I bet you are here because you are wondering how to fix slime! Homemade slime making is a lot like baking cookies in that it’s a recipe and sometimes recipes don’t come out like you planned. How do you fix a not so great chocolate chip cookie when it’s already baked? Well, you don’t really. You can put frosting on it, but you can’t actually change the not so great cookie. This is because of chemistry.
HOW TO FIX SLIME : TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE
HOW DO I FIX MY SLIME?
To learn how to fix slime, you need to start by finding really good recipes you don’t have to fix! You need an awesome homemade slime recipe in order to have a good batch! Likewise your cookie recipe has to be amazing too. However, there are always variables that go along with either recipe, slime or cookies! No two batches are always alike.
Slime making, just like baking, is a science. It’s chemistry! When you combine your slime making ingredients and mix, you are creating a new substance that you can’t undo. A chemical change has taken place. The best thing is to get it right from the start, and even then, practice makes perfect. Read SLIME SCIENCE here.
Here are the biggest reasons people ask me how to fix slime because they are having slime failures! Below we will dig a little deeper and talk about each of our basic slime recipes we use for all our themes. Plus we will talk a little bit about stretchy versus sticky!
HOW TO FIX SLIME: Common Problems
To learn how to fix slime, it’s really important to read through your recipe first. I have actually gotten comments that have said I should have read through the recipe first! Look for notes and tips. Check the measurements and read about the supplies used. Our 4 BASIC SLIME RECIPES come with step by step pictures, directions, supplies, and even videos.
Second, you need to get the right supplies to make slime. Understanding the basic SLIME ACTIVATORS is key to making great slime. These slime activators include saline solution (not necessarily contact solution), liquid starch, and borax powder. It’s these activators that when mixed with the glue form the slimy substance.
Additionally, the right glue is key too! You need a Washable PVA School Glue (polyvinyl-acetate). Not all glue is the same! Look for the big gallons to really save some money! The science behind the slime goes into more detail.
We list all our recommended slime supplies here including brands.
Third, you need to measure correctly! Just like baking, eyeballing doesn’t always work so well especially if you have a specific desired outcome. Make sure to grab those measuring cups before you get started!
Lastly, you have to knead your slime well (especially the saline solution slime). Instead of adding more activator if your slime seems sticky, make sure you have taken some time to knead the slime. You can even let it rest a few minutes! I will talk more about this below.
Also keep in mind that slime gets colder as the reaction finalizes. This is an endothermic reaction. A cold slime is more likely to snap or break like a cold rubber band will. This is called shear stress. Warm your slime in your hands and stretchy gently, don’t just pull quickly!
Remember your homemade slime is all about science and fun, and it can behave much differently then factory produced slime that also has lots of added ingredients. Also keep in mind the cool photos you see on the internet are probably captured at just the right moment! Enjoy making slime for the process and the experience as much as the outcome.
HOW TO FIX SLIME : White Glue vs. Clear Glue
The majority of the issues arise with clear glue. I am not a chemist, but there’s a notable difference between white and clear glue.
Clear glue is less stretchy over time and more prone to breaking. Both are still fun slimes but I do try to gear my recipes towards using clear glue. White glue will simply be slimier while clear glue will be just right.
The point of this is that you need a bit less activator with clear glue and the same or even just a little bit more with white glue.
HOW TO FIX SLIME: Basic Recipes
Below you can read through each of the basic slime recipes. I do consider fluffy slime to be a basic recipe but it also uses the saline solution slime recipe as a base. As long as you are adding foam shaving cream, you can read through the tips for saline slime for troubleshooting.
SALINE SOLUTION SLIME RECIPE
Saline solution slime is one of the most popular slimes right now! Your saline solution needs to contain boric acid and sodium borate. These are the main ingredients which form the slime. They are borate ions just like borax powder. This is why you can not make saline at home for making slime!
We use the Target brand Up and Up Saline Solution for Sensitive eyes. It’s inexpensive at $4 for 2 bottles. Keep in mind that you want saline over contact so;union which is pricier.
I don’t recommend more then 1 tbsp of saline initially. You can always add but you cannot take away! You can also use as little as 1/2 tbsp, but the slime will be stickier!
Also make sure to give your slime a good mix after adding the solution. It does not come together immediately, but it will! Look for it to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Now, if you are using a saline solution or eye drops that only contain boric acid, you may need to double the amount!
What does the baking soda do? Why do I need baking soda? Go ahead and try it without for an experiment! However, you do need baking soda to thicken the slime in addition to the saline solution. You can use as minimal amount as 1/4 tsp with clear glue and 1/2 tsp with white glue. You can tinker with the amounts for your own experiments.
If your slime seems too sticky, you have a few choices. You can knead your slime longer. Kneading can even occur in the bowl using a couple fingers. If you are using saline solution, squirt a few drops on your hands before kneading the slime. Doing this will add just a tiny bit more activator to your slime and it will coat your hands for handling the slime. If you just start adding more and more activator, your slime will become rubbery and breakable.
Remember the chemical reaction is still taking place! Kneading the slime allows the reaction to fully take place. If your slime is still too sticky then add a drop or two at a time of saline solution.
BORAX POWDER SLIME RECIPE
For our borax slime recipe. the best ratio of borax powder to warm water is 1/4 tsp of powder to 1/2 cup of warm water. This makes for a stretchy, oozey slime in both white and clear glue. You need to mix this slime well once you pour in the borax solution. There really shouldn’t be any solution left in the bowl after mixing.
If you are adding more borax powder then we do, you will find liquid left over and you will have a stiffer slime that’s more putty like. Not a problem but also not very stretchy. This is also a good experiment!
Warm water will help the borax powder dissolve better and make a more saturated solution so that you don’t see powder still floating around. Encourage kids to mix for the borax and warm water for 30 seconds if you can!
Knead your slime in the bowl if you like. You can even let it chill for a few minutes and then knead it a bit. Borax slime does not need the amount of kneading that the saline solution slime does.
Concerned about borax safety (since it’s banned in several countries and schools don’t always allow it)? Now again I am not a chemist, but Steve Spangler has a good FB live video where he discusses what’s going on with the bad rep that borax gets. Find that video here if you want to learn a little more.
I also want to point out that it’s borate ions that form this slimy substance. Both liquid starch (which you will read about below) and saline solution (above) also contain borate ions. These three popular slime supplies are all derived from the boron family.
To be as accurate as possible, slime may be borax powder free but not necessarily borax free. It just depends on how you feel. If you have skin sensitivities, you may want to avoid borax powder slime. However, we use a low ratio of powder to water.
LIQUID STARCH SLIME RECIPE
This was our first ever basic slime recipe that we really enjoyed making, and it’s really a very simple recipe with little room for error.
What do I run across from readers regarding liquid starch slime? Usually they can’t find liquid starch or they live in a country where liquid starch is not available.
It’s also important to know that you can not make your own liquid starch. It’s not a slurry of cornstarch. You also can not use spray starch. However, you will find bottles of liquid starch in the laundry detergent aisle of your average grocery or big box store and it can be ordered online. Popular brands include Lin- It and Sta-Flo.
You will notice that the liquid starch slime recipe comes together right away but looks rather stringy. Let this slime rest for about 5 minutes in a clean container, and the stringiness will have disappeared. You will have lovely smooth slime!
If you have a classroom full of early elementary age kids, liquid starch is probably the best recipe for ease of use! The measurements are simpler. There are no small measurements or solutions to mix. The success rate will be much higher and hopefully less messy! Coming soon will be a classroom guide to making slime.
HOW TO FIX SLIME : Lotion or Warm Water?
I am often asked if there’s something I can add to the slime after it’s been made to fix it or to fix it a couple days or a week later. The topics of adding lotion or warm water seem to come up a lot!
Adding lotion to a slime during the mixing process might be a help. However we have tested out a few variations and found that replacing the water with lotion during the actual mixing process of the saline solution recipe was the number one choice. Simply adding a tablespoon of lotion didn’t really do all that much. If you have a rubbery slime a few days later, adding lotion also didn’t seem to make an y remarkable changes that we noted, but it did not do any harm either. We simply use dollar store lotion.
A warm water bath is also a common method for possibly fixing a slime after it’s lost it’s stretch. Many this is used with the clear glue slimes as adding lotion would not work due to the transparency of the slime. You can definitely try a warm water bath by filling a bowl with warmer water and allowing your slime to hang out for 30 seconds. This is not a fix but it can loosen up the slime because the warm a slime is, the more it will stretch.
Neither lotion or warm water in our opinion will completely change the slime and your best bet is to try your slime recipe again!
HOW DO I FIX MY SLIME : A BASIC GUIDE TO MAKING GREAT SLIME!
Click on the photo below to see tons of cool homemade slime recipe variations that use our basic slime recipes! Don’t just learn how to fix slime, make the best slime ever!