Source: Getty

Here's How You Can Make Slime, Sans the Borax


Nov. 17 2020, Updated 4:48 p.m. ET

Kids love slime — especially now, when kids feel bored out of their minds while cooped up inside — it's a boredom-buster that keeps children entertained and working on their hand-eye coordination and motor skills. In short, it’s a mom’s lifesaver. However, not every parent loves the idea of slime. First of all, although lime is designed not to stick, it can get messy quickly.

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But the number one concern most parents have about slime is often its ingredients. Most slime recipes are made by combining glue, water, and Borax, also known as sodium tertraborate. Although Borax is a natural mineral, it's labeled as an eye irritant, and ingesting as little as 5 to 10 grams of Borax can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, shock, and even death. So, it’s no wonder that many parents prefer their children to make slime recipes without the help of Borax, so here's how.

slime borax
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How to make slime with Borax-free shampoo:

Parents – be warned: Even if you search “how to make slime without Borax,” the recipe you follow might still contain Borax. Um, what? Some recipes out there call for liquid starch or liquid laundry detergent in lieu of Borax, but they often contain Borax after all, which can sometimes be listed as sodium tertraborate. A few ways to get around using Borax, however, include using Borax-free shampoo (check the label!), cornstarch, or contact solution.

To make your standard fluffy slime (sans Borax), you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Borax-free shampoo
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Food coloring (optional)
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Start by mixing ½ cup of Borax-free shampoo and ¼ cup of cornstarch in a mixing bowl. If using food coloring, add a few drops, and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir and carefully and slowly add 5 more tablespoons of water, stirring after each individual tablespoon. Once the slime takes shape and is no longer too wet, you’ll start kneading the slime. It should take at least five minutes to knead out into the right consistency.

There you have it – fluffy slime!

slime shampoo
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How to make slime with contact solution:

Contact solution is another way to avoid using Borax in your slime recipe. You will need:

  • White glue
  • Baking soda
  • Contact solution
  • Food coloring (optional)

To make a stretchy kind of slime with a grainy consistency – kind of like sand – pour 1 cup of white glue into a mixing bowl, then add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. If using food coloring, add a few drops in now, then mix the solution well. Next, add 1 tablespoon of contact solution, and mix the mixture well again. 

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Is the slime the consistency you want it? If not, keep adding a tablespoon of contact solution, then mixing it until you achieve your preferred consistency. It should feel very stretchy, malleable, and almost grainy, like sand, to the touch. If you’re having trouble achieving the right consistency, knead the slime for about five minutes.

slime contact solution
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How to make slime with Borax-free cornstarch:

If you don’t want to use Borax or contact solution in your slime recipe, a mixture of white glue and cornstarch should get the job done. This kind of slime actually reacts to heat, so if you microwave it, it will “melt” and take on the appearance of lava. But don’t worry – once it cools off, you’ll have that normal, fluffy slime consistency again.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White school glue 
  • Cornstarch
  • Food coloring (optional)

To make lava slime, mix ¼ cup of white glue with ½ cup of cornstarch in a mixing bowl. If using food coloring, add a few drops in now, then mix it together well. You should knead the slime for about 10 minutes. Then, it’s ready to be microwaved! Only microwave the lava slime for about 20 seconds. Once it’s cool, you can knead it back to its normal, fluffy consistency for another 10 minutes.

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slime cornstarch
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How to make slime with psyllium husk powder:

Want to keep your ingredients super clean? We don’t blame you. If you’re looking to avoid using Borax, contact solution, and baking soda, psyllium husk powder will do the trick.

You’ll need:

  • Psyllium husk powder
  • Water
  • Food coloring (optional)

To make orange slime with psyllium husk powder – the main ingredient in Metamucil), add 1 tablespoon of the powder to a microwave safe bowl. If using food coloring, add in a few drops now. Then, add 1 cup of water. Mix the ingredients together well, using a whisk, then microwave for five minutes. Let it cool, then get to playing.

The consistency should be flubber-like. To hold onto your slime for a while, store it in an airtight container either in or out of the refrigerator.

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