If you are looking for the perfect slime recipe and don’t want a slime fail, you are in the right place. After years of making slime recipes, I have figured out how to make slime right…the first time!
I tested this recipe out on my friends who swore they couldn’t make slime and didn’t want to try again. I begged them to try it… just one last time. I’m even including a video of the process, step by step!
How to Make Slime
They gave it a go, and it was a Eureka moment! The slime worked!! I got picture after picture of children happily playing with slime! If you need a recipe for how to make slime for kids, this is it! Slime is super calming, and some children will easily play with it for long periods of time! I love slime because it gives us hours upon hours of play, and it’s not as messy as playdough. It’s also the perfect way to include sensory play in your preschool curriculum!
How to Make Slime Video
If slime has ever gone wrong for you, it’s not you! Slime can be so tricky! I have figured the main reason that borax slimes go all wrong.
If you are looking for a slime without borax and live in Canada, try this one with contact lens solution as a substitute!
If you live in the U.S., it is nearly impossible to make slime without borax since it is in products such as Sta-Flo and contact lens solution. But those products have already diluted the borax, which makes it a bit easier.
An easy and super affordable option is to get a slime kit! The kit includes a recipe and all you need is baking soda and contact lens solution. The glue is a steal in slime kits on Amazon though!
Why slime fails
Most of the time that slimes fail is due to the amount of borax. Many recipes call for 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp. While that sounds like a small amount, you don’t even need that much! My perfect slime is made with ½ tsp to ¾ tsp of borax.
The other big reason that slimes fail is that the ingredients need to be broken down a bit before they are mixed together. One time I skipped putting water into my glue, and my slime turned out so hard. It was awful!
You might find it helpful to read my post about the most common mistakes people make when making slime. This way you can avoid the most frequent mistakes people make that slime goes wrong.
I recommend following my instructions for my homemade slime recipe very closely, especially if this is your first time or if you have had slimes go wrong in the past. Something that may seem to quicken up the slime process could
you a super rubbery or sticky slime, which is no fun!
If you are unsure about using slime with Borax, here is a great article about the science behind slime.
Borax Slime Recipe
This is enough slime for about 2-4 children at a time. It takes about 15 minutes to make one batch.
Do you want to make slime with Sta-Flo or saline solution? This book has the best slime recipes for that. I call the author the “slime queen.” She truly knows her science and has perfected her recipes. Here’s a look at it:
How to Make Slime with Elmer’s Glue
Please note that this should be made by an adult or with a responsible adult’s close supervision.
- 2 Bottles of Elmer’s glue (5-6 oz each bottle)– Clear, Glitter Glue, or White Glue
- ½ – 1 tsp of Borax (the tiny sized spoons)
- 1 cup hot water, ½ cup water
- Big, wide bowl
- Liquid watercolor or food coloring (optional)
- Glitter (optional)
- Confetti (optional)
- Vinegar (in case it gets on clothes or hair — you’ll be so glad if that happens)
I recommend using two bottles because you want to get a perfect consistency of slime, and the second bottle is a backup. Make them one at a time though so that you can adapt the second one if necessary. Getting the perfect consistency the first time doesn’t always go so smoothly, so I like having the second bottle to make my slime completely perfect!
My favorite slime is made of clear glue or glitter glue (both Elmer’s). Remember that you can get these for an absolute steal when buying the Slime Kit through Amazon!! And Elmer’s white glue works as well. You are able to see through the clear glue or glitter glue, but white glue looks more like the substance many of us remember as silly putty.
Borax is available online, but it is much more affordable in the grocery stores. You will find it where cleaning detergents are located.
Related post: A YEAR of amazing slime recipes and ideas
Bowl 1 – Water and Borax Mixture
Find a nice sized bowl. You will need to squish the slime in it, so make sure it is big and wide enough.
Mix one cup of hot water in the bowl with ½ tsp of borax. Dissolve completely.
You will want to hold onto this mixture, even after your slime is made! If you find that your slime is too stretchy or turns sticky after a few minutes of playing, you’ll be glad you didn’t dump this out!
Allow the borax and water to cool as you prep you the next step.
Bowl 2 – Glue and Water Mixture
Mix one container of Elmer’s glue (5-6 oz) with ½ cup of water. You won’t want to skip this step. The glue needs to be watered down and separated to prevent a slime fail. I find that a container with a pour spout is perfect for this.
Use a whisk to stir them together. You want it to be completely mixed, so this may take a few minutes.
Add a squirt of liquid watercolor or a few drops of food coloring. This is also when you want to stir in any glitter. Fine glitter will show up
really small and make your slime glisten. Big glitter will add a pop of color and fun. Here is a gorgeous gold glitter slime from Fun at Home with Kids with the large glitter.
If you use Elmer’s glitter glue, which is already colored, you don’t have to use coloring or glitter. But you can add extra if you wa
Combine the two!
Now it’s time to pour your glue mixture into the big bowl with the borax and water mixture.
Some people find they get better results by pouring small amounts of the borax mixture into the glue mixture until it turns into slime.
Watch for a minute as the glue mixture starts to polymerize! It’s such a cool sight to see.
Then, start squishing the slime to help it absorb as much of the borax and water mixture as possible. Feel free to wear gloves or to stir with a spoon if you would prefer. I recommend that the adult does this part.
The slime will feel quite sticky or chunky for a minute or two but keep squishing, kneading, stirring, or mixing. Do this for two to three minutes.
Once it isn’t feeling sticky or chunky, pull it out and knead it some more.
Hopefully, you will have an amazing slime that is perfect to stretch, bend, and mold. Lastly, add any confetti to your slime. Here is our slime with a touch of snowflake confetti.
You can even jazz up your slime with some snowflakes or other confetti, plastic creatures, cookie cutters, or anything other fun play items. I avoid putting anything wood into slime, but there are so many other toys or craft materials you could use!
We love slime with silicone cupcake liners to make a cupcake station!
Getting the right texture
I like my slime to have a nice amount of stretch without being sticky or rubbery. Finding that perfect amount takes a little bit of practice. If you love how your slime turned out, then just repeat this recipe for the second bottle of glue.
Slime that is too sticky
If your slime is feeling too sticky, put it back into the bowl and squish it into the water some more. If this doesn’t help, add another ¼ tsp of borax to the water mixture and then try putting the slime back into the mixture again.
Slime that is too stretchy
If your slime is too stretchy, add ¼ tsp of borax to the water and stir until it dissolves. Now put the slime back into the borax and water and squish again.
Slime that is too rubbery
Here is super rubbery slime!
Sometimes this will fix itself after it has been played with for several minutes and gets warmed up.
If it’s still too rubbery after being warmed up, then you will make another batch of slime that is super stretchy. Then combine the two slimes, and they melt together to make a great consistency. Pictured below is a super stretchy slime with a rubbery one on top of it. When they combined, it was perfect consistency!
Once they blend together, knead them for a minute or two, and your slime will feel so much better!
The way to make a super stretchy slime is to use only ¼ tsp of borax when you make the water and borax mixture.
That’s where the second glue bottle comes in handy!
Remove Slime from Hair or Clothes
Once you get playing with the slime, you will need vinegar if any gets on clothes or hair. The vinegar will dissolve it right away!
Store your slime in a bag or airtight container. We use our slime for weeks, but just keep an eye on it. If you accidentally leave your slime out for a few hours, it should recover. Just put it in a bag and bring it out in a day.
I hope this slime recipe helps you make slime that is perfect the first time!
Print off the full instructions here:
How to Make Perfect Slime
- 2 Bottles of Elmer's Glue (5 or 6oz bottles) (Clear, Glitter, or White)
- 1/2 - 1 tsp of Borax
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl, preferably with a pouring spout
- Vinegar (Optional, but useful if the slime gets on clothes or hair)
- Gloves (Optional)
- Liquid Watercolor or Food Coloring (Optional)
- Glitter or Confetti (Optional)
- In a large bowl, mix one cup hot water with 1/2 tsp of borax. Dissolve completely and set aside to cool.
- In the second smaller bowl, whisk together one of the containers of glue with 1/2 cup of water.
- Optional: Add a squirt of liquid watercolor, a few drops of food coloring, and/or glitter into the glue and water mixture.
- Pour the glue mixture into the first bowl with the borax and water mixture.
- Squish and mix the slime together using a spoon or gloves, if desired.
- Once the slime no longer feels chunky, pull it out of the bowl and knead it. *The final consistency shouldn't be sticky, stretchy, or rubbery.
- Add confetti, if desired.
Store the slime in a bag or airtight container.
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Kayla Beardsley says
We made like 4 batches of slime fails before finding this article and we made the PERFECT slime first try. THANK YOU!!!!
Kayla!! This makes my day!! SO glad to hear it :).
This recipe is a disappointing fail — move elsewhere. It came chunky and too sticky.
Then you messed up somewhere because it’s one of the best recipes out there. Give it another shot😀
I’ve attempted this recipe twice now and both times it was so sticky! I had such a hard time getting it off my hands. The first time I used 1/2 tsp of borax and the 2nd time I used a full teaspoon with the same result. I made sure all the water mixture was absorbed. What am I doing wrong? 🙁
Hi Ellen, I am so sorry you are getting sticky slime! All slime is definitely sticky for the first several minutes of kneading it, so make sure you are not giving up too soon.
Are you saving the borax and water mixture and dipping the slime back in as well? If you are, just keep adding more borax by 1/4 teaspoon until your slime is no longer sticky when dipped in. You should feel the slime hardening with each dip. I think your slime can definitely be saved, but it will just take some experimentation to find out what that point is. It could vary depending on how long you’ve had your borax or other things as well. Good luck!
I had the same problem. It is soaking up all the borax mixture, but still sticky. I kept mixing a bit of water with more borax, and each time it absorbs all the borax solution, but continues to be so so sticky.
I hope I found a solution for those with extra sticky slime. I just read in another recipe to use baby oil or mineral oil (start with 1 tsp). Will you let me know if that works?
Your original recipe worked out just fine for me. Is everyone mixing the way thy are supposed to with the proper gadgets ( whisk and spatula)? I’ve noticed that it can make a big difference.
well sometimes if you add more water the slime will go stickier but when you add more borax into the water mixture it will thin on up and eventually become a less goopy slime! Water can sometimes make your slime thin and when that happens it will deactivate! If there are spelling mistakes well I am sorry I’m just 1p but that doesn’t matter. Hope this top helps you and informs you of maybe what to try next time too!
Christine J Cluney says
I just fixed our sticky slime with lots of baking soda. It worked better than borax and water, that made it too rubbery.
Adrianna Gray says
I think that if you use the right amount of borax,the problem might be that your bowl doesn’t have enough glue.So might be over activating it.
ours was pure rubber both times. I added more water to the glue mixture and cut back on the borax.
Tami Jo Vanderwilt says
What size bottle of Elmer’s? You don’t specify, and it comes in lots of sizes.
Thank you for pointing this out! It’s a 5-6 oz glue bottle.
Emma's Kid says
Could you please update the post with this amount? As more new comments are added, this reply gets bumped down. Please and thanks!
Great suggestion. Just fixed it :).
Yep, your recipe is the BEST! My two year old has been captivated. Thanks so much for sharing and explaining how it all works. Love it.
Yay!!! I love hearing that :). I am so glad your two-year-old had such a great time with it!
Your recipe was perfection! Thanks so much! My 4 year old thought this was really cool. Truth is, my husband & I enjoyed making it & playing with it too 🙂
It sounds like you all had a blast! I definitely love slime as much as the kids! 🙂
We LOVE this slime! I helped my 10 year old daughter make the first batch and she immediately made two more batches on her own. All of them came out perfect. She has literally been playing with it for hours and I also seem to keep getting my hands into it. Surprisingly fun. Wish I knew about this when she was littler too! Thanks for the directions!
It’s pretty addicting, I must admit!! I am so glad it went so well, and hopefully this is the beginning to lots more slime play for you all :)!
Ok so I followed the instructions and the first batch I made turned out perfect. The second batch I tried to make, turned out like soup. The glue/water mixture never polymerized into the borax/water mixture. It just completely all dissolved together. For this second batch, I did use a different glue. It was the Elmer’s Disappearing Purple school glue https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=DChcSEwihtOT3i-zUAhVSBioKHZ4fBzcYABABGgJ0bQ&sig=AOD64_3JFRzfKqz7W5RsVmp0ShkvH7liAg&ctype=5&q=&ved=0ahUKEwjDrN_3i-zUAhVEwlQKHb05D04QwzwICA&adurl=. I am not sure if that made the difference but I cannot do anything to save it. Please help!
I used the disappearing purple glitter glue & it came out good, so I don’t think that’s your problem.
The purple glue (not glittery) doesn’t work because it has no PVA in it.
I used the purple glue also and it was soup 🙁
Jewel Ranzi says
Oh my goodness! I have made many slimes beforehand this one and they have all come out a little too rubbery. They were fun for me to play with but didn’t last begging stretchy for very long. Ever since I started using this method, my slimes have truly become perfect. They are amazing. Thank you so much for finding out how to make the perfect slime. Thank you so much.
I notice in the materials it says vinegar… But I don’t see in the recipe where to add the vinegar?
The vinegar is when slime gets in hair or on clothes. But you don’t want to use it otherwise because it dissolves the slime ;).
Didn’t turn out at all
Finally!!! We did it thank you for the recipe!!!
You aren’t supposed to put the slime into the borax, it will be too rubbery, if you want stretchy slime, I suggest pouring the borax onto it, little by little. Aloe Vera also works very well, if you want it to be stretchy and not rubbery. Overall this is a creative take on slime! we ill definitely try to use vinegar!
That’s a great tip, Jasmine! Since the borax concentration is so low in this recipe, it works perfectly. But that could be helpful for recipes that call for more.
Yes, vinegar works great when slime gets in hair and clothes!
First time slime-maker and using your instructions (watched the video twice!) it came out perfect the first time! Nothing I make is ever perfect the first time. Thank you! My grandson is thrilled.
Hooray! I am so pleased to hear this!
Hi my daughter has had many failed attempts at making slime. We are in the UK so cannot get borax here, can you recommend an alternative?
Hi Kevin, I really wish that I could help you, but I’ve only made slime with Borax. My friend Asia over at Fun at Home with Kids has some tips for you though. Make slime with UK alternative
Hi again. I just wanted to thank you for making my daughter so happy. We bought formil biological from lidl. Mixed it with pva and added a bit of colouring. It worked a charm. Thanks so much
Yayyy, so glad to hear that! Slime is so fun — I’m so glad you found an alternative :).
I have read that you can use Contact Solution instead of Borax and it works.
Slime Lover says
Yeah same 🙂
Gretchen Carpenter says
OMG my grandaughter make a couple batches a day. And embarrassing to say i love it when shes gone doing other things so i can play around with it ALL BY MYSELF. LOL Fun fun
Hello! Thanks for the recipe! This was our first attempt at slime making! My daughter and I both had a great time. We made 2 batches for a play date tomorrow. We used pink and purple Elmer’s sparkle glue. We did add a smidge of food color and extra sparkle. Both batches are super rubbery. We are OK with this. What would you recommend for next time? Cut back on the Borax maybe? The glue is 6 oz. I used about 5 oz. Should I have squeezed out more of the glue? Thanks again! This was fun and definitely doing again!
We had the same issue with the first batch being too rubbery. I reduced the borax in the next batch and it was perfect. We found the perfect amount of borax was 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp. 1/4 was too rubbery but 1/2 tsp was too runny.
And, if you make a batch of too rubbery, just make another batch of too runny (use only 1/4 tsp borax) and mix the two batches together.
Oops, I meant 1/2 tsp was too rubbery and 1/4 tsp was too runny.
More borax = rubbery
Less borax = runny
Bunster and Hariet says
I’ve been scowering all over the internet for a good slime recipe, and I like how your explanation has more precise reasons as to why you should add more or less of a particular ingredient or why you shouldn’t leave out adding something seemingly trivial like water. Usually I see recipes where you add the borax solution little by little, but I’m gonna test your method out as it seems foolproof! Thanks a bunch!
Christine Conlin says
I used a dollar store brand of glitter glue and it turned out like soup…did not thicken at all. Is the Elmer brand of glue a must for this recipe?
Hi Christine, Yes, Elmer’s is a must. I had that happen to me too.
No, Elmer’s is NOT a must. You just have to make sure that it contains polyvinyl alcohol (PVAL) instead of latex, resin, or polyvinyl acetate (PVAC). Normally, a glue marked as “PVA glue” is actually PVAL glue.
Sorry, I actually meant “PVAC glue” in the last sentence.
Sorry again, both PVAL and PVAC works for slime.
Lawrence Ozeh says
You might not know it but you have bailed me from what would have been a great embarrassment.
This was so fun to make, it was our first time. Thank you for sharing.
The first time we made slime (using another recipe) , it was perfect. Today, I couldn’t find that recipe and failed half a dozen times trying other recipes. Finally, I found this page, and IT WORKED!!! My four-year-old and I sincerely thank you, and I’m bookmarking this page. I especially appreciate the troubleshooting tips. 😊
Sabrina Camilleri says
Hi, I tried your recipe, but the slime is breaking. Do you think I should reduce the amount of Borax?
Hi Sabrina, Yes, I would try with less borax. 🙂 I hope it works out!
We just made this in green with fine glitter for Christmas slime. It’s perfect and beautiful and addictive! Thank you!
Im not sure what Im doing wrong but I followed your recipe exactly and have terrible slime!!!
Wondering if I can double or triple this? Trying to use your recipe for an event with 30 adults and 15 kids!
Amazing recipe… it works well for us! The kids are over the moon. Thank you.
I’m so thrilled to hear this, Elena! Thank you for letting me know!
Hi I’m also wondering if I can triple the recipe to make in bulk for use for party favors. Thanks for any advice!
Yes! I did that for my daughter’s birthday party :). Make it a bit on the rubbery side so it will keep longer though.
great, thank you!
Thanks so much, was my first time making slime and I made it for my sister who is obsessed with making them; she loved it and said it was the best one she’s had and wouldn’t stop playing with it.
Thanks a lot the recipe help me and i am very thankful to you because your recipe help me to make dish easily.
Thank you so much for this, especially the bit on how to fix a bad batch. My first batch was too rubbery. Made a second batch with less Borax and added it to the first. Still too rubbery. Made a third batch with even less Borax and added it to the first two. Perfection! I am making several large batches to bring to my son’s first grade class next week, so thankfully I had a gallon of glue to play around with, haha! We will be adding food coloring and glitter with the kids at school. Thanks again for posting these instructions!
Amanda J says
Thank you so much…this was the first recipe I tried and I let my 5 and 6 year old sons make this on their own. It is literally fool-proof, I thought my 5 year old “messed” his up but it came together after a few minutes and was perfect.
This makes me so happy! So glad you kept working with it, and I am thrilled it turned out so well for you!
This came out perfect – and it was so easy!!! Thanks!
Hooray! I am so glad to hear that, Anna!
I followed your recipe and got perfect slime on our first attempt. My 10 year old was extremely happy and excited that she made two more batches so she could have three different coloured slime. However, when we left them overnight in an airtight container, we found a layer of liquid on top of the slime, it seems like the food colouring is leaking. Each day we keep getting rid of all the coloured water and the slime just keeps shrinking more and more. Do you know why this might be happening?
Hi Carla, That is definitely interesting. I’ve not had that happen, but maybe someone else can chime in on that.
Definitely going to make this!
I can’t wait to try this with my three little boys! Im excited that I found your blog 🙂
That makes my heart so happy! I hope it turns out great!!
I have made three batches. The first came to rubbery and the other two were perfect. It worked for me to pour the borax solution into the glue mixture, but very slowly – needed another adult to help with this as my toddler poured too fast.
On another note, how bad is borax in slime?
Danny Lew says
My kids love making slime and this stuff really works! Thanks for the info
We used your recipe with all these wonderful tips last summer. The slime turned out perfect with very little effort thanks to your detailed instructions. Sorry, it took me so long to leave a comment! We also had a mishap with some slime on a fabric footstool. It was found after it dried and I was at a loss as to how I should even begin to get it off. After trying a carpet cleaning solution I came across your tip about vinegar. Since the slime was dry I took a rag and soaked it in white vinegar and left it on the spot on the footstool until it was thoroughly saturated. Then with an old toothbrush and a little more vinegar, I was able to gently scrub the slime off! I was thrilled! Thank you for your helpful post! I am writing about this trick in my blog and will link this post in it!
Our slime turned out Perfect, thank you.
Faylinn Byrne says
I loved how you mentioned that living in the US it is hard to make slime without borax. I am trying to spend the summer with my kids and teach them how to make their own slime, and borax has always worried me. Thank you for all the suggestions and ideas on how to make this experience more exciting for my kids and me.
Rebecca Berry says
Best slime ever. My daughter and I made 2 batches. It worked perfect. It doesn’t stick to your hands at all.
When you first start mixing it, of course it’s lumpy and sticky, but in a couple minutes it turns perfect. You just have to have patience.
We did take the mixture out of the water while it was still a little sticky and mixed it in another bowl so that it wouldn’t get to stiff and we could add more of the water mixture if needed though.
But GREAT SLIME
I’m a little confused. With the ingredients list, If I’m only making one batch and use 5-6 oz Elmers per batch, do I half the remaining ingredients such as 1/2 c hot water, 1/4 c water, 1/4 tsp borax? Thanks for your help!
Karalee Sartin says
Hi Kathy! No, you use the rest of the ingredients as listed. The second bottle of Elmers is in case the consistency is too rubbery and you need to make a super stretchy batch to combine it with.
Thanks so much Karalee!