06 April 2011

Crayola Colored Bubbles--a review

I'm using the word 'review' lightly here....because I really have nothing good to say about them other than in theory, this is an AWESOME idea! It is really unfortunate that it was so poorly executed.

I took my kids to Walmart to pick out a couple new outside toys. My older son wanted these colored bubbles he'd been seeing on TV. He picked a set that came with half a dozen different wands and two bottles of the bubble soap--orange and green. Package says "Washable" in very prominent letters, and 'Spill-Resistant Bottles!', so I figured we were good to go. My younger son picked out a few other things. Seeing the fight this was going to cause, I picked up some of Walmart's cheapy bubble soap with similar 'spill resistant' lids as well.

We got home about an hour later and the kids, of course, wanted to go outside and use their new bubbles. So I got the scissors out and opened the clamshell package (seriously, WAY overpackaged, Crayola, just sayin') and ripped the seals off the Crayola bottles. Wow....This stuff looks like straight food coloring. I kid you not. It could easily pass for a 4 oz bottle of liquid food coloring. Wow. My better judgment tells me not to give it to my kids. Ya know, though, I've never had ANY issues with Crayola products. Like, at all. I used to teach preschool, and we used nothing BUT Crayola products. I buy practically nothing else for my own kids, either. Never had an issue with Crayola products staining anything, or being any less than spectacular in any way. So, I went against my better judgment and handed over the bubble soap and sent the kids outside. (I gave my 7 year old his colored bubbles, and my 5 year old the regular clear ones...no, this isn't 'unfair', for anyone who may whine--my 5 year old picked another toy as his 'treat'. The new bubbles were simply 'extra' for him.)

I quickly noticed my older son being somewhat messy with it on the patio furniture, so I made him move to the other side of the patio...if for no other reason than that I didn't want to have to take the umbrella down to scrub orange and green spots off of it later....we'll forget about the side of the house and the 2nd floor windows, etc. that I didn't want to clean. haha! I really didn't think too much about the colored spots all over the concrete patio, because, well, again, it's Crayola, and it's WASHABLE.

The boys played with the bubbles for about an hour. They obviously enjoyed their bubbles yesterday! My 7 year old came inside and cleaned up, so I went out to play with my 5 year old. He really wanted to try his brother's colored bubbles, so I said sure, and got them back out. We had fun blowing bubbles together for about 20 minutes before my bladder demanded I go inside to go potty. ;) So I ran inside real quick (my 5 year old is perfectly capable of playing in the fully locked and privacy fenced back yard by himself for a few minutes, trust me). It's just bubble soap, and it's got a similar spill resistant top as the other stuff he hasn't spilled yet. *runs inside*

I go back outside and the utter carnage was nothing short of impressive. Hahaha!

Mental note: Crayola tops are not as spill resistant as cheapy Walmart brand ones. Imagine that?!

See? Impressive, especially considering I was inside for 1-2 mins at the MOST. (I'm going to spare you photos of the THOUSANDS of little dribble and bubble pop spots all over my fence, patio, house, etc....since those are to be expected. LOL!)

As shocking as that mess was, I really should've taken a photo of the kid, but these photos were an afterthought after I got him (and his footprints, and hand prints from the back door to the bathroom) cleaned up. haha! He was covered literally from head to toe. He had it IN HIS EARS. How does that happen? LOL! Oh well. It's Crayola, and it's washable...right?

Bring the kid inside, strip him down, throw his clothes--AND SHOES--into the washer (this is what play clothes are for, after all!), get him redressed and run to Lowes. See, we live in a townhouse...with underground sprinklers. We've lived here for 2 months...it's the first week of April. We have had no need to buy a garden hose before now, so we didn't own one. The package clearly says do not let sit longer than 1 week. Well great, it's only been 20 minutes, so it should come up pretty easily right? I wish!

Hosed it off....tons of green and orange water resulting (haha!), barely faded it. I've got to say that I was amazed at how little actual soap suds came off of the spots. I mean, this stuff is supposed to be bubble soap, right? Got out the scrub brushes, and just about every cleaner in our house--laundry soap, dish soap, Oxyclean, Awesome, vinegar & baking soda, CLR, Lime Away, Scrubbing Bubbles, Tilex, Lysol toilet cleaner, bleach, even various trial packets I had in a junk drawer. NOTHING pulled it off the concrete. We scrubbed and scrubbed till the soap suds ran white. *sigh*

Here are the 'after' photos:

Oh...I guess I *DO* have another nice thing to say about this product--it washed completely out of my son's clothing. Not that I was worried about his play clothes. His week old shoes will never be black and white again, but that's ok. MOST of it came out of his shoes when I threw them through the washer, too.

I've gotta say, this product pretty much needs a big, fat "FAIL!" stamp on the label. Awesome idea, extremely poor execution on Crayola's part. Even if it didn't stain, I probably wouldn't buy it again, as it's really crappy bubble solution that doesn't produce bubbles easily, and when the kids managed to get actual bubbles from it, they were small and there were only a couple from a freshly dipped wand.

I suppose I should add that I called Crayola this morning to voice my concerns. They are issuing me $10 in coupons to purchase a different Crayola product that I DO enjoy. I guess that's good, considering the bubbles cost $8 plus tax, but I wasn't real concerned about my wasted money so much as the mess. I was told 'the rain and sun will fade the stains in about 2-3 weeks'. Um....okie? The rep suggested I spray it with Tilex Mold & Mildew cleaner a couple times a day till the spots are gone. Um....okie? Apparently she missed the part about me not just hosing it off...but scrubbing the bejeezus out of it with every chemical in my house, including Tilex, which was laughable, by the way. Of everything I tried, Tilex did the least bit of good.

Time will tell, I suppose. I'm giving them the 2-3 weeks for the benefit of the doubt, although I'm still rolling my eyes. Doubt it'll do much good. I'll be sure to update this post with follow up photos in a couple of weeks. For now, I would *HIGHLY* recommend against buying this product for your children...unless, of course, you LIKE the permanently speckled look to your patio, fence, and house....Who knows? Maybe the speckled look will be all the rage in suburban backyard decor this summer!

Although, for those doll collectors who know me...I MAY try to cover it in Removezit and Oxy10 and bleach it out in the sun like I would an ink stain on a vinyl CPK head....hrm....That idea does have potential, although it'd likely get spendy. I wonder if the dollar store carries generic Oxy10? Hrm.....


  1. Clorox 2 kills most pigment compounds. I'd give it a shot.

  2. Thanks! I'll pick some up and give it a shot.