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 easy it is to make your own slime!
BEST SLIME ACTIVATORS FOR MAKING SLIME!
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 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…
SLIME ACTIVATOR LIST
Please note the common ingredients in all of the slime activators below are derived from borates and are in the boron element family.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Slime Safety Tips for Kids
If you want to get really specific, you would not label any of these slime activators as borax free because of this, and you can read more about that here.
- BORAX POWDER
- SALINE SOLUTION
- LIQUID STARCH
- EYE DROPS
HOW TO MAKE SLIME ACTIVATORS
1. BORAX POWDER
Borax powder is the most widely known of the slime activators 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 to solution to add to your slime recipe.
You can purchase borax powder online or in the laundry detergent aisle of the grocery store
2. SALINE SOLUTION
This is our number one favorite on the slime activator list because it makes an 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!
Make shaving cream slime or fluffy slime using saline solution slime activator too!
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 fewer 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.
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.
4. EYE DROPS OR EYE WASH
Last on our slime activator list 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.
CAN YOU MAKE SLIME WITHOUT ACTIVATOR?
You bet! Check out our easy borax free slime recipes to make your own slime without slime activator. 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 recipe at least once!
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 ACTIVATOR LIST TO GET YOU STARTED!
Try our best slime recipes right here. Click on the link or on the image 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!