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Slime. Over the past few years, slime has escalated and soared to new heights, becoming so popular that Elmer’s, a well-known arts and crafts company, had a glue shortage, due to its use as the main ingredient in slime! Many Instagram, Snapchat, and social media accounts display people making and playing with slime. Slime can be made by anyone, since a plain, basic slime recipe has two to three ingredients, but slime can also be bought from over thousands of stores. This trending item is satisfying, relaxing, fun, entertaining, and helpful. But how does this slime form from just two ingredients and what is the science behind this?

Did you know that when you make slime you are using chemistry and doing science? By making slime, you are combining ingredients so that they have a chemical reaction, which then forms your slime. However, the science behind slime is a lot more detailed and complicated. One word to know is polymer, which means a large molecule made up of smaller molecules in a repeating chain. Whether it’s Borax, contact solution, or any other kind of detergent, you are using sodium borate to form your slime. Sodium borate is the crystalline form of monomers, or smaller molecules (Museum of Science). Because the Borax and glue are both mixed with water first, they connect through water or hydrogen (Museum of Science). When making slime it is important to think about what is going on in your container as the glue and activator form a fun new toy.

Slime has been around for awhile, but only until recently was slime so popular. Here’s an example of slime’s fame, in 2017 the most searched “how to” on Google was how to make slime. On Instagram, a slime account by the name of slime.jewel has over 500,000 followers. Meanwhile on YouTube, a famous “slime queen” by the name of Karina Garcia has over 6 million subscribers. Slime can also be a great way to make money on the web. One YouTuber makes $200,000 a month just from sponsorships. Most accounts serve as marketing to show off products that will be sold on the poster’s website. One popular website that sells slime is Etsy; meanwhile, other people make their own websites specifically for their slimes and information. Slime has rocketed over the past few years, being made by some people every day!

Slime can also be bought from over thousands of stores, but what can it be used for? Slime can be stretched, crunched, poked, folded, made into a bubble, or spread thin; slime can even be used for cleaning or picking up glass. The actual slime can come in many different varieties. Almost anything can be put into slime from beads to instant snow powder to clay. This means each slime is unique and will have its own texture and style. Slimes can also be put into main categories, such as butter, cloud, and fluffy. Slime has multiple purposes all of them awesome and unique! See below for some of the recipes!

 

 

Butter Slime

Ingredients

Daiso clay

White glue

Shaving cream

Contact solution

Baking soda

(Optional) Baby powder

(Optional) Food coloring / paint

(Optional) Glitter

Tools

Bowl / Container

Spoon / Mixing supply

Ziplock bag / Container with lid

 

Instructions

First, pour glue (needed), glitter and paint (optional) as much as desired, into your container / bowl than mix.

Second, add shavingcream about ¼ – ½ of the amount of glue and baking soda about 1 –  4 pinches ( you can always add in more later if not forming) in and mix.

Third, add in your contact solution, 2 – 6 squeezes and mix until formed. If your slime is not forming, try adding more baking soda and contact solution.

Finally, take your slime and add in about ½- ⅚ of your slime in daiso clay. If desired, less or more clay can be added.

To finish your slime off, add in 1-3 squeezes of baby powder. Some people prefer to do this in the second step, instead of at the end; both ways work!

Put your slime in a ziplock bag or airtight container whenever not being used, enjoy your awesome slime!

 

 

Fluffy  Slime

Ingredients

Glue

Shaving cream

Baking soda

Contact solution

Paint /  food dye (optional)

Glitter (optional)

Tools

Bowl  / container

Mixing tool

Airtight container / zip block bag

 

Instructions

First, add your glue, 1 – 4 pinches of baking soda, and, if desired, paint / food dye and glitter. The amounts depend on how big you want the slime to be (keep in mind, shaving cream will make a slime double, or close to double, in size).

Second, add in your shaving cream about as much as your glue mixture.

Finally, add around 1-6 squirts, contact solution until formed, mix, and enjoy your new slime!

(Make sure to keep your slime in airtight bag or container when not being used.)

 

Cloud Slime

Ingredients

White glue

Cornstarch (highly recommended)

Baking soda

Shaving cream

Contact solution

Instant snow powder

Glitter (optional)

Paint / food dye (optional)

Baby powder (optional)

Lotion (optional)

Tools

Bowl / container

Mixing tool

Airtight container / bag

 

Instructions

First, add as much glue (and paint and glitter) and mix.

Then, add 2 – 5 pinches of cornstarch (highly recommended), and 3 – 5 pinches of baking soda.

Next, add your shaving cream (about 1/3 the amount compared to your glue, but it can be adapted to however much desired), and mix.   

After that, add 2-5 squeezes of your baby powder (you can also add it at the end or not at all) and your contact solution, and mix.

Finally, once your slime is formed, add in lotion, if desired (fold in or play with until in slime form). Get a cup of water ready and a bowl with your instant snow powder.

Add water to your powder, until fluffy with a snow-like texture; make sure not to add too much water.

Lastly, add as much “snow” as desired into your slime, around ⅓ – ¾ of your slime’s total amount; it can be adapted depending on preferences.

Enjoy your new cloud slime! Make sure to keep in a airtight container when not being used!

 

As you can see, slime has become an extremely popular chemical reaction that people all over the world enjoy. Whether you’re using it to relax, help you focus, or just have fun, slime is a great experiment to create. Next time you’re bored, whip up some slime!

 

References:

 

“April 2010: Slime Chemistry | Discovery Center.” Museum of Science, Museum of Science, 2010, legacy.mos.org/discoverycenter/aotm/2010/04.

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