Slime is amusing to make and provide hours of amusement for the kids. However, the best slime has the type of soft, stretchy consistency that makes it fun.
Find out how to make slime stretchy, why your slime might break, and how to rescue slime that’s lost its “oomph.”
It is the combination of an activator and a polymer that makes slime stretchy. Common activators include eye drops, saline solution and baking soda, liquid laundry detergent, and borax.
What Ingredient Makes Slime Stretchy?
Standard slime is a non-Newtonian fluid that consists of two elements. One is called a polymer and another is called an activator (1).
Think of a polymer as strings of identical beads floating in a liquid. These strings of beads slide over each other and this allows the substance to flow. Glue is the most frequently used polymer in slime making.
Think of the activator as links that connect different strings of beads to each other. Once you introduce an activator to your polymer, the strings of beads can still flow. But, because they are linked to each other, they flow less freely (2).
If you hold the substance loosely, the strings of beads will slowly flow, like thick water, to the lowest point they can find. However, you can pick the slime up in one lump because the individual strings of beads are tangled and connected enough to hold together.
Now you have slime, a substance fluid enough to flow, but solid enough to pick up and hold.
With glue being the most common polymer when making slime, let’s look at activators. Common activators include:
- Saline solution and baking soda.
- Eye drops/eyewash.
- Liquid laundry detergent.
It is the combination of an activator and a polymer that is responsible for making slime stretchy.
Some slimes are made without borax or without even an activator. These alternatives may not behave like standard slime, but you can still play with them in much the same way.
Alternative slimes are created without an activator. They include:
- Shampoo and cornstarch slime.
- Shaving cream, glue, and baking soda slime.
- Powdered fiber slime.
- Glue and cornstarch slime.
How To Make Slime Stretchy
Here are our top tips for making stretchy slime so you can look like a hero to your child.
- Add your activator slowly: You can quickly move from sticky to overly-firm break apart slime if you add all of your activator at once. It is much more difficult to fix over activated slime.
- Use white glue: A standard white PVA glue such as Elmers, or a similar school type craft glue, gives you the best results. Clear glue doesn’t have the same chemical structure as its PVA relative.
- Take your time: It can take several minutes for the activator to work. For this reason, it is important to give your slime time to develop its stretch before playing with the ingredients.
- Add dish soap to your slime and knead it in thoroughly: This works best with budget dish soap and not the concentrated kind.
- Add water or lotion: If your slime is overactivated, one of these two ingredients can help. Add it slowly, a little at a time. Rework your slime until you determine if you need more.
This final tip is not about how to make slime soft and stretchy. Instead, it is about preventing your currently soft and stretchy slime from losing its lovely consistency.
- Protect it: Be sure to put your slime in an air-tight container when you are finished with it. This will prevent the slime from drying out and losing its stretch.
FAQs On How To Make Slime Stretchy
There are some questions that crop up often when it comes to slime. These common questions may help your novice slime creator get their formula perfected.
Experimentation Is Key
If you gave ten kids the same ingredients, and they all followed the exact same directions, you would still end up with ten slightly different slimes. This can be part of the fun, as no two batches are identical.
However, this also means that making your slime stretchy doesn’t have a single strictly defined solution. Instead, it involves a process of trial and error. If you make this part of the fun, even fixing your slime can become entertaining.