What is the deal with slime? (And how to make it?)

It is sticky, gooey, undoubtedly messy, and of course, kids love it. Slime! The latest tween trend that has become a global obsession. What’s the allure? They channel their inner chemists to measure, mix, stir and knead to formulate the perfect ball of mush — pull at it, play with it, then pack it up in Tupperware — and maybe even trade it on the bus! There are hundreds of Youtube channels devoted to the art of making it and one school in Hong Kong even has its own slime account on Instagram! And like all things related to kids these days, there is a controversy surrounding its potential health risks. If you and your child choose to partake in this phenomenon, be forewarned: it gets everywhere!

There are a few different types of slime and ways to make it.  Here are a few pointers:

What you need:

Borax: Also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. It is not easy to find in HK but has been spotted at the American import stores A & M and Gateway.

White Glue: Apparently Elmer’s works best

Liquid Laundry Detergent: Fab is an inexpensive and easily available option

Shaving Cream: Foam not gel type

Body Lotion: Best to use an inexpensive type (hide your La Mer!)


Plastic / Disposable Bowls

Food Coloring and Glitter (optional)

Patience (required!)

How to do Borax slime:
  1. In one bowl pour 1 oz. glue (about ¼ of the glue bottle).
  2. Measure ¼ cup of Borax; add spoonfuls of water until it becomes a sticky consistency.
  3. Pour the borax-water solution into the glue and stir slowly.
  4. The slime will begin to form immediately.
  5. Add food coloring to tint the slime and / or glitter to give it sparkle.
  6. Stir as much as you can, then dig in and knead it with your hands until it gets less sticky.

How to do detergent slime:

  1. Pour about 1/4 cup of glue into a bowl. You can use a measuring cup to measure it if you like, or you can just estimate it since exact measurements are not necessary.
  2. Mix a small squirt of body lotion to make it stretchy.
  3. Add about 1 Tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent.
  4. Add shaving cream to make it “fluffy” and / or lotion to make it “stretchy”
  5. Stir well.
  6. Overnight the soap bubbles emerge at the top and it will require more kneading to regain the slime consistency!


  • There are many iterations of slime — also, goo, oobleck, gooze, and gak!  A Google search will offer up tons of recipes, blogs and how-to videos devoted to the sticky stuff. A lot of fodder for experimentation!
  • Measurements are not exact. Expect a lot of trial and error
  • Protect your furniture, your clothes, basically everything! Best to keep this activity confined to a bathroom or the kitchen. Smocks recommended!
  • The storage of choice seems to be Tupperware-style boxes. Have you noticed your supply dwindling lately?
  • Final warning: Slime is messy! Engage at your own risk!

Please share your slime stories!

Where it all began…

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