Which Detergent Makes the Most Bubbles?

detergent-bubbles Mike Mozart/CC-BY-2.0

In a 2014 trial, Tide laundry detergent made more bubbles than Palmolive dish detergent, and Cascade dish detergent did not make any bubbles. In another trial conducted in 2005, Palmolive produced more bubbles than either Joy or Dawn dish detergents.

Detergents are made out of chemicals called surfactants that stabilize bubbles by reducing the surface tension of water. Tide laundry detergent contains alcohol ethoxy sulfate, a strong surfactant. Palmolive also contains a strong surfactant called ammonium C12-15 pareth sulfate. Dawn and Joy only contain a basic detergent called sodium lauryl sulfate. Surfactants also clean by reducing the surface tension of water, which allows greases and oils to be washed away with the excess water.