Slime Recipe How to Make Slime Slime Directions
How to make do-it-yourself slime using Elmer's glue and Borax.
How to Make Slime: Steve Spangler Science Easy Elmer’s Glue Slime Recipe
Looking for the easiest recipe for slime with glue? You’re in the right place! We’ve laid out our famous do-it-yourself recipe below using every day super-simple ingredients that you probably have around your home, such as Elmer’s Glue and Borax. Read on to follow our easy-to-follow step-by-step slime directions and make this ooey-gooey concoction and enjoy hours of hands-on fun!
The Very Best Slime Recipe Online
So, is there a trick to making the best slime? Expert slime makers agree that Elmer’s Glue makes the best DIY slime. However, there are some tricky variations that can transform your slime recipe from just ho-hum to amazing. Steve Spangler Science shares our best slime recipes to make slime that is stringy, snotty, runny, gooey, bumpy — even magnetic! This popular version of our do-it-yourself Elmer’s Glue slime is easy to make, clean (mostly) and a fantastic tool to study the amazing properties of polymers!
- 8 oz (240 ml) Elmer's glue
- Borax (laundry section of a grocery store)
- Large mixing bowl
- 9 oz (266 ml) Plastic cup
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Paper towels
- Zipper-lock plastic bag
- Dinner plate
- Food coloring (optional - but more fun!)
- Adult supervision
Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of borax with one cup (237 ml) of water. Stir it so the borax dissolves completely.
In the large mixing bowl, add as much white glue as you’d like. Just leave enough room in the bowl to add borax solution.
Add water to the mixing bowl with the white glue. Use the same amount of water as glue. Hint: If you used a full 8 oz (237 ml) bottle of glue, just fill it with water, swirl it to mix any extra glue, and pour it in. That’s the perfect amount of additional water.
Wash your hands! (You don’t want dirt and germs in your new slime before you’ve even made it.) It’s time to get messy in the name of science. Use your hands to mix the water and the glue solution in the bowl.
If you want colored slime, now’s the time to add a few drops of food coloring. Not too many because a few go a long way here.
Mix it together with your (clean) hands so the color is even throughout the mixture.
So you’re probably thinking, “This is way too sticky to be slime.” It is because you haven’t added the final ingredient yet.
Add just a little bit of the borax solution at a time and keep mixing as you do. Adding the borax gradually gives you the consistency of slime you want in the end. It may take several additions to get it, too.
Keep kneading and working the goo until it has a smooth consistency throughout. It should start sticking together a little like bread dough. When you get the slime you want, take it out of the bowl and play with it – uh, that is, explore its properties – on the plate or in the baggie. Be careful to not get any on the carpet. The food coloring will stain fabrics.
If you want to mix in alien eggs or any other surprises you’ve worked up, here’s where you add them.
When you’re done learning as much as you want with your slime, just bag it up and throw it away in the trash. Luckily, you’ve got lots of Borax left to make it again and again, too!
How Does It Work
How Does Our Recipe for Slime Work?
The school glue is made of a polymer material. Polymer, in simplest terms, 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; one link is identical to the others. 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.
Adding in a variable, however, can cause a dramatic change. 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’ll grab hundreds. That’s because the magnets have linked those individual 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.
The solution of school glue with Borax and water produces a putty-like material that’s elastic and flows very slowly. Sodium tetraborate is the chemical in Borax that links the polymers in the glue (and functions like those few trillion tiny magnets) to form this unique putty-like material. This process is called “cross-linking.”
Take It Further
The only way to make a thicker or a runnier slime using white glue is to add more or less Borax solution as you mix it together. You can’t just add water to make it runnier. A good variation is to make a variety of test consistencies of slime in several cups and figure out the proportions of ingredients for the one(s) with the consistency you need or that you like the best. Then, all you do is scale up the formula to the quantity you want to have or need.
This slime recipe flows; the speed of the flowing depends on the viscosity of the mixture. A thick, gooey slime has a high viscosity and flows slowly. A low viscosity slime spreads out evenly and fairly quickly. Place a glob on your fingertip or on the corner of a desk to determine the viscosity of your slime. You know what to do to change the viscosity, too.
If you make a batch that you absolutely love, you can keep it in the fridge for a little while. Remember to wash your hands before and after making and using your slime to keep dirt, germs and nasty goobers out of it for as long as possible. Eventually, it will have to be tossed into the trash. It is very easy to make more, though!
Do You Recognize This Goo?
The blob you just made reminds a lot of people (mostly older people) 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. This toy is still on the market today!
James Wright, a chemical engineer, attempted to create a synthetic rubber to help the World War II war effort in 1943. He was unable to achieve the properties of rubber that he was looking for, so he shelved his creation. He did, however, entertain friends with it. After the war, one of these friends — 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. “Silly Putty” was introduced in 1950. After being advertised on then-popular kids’ shows “The Howdy Doody Show” and “Captain Kangaroo” in 1957, Silly Putty became a toy fad. More recently, new uses for Silly Putty have been developed, such as for a grip strengthener and an art medium. Silly Putty also 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 the putty hard and fast, many hydrogen bonds break, causing the putty to break or tear.
The same thing applies to the slime you just made, too. You can try this at home!
Steve Spangler Science
Check out our other exciting Fun with Polymers at-home experiments and projects. Polymers truly are amazing substances and can be manipulated and used in many different experiments, resulting in endless discussions — in classrooms or at home! Be sure to check out our huge online Steve Spangler Science experiment library for more exciting products for after-school projects, summer slump activities and STEM-related classroom activities. From our country-wide science show tour of elementary schools to our frequent appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Steve Spangler Science is out to make science, fun, exciting and inspiring for the next generation of STEMologists! We’re a trusted online resource for parents and educators to bring that signature Steve Spangler Science WOW factor into their homes and classrooms.