My biggest reader question is always, what are the best ingredients for slime? Are you also wondering what ingredients you need to make homemade slime and fluffy slime? You can pick up the BEST slime ingredients on your next trip to the grocery store. Check out our slime ingredient list below for when you make your grocery list this week! Plus, make sure to get the printable slime recipe too!

Discover the best slime ingredients for homemade slime recipes. The right ingredients for slime make are important for making the AMAZING slime recipes with kids.

Make Slime With The Right Slime Ingredients

You can DEFINITELY make homemade slime with the kids this season. It is not hard at all, and we have tons of videos, tutorials, and tips to share with you. At the bottom, you will find lots of clickable slime resources to help you.

It might take a little practice and a little tweaking from what we do, but it should be pretty spot on. I receive tons of emails and comments from readers so happy to have finally been able to make homemade slime with their kids!

Making homemade slime is all about having the right slime ingredients! I do get slime fail questions.  Many of these failures are simply because the right slime ingredients weren’t used!  Substitutions don’t work!  Read on to find what ingredients for slime you will need…

What Is Slime?

What ingredients do you need to make slime? There are 3 key slime activators that we use in our 5 basic slime recipes.  Read on to find out why a slime activator is an essential slime ingredient.

In order to understand why the right slime ingredients are so important, you need to understand the science behind the slime!

Slime is made from a chemical reaction between a polymer (glue) and a slime activator (contains borate ions).  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 comprising long repeating and identical strands or molecules. These molecules with flow past one another and keep the glue liquid. 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 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 a clump of spaghetti!

Is slime a liquid or a solid?   Read more about the science behind slime here.

Get your FREE printable slime recipes mini pack!

Slime Ingredients List

The 2 main ingredients for slime are glue and a slime activator. Depending on the slime recipe, you will also need water and baking soda.

Of course, there are tons of fun slime variations you can make. For more awesome slimy supplies and fun mix-ins, see our RECOMMENDED SLIME SUPPLIES. You will also find our favorite storage options. Hint, it’s definitely not a plastic baggy!


From what you read above, the right type of glue is very important and is the foundation for a good homemade slime. You want to look for a washable PVA-based glue which is usually also listed as school glue.

Our choices usually include Elmer’s brand of washable school glues. Clear, white, and glitter are all good choices. Now many of you might not have access to Elmer’s Glue, so I would make sure you are finding a PVA-based glue {polyvinyl-acetate}.

Something to note about the glue is the difference in viscosity between white and clear glue and even the glitter or color glues.

Clear glue will make a thicker slime, therefore, you may want to go easier on the amount of activator until you are comfortable with it. Although it may feel stickier, to begin with, if you add too much, it will become more rubbery. 

White glue will make a looser slime! The new colored glues and glitter glues are also thick, and we actually developed a recipe just for them; see it here.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How To Make Slime With Elmer’s Glue


Each of our basic slime recipes uses a different slime activator. The slime activator is the key ingredient for slime.  When mixed with the PVA glue, the activator causes the specific chemical reaction that produces your slimy texture. If you don’t have the right slime activator, you don’t have slime.

Let’s talk for a minute about slime activators; none of them are borax free. That’s right! Slime recipes are NOT completely borax free. Each of the popular slime activators you see in all those recipes will have at least one ingredient from the boron family.

We go over each slime activator more in-depth here.

Your choice for slime activators are:

  • Liquid Starch
  • Saline Solution
  • Borax Powder

Liquid starch contains sodium borate.  The saline solution usually has two key ingredients: sodium borate and boric acid; they might also just list one of these. The borax powder contains, of course, borax.

It’s up to you to decide what you want to use, but I have seen a lot of sites claim that recipes using saline solution and liquid starch are borax free. This is NOT true 99% of the time.

There are many ways to make borax-free slime that include borax substitutes such as fiber, cornstarch, marshmallows, and more, but these edible slimes WON”T have the same texture and stretch that you get with our classic slime recipes.

Slime Ingredients For Fluffy Slime

Kids love fluffy slime because it’s SO fun to squish and stretch but also light and airy as a cloud! Learn how to make fluffy slime with saline solution so quickly you won’t believe it! The key slime ingredient you need is shaving foam!

LOOK: Fluffy Slime Recipe

Fluffy Slime

Slime Ingredients For Butter Slime

When you hear about butter slime, does it make you think of slime made from a stick of butter? That would be something, wouldn’t it? We have two easy recipes for butter slime that will give you smooth buttery slime every time. The ingredient for butter slime is clay, or alternatively, you can use cornstarch.

LOOK: Clay Butter Slime and Butter Slime Without Clay

Where To Find Slime Ingredients?

Liquid Starch Slime

To make our liquid starch slime recipe {which is super easy to make}, you need a bottle of liquid starch. This can be purchased in the laundry detergent aisle of your grocery store, big-box store, and even online if necessary.

slime activator for liquid starch slime

Saline Solution Slime

The saline solution slime recipe trips people up the most because of the variety of saline solutions out there. This slime is the new popular slime in our recipe collection. It’s a good slime for UK slime recipes as well as Canadian slime recipes.

When looking for your saline solution, ensure the ingredients include sodium borate and boric acid. I can’t write it enough! You need these slime ingredients for making homemade slime. My favorite brand of saline solution is actually Target Brand!

Borax Slime

This is your most classic and controversial slime recipe, requiring a box of borax powder. I know this is not a popular ingredient in Canada and the UK. Listen to Steve Spangler discuss borax in a video on Facebook.

This slime ingredient can also be found in the laundry detergent aisle.

We also love borax powder for growing crystals, and making bouncy balls!

slime ingredients for borax slime

More Helpful Slime Making Resources

slime summer camp

Cool Slime Recipes To Try

Now you have a heads up on what slime ingredients you need to make slime, check out these fun recipe variations.

Printable Slime Recipes Ultimate Guide

All the best homemade slime recipes in one place with plenty of fantastic extras!