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Easy Slime Recipe

A thick, putty-like, sticky slime oozes its way out of simple materials you probably have at home.

The very best part about slime and making slime is all the options you have for the final blob.  Depending on how you mix the same ingredients, you can make a slime that’s stringy, snotty, runny, gooey, or more like a solid. It’s up you and how you want to make it. This particular variation on slime will probably remind you of similar goo you can find in toy stores. This popular version of do-it-yourself slime is easy to make, clean (mostly), and a great tool for studying the properties of polymers. But – hey – who wants to study when you can have fun?!

If there’s a Halloween party in your future, go to Halloween Slime and clear PVA solution  to find out how to get the secret ingredients the party-pros use. Looking for Ghost Eggs or Alien Eggs to add to your slime recipe? Then, check out Jelly Marbles.

Experiment Materials

  • 8 oz (237 ml) White school glue
  • Borax (laundry section of a grocery store)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 9 oz (266 ml) Plastic cup
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Zipper-lock plastic bag
  • Dinner plate
  • Food coloring (optional - but more fun!)
  • Jelly Marbles (optional)
  • Adult supervision

Experiment Videos

Experiment

1

Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of Borax with one cup of water.

2

In the large mixing bowl, add as much Elmer’s glue as you’d like to make. (Be sure to leave enough room in the bowl for you to add in some water and the borax solution.)

3

Add water into the mixing bowl with the Elmer’s glue. You’ll need to use about the same amount of water as you used of glue. Hint: If you used a full 8oz bottle of glue, just fill it up with water and swirl it around to get the extra glue, and that’s the perfect amount of water!

4

Wash your hands – it’s time to get messy! (We’d hate to get your brand new slime dirty before you’ve finished making it.) Mix together the water & glue solution.

5

If you want to have colored slime – now’s the time to add a few drops of food coloring. Not too much, remember a little bit goes a long way here.

6

Mix it all together with your hands again so the color is even throughout your slime!

7

So you’re probably thinking – this is way too sticky to be slime! We haven’t added the special ingredient yet. Add to the mixture your borax solution (the water with borax in it). You’ll want to add just a little bit at a time, and keep mixing it up to be sure you’ve got it to the consistency that you like!

8

Keep kneading and working the slime together until it’s a smooth consistency throughout your slime. It should all start sticking together almost like bread dough! Once it’s like this, then you can take it out to play with on plate or in a baggie. Be careful to not get any on the carpet!
If you want to mix in alien eggs or any other surprises, here’s where you can add them.

9

When you’re done playing and learning as much as you can with your slime, we recommend you just bag it up and throw it away in the trash. And luckily, you’ve got lots of Borax left to make it again and again!

How Does It Work

The solution of school glue with borax and water produces a putty-like material that’s elastic and flows very slowly. The glue is actually made of a polymer material. In simplest terms, a polymer is a long chain of identical, repeating molecules. You can use the image of tiny steel chains to understand why this polymer behaves the way it does. Each link in a chain is a molecule in the polymer and one link is identical to another. When the chains are in a pile and you reach in to grab one, that’s what you get: one. If you dump them on the floor, they’re not connected to each other so they spread out everywhere like water. The strands flow over each other like the liquid glue in the bowl. Something caused a change, however.

Let’s say you toss a few trillion tiny, round magnets into the pile of steel chains. Now when you reach in to grab one strand, you grab hundreds because the magnets have linked the strands together. If the molecules stick together at a few places along the strand, then the strands are connected to each other and the substance behaves more like a solid. Sodium tetraborate is the chemical in Borax that hooked together the polymers in the glue to form the putty-like material. This process is called cross-linking.

Do You Recognize This Goo?

The blob you made reminds a lot of people (mostly older people, too) of a toy that was very popular in the last half of the 20th Century. Binney & Smith, the makers of Crayola, bought the rights to Silly Putty® in 1977 and it’s still on the market today.

In 1943 James Wright, a chemical engineer, was attempting to create a synthetic rubber to help the war effort during WWII. He was unable to achieve the properties of rubber he was looking for and put his creation on the shelf. He did entertain friends with it and after the war, a salesman for the Dow-Corning Corporation used the putty to entertain some customers. One customer saw that the putty had potential as a new toy and “Silly Putty” was introduced in 1950. In 1957, after being advertised on the kids’ shows “The Howdy Doody Show” and “Captain Kangaroo”, Silly Putty became a toy fad. Recently, new uses such as a grip strengthener and an art medium have been developed for it. Silly Putty went into space on the Apollo 8 mission and has seen the inside of the Smithsonian as well.

The polymers in Silly Putty have covalent bonds within the molecules, but hydrogen bonds between the molecules. The hydrogen bonds are easily broken. When low amounts of energy are slowly applied to the putty by twisting or pulling it, only a few bonds are broken and the putty stretches or “flows.” When higher amounts of energy are applied by yanking quickly and hard, there are many hydrogen bonds that break, causing the putty to break or tear.

The same thing applies to the slime you just made, too.