How do I make slime? is probably the number one reader question I get! Of course I also get the “how do I fix my slime?” question too. Making homemade slime is really pretty easy if you take the time to read the recipe, read the information, gather the right supplies, and understand that practice makes perfect! Below I will answer your most burning slime questions and slime making challenges.
“HOW DO I MAKE SLIME?” AND OTHER SLIMY QUESTIONS!
These slime making questions come directly from you, my readers. So if you have a question, take a look through the ones listed below to see if I have answered it already!
If you don’t see your question answered or you want more information, email me. I am always adding questions to this resource so everyone can benefit from them. You can email me at sarah@littlebinsforlittlehands. I try my best to answer everyone by adding those questions here! So check back often!
HOW DO I MAKE SLIME WITH GLUE or HOW DO YOU MAKE SLIME WITH GLUE?
These are two pretty general slime making questions, but ones I get all the time! The best answer I can give you is to start by reading through my 4 BASIC SLIME MAKING RECIPES
We have the best recipes for:
- Fluffy Slime: Slime with glue and shaving foam!
- Saline Solution Slime: a great easy and safe slime for kids!
- Liquid Starch Slime: a simple slime you can make with 2 ingredients!
- Borax Slime: a great slime for science experiments!
We enjoy using all the classic slime activators including borax powder, liquid starch, and saline solution. Additionally, we enjoy making fluffy slime with shaving cream too. Weekly, we are testing and tinkering with these recipes to find the best measurements possible.
Which slime lasts the longest?
I don’t have a clear answer for that one as we have had all of the basic slime recipes hang around in containers for up to a couple months! The shaving cream fluffy slime will lose its fluff within the day, but we have found the remaining slime to be really cool and long lasting!
WHICH SLIME ACTIVATOR IS BEST?
We prefer Target brand saline solution as our activator of choice. Your saline solution MUST include sodium borate and boric acid. Liquid starch and borax are also easy recipes to make, but we find the saline solution slime to be the most fun! Liquid starch is also great to use for large groups.
*We don’t recommend contact solution for making slime. Additionally, eye drops do work but they usually only contain boric acid and this means you will need to use a great deal more of the solution.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CRYSTAL CLEAR SLIME?
For a truly crystal clear slime, we recommend using the borax slime recipe. Although you can still get a pretty transparent slime with both the liquid starch and saline slime recipes, borax is indeed the best for making crystal clear slime. See how to make it here.
Fun hint, if you let your clear slime rest for several days untouched, you will notice something pretty cool happening!
HOW DO I MAKE SLIME WITH BAKING SODA?
This question is a little misleading because making slime with baking soda is simply using the saline solution slime recipe which only uses about 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Baking soda is used to further firm the slime. You will find that the saline solution without the baking soda doesn’t have as good of a texture.
CAN YOU MAKE SLIME WITH DETERGENT?
Yes, you can make slime with liquid laundry detergent and Elmers’ white or clear PVA glue. You will start with the 1/2 cup of glue and slowly add in laundry detergent until the slime forms to your liking.
*Note: the laundry detergent also needs to contain sodium borate so many of the free and gentle detergents might not work. I do want to point out that we have been making slime for years and find this type of slime to be the most irritating to the skin! We don’t usually make it.
CAN YOU MAKE SLIME WITHOUT GLUE?
Yes, you can! We made this awesome jiggly slime with a neat ingredient you can find at the supermarket. Of course, you can also make any of out taste-safe slime recipes or oobleck for a neat slime experience without glue.
HOW DO I FIX MY SLIME?
Ooh, this is such a big homemade slime topic with many little questions that go along with it. I decided to put together my newest resource which is a HOW TO FIX SLIME GUIDE. Start here and if you are still having trouble make sure to get in touch with me.
I do want to say that I don’t think you really need to fix slime, and you can read more about why I think that here…
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind though:
- Slime is a chemistry experiment, ingredients and procedure matter
- The right slime supplies really matter!
- Following the recipe matters!
- This is not a factory produced product. It’s a recipe that may end up with a slightly different result each time.
Here are a few tips:
- If your slime is still too sticky or watery, add a drop or two of activator. Add in small increments and work into the slime. If you add too much it may become rubbery.
- Let your slime sit in a container for 5 minutes. Once the reaction of the chemicals cools down, the slime often becomes a bit less sticky and stringy. Though it can be at it’s stretchiest right after you make it because of the chemical reaction and the heat generated in the slime. Think of a cold rubber band and a warm rubber band!
One reader asked why one kid in the classroom makes perfect slime and the other kid will have liquid nothing! I believe the teacher really answered it herself, it’s quite possible that the kid with liquid nothing didn’t follow the procedures correctly.
However, on a very rare occasion, I have used a small bottle of white PVA school glue and nothing happens. This is very rare and I can grab a new bottle and my slime is perfect. If all procedures have been followed correctly, you may just need to try again with new glue.
WHAT IS THE SCIENCE OF SLIME?
Yay, I love when people ask about the science behind the slime because I want people to know that slime is more than the latest obsession. We have recently overhauled our BASIC HOMEMADE SLIME SCIENCE article and hope you find it full of useful information you can share with your younger scientists!
HOW DO I MAKE STRETCHY SLIME THAT ISN’T STICKY?
“Our biggest challenge is getting the slime to maximum stretchability without it being so sticky that it sticks to hands and fingers.” – Mia
This is a hugely popular slime making question that usually comes up with the saline solution slime recipe because it’s the stickiest of the recipes. To make saline slime correctly it requires a combination of baking soda and saline solution as the slime activator. If too much saline is added, the slime becomes more rubbery. If not enough saline is added the slime is stickier.
A stickier slime is a stretchier slime. However, you can tinker with the ratio of saline and baking soda added to the recipe. I prefer 1/4-1/2tsp of baking soda to 1 tbsp of saline. This ratio will produce a nice slime that is still stretchy but minimal sticky. If you love science, this is a great way to set up an experiment with the kids!
If you are using the borax slime recipe, we suggest a ratio of 1/4tsp of borax powder to 1/2 cup of warm water If you are using the liquid starch slime recipe, we suggest lowering the amount of liquid starch to 1/4 cup. We have been tinkering!
KNEADING YOUR SLIME IS KEY!
Kneading a slime will decrease the stickiness so make sure you are kneading before adding more saline. You can also start with less saline, 1/2 tbsp and add a drop or so at a time to get your desired consistency, but this will be stickier.
For a maximum stretchable slime, you will need some stickiness in it. Your slime also will not necessarily retain this maximum stretchability because as the chemical reaction continues, the slime gets colder (endothermic reaction). Have you noticed that? Elasticity will decrease and the slime may break apart easier. You can read more about all that here in the science behind the homemade slime.
WHICH SLIME IS THE STRETCHIEST?
We think the saline solution slime is the stretchiest because you can really tinker with the amount of activator you used. Keep in mind though that a super stretchy slime might also be on the stickier side.
HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT SLIME MAKING INGREDIENTS?
Besides “How Do I Make Slime?”, the next biggest question is locating the right ingredients. One great place to start is by reading through our recommended slime supplies list along with our slime activators list which goes into a little more detail about the different activators we use.
“When I made slime with my classroom last week the biggest problem we ran into was needing to add more contact solution so the slime wasn’t sticky. We followed the recipe but ended up using twice as much or more.”
In the reader statement above, I believe that he/she used a solution that may have only contained boric acid which will require you to double the amount! Eye drops or eye wash usually only contain boric acid which still makes slime but you need more of it!
Saline solution and contact solution are not always the same and you can end up with a more watery slime when using contact solution. Plus, saline solution is often much cheaper! I love the Up & Up Target Brand Saline for Sensitive Eyes. I get two big bottles for $3.99.
SLIME INGREDIENTS MATTER!
You must look at the bottles of saline before grabbing one to check for the correct ingredients. These ingredients are sodium borate and boric acid. You can not make a homemade saline solution.
“What is liquid starch?”
This question pops up all the time! Liquid starch is often used for crafts but is also a laundry aid. Both liquid starch and borax powder can be found in the Laundry detergent aisle of most big box and grocery stores or they can be purchased on Amazon (see recommended supplies list).
Liquid starch may be either Sta-Flo brand or Lin -It brand which is what I have here. Please do not try to substitute spray starch for liquid starch. Additionally, you can not make homemade liquid starch from cornstarch. Liquid starch just like borax powder and the saline solution contains borate ions needed for making slime!
Glue is also very important to the slime making process, and we have only used the Elmer’s Washable PVA School glue in white and clear. I am not affiliated with them at all! PVA is the crucial part because it’s what is needed for the cross-linking part of the chemistry! You may be able to find alternative PVA glue where you live.
WHICH SLIME CONTAINS BORON?
Slimes made with liquid starch, borax, and saline solution all contain boron. The key slime activator ingredients in these three slimes include borax, sodium borate, and boric acid. All of these are in the boron family and element on the periodic table of chemistry!
IS BORAX SLIME SAFE?
I am not a chemist, just a mom with a passion for making cool slime with her kid. With that said, we have had no issues with borax slime and skin sensitivity. However, if you do have more sensitive skin (especially if you have to use special detergents when washing clothes or body), you may consider wearing disposable gloves or choosing a different recipe altogether.
Paying close attention to the directions and supervising kids when making slime is also an important part to slime making safety! It is a chemistry activity after all. You might also want to read up on WHAT BORAX FREE REALLY MEANS here…
We also have completely borax free slime recipes here!
With that said, listen to what Steve Spangler (chemist) has to say about Borax and Borax Powder Slime here.
HOW DO I MAKE SLIMES THAT ARE NON TOXIC? My Kids might try to eat the slime!
Kids should definitely NEVER taste our traditional slime recipes. Additionally, they should keep hands out of eyes, nose, and mouth while playing with slime. Thorough hand washing is always a must.
With that said, we have plenty of taste safe or edible slime recipes that kids will love. These are recipes and sensory play ideas are perfect if you are afraid a taste is going to be had! I NEVER recommend that these taste safe ideas be snacked on. However, they are non-toxic if a kid takes a bite when you are not watching. If you have a kid who likes to eat play materials, please supervise these activities very well!
HOW DO I MAKE SLIME ECONOMICALLY WITH A GROUP OF KIDS?
Gallons of glue is your best friend! White glue is also much cheaper than clear glue! Check the dollar store for glitter, sequins, and confetti. Amazon always has holiday theme confetti and even the grocery store seasonal aisle will inexpensive theme confetti around the holidays. I always check out the Target dollar section too!
Your variety of slime activators are also on the reasonably priced side. Make sure to look for the saline solution, not contact solution which is more expensive! We use the Target brand Up & Up Sensitive Eyes and get 2 bottles for $3.99. Borax and liquid starch are also reasonably priced in the grocery store aisles.
You do not need special food coloring. The ones in the baking aisle (4 to a little box) work very well. We have them both in regular and neon colors (my favorite). You also don’t need to add tons of food coloring to your slime.
For making and mixing slime, grab a stack of large plastic cups and a package of jumbo craft sticks. The dollar store always has measuring cups and even storage containers. If you are just making a very small amount per student, consider getting a package of condiment containers. I don’t like using plastic baggies.
HOW DO I MAKE SLIME IN MY CLASSROOM?
Making slime in the classroom is an awesome experience for kids because it not only contains the much needed sensory break experience but it’s also a great science lesson. There are tons to learn about slime which you can read here in our science behind the slime information.
However, I have tons of questions about how to go about making slime in the classroom with 20+ kids. I plan to devote a whole series to to this topic but for now here are some quick ideas. Always taking into consideration the age of the kids making slime is the first step!
What level of abilities does your age group have and how can that help you? Can they accurately measure ingredients, can they pour ingredients without missing the bowl? Can they effectively stir? Can they patiently wait for steps to be given or can they follow written directions? Do they understand slime is not edible?
I highly suggest covering surfaces in dollar store tablecloths. Use jumbo craft sticks for mixing. Try making slime in large plastic cups to minimize overflow. If time allows, demonstrate the procedure to the class, so they understand what the objective is and can see the end result.
Definitely practice your slime making skills ahead of time, so you can troubleshoot if necessary before class starts.
SEE QUESTION BELOW FOR QUICKEST SLIME RECIPE
Provide food coloring and glitter for each table to let kids create their own colors. This can allow time for teachers and helpers to make sure everyone is on track.
Alternatively, you can make batches of slime as a demonstration and hand out cups of slime for kids to decorate on their own. This might be best for younger kids. You can still have the kids help with the slime making a demonstration by measuring and pouring along side you. This way you have complete control over the mess or can at least minimize it to one workspace!
You will need at least 4-5 batches of slime for a classroom, so everyone really can have a chance to help make it. Send home a recipe sheet for parents to try!
WHICH SLIME RECIPE IS THE QUICKEST TO MAKE?
There’s no doubt that making slime with a large group of kids is going to be a messy but super fun project. The older the kids, the easier the process is in terms of measuring and mixing.
For our youngest slime makers, the liquid starch slime recipe may be the best bet to use with the fewest ingredients and mixing steps.
“Every pupil needs to achieve a result regardless of the recipe, so the fewer ingredients there are is a must”
HOW DO I SAVE MY SLIME? (FIX IT)?
Every one who asks, how do I make slime usually ends up asking about how they can save it as well. By save they mean fix. Check out the troubleshooting guide for more information on how to properly make each of our basic slime recipes. Does adding lotion or a warm water bath help, read here…
HOW DO I SAFELY STORE SLIME?
I love storing slime in reusable plastic containers especially the deli style containers. They have an excellent seal and keep the slime fresh for quite awhile. It’s very important to keep your slime in a container when not in use.
See our recommended slime supplies list for the containers we have at our house!
HOW LONG DOES SLIME LAST?
How do I make slime thats lasts? Slime can last anywhere from a few days to a few months if properly stored! We have had all sorts of recipes last us various amounts of time with various consistencies. The slime I have enjoyed the most and the longest is our cornstarch butter slime recipe!
WHY DO THE FUN MIX- INS FALL OUT OF THE SLIME?
We like to mix in fun items like foam beads, fishbowl or slushy beads, glitter, small trinkets, etc after we have mixed the glue and water together and before we have mixed in the slime activator.
sometimes they just do not stay mixed in…
You don’t necessarily need to add a lot of mix ins to your slime! If they are constantly falling out, you may be adding items that just don’t go well with slime or too much of them.
Adding too many mix-ins can also disturb the stretchability of the slime!
WHEN WE ADD SPARKLY PAINT OR GLUE IT SOMETIMES MESSES UP THE RECIPE…
Altering the slime recipe will of course alter the end result. We have used the dollar store glitter glue in addition to our regular clear glue with great results. You can see how we did that here in our metallic slime recipes (video too)!
Less is more when it comes to adding extra paint and glues that aren’t part of the basic recipe. As you can see form the recipe above, we mix the glitter glue with the regular glue but don’t go over the amount of total glue in the recipe.
When adding different kinds or paints and pigments, I usually start with 1 tbsp and see what my results are before adding more. This also makes for a fun experiment for older kids who enjoy the process of figuring out the bast ratio of ingredients.
“I like when they have to decide what they have to add more of to offset the changes, or how to change the recipe so that it will still work…”
Don’t see an answer to your slime making question here?
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what your biggest struggle or challenge is when it comes to making homemade slime with your kids. We want to hear from you, so we can create the best resources to help you!