Making AMAZING slime is all about having the right slime ingredients. The best ingredients include the right slime activator and the right glue. Find out what you can use to activate slime with this BEST slime activator list to get you started. I will also share some tips for making the easiest slime ever with these different slime activators. Discover how easy it is to make your own slime!

HOW TO ACTIVATE SLIME

Making AMAZING homemade slime is all about having the right slime ingredients. The best ingredients include the right slime activator and the right glue. Here is my BEST slime activator list to get you started, and I will share some tips for making the easiest slime ever with these different slime activators. Discover how to master your slime recipes with the right supplies.

WHAT IS SLIME ACTIVATOR?

A slime activator is one of the slime ingredients needed for the chemical reaction that takes place to form slime. The other important piece is PVA Glue.

Slime forms when the borate ions in the slime activator (sodium borate, borax powder, or boric acid) mix with the PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue and forms this cool stretchy substance. This is called cross-linking!

The glue is a polymer and is made up of long, repeating, and identical strands or molecules. These molecules with flow past one another keeping the glue in a liquid state. Until…

You add the borate ions to the mixture, and it then starts to connect these long strands together. They begin to tangle and mix until the substance is less like the liquid you started with and thicker and rubbery like slime! Slime is a polymer.

Picture the difference between wet spaghetti and leftover spaghetti the next day. As the slime forms, the tangled molecule strands are much like the clump of spaghetti!

Is slime a liquid or solid?

We call it a non-Newtonian fluid because it’s a little bit of both!  Experiment with making the slime more or less viscous with varying amounts of foam beads. Can you change the density?

Did you know that slime also aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? 

It does and you can use slime making to explore states of matter and its interactions. Find out more below…

No more having to print out a WHOLE blog post for just one recipe!

Get our basic slime recipes in an easy to print format so you can knock out the activities!

  CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE SLIME RECIPE CARDS!

WHAT CAN YOU USE AS AN ACTIVATOR FOR SLIME?

Here is our list of the best slime activators below. Please note the common ingredients in all of these slime activators are derived from borates and are in the boron element family.

If you want to get really specific, that means you would not label any of these slime activators as borax free. Find out more about borax free slime.

Note: Recently we have used Elmer’s Magical Solution for making slime. While it does the job, it was not a favorite among my kid testers. We still prefer to use a good saline solution instead. You may need to add more of the solution than recommended.

1. BORAX POWDER 

Borax powder is the most widely known slime activator and contains borax or sodium tetraborate. It also has the most controversy surrounding it.

To make this slime activator, mix a small quantity of borax powder with warm water.  Use this solution to add to your slime recipe.

You can purchase borax powder online or in the laundry detergent aisle of your local grocery store.

Click here for borax slime recipe and VIDEO!

clear borax slime

2. SALINE SOLUTION 

This is our number one favorite slime activator because it makes the most awesome stretchy slime. It’s also more easily available for UK, Australian and Canadian residents.

NOTE: Your saline solution must contain sodium borate and boric acid (borates). 

This slime activator is also commonly used as a contact solution but I highly recommend picking up the lesser expensive saline solution instead.

We prefer Target brand Up and Up for Sensitive Eyes which you can also order online. You can find the saline solution online or in the eye care section of your grocery store or pharmacy.

This slime activator does not need to be made into a solution first but does require the addition of baking soda for thickening.

You CAN NOT make your own saline solution with salt and water. This will NOT work for slime!

Click here for saline solution slime recipe and VIDEO!

saline solution slime

Make shaving cream slime or fluffy slime using saline solution slime activator too!

Click here for saline solution fluffy slime recipe and video!

3. LIQUID STARCH 

Liquid starch was one of the first slime activators that we ever tried! It also makes an awesome, quick 3 ingredient slime. There are less steps for this recipe making it ideal for younger kids as well!

This slime activator contains sodium borate common to laundry cleaning agents. You can also find liquid starch in the laundry aisle of the grocery store. Common brands are Sta-Flo and Lin-it brands.

Note: You may need to add more Sta-Flo brand starch to your slime than Lin-It brand. Our stores carry Lin-It brand so are recipes are based on that specific brand which may be stronger than the other brand.

You can not make your own homemade liquid starch or use spray starch. Cornstarch is not the same as liquid starch.

Some slime recipes use a laundry detergent like Tide. I tried this type of slime recipe and found it irritating to the skin, so we did not make any more.

Click here for liquid starch slime recipe and VIDEO!

4. EYE DROPS OR EYE WASH

Last on our list of what you can use to activate slime is eye drops or eye wash. The main ingredient you will find in this slime activator is boric acid.

Boric acid is generally not found in a cleaning supply type of product as it is a preservative. It is specific to drops you put in your eyes as opposed to rinsing lenses.

Because eye drops do not contain sodium borate, you will need to at least double the amount you would use for our saline solution slime recipe. We made a DOLLAR STORE SLIME KIT with eye drops.

HOW TO MAKE SLIME WITHOUT ACTIVATOR

Can you make slime without a slime activator and glue? You bet! Check out our easy borax free slime recipes below.  Though do remember a borax free slime will not have the same amount of stretch as slime made with activator and glue.

We have tons of ideas for edible or taste-safe slime including gummy bear slime and marshmallow slime! If you have kids who love to make slime, you should try making an edible slime at least once!

GUMMY BEAR SLIME

Melted gummy bears with a cornstarch mixture. Kids are sure to love this slime!

CHIA SEED SLIME

No slime activator or glue in this recipe. Instead use chia seeds to make your slime.

FIBER SLIME

Turn fiber powder into a homemade slime. You would have thought!

JELLO SLIME

Mix up Jello powder and cornstarch for an unique type of slime.

JIGGLY NO GLUE SLIME

This recipe uses guar gum instead of glue. It really does work!

MARSHMALLOW SLIME

Slime with marshmallows instead of activator and glue. You might want to eat it!

PEEPS SLIME

Similar to our marshmallow slime above but this one uses peeps candy.

how to make slime

There are tons of fun ways to dress up your homemade slime with color, glitter, and fun theme accessories. You can even make slime to give to friends, have slime parties, or put together a homemade slime kit for a great gift.

THE BEST SLIME ACTIVATORS TO GET YOU STARTED!

There are some many different types of slime. Try our best slime recipes right here.

Best slime recipes and slime activators list for making homemade slime with kids

No more having to print out a WHOLE blog post for just one recipe!

Get our basic slime recipes in an easy to print format so you can knock out the activities!

  CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE SLIME RECIPE CARDS!

68 Comments

  1. If you are having difficulties with a recipe, I highly encourage you to email me at [email protected] and I can troubleshoot with you. We have millions of readers who make this slime and love it. Let’s see if we can work together to find the problem!

  2. Only one recipe worked for me on this site. It was the liquid starch slime. The rest of the recipes didn’t work. I tried like 4 times and the recipes still wouldn’t work. Can someone please help me. I have no idea if I’m using the wrong products or I’m doing the step wrong or something.

  3. Eye drops often contain only boric acid, so you would need to at least double the amount used.

  4. I think you are wrong I tried and it worked just needed more activator I love this website
    G

  5. It might help if you add more activator that’s what I did .ps don’t freak out when you make slime

    Just keep calm and slime on!

  6. You can use eye drops but likely will need to double the amount you would normally use of saline solution.

  7. If you used measurements for borax, it should work. As for saline solution, it’s commonly used in fluffy slime. I’ve used it with shaving cream, which actually makes the saline solution work. The only thing I don’t know is the eye drops, but I’m pretty sure you need shaving cream for that as well. I’ve personally given up on these activators because they contain boran, which can irritate the skin and cause fertility problems. I would suggest activators without boran in it. If you read this far, that’s amazing. I wouldn’t have done that XD
    -BB

  8. You are correct that none of these are truly borax free and contain borons. I would love to hear what other activators you want to try! Eye drops also contain boric acid. The only way to get the signature slime is with a boron activator. However, we have some alternative slime recipes and edible slimes to try! The texture of course is not quite the same.

  9. Make sure to check the ingredients. We don’t recommend using contact solution.

  10. i purchased the solo care aqua which came up when i put in for slime and it did not work can you tell me what kind of saline solution to use or contact lens solution is best. i live in toronto canada. i would like to order from amazon but i do not know which one to order

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