How can you make slime in 5 minutes?

1 experiment and 2 slimes

All kids love to play with slime. It’s like a big piece of chew­ing gum, only for your hands. It’s like plas­ticine, but it doesn’t stick to your hands, doesn’t leave stains on sur­faces and doesn’t keep its form. In our ex­per­i­ment we’ll show you how to make this fa­mous toy.

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Don’t let chil­dren put the slime in their mouths. Wash your hands af­ter play­ing with slime. Keep the slime in a clean jar with a lid, in a cool place.

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • PVA glue (200 ml);
  • food col­or­ing (2 g);
  • sodi­um tetrab­o­rate (5 g);
  • shav­ing foam (100 g);
  • sham­poo (15 ml);
  • bak­ing soda (1 g);
  • boric acid (1 ml);
  • dis­tilled wa­ter;
  • glass bowl.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

The sim­plest recipe for slime

Pour 100 ml of PVA glue into a glass bowl. Then add a lit­tle food col­or­ing and mix it to a uni­form mass. Add 10 ml of sodi­um tetrab­o­rate so­lu­tion and mix the re­sult­ing mass. Af­ter a few min­utes, the mass will thick­en and turn to slime!

Recipe for fluffy slime

Squeeze shav­ing foam into a glass bowl. Add sham­poo, PVA glue, a lit­tle bak­ing soda and boric acid as a thick­en­er. Thor­ough­ly mix the re­sult­ing mass. Af­ter a few min­utes, you will get fluffy slime.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

PVA glue is an emul­sion of polyvinyl ac­etate in wa­ter, with plas­ti­ciz­er and spe­cial ad­di­tives. To the PVA, a so­lu­tion of sodi­um tetrab­o­rate Na2B4O7•10Н2O is added, also known as bo­rax. When this mix­ture is mixed to­geth­er, the liq­uid grad­u­al­ly thick­ens and turns into a vis­cous mass, a soft rub­ber which can be formed and stretched with your hands. Sodi­um tetrab­o­rate in an aque­ous so­lu­tion hy­drolyzes, with the for­ma­tion of an al­ka­li and weak boric acid. In the al­ka­line so­lu­tion, the trans­for­ma­tion of PVA takes place, it los­es acetic acid, and polyvinyl al­co­hol forms.

Boric acid then links chains of polyvinyl al­co­hol to­geth­er. A cross-linked poly­mer forms, which is much more vis­cous and less mo­bile than the orig­i­nal polyvinyl ac­etate (PVA). The slime that forms has the prop­er­ties of a non-New­to­ni­an flu­id. A non-New­to­ni­an flu­id is a flu­id which some­times be­haves like a sol­id body, and some­times like a flu­id. A non-New­to­ni­an flu­id can spread out and flow, or can be sol­id and bounce. The rea­son for this re­sult is that these flu­ids are usu­al­ly made from large poly­mer­ic mol­e­cules be­tween which the “ad­he­sion” is not very great, and these mol­e­cules can slide quite freely over each oth­er.

The recipe for fluffy slime also uses PVA glue, sham­poo for a pleas­ant aro­ma, shav­ing foam as the fluffy base, and in­stead of sodi­um tetrab­o­rate, bak­ing soda with boric acid. When this mix­ture is mixed to­geth­er, the liq­uid grad­u­al­ly thick­ens and turns into a vis­cous mass.