when choosing its power source.

Special effects

A buyer must decide whether any additional effects are desirable. These special effects will impact the price of the machine and may not be necessary for all consumers, but they are a nice feature for people who intend to use the machine for multiple types of large events.

Ease of cleaning

Most bubble machines are constructed simply and will not require much in the way of maintenance, but a machine might require cleaning from time to time. Machines that cannot be taken apart, such as those housed in plastic casing, may be difficult to clean or repair.

Wand disc options

Most machines will come with a single wand disc, and some will have several different discs for different effects. Depending on the desired effects, a buyer may wish to purchase a machine that can take several types of discs.


Depending on the features required, prices for bubble machines vary dramatically. Matching a person's needs with the appropriate machine is the best way to save money while buying the necessary machinery for an event.


Bubble Machine Solution

Different types of solution options are available to people for use in their bubble machines. In most cases, a machine will take any type of solution, but it's best to review the machine's label or manufacturer's guidelines for the best match. Some solution may be too weak to hold up to the strength of the fan, which would result in lackluster performance.
In general, bubble solution is made from a combination of liquid soap, glycerin, and water. Homemade solution can be made by combining these ingredients, but it may not be as strong as a commercial mixture. High-powered, commercial bubble machines require especially strong bubble solution for the best results. Solution with a high concentration of glycerin will produce the strongest bubbles and works best for large bubbles. Some solution is also tinted with various dye agents to provide different bubble effects.
When purchasing commercial bubble solution, it's important to check the label to ensure that the solution is nontoxic especially if it will be used around children.


Buying a Bubble Machine on eBay

Although bubble machines can be purchased or rented from a number of vendors, shopping for a machine online will often produce the best results. eBay offers a wide variety of machines for both personal and commercial use, and buyers can search for both new and used models to get the best value.
The easiest way to locate a bubble blowing machine is to run a search from the main eBay page. Type the specific model name, or simply enter search terms such as "bubble blowing machine" or "bubble machine" for a mixture of results.
To narrow the results to commercial machines, search within stage and lighting effects for atmospheric effect machines. This will display a wide selection of commercial machines and commercially formulated bubble solution.
For smaller machines, search under toys and hobbies. These results will bring up a number of child-friendly bubble machines. In addition to standard bubble blowing machines, these results may also return similar items like bubble guns. Depending on the buyer's needs, one of these alternate bubble toys may be appropriate.


Conclusion

Soap bubbles lend a fun atmosphere to sporting events, weddings, birthday parties, and other places where people gather. Children especially enjoy bubbles, but bubble machines can be used very effectively to add atmosphere to any type of event. They are especially effective when combined with special lighting, and they create a simple and eco-friendly prop for photography.
Depending on a buyer's needs, different types of bubble blowing machines may be appropriate. By determining why the machine is needed and how it will be used, a buyer can select a machine of the appropriate size and power. Once the right model has been chosen, shopping online will make it easy to find the best bubble machine for a reasonable price.

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