I was bathing the kids the other night, and used more bubble bath than normal. Being small, they got a bit freaked out by the enormous piles of bubbles that they had to sit in. To try to diffuse the situation, I showed them a few ways to try to flatten out the foam, destroy the bubbles and making the bath a bit more like they're used to.
This got me to thinking... what's the most efficient way to 'destroy' bubble foam?
Methods I tried:
- Pour water onto the foam (through a toy that has a sort of colander pattern of holes in it)
- Pat the foam down with a cupped hand and push the foam into the water
- Place a flannel onto the foam and try to push that down onto the surface of the water
- put foam between hands and clap
- generally splash about in and around the foam
- (various incidents of making bubble beards, funny hair styles etc, but I'm not sure they're so relevant here...?)
I'm guessing the surface area of my hand, versus the spray pattern of the colander has some bearing on the result, so I guess we need to assume that the scale of whatever we're doing is the same in all cases.
Some methods presumably create bubbles at the same time as destroying them. However I'd say larger bubbles are more easily popped than smaller foam, so presumably we'd have a net-gain in that sort of case. I guess we'd need to consider the number of bubbles popped by any action, versus the volume of foam, though.
Lastly, I know that various chemicals can be used to destroy foam (including soap), but let's assume we're not going to add anything else to my kids bathwater. I guess I'm after physical destruction rather than chemical ;-)