What's All the Hype About Slime?
Slime was first manufactured by the Toy Giant Mattel in 1976. It feels exactly as it's name, like a slimey mess in your hands, and kids love to play with it! You can either be grossed out initially or take to it instantly, but there's something rather addictive about playing with this gooey stuff.
Slime became rapidly popular as a stress toy. After its introduction in the market of children’s toys, its popularity grew as it claimed to relieve the stress of mind and calm the nerves. By holding slime in the palm of the hand and squeezing it repeatedly, stress can disappear. It works on the simple principle of distracting the mind by giving you something else to fidget with. Doesn't that remind you of another popular toy that calms you down?
Slime’s attraction in the market grew as more and more people started using it to release pent-up emotions and tensions. Some found it very pleasurable to find it turn from a solid to a liquid and then back again. Little children love to play with slime because it feels gooey to touch and is fun to stretch. Since then, slime saw its entry into school science laboratories and became a popular science project for children because it was very easy to make. Slime is an easy experiment to explain kids about chemical reactions, polymers and viscosity. Over the past few years, the internet has been buzzing with how-to videos on making slime with different materials and color combinations.
With slime becoming a major hype and trend amongst the youth, simultaneously, many risk factors of using slime surfaced. People were concerned about how safe slime was considering its chemical components. It triggered allergies in many children and some even found other health hazards. It was proved that slime triggers allergies only in people allergic to certain compounds or chemicals; otherwise, it is quite safe to use.
It is fascinating to see how simple ingredients can turn into something totally different in just a few minutes. In this article, we shall read how to make slime from borax and also find out some important facts on slime.
Learn How to Make Slime and Fluffy Slime Using Borax
A Base Recipe for Making Slime from Borax
It is fun to make slime from borax at home. The process is simple and the materials are very easily available in the market.
Making Slime Using Borax
Instead of using white colored glue, you can also use a clear glue as it makes a translucent slime and adding a food color will give you the exact shade. After collecting the ingredients, you first head on to make the slime solutions. It consists of two components : first solution of borax and water and a second solution of glue, water and food coloring. You need to prepare the solutions separately.
- Preparing the Slime Solution
Begin by mixing 1 teaspoon of borax solution in 1 cup of water. Stir the solution until borax gets completely dissolved.
Next, take a separate container and mix ½ cup of white or clear glue, ½ cup of water and a pinch of food coloring.
To make a more decorative slime, you can also add some glitter, foam beads or glow powder in the second solution. It is better to measure your ingredients the first time you make slime so as to get the perfect consistency. After you have made your first slime perfectly, you can experiment with different amounts of borax, glue and water. The difference in these ingredients will make your slime stiff or loose.
- Mixing the Slime Solution
After the borax is dissolved in the first solution and the glue is diluted in the second one, you can combine the two solutions. Stir continuously till you see your slime polymerize. It should just take 2 to 3 minutes.
Slime will get harder to stir once it starts polymerizing. At this stage, you need to remove it from the container and mix it with hand on a hard surface just like you knead dough. Ignore leftover colored water remaining in the bowl.
How to Make Fluffy Slime from Borax?
There are different types of slime recipes and addition of a few more ingredients gets you different types of slime. This recipe below teaches you how to make fluffy slime from borax.
1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) borax powder
1 cup (240 ml) hot water
4 ounces (110 g) glue
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) shaving cream
Food coloring (optional)
Begin by making the borax solution. You need to add one teaspoon of borax powder into 1 cup of hot water. Stir the solution until you get clear water. Keep this solution aside.
Add 110 gm of glue into another bowl.
Add ½ cup of shaving cream with the glue and mix both the contents well together. You should find a fluffy, thick and very soft texture of resulting solution.
Now add a few drops of food coloring if you want to give a color to your slime, else you can have clear slime too. Add the food coloring to the glue and shaving cream mixture until you find a clear and well-mixed solution.
Now add the borax solution slowly to the glue and shaving cream solution. You will instantly notice that the slime begins to harden quickly. You need to add it slowly with a few teaspoons at a time and keep stirring continuously. The slime will clump up and pull away from the bowl, which means that it is ready.
Remove the slime from the bowl now and start kneading it with your hands to make it less sticky. You can add some more borax solution to your slime if you find it too sticky to knead. Once the slime reaches the right consistency, you will find it fluffy and soft. You can stretch it and squeeze it as much as you want. Store it in an air-tight container to ensure that it does not lose its moisture.
Interesting Variations to Make Some Really Cool Slimes
1. Confetti Slime
You can add a handful of confetti and some chunky glitter to your clear glue slime (without added food coloring). Do not add too much as it will prevent the slime to stretch properly.
2. Soft Clay Slime
To make soft clay slime, you need to mix the slime really well with an ounce or two of soft clay. This will give your slime a new texture just like soft clay.
3. Crunchy Foam Slime
To make a foam slime, you can add 1 cup of mini foam beads to the glue solution. You can also make it thicker and more moldable like foam by omitting the water in the first solution and only mixing glue and foam beads before you add the borax solution.
4. Fidget Slime
To make fidget slime or your own thinking putty, you need to omit the water in the first step and only add white glue with borax solution. To make the borax solution, you need to add borax powder to water just like you did when you make normal slime. If you add a little more borax powder to the solution, you might get a thicker slime. You can use this as your own thinking slime, which you can squish, punch and twist in your hand.
5. Swirled Slime
You can make an interesting looking swirled slime by choosing colors which look harmonious together. You can try using neon food colors to get an interesting effect
6. Lavender Calming Slime
To make a calming slime, you need to add a drop of calming lavender fragrance oil or few dried lavender flowers to the glue solution. This slime will particularly be helpful relieve sickness, stress, sleeplessness and tensions.
This way, adding a few ingredients to your normal slime can give you some really interesting slime variations. You can experiment with a lot of crafty items you have at home to come up with your own unique slime recipe.
Important Facts on Slime
So now that you know how slime is made, here are some important facts on slime that are quite interesting.
How Does Slime Work?
Slime is a polymer made by the cross-linking of small molecules to form different flexible chains. The space between the chains is filled with water and the resulting substance has more structure than liquid water and yet less structure than solid. It can be called a stage between solid and liquid and wouldn’t be wrong to call slime a ‘confused’ element.
When borax is added to water, it forms a solution called borate ion. This solution, when added to the second glue solution, helps the ions to make bonds between the long polymer molecules with each other so that they cannot move and flow very easily.
Slimes are a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that their ability to flow or their viscosity is not constant. It changes according to different conditions. One such example of a kind of slime is Oobleck, which is a non-Newtonian slime. It flows like a thick liquid and yet stops flowing when it is punched or squeezed. The appearance of slime can be changed by changing the properties of glue and slime. You can play with the ratio between the two ingredients to get different types of slime. Adding more borax or more glue, might make the slime more stretchy or thick.
Is Borax Safe To Use in Slime?
There has been a lot of hype about the safety of slime owing to the presence of borax in it. Some people get skin allergies to different ingredients depending upon their skin sensitivity. Some people are allergic to borax and a slime made with borax might trigger allergies in them.
If slime is not eaten and not given to children who might put it in their mouth, then it is pretty safe to use. Consuming slime made from saline solution and borax can make people ill. Slime is generally non-toxic when made with borax. One should avoid eye contact, ingestion and prolonged skin contact from slime.
There are some other recipes to make slime without using borax too. You can use starch powder, baking soda, laundry detergents and contact lens solutions too, but their ingredients and recipes differ. You can try out other variations if you are particularly allergic to borax.
How to Store your Slime?
To store your slime, you need to keep it in a sealable plastic bag. It stays in best condition in a refrigerator or a in a cool place. There is no need to worry about insects swarming around your slime as borax is a natural pesticide. But chilling the slime in the refrigerator will prevent mold growth. The only problem with slime is drying as the water tends to evaporate. If sealed properly, slime does not get spoilt for a long time. Ensure that you don’t leave your colored slime on surfaces that can get stained by food coloring. Slime residue can be cleaned by soapy water.
Things to Do with Slime
Slime can be used as a stress toy because of its high level of flexibility. You can enjoy stretching it and watching it flow. The more you work on it, the stiffer it will get and eventually become like wall putty. It can be shaped and molded just like clay, but the only difference is that it will lose its shape soon.
The Best Substitute for Borax in Slime
Many people are skeptical about letting their kids coat their hands with borax powder. In that case, there are some good alternatives you can use:
- A contact lens solution containing boric acid makes a good substitute for borax.
- Cornstarch also makes an excellent substitute for slime.
- Some people use powdered fiber containing active ingredient psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid, which gives the same result borax does.
- Liquid starch used for getting wrinkles out of clothes, can also be used instead of borax.
- Laundry detergent slime is another cheap option for making slime at home, although some detergents do contain borax but the quantity will be very less.
Having Fun With Borax and With Making Slime
Borax is a chemical compound that turns into slime when mixed with the right ingredients. Mostly Borax is inform of powder or a solution, and the result after properly mixing it with some ingredients, that is the slime, is a fun thing to play with. It is semi-liquid and semi-solid, and thus can be easily molded much like clay, into many different forms. With extensive steps described, on how to make slime from Borax, one needs to also be careful with how they store it as well as handle it around infants or small kids. Moreover, there are also some other products that can be used as substitutes of Borax to make slime. They have been clearly listed above. Go ahead and have fun playing with slime.