Bubble Jet Set Recipe

Want to make your own Bubble Jet Set 2000 for a fraction of the price?

Bubble Jet Set 2000 is a pretty cool product which is used to prepare fabric before printing on it using an inkjet (or bubble jet) printer. The Bubble Jet Set stops the colours fading or washing out.

It seems to be readily available in the US for about US $15-20 a bottle but here in NZ I’ve only seen it online for about $65 (yikes). I asked about it at the main craft stores here in Christchurch but got a lot of blank stares.

A couple of months ago I didn’t even know you could use your inkjet printer to print on fabrics but I saw some gorgeous linen cushions in a store and decided I’d have a go at making them myself.

So, I went to the mighty Goracle and discovered a whole new world of fabric printing, including a recipe for homemade Bubble Jet Set 2000.  I used it on my botanical-inspired printed linen cushions.

The recipe, courtesy of QueenOfDIY’s superb post here, is super easy and very economical.

Ingredients (by weight)

85% hot water
10% alum
4% washing soda (also known as Soda Ash)
1% fabric softener

So, as an example, if you wanted to make 300g, you would mix:

255g hot water
30g alum
12g washing soda
3g fabric softener

Mix it together in a glass or metal bowl. It will foam a little but that’s ok. Store in a glass jar.

That’s it!

If you’re like me sometimes it’s just easier to work in volumes (cups & spoons etc) than weights so I measured out each ingredient and came up with a couple of charts to do the conversion for you…

Bubble Jet Set 2000 Recipe

Find out how to use your homemade Bubble Jet Set here


  • Water – I just used tap water. If you’re in an area where the water has a lot of chemicals in it you may want to use bottled water. But really, whoever actually does that?
  • Fabric Softener – I use whatever I have on hand.
  • Soda Ash – also known as Washing Soda. It’s chemical name is Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3) and I found mine at Bin Inn.  Not to be confused with Baking Soda.
  • Alum – ah bless you little Alum. I had more grief trying to find this than any other ingredient and from comments on the web I know I’m not alone. US bloggers jauntily refer to it as being easily available in the ‘canning section’ of the supermarket. Nope, not here or Australia.
    - Alum is also known as ‘Mordant’ and it’s chemical name is Potassium Aluminium Sulphate. It’s what the solid crystal deodorants are made of and, in desperation, I actually shaved down a (brand new!) deodorant to make my Alum powder the first time.  Since then I managed to track it down at Hands Crafts Store in Christchuch for $8 for 250g bag (they also sell it online) which is a much more dignified way of buying it!

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