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We Tried 5 DIY Slime Recipes—Here’s What Happened!

Looking for the best DIY slime recipe? I tried 5 popular DIY slime recipes, including DIY slime that doesn’t include borax, DIY slime using contact lens solution, DIY sand slime, and more. I’m also sharing my favorite of the 5 recipes I tried.

I tried 5 DIY slime recipes—here’s what happened!

Hey all! I am super excited to share a post I have been working on for…a long time. Since before I even created this blog, lol. It takes a while to get through 5 DIY slime recipes!

Instead of recreating the wheel by coming up with my own DIY slime recipe—which I don’t think is even possible because sooo many people have done DIY slimes already—I decided to test 5 popular recipes and report back!

This would also be a fun activity for me to do with my daughter since she loves slime and anything that involves mixing and mess, really. So without further ado, let’s jump in! 

image collage of DIY slimes

Trial #1: Easy borax slime recipe from Ramona’s school

I have seen a lot of people looking for “DIY slime recipes without borax,” but a lot of homes have borax, and a lot of the recipes use borax. They are typically really easy recipes with very few ingredients, so I knew we had to try one. Plus we had a big box of borax in the laundry cabinet.

When I mentioned I wanted to make some slime with Ramona, one of her teachers said she would send us a recipe for one of her favorites. This is actually what kicked off my idea to review several different types!

Here’s what this recipe used:

  • ¾ cups water
  • ¾ tsp borax
  • 1 ½ cup glue and ¾ cup water

The mixing part for this recipe is very easy. Simply mix the water and borax together in one bowl. Then mix the glue and water together in another bowl. You can add food coloring to either bowl.

After this, mix the contents of the two bowls together. It will begin to form the slime consistency you are expecting. You’ll likely need to begin kneading it on the table after it reaches a critical mass.

If you’re wondering, the borax is actually a boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. The borax reacts with ingredients in the glue to form the slime consistency.

toddler mixing ingredients for DIY slime
squirting glue into a measuring cup
toddler mixing ingredients for DIY slime
toddler mixing ingredients for DIY slime

The verdict on DIY slime recipe #1?

It was a good first try. But it wasn’t my favorite. I felt like it was hard to completely dissolve the borax, which led to the slime feeling a bit grainy and chunky. You can see it in some of the pictures below.

Also, keep in mind that if you add food coloring to one bowl and not the other, you might not be able to mix it completely. The consistency was a lot like…rubber. Not a slime consistency like you might be used to with store-bought slime.

DIY slime using borax and glue
DIY slime using borax and glue

Trial #2: DIY sand slime recipe

The next recipe I tried was from Smart School House, and it’s sand slime. Head over to her blog for the measurements and full tutorial. Below is a peek at the ingredient list.

Here’s what this recipe used:

This was the first recipe I tried using contact lens solution, and I was really intrigued by this ingredient. How did it work? Who realized you could use this to make DIY slime?

Well it’s exactly why the borax helps to create slime with it mixes with glue! I learned that there is boric acid in the contact lens solution (which is in there to act as a disinfectant). Boric acid is also boron—specifically, a monobasic Lewis acid of boron.

The boric acid mixes with the polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) in the glue to create a polymer chain. That polymer chain? That’s the slime consistency. Science! Adding the sand in makes it more tactile and doesn’t interfere with the boric acid and PVA reaction.

mixing blue sand and glitter in a bowl
mixing glue and water in a bowl to make DIY sand slime
mixing all ingredients together to make DIY sand slime
mixing all ingredients together to make DIY sand slime
adding contact lens solution to the mixture to make DIY sand slime
mixing all ingredients together to make DIY sand slime
DIY sand slime in a bowl

The verdict on the DIY sand slime recipe?

I liked it! used regular sand because that’s what I had on hand. The tutorial called for colored sand, so I colored my sand with blue food coloring and added glitter. Then I mixed it with the other ingredients. It was easy to mix and work with.

My daughter enjoyed this recipe, too. It reminded her a lot of Kinetic Sand, which she also likes to play with. We were also able to store this one in a baggie and reuse it a few times before chucking it, so it kept really well.

DIY sand slime made using contact lens solution
DIY sand slime made using contact lens solution

It also had a cool web-like consistency that you can see in the pic below. One thing to warn you about, though. Be ready to get a bit messy. Although the sand is mostly stuck in the slime mixture, some does fall off onto the table. (See second pic below). So just prepare for a tad more cleanup.

DIY sand slime made using contact lens solution
DIY sand slime made using contact lens solution

For more fun kid crafts, check out my post about trying DIY sidewalk paint recipes, my post about how to melt broken crayons in silicone molds, and my DIY glittery sensory bottle tutorial!

Trial #3: Easy homemade slime with only 3 ingredients

The third recipe we tried was I Heart Naptime’s easy homemade slime made using only 3 ingredients. I liked the sound of that—the easier, the better. Check out her post for the full tutorial and measurements.

Here’s what this recipe used:

  • Glue
  • Saline solution
  • Baking soda

We opted to add some orange and yellow food coloring to the glue before mixing everything. And of course threw some glitter in.

mixing DIY slime ingredients

The verdict on the homemade slime with only 3 ingredients?

This one was…messy. LOL. If your kid isn’t afraid to really dive in to things, this is your slime. My daughter was a little bit more hesitant, though. She didn’t like that it was difficult to get off her fingers and ended up washing it off.

We probably could have added some more saline solution to help pull everything together a bit more, but the kid was losing interest, so we didn’t. Here are a few pics so you can see the consistency. Very slimey!

yellow DIY slime
yellow DIY slime

Trial #4: DIY fluffy slime recipe

The 4th trial was from The Best Ideas for Kids, and it’s DIY fluffy sand slime. This one was fun. The shaving cream helps you get the “fluff.”

I chose it because I liked the fluffy paint—we’ve done fluffy tub paint with shaving cream before, so I wanted to see it in action with DIY slime. Check out the original post and tutorial for the full instructions and measurements for everything.

Here’s what this recipe used:

We ended up mixing the shaving cream, glue, and water, and it was already really fluffy! We added a bit of pink food coloring and then finished out the recipe to finish mixing.

mixing glue and water to make DIY fluffy slime
mixing glue water and shaving cream to make DIY fluffy slime
mixing glue water and shaving cream to make DIY fluffy slime

The verdict on the DIY fluffy slime recipe?

We liked it! My daughter had a friend over to help her test this one out, and they made a huge mess. They loved it, though, and thought making the mess was hilarious.

Just keep in mind that this one is a bit messier, so you’ll have a bit of cleanup after play. We also thought this one was harder to store in a bag. I’d probably put it in an air-tight Tupperware container. You can check out the consistency in the closeup pics below.

mixing glue water and shaving cream to make DIY fluffy slime
mixing glue water and shaving cream to make DIY fluffy slime
mixing glue water and shaving cream to make DIY fluffy slime

Trial #5: DIY liquid starch and glue slime

And the 5th and final trial of DIY slime recipes was the DIY liquid starch and glue slime from the website Little Bins for Little Hands. I chose this one because it used a new ingredient—liquid starch. Like the kind you use for clothes. Grab the measurements and full tutorial at the link above.

I have never used liquid starch, and I have a feeling maybe I’m not the only one. It even said on the bottle that it is “great for crafts,” suggesting that they want us to use it for other things, too. Now I have a big ol’ bottle, so I definitely want to look into the other crafts I can use it for.

Here’s what this recipe used:

I will be honest…I was skeptical. Only three ingredients? Would it be too sticky for my picky daughter like the other 3-ingredient slime? This one was easy to mix: Glue, water, liquid starch.

Why liquid starch? Why does it make slime? Well, as described above, it has to do with how the ingredients in the liquid starch mix with the PVA in the glue. The glue creates polymer strands—aka chains of the ingredients in the liquid starch—to create a slime.

We added red and orange to get a nice salmon color. (My daughter wanted pink, but we were all out, so I tried to pass salmon off as pink.) We then dumped in a bunch of pink glitter before adding the last ingredient to create the slime.

squirting glue into a measuring cup
mixing glue and water in a bowl to make easy DIY slime
bottle of pink glitter
adding glitter to the glue and water mixture
bottle of liquid starch

The verdict on the DIY liquid starch and glue slime?

Yesssssss. THIS. This is the one! I was shocked by how much it felt exactly like the store-bought slime you can buy! And it was so easy to make. I will say that I did end up pouring in more liquid starch than the recipe called for, so if yours isn’t getting that “slime” consistency, add more liquid starch.

Once I added a bit more than the recipe called for, I used a spoon to really “whip” the mixture in the bowl. And it turned out FANTASTIC! This is definitely our favorite recipe and the one I recommend if you’re really going for the consistency of the store-bought slimes.

I took so many pictures because the consistency was so mesmerizing, haha. And we played with it for like 30 straight minutes, which is gold for a 3 year old. I even felt it was relaxing to play with 🙂

It also created almost no mess or residue on the table after we played with it. This was a huge selling point for me because it’s one less thing to do. Oh—and I got some on my skirt and it washed out just fine. (Not to say that the others don’t, I just didn’t test them.)

the best DIY slime recipe made using glue, water, and liquid starch
the best DIY slime recipe made using glue, water, and liquid starch
the best DIY slime recipe made using glue, water, and liquid starch
the best DIY slime recipe made using glue, water, and liquid starch

Pin my post about trying 5 DIY slime recipes!

pinnable graphic about 5 DIY slime recipes we tested including a collage of images and text overlay
pinnable graphic about 5 DIY slime recipes we tested including a collage of images and text overlay
pinnable graphic about 5 DIY slime recipes we tested including a collage of images and text overlay

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