How to make slime in a science way!

Slime in science

What is slime in science?

A natural form of slime is what we know “mucous”, here what we are talking about is man-made mucous, called slime.

For our purposes, the slime will be defined as any non-Newtonian fluid. Is this term sounds science or too chemistry?  it is actually quite simple to understand! To understand what this term means, it is important to examine the theories of great scientist Isaac Newton (1642–1727), one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. He made many revolutionary discoveries in the fields of mathematics, motion, and gravity. But he also did a lot of work with fluids.

Cross-linking: The key to slime formation

One variety of slime that can be easily made in the lab involves the addition of a saturated solution of sodium tetraborate decahydrate, commonly known as borax, to a solution of white glue and water.

White glue is an example of a polymer: it is made of long chains of polyvinyl acetate molecules. These chains slide past one another fairly easily, enabling the glue to be poured from the bottle. But when the borax is added to the glue, a highly viscous, very resilient form of slime is formed. This slime can be stretched, pulled, beaten, and shaped. This type of slime forms as a result of cross-linking between the protein molecules of the glue and the borate ions of the borax solution. Cross-linking involves the formation of bonds that tend to link together large molecules in such a way that they are no longer free to slide past one another. The large protein molecules in the glue already have trouble moving past each other; the glue has to be squeezed from the bottle, it doesn’t gush out. The borate ions link the big molecules to each other, making even bigger molecules, and it becomes even more difficult for them to slide past one another. The result is a tangled mass that we know and loves as slime.

To make a great variety of slime, use the following procedure. The slime forms because of cross-linking between the protein molecules of white glue and the borate ions of borax (Borax is found in laundry booster, certain hand soaps and in some kinds of toothpaste. You can find it as one of these products, sold at grocery stores).

1. Make a saturated borax solution by adding 1 g of borax to 25 mL of water. Stir thoroughly until the borax has completely dissolved.

2. In a disposable plastic cup, add 50 mL of white glue and 50 mL of water. Stir thoroughly. (You may use more or less glue, as long as you maintain a 50:50 ratio between the glue and water.)

3. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and stir thoroughly.

4. Using an eyedropper, add the borax solution a few drops at a time to the glue-water mixture and stir thoroughly with a stirring rod. The slime will collect on the stirring rod. Continue adding the borax solution until most of the glue-water mixture has turned into slime.

Be careful not to add too much borax solution, or the slime will become too stiff. A good rule of thumb is to quit adding the borax solution when there is still a little glue-water mixture left in the bottom of the cup. This way, you will not add too much borax.

5. Remove the slime from the stirring rod with your fingers and work it with your hands until it is no longer sticky. The more you work it with your hands, the nicer its consistency. Store it in a Ziploc bag or air sealed container.

6. The excess borax solution can be poured down the drain and the cups disposed of in the trash.

Borax is not avalable?

If you have no Borax to make slime, you can make Laundry Detergent Slime. 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. By this method, you mix the detergent with glue and food coloring. This is easy because you do not need to use water or heat up the solution.

Slime with variation

To make fluorescent slime that will fluoresce brilliantly under a black light, prepare some fluorescent water to use in place of the ordinary water that is added to the glue. Prepare the fluorescent water by removing the tip from a fluorescent highlighter and placing it in a beaker containing up to 500 mL of water.

glow slime
Fluorescent highlighter

After a few minutes, the water will be highly fluorescent. When this water is used to make slime, the slime will be highly fluorescent under a black light.