Borax is a natural mineral and an eco-friendly cleaning product. It’s most often used for cleaning but it does a million things… er, almost a million. When you add it to your detergent, it softens the water to clean your laundry better, it cleans the calcium deposits off your sinks, really it cleans just about anything, and you can make slime with it. And there is this awesome bible verse that illustrates it wonderfully:
He is before all things,
and in Him all things hold together.
Because, as you will soon see, as sticky as the polymers of glue are, they need the Borax (just like we need Jesus) to hold everything together in order to form something truly amazing (in our case: us; in this case: slime).
Ingredients & Instructions
Elmer’s Glue, 8 oz bottle
- Mix 1 cup (8 oz) glue and 1 cup water in a bowl. Add food coloring if you want colored slime.
- In another bowl, mix 1 Tbsp borax with 1 cup water until the borax is dissolved.
- Add the glue mixture to the borax solution, stirring slowly.
- The slime will begin to form immediately; stir as much as you can, then dig in and knead it with your hands until it gets less sticky. (No one makes slime without getting a little messy!) Don’t worry about any leftover water in the bowl; just pour it out.
The glue has an ingredient called polyvinyl acetate, which is a liquid polymer. The borax links the polyvinyl acetate molecules to each other, creating one large, flexible polymer. This kind of slime will get stiffer and more like putty the more you play with it!
The polymers in Silly Putty have covalent bonds within the molecules, but hydrogen bonds between the molecules. These hydrogen bonds are easily broken. When low amounts of energy are slowly applied to the putty by twisting or pulling it, only a few bonds are broken and the putty stretches or “flows.” When higher amounts of energy are applied by yanking quickly and hard, there are many hydrogen bonds that break, causing the putty to break or tear.
Yes, your child or someone elses may leave the slime in his mother’s purse or drop it on the carpet of the church or (insert your own little worry here)… but never fear!
Just soak it in soap and water, run it through the laundry if that’s possible or, if in carpet, simply wait for it to dry out and scape it right off. Voila! The polymers are unbonded as easily as they were bonded in the first place.