You need to learn how to make slime. Like now! It’s so easy and I promise your kids will be enthralled with this one for a long time; it’s pretty darn hard to resist! In fact I might go so far as to declare that slime is the new playdough……
Slime is a well-traversed subject in the blogoshpere, there are so many amazing slime ideas it’s hard to see where this kid blogger might add something new…so we went back to basics instead. You see, I know how to make slime but I bet quite a few of you have not yet tried it. And it’s time. It’s an amazing sensory activity for kids and a fun chemistry experiment to boot. Time to get slimed……
Basic slime facts:
1. There are many slime recipes out there but in general most fall into one of these three categories:
- Glue Based
- Cornstarch Based also called Gak or Oobleck
- Fiber Supplement Based
2. Cornstarch based slimes are very liquid and drippy and loads of fun.
3. Glue and fiber supplement based slimes are more rubbery and oozy.
4. Glue based slimes typically are made by combing glue with either Borax or Liquid Starch. Since there is huge debate on the safety of Borax in play recipes, see this article, I have always erred on the side of Borax free slime.
This post contains affiliate links.
How to Make Slime
- Liquid Starch I found mine at Smart and Final in the laundry section. It’s about $5 on Amazon. you can substitute Tide laundry detergent if Sta-Flo is not available!
- School Glue, white or clear– You’ll need a LOT- This is the BEST deal out there in lieu of buying many tiny bottles
- Food Coloring or Liquid Watercolors We used Neon Food Coloring
- Measuring cup, bowl & spoon
NOTE: Slime is temperamental! No matter how many times I make it I have yet to find a fool-proof ratio of glue to starch. YOU WILL NEED TO FINE TUNE IT and that is part of the process!
I always start with the following ratio of glue to starch: 2 Parts glue to 1 Part Starch, then fine tune as described below.
- Step One Pour your glue and starch into the bowl using the ratio above. We used 1/2 cup glue to 1/4 cup starch for each batch
- Step Two Add food coloring if desired.
- Step Three Stir well to combine. Once the mixture starts to gel you can mix it with your hands.
You will know when the slime is properly mixed because it will NOT stick to your hands or the bowl.
FINE TUNE IT!
- If your slime is too liquidy add more glue 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Mix and if necessary repeat until you get the proper consistency.
- If your slime is too sticky add more starch 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix and if necessary repeat until you get the proper consistency.
If neither of these tips works head over to my friend Asia’s brilliant post troubleshooting all your slime troubles!
Slime dries up! And has been known to ooze out of containers….soooooo…..
- Store it in Ziploc Baggies or tupperware and make sure they are well sealed.
- Slime will last indefinitely if it is stored in a sealed bag.
- Slime tends to get stickier/moister the longer it sits in a sealed container. When taking it out of a bag/container after a period of time knead it with your hands for a few minutes to toughen it up again and gain back its elasticity.
- Use food coloring or liquid watercolors to color the slime. Avoid paint. Tempera paint will work BUT it vastly changes the consistency of the slime and you will really need to correct the recipe using the troubleshooting directions above. It also just doesn’t provide the vivid eye popping color you can get with concentrated liquid colors.
- I found that when using clear glue the slime gets better after sitting for an hour or overnight.
- Clear glue slime tends to be rubbery.
- White glue slime tends to be more oozy.
- To get really intense light colors like our neon pink and green you will have to add a LOT of food coloring. I used almost half a bottle of these to get the bright colors!
- Oh no! There’s slime on my carpet! Vinegar will save the day. Vinegar will dissolve slime that has landed on your carpet or dried on other surfaces like tile, wood etc. I discovered this AFTER I spent an hour trying to peel off slime that had dried on our patio……
Now have some fun with it!
Make Multicolored Slime
NOTE: Don’t expect this to stay lovely and marbled forever! Once the swirled slime has been played with for awhile the colors will mix! I’d say ours swirled for about 15 minutes before turning into purple!
- Step One Mix up several batches of slime in the colors you desire as well as one larger batch of white (uncolored) slime.
- Step Two Place chunks of the colored slime into the white slime and smoosh with your hands to combine.
Tip: Using both white glue and clear glue slime makes for a lovely mix of colors with different transparencies.
John P. Fulton. Long before computer graphics took over the movie industry there were special effects masters like John P. Fulton. Mr. Fulton was a cinematographer and special effects pioneer, responsible for some of the coolest visual tricks in movie making. His amazing and full career included The Invisible Man, a movie most people thought was un-filmable due to the complicated trickery needed to pull off a realistic invisible character, The Ten Commandments, where he was challenged with parting the red sea on film, and collaborations with one of my favorite filmmakers, Alfred Hitchcock, Fulton worked on the classics Rear Window and Vertigo.
I thought of Fulton today because I always associate slime with sci-fi and movies, who doesn’t immediately think of Ghostbusters when you hear the word slime? In the movie making industry today special effects that are not computer generated are becoming rarer and it’s fascinating to read about masters like John. Fulton who utilized innovative and creative resources to pull off movie magic. They were the ultimate tinkerers in my humble opinion. This article has some incredible behind the scene images of the effects created by John. P. Fulton. The Red Sea sketches are not to be missed!
Go make some slime already! It’s so easy what is stopping you?
You can also turn these into colorful suncatchers!
If you’re hooked on slime here are some incredible resources on the web:
How to Fix Slime That Didn’t Work Out
Galaxy Slime & Reusable Slime Bubbles
Incredible Heat Sensitive Color Changing Slime
Our eBook Playful Preschool has a recipe for Marbled Oobleck!
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birute efe says
we were in the process of making slime when I saw this! It will be hard to top this! Such an easy and simple video tutorial. Not to mention colors of the slime! You are amazing!
Love it Ana! Excellent video. I have not yet made slime and this post inspired me. I didn’t realize how easy it is. Thanks! My campers might even enjoy making it this summer.
Love that there’s no Borax in this recipe 🙂 Just wondering how you store your slime and also how long it typically lasts. Thanks!
Ana Dziengel says
Hi Rebecca, I just added storage tips to the post! Thanks for the reminder!
You may want to double check your liquid starch. Most commercially available ones have borax (sodium tetraborate) in them! I’m on the fence about borax too, but from the MSDS pages (material safety data sheets) it’s best to avoid when pregnant (could potentially cause birth defects though only observed so far in rats, so unclear) – I used to have to warn my teenage students a lesson ahead of time just in case!! That said, it’s otherwise perfectly safe (though I wouldn’t give it to a kid who still eats anything & everything!)
Ana Dziengel says
I’ll definitely check Divya! Thanks for the heads up!
Patty A. Milton says
I love it. Will make some this week with camp kids. Fabulous idea .
Ana Dziengel says
Yay! The kids will love it!
love the idea
Obat Asam Urat says
Borax is not sold in Europe, as it’s ingredients are considered “chemicals of very high concern” by the EU (REACH database). I’m based in the US, and I think liquid starch works, not because of the starch but because of the borates that come in the shelf-bought ones. (Have not verified by making own starch). Now given what the EU thinks is these substances, and given that manufactories in Europe are removing them from detergents, hair products etc, I am a bit uncomfortable that the liquid starch recipes are all over the blogosphere as “safe” without comment… Though I guess if you live here, you also think it’s safe to use this in your laundry. So, it’s consistent, but think readers should know that 1. These recipes don’t work in Europe 2. This is because if concerns about reprotoxicity of ingredients liquid starch included)
Ana Dziengel says
Hi Jane, Thanks for this info. Do you know what ingredient in liquid starch contains borates? Here is the list of ingredients in Sta-Flo: Water, Corn Starch, Cyclocarboxypropyloleic Acid & Sodium Hydroxide (Soap), Sodium Tetraborate (Builder), Tetrasodium Edta (Chelator), Castor Oil, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (Chelator), Dimethicone (Film Former), Sodium Metabisulfate (Builder), Fragrance.
it is cool?????????????????????????
Ana Dziengel says
were can I get liquid starch. I cant find it eneywere
Ana Dziengel says
You can try using laundry detergent like Tide in lieu of the liquid starch 🙂