One of the only things I remember from watching Nickelodeon as a kid is the epic green slime. Looking back, I don't know what was so great about it, but every kid my age thought that being drenched in slime would be the coolest thing on earth.
Of course, the first thing I did was beg my parents to buy me some fake slime, but I never knew I could've easily made my own at home.
One of the most common ways to make slime is to combine liquid glue with water and a household chemical called borax. The photo on the left shows borax in its natural crystal form, which actually kind of reminds me of Superman's Fortress of Solitude.
For the purposes of creating slime, you can use the powdered form of borax, which easily dissolves into water and can be found online or in any grocery store. The video below shows how easy it is to do, or you can check out The King of Random's guide for more detailed instructions.
Borax is an ingredient in common household cleaners and laundry detergent, and is even used in roach spray and fire retardant. It's technically perfectly safe to use, but some people may want to avoid using these types of chemicals regardless of safety, and not everyone has it lying around anyway.
So, here are a few ways you can make your own slime at home without using borax.
For the simplest of all slime recipes, all you need is cornstarch. Just dump some into a bowl, add some water, and start mixing. Keep adding water until it reaches the consistency you want (a good place to start is 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water). You can also add food coloring to make it look more legit.
This is a great little project you can do with kids to show them how certain compounds react to one another, like how the starch solidifies and then liquefies depending on the amount of movement. That is what we in the Dr. Seuss world like to call Oobleck (a non-Newtonian fluid). Check out the video below and this tutorial for more information.
If you want, you can also heat up the mixture to make it easier to combine. Once it cools, you can store it in air-tight containers for later.
Fiber isn't only good for keeping your digestive system on track—it's also another ingredient that can replace borax in slime. You can pick up a powdered fiber supplement from a pharmacy or grocery store. The brand doesn't matter as long as it contains the active ingredient psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid.
Like the cornstarch method above, this recipe uses heat to reach the desired consistency, boiling the mixture in the microwave several times. If you don't have a microwave, the process can easily be done on the stovetop instead. Check out the video and the full tutorial for more details and the complete ingredients list.
Liquid starch is used to get wrinkles out of clothes. You can buy a concentrated version from the store and mix it with water, but it's just as simple and cheap to make at home. All you need is cornstarch, water, and lemon juice (which is optional). You can find the recipe here.
Once you have your liquid starch mixture, you can mix up some slime using water and liquid glue. You can find the full ingredients list along with a video of the process over at this tutorial.
If you're doing this project with young children, you may as well make the slime edible, 'cause you know the first thing they're going to do is try to eat it. This recipe is made to be used as fake blood for part of a Halloween costume, but it's great for any time of year and ensures that you don't have to worry about the little ones getting sick.
This method also uses fiber, but with the twist of adding tonic water so it glows in the dark under a black light. Check out the video and step-by-step tutorial to see how it's made.
Keep in mind, though, that just because something's edible doesn't necessarily mean you want to eat it. With nothing more than fiber powder and tonic water, this stuff probably won't taste all that great, but you could add some sugar to make it more palatable.
Instead of using borax to make slime, you can also opt for liquid laundry detergent. Any cheap liquid detergent will do, but again, some of them do contain borax as an ingredient.
With this method, you combine the detergent with glue and food coloring. This one is extra easy because you don't need to use water or heat up the solution. Check out the video to see how to make your own.
Do you know any other ways to make gooey slime without using borax? Let us know in the comments section below.