People of all ages are into slime making, but elementary and middle school kids have especially embraced Slime and made it their newest hobby. So much so that stores all over the country have had a shortage of Elmer’s Glue and old Elmer (the largest manufacturer of school glue) claimed they were having a hard time keeping up with the demand:
“Elmer’s has indeed seen a surge in sales. In the second half of 2016, Elmer’s saw an increase in liquid glue sales due in large part to slime mania,” Caitlin Watkins, a spokeswoman for Newell Brands, the parent company for Elmer’s brands, told NBC News.
Making something like the current version of Slime isn’t totally new. If you were a kid in the 1990’s you probably remember making or playing with something similar that most people called Gak back then. Even the 1960’s popular Silly Putty is a variation on the same recipe.
The science of Slime is a simple concoction of glue, Borax and water. You can use clear or opaque glue to change the appearance. What happens is that the polymers that are in glue are linked together once the Borax solution is added, making the glue thicker and slime-like. Once the slime is made, additional things are added in like glitter, styrofoam beads, and paint. Not only do the mix-ins add color and texture, but they create a crunching sound that people like.
What people like about Slime:
- The science of making it and customizing it
- The fun of naming it
- The satisfying tactile feel of playing with it
- The soothing sound and feel when kneading it
- The enjoyable crunchy sound when there are sequins, glitter or beads in the Slime.
If you’re a person who is relaxed and soothed by the sounds and look of Slime being squished (this is known as an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR for short) you will probably also find the multitude of videos on Instagram and YouTube appealing, too. Thousands of people do and videos of Slime being squished was a huge instigator in the trend.
Slime can be made with shaving cream which creates a fluffy Floam-like Slime and it can be made with Mod Podge or other glues. Some people have concerns about Borax, since it can be toxic if ingested and can irritate the respiratory system. It’s important to make sure the Borax you use is diluted. Don’t ever use it without diluting it and of course, don’t give it to a child who may try to eat it.