MadSci Network: Edible/Inedible Experiments Archive

Homemade Slime

Area of Science: Chemistry
Meant for at least Grade K-3 (age 5-7).
This experiment is inedible.
An adult should be present.

Make slime from everyday things in the home.

Borax can bought at your local grocery store in the laundry detergent aisle.
White glue can be purchased at a Mass merchandise store like Target, Walmart, or KMart.
Food coloring is optional but can be purchased in the grocery store in the baking aisle.
Ziploc bags can also be purchased at the grocery store.
Need measuring cups and spoons.

Not to be fed to your pet or baby brother. Not good for leaving in carpets or on furniture overnight. To keep almost indefinitely, leave in ziploc bag in refrigerator when not sliming! Not a bad idea to wash hands before (so it doesn't grow mold) and after (so mom will let you eat dinner) playing with it.

How to do the experiment:
Homemade Slime Recipe

White Glue
Food Coloring (optional)
Ziploc bag
1. Borax is available in the laundry section of your local grocery store. Take a cup of water and add to it 1 Tbs. of borax (approx 4% solution). Stir until completely dissolved.
2. Make a 50% water 50% white glue solution. Take 1/4 cup of each and mix thoroughly.
3. In a ziploc bag, add equal parts of the borax solution to equal parts of the glue solution. 1/2 cup of each will make a cup of slime.
4. Add a couple drops of food coloring.
5. Seal bag and knead the mixture.
6. Dig in and have fun. Remember to wash your hands after playing.
7. Keep your slime in the sealed bag in the refrigerator when not playing with it to keep it longer. Unfortunately it may eventually dry out or grow mold. Just throw it out and start again!

The borax is acting as the crosslinking agent or "connector" for the glue (polyvinyl acetate) molecules. Once the glue molecules join together to form even larger molecules called polymers, you get a thickened gel very similar to slime. If you've tried this recipe (formula) before using blue starch (instead of the borax) with mixed results, you won't be disappointed with this one. Works everytime! If you have access to a chemical supply house, try a 4% solution of polyvinyl alcohol instead of the glue for a less rubbery polymer and one that is transparent showing off the color better.

Useful References:

Further comments:
Experiment submitted courtesy of the 3M Visiting Wizard Community of parent volunteers dedicated to making science fun for all!

Experiment submitted on Tue Nov 4 15:48:34 1997 by:
Name: Becky Lee
Institution: 3M
Position: Specialist

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