Extreme Science: Penny Shine

What you will need:

  • Elmer’s glitter glue
  • 20 Mule Team Borax
  • Containers
  • Stir stick
  • Water
  • Washable paint (optional)
  • Liquid starch
  • Measuring spoons or cups
  • Adult supervision


Make some Sodium borate solution by adding a tablespoon of Borax powder to one cup of water.  Mix well.  We want to end up with a sodium borate solution that is completely saturated, meaning that it will not hold, or dissolve, any more borax.  Continue adding borax powder one tablespoon at a time until there is a small amount of powder that sinks to the bottom of your glass, indicating that it is completely saturated.

In a separate container, add two parts liquid starch with one part sodium borate solution.  For example, 1 cup liquid starch to ½ cup sodium borate solution.  Set this aside for use later.

You can make your slime in a Ziploc baggie or a separate container by adding the following ingredients:

a) 4 parts glitter glue

b) 2 parts water

c) you may add a small amount of washable paint (approx. 1 teaspoon) if you like but this is not necessary. 

Please do not use food coloring as it can cause staining.

Mix thoroughly

c) add 1 part of your liquid starch/sodium borate solution that you made earlier and mix this until you have a good consistency of slime. 

What is going on?  

The sodium borate acts as a crosslinker to link the molecules together making what is known as a polymer.  Polymeres are all around us.  A polymer is a long chain of molecules that can be stretched if pulled slowly like a rubber band.  Careful, if you pull it too hard, it will break.  The cool part about slime is that you can put it back together.  Actually, that is only ONE of the cool things about slime!  By adding water to your glue, you will end up with a slime that is a much thinner consistency and more fun to play with.  Using liquid starch as the crosslinker will work on its’ own and will increase the tensile strength due to a glucose ion contained in the starch.  Unfortunately, about half of the slime made using only liquid starch turns back to a liquid within 24 hours or so.  By mixing the liquid starch with the sodium borate solution before adding it to your glue and water mixture your slime is less likely to turn to a liquid the next day.

Radical Rick

Extreme Science