How to make slime

Homemade slime is a gloopy variation of playdough and silly putty, easily made from common household ingredients. What kind will you and the kids dream up?

Slime being stretched in front of design cards

Making homemade slime is an easy and fun sort of science experiment to keep the kids busy. Once you’ve mastered the basic technique, there’s no limit to the ideas you can come up with together.

Include it as an activity at your kids’ next birthday party. You can then give it away in party bags, or put together ready-made pots or DIY kits as gifts. You can make plain colours in either pastel or bright tones, add glitter for a sparkle effect, or mix colours for unicorn, rainbow or other multi-tone variations.

To start you off we’ve come up with a few ideas: green alien slime, mermaid glitter gloop from a faraway deep-blue sparkly lagoon and marbled unicorn slime. This slime makes the perfect sensory toy and is safe for little hands to make but do remember that it isn’t edible, so keep an eye on youngsters.

3 pots of slime on top of character design cards

Slime recipe

This method makes a ball of flexible slime close to silly putty in texture. It stays clean in your hands, making it a good choice for little kids. If you want your slime gloopier and more stringy, see the troubleshooter below.

Makes 1 small ball
Takes 10 minutes

  • 100ml PVA white glue
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • gel food colouring
  • 1 tsp contact lens cleaning solution
  • glitter (optional)

Slime rolled into a ball with hands

1. Squeeze the glue into a mixing bowl (look for a bottle in a 100ml size if possible so you won’t have to measure it out). Add the bicarbonate of soda and mix well.

2. Add a drop or two of your chosen gel food colouring. Less colouring gives a pastel colour; the more you add, the brighter the colour. Mix until well incorporated.

3. Add the contact lens solution and mix. The slime will begin to form, going stringy before coming away clean from the bowl into a ball.

4. Once it has formed, take it out and knead it with your hands. It will be sticky at first but after about 30 seconds you’ll have a smooth and pliable ball. Add glitter at this point, if desired, and work in with your hands. Store in a pot with a lid.

Slime troubleshooter

Multicolour slime being stretched

The exact texture of slime can vary depending on the glue, contact lens solution and/or food colouring used. Here are some tips for your science experiments.

Help! My slime is brittle – how do I make it gloopier?

Try adding less than 1 tsp contact lens solution, mixing it in drop by drop until it just goes stringy and begins to come away from the bowl. Then knead.

I’d like fluffier slime

Try adding a small blob of shaving foam.

I’d like more slime

You can double or triple the quantities in the recipe.

My slime is too sticky, even after kneading

Try adding a drop more contact lens solution.

My slime won’t come together at all

Did you use saline solution? This cleans contact lenses but doesn’t work for slime – try a branded contact lens solution instead.

I want marbled or unicorn slime  

Make in two or more different colours, add glitter if you like, and roll the batches of slime into rough sausage shapes. Stack next to each other then twirl together in a plait and knead.

Slime with glitter being stretched

Find more ideas in our guide on 3 ways with homemade slime.

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What other crafts do you enjoy getting the kids involved with? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

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4th Feb, 2018
I am sick to death of seeing slime videos, or how-to’s. Why on earth are you encouraging the creation of something which is neither biodegradable nor recyclable? This is so irresponsible, all to jump on the bandwagon and get a few more views than your normal content would get. Once this stupid fad is over, the glitter, plastic beads, googly eyes, and other harmful crud that’s been rolled into the slime will get into waterways and landfill and all other kinds of places as nobody will bother to try and dispose of it responsibly. I’m all for “widening your parent and child content” section, but this is irresponsible. You could add content around something less environmentally irresponsible, and still make it something to do with children.
5th Feb, 2018
Totally agree - and why is it even on a recipe site?
28th Jan, 2018
Mussels contaminated with plastic particles:
28th Jan, 2018
Please only buy biodegradeable glitter. Glitter easily gets into the waste water and storm water and contributes to the micro plastic pollution problem plaguing fresh and salt water ecosystems. Thanks! Bill
srinivasan krishnamurthy's picture
srinivasan kris...
26th Jan, 2018
Dont know about you folks across the pond, but here in North Carolina, my house is a veritable slime mix. My daughter has made god knows much many different kinds, and there are some YouTube channels which actually explain slime making that she watches to get it just right!! We have had several of her friends come over and play, making the slime (plus other activities). And, of course, a 100ml bottle of glue will not do. You actually need gallon jugs of glue from Sams Club or Costco or some such (not kidding!).
Darren Gates's picture
Darren Gates
26th Jan, 2018
Are you serious!? What on earth are the BBC thinking putting this "recipe" in the Good Food section. This is not food at all and doesn't even contain food. Please review the appropriateness of this article in the Good Food section. There must be a more appropriate place to post this, such as Art or Science.
goodfoodteam's picture
29th Jan, 2018
Hi there, thanks for your feedback. This content is part of our expanding family and kids section. We aim to provide kids and parents with plenty of fun activities they can do together at home with storecupboard ingredients. We have specified in this guide that our slime isn't edible. Best wishes, BBC Good Food Web Team
27th Jan, 2018
I'm with you completely. If you want to teach kids - boys as well as girls - to cook you do that in the food pages. Putting stuff that could possibly harm kids if they ate it in the recipe pages is a nonsense. If a kid is able to follow these instructions, he/she is also able to do basic cookery. Put THAT in the recipe pages and move this elsewhere.
Leake Little's picture
Leake Little
26th Jan, 2018
Darren - I certainly don't wish to school you but you obviously don't have young children, in particular young daughters. Presently making slime is about the closest thing to cooking you can do with children besides making cookies. But I don't recommend eating the slime!
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