Two Types of Polymer Slime

Carol LeNestour
2nd Port Elgin Guides
Port Elgin, ON

At Doe Lake "Science is Wild" camp this summer we made two different types of slime. The first recipe below is for a very slimy, mucus. ( It is a really big hit!) The second type, which is called gluep, is very similar to the polymer slime recipe [eds note: this is a similar recipe to Polymer Slime posted by S. McLernon], but it is made up individually for each girl. This way each girl can decide what colour they would like to have. It results in a " non-Newtonian visco-elastic fluid" ( something similar to silly putty). Both recipes were also a big hit with the engineers at work!

Do-It-Yourself "SLIME" by Steven Spangler

2 ts Guar Gum
1 tb Borax
Mixing bowl
Food colouring
2 Empty plastic soda bottles to store the liquids
Zipper lock bag

Making The Borax Water: Borax is a type of powder soap that is available in most grocery stores. Add 1 tablespoon Borax powder to 1 cup of water. Stir until most of the powder dissolves. Store the Borax Water in a jar or bottle, and label the container "BORAX & WATER MIXTURE". Remember that one cup of Borax Water will make many batches of "SLIME".

Preparing The Guar Gum (available at health food stores): Measure 4 cups (approximately 1 litre) of warm water into a large mixing bowl. Add 10 drops of food colouring - possibly green! SLOWLY (very slowly) stir in 2 teaspoons of guar gum. This fine powder has a tendency to clump up if it is not stirred into the water slowly. After thoroughly mixing, pour the guar gum mixture into a soda bottle and label it appropriately.

Making Slime: Pour 1/2 cup of the guar gum mixture into a clean zipper-lock bag. Add 1 teaspoon of the Borax Water mixture that you made previously. Seal the bag and shake. Within seconds you'll have prepared your very own batch of SLIME! This gooey mixture will retain its slimy properties for 1-2 days before finally turning into a watery mess. When the SLIME is no longer good, seal it in the zipper-lock bag and throw it away. Do not pour it down the drain.

How Does It Work: It's gooey, slippery, sticky, really slimy and kids love it! Make up a batch of SLIME and you'll be the hit of any party. The mixture of guar gum with Borax and water produces a slime- like material called a polymer. In simplest terms, a polymer is a long chain of molecules. As a model for these chains of molecules, picture in your mind strands of cooked spaghetti. If the polymer chains slide past each other easily, then the substance acts like a liquid because the molecules flow. If the molecules hook together at a few places along the strand, then the substance behaves like a rubbery solid called an elastomer. Borax is the chemical that is responsible for hooking the guar gum molecules together to form the SLIME. Guar gum is actually a vegetable gum commonly used as a thickening agent in various food products and cosmetics. Additional guar gum may be purchased at a health food store. The guar gum and water mixture may only last a few days. You can prolong the shelf life of the mixture by keeping it in the refrigerator.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WITH CHEMICALS: Although these substances are not considered hazardous, you should treat all chemicals with care and wash your hands after handling. Do not taste or eat any of the materials described in these activities. Do not pour any of these experiments down the sink. Clean up any spill immediately.

Source: Mad Scientist 1995 Girl Scout Day Camp

(note - I bought the guar gum at the drug store, and it only came in tablets. I just estimated the amount, and everything turned out OK)

1 tsp borax (it is a kind of detergent-look in detergent aisle)
7 tbsp water
1 tbsp elmer's white glue or tacky glue (DO NOT USE Sobo or School Glue)
(since both of these were beyond our budget, I tested the glue that we had in the unit, and found that it worked well - Ross White Glue ( NOT SCHOOL GLUE))
Food coloring-optional

Mix Borax and 6 tablespoons of water. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon glue. (For colored gluep-add food coloring to this second mixture) Add the borax water to the glue mixture, and stir it a few times until a blob forms. Strain the mixture out into your hands, and play with the blob. As you play with it, it becomes less slimy, and more like silly putty, but if you let it sit for a while, it flattens out, just like a liquid.

Bounce it! Roll it! Snap it! Use your imagination! JUST DON'T EAT IT!!!!!

(Our girls kept their gluep in zip lock bags, and named it. Along with all the girls autographs, I still have parts of Mr. Squishy on my shirt from camp)

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