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.
BEST SLIME ACTIVATOR LIST FOR MAKING HOMEMADE SLIME WITH KIDS!
SLIME ACTIVATORS ARE CRUCIAL SLIME INGREDIENTS
So what exactly is a slime activator? A slime activator is one of the supplies needed to be part of the chemical reaction that takes place that forms the slime. The other important piece is the PVA school glue. Read on below.
HOMEMADE SLIME SCIENCE
We always like to include a bit of homemade slime science around here. Slime really does make for an excellent chemistry demonstration and kids love it too! Mixtures, substances, polymers, cross linking, states of matter, elasticity, and viscosity are just a few of the science concepts that can be explored with homemade slime!
What’s the science behind the slime? The borate ions in the slime activators (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…
When you add the borate ions to the mixture, it 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 rubberier 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!
THE BEST SLIME ACTIVATOR LIST
Below are our favorite basic slime making recipes for making really awesome homemade slime. You will also want to check out our recommended ingredients for making slime checklist too!
Please note the common ingredients in all of the slime activators below are all derived from borates and are in the boron element family. 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.
At the bottom of this page find a FREE SLIME RECIPES CHEAT SHEET to download and print! Plus take a sneak peak inside our newest book!
BORAX POWDER SLIME ACTIVATOR:
Borax powder is the most widely known of the slime activators and contains borax or sodium tetra borate and has the most controversy surrounding it. To make this slime activator you will be mixing a small quantity of powder with warm water to make a solution which you will then add to your slime recipe.
Click on the box below to see the borax slime recipe and a VIDEO! You can purchase borax powder online or in the laundry detergent aisle of the grocery store
SALINE SOLUTION SLIME ACTIVATOR:
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 and Canada residents. Note, your saline solution must contain sodium borate and boric acid (borates).
This 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.
This slime activator does not need to be made into a solution first but does require the addition of baking soda for thickening. Note: you can not make your own saline solution with salt and water. This will not work for slime.
Click on the black box below for saline slime VIDEO and recipe! You can find saline solution online or in the eye care section of your grocery store or pharmacy.
Saline solution is also the main slime activator for everybody’s favorite, FLUFFY SLIME!
LIQUID STARCH SLIME ACTIVATOR
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. Corn starch 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 anymore.
Click on the back box below for the liquid starch slime VIDEO and recipe!
EYE DROPS OR EYE WASH SLIME ACTIVATOR
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 perservative. 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. In fact we made a DOLLAR STORE SLIME KIT with eye drops and you can see the homemade recipe and kit here.
Click on the box below for stretchy eye drops slime recipe!
These are the cream of the crop activators on our slime activator list! We love to make homemade slime for the changing seasons or holidays too.
There are tons of fun ways to dress up 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. Click on the pictures below to see some more slimy ideas!
THE BEST SLIME ACTIVATOR LIST TO GET YOU STARTED!
Make sure to grab your free printable slime cheat sheet below and find a printable shopping list here.