How to Make Natural Slime (No Borax or Glue)

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Homemade and Natural Slime Recipe
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I’ve tried my best to resist the slime craze in our house … but the day has finally come. (Cue sinister music.)

Seriously, messy projects don’t bother me (we homeschool … need I say more) but what does bother me are the ingredients kids all over the globe are using to make slime. I’d rather my kids didn’t inhale and squish the likes of glue, borax, and conventional soaps through their fingers for hours. (Not to mention if you have little ones around.)

One day I took the plunge and decided to go for major Mom points. I came home with a bagful of all natural ingredients and announced to the kids … it was slime time!

Making slime was a lot more fun (even for me) than I expected it to be and the mess stayed within reasonable limits. I’d even venture to say we’d do it again!

What Is Slime?

I’m pretty sure the whole world knows the answer to this question by now, but just in case you’ve missed it … slime is a satisfyingly ooey-gooey polymer that can be molded, poured, squished, and stretched. The sounds it makes while doing so are very much part of the fascination!

On a practical note, slime is a great sensory play experience for young children who especially need that outlet. Some even use it for educational STEM activities.

How Do You Make Safe Slime?

Most recipes for slime include so-called “non-toxic” ingredients and because of that it’s assumed that they are safe. The truth is non-toxic isn’t the same as inert and non-toxic ingredients still have dangers.

The slime recipes that started this whole phenomenon contained borax. Now, some of my own natural cleaning recipes use borax and it’s one of the main ingredients in my homemade laundry detergent. It does have some hazards associated with it though and is definitely not meant for direct contact with the skin.

On an even more serious note, ingesting borax even in small amounts is very dangerous. Slime + borax + kids + younger siblings = not a good idea.

Homemade Slime With Eye Drops, Liquid Starch, or Laundry Detergent

When slime accidents started to happen and reports of skin irritations and even hospitalizations started to circulate, everyone wanted a slime recipe without borax.

The problem is the ingredients in “borax free” slime are not any safer. In fact, most were an easy swap because they contained borax.

Here are some of the ingredients I’d pass on when making slime:

  • Eye drops – These may seem safe because they are made to go in your eyes, but eye drops are not safe for young kids either. Drinking eye drops can lead to a serious medical emergency.
  • Liquid starch – This ingredient contains several chemicals that can irritate the skin, including lye which requires more precautions around children.
  • Laundry detergent – I make my own laundry soap because of the toxic ingredients found in most conventional ones, and even natural detergents are a problem here because they simply aren’t meant to be handled in full concentration. When it is added to the wash, it become highly diluted and is then rinsed out. There is residue on the clothes but that is not the same as direct contact.
  • Glue – Can’t forget the main ingredient in conventional slime recipes … glue! Glue is far from natural and contains toluene and several other things I’m not crazy about. Even “non-toxic” craft glues aren’t meant to be put on skin.

So, all of the “safer” slime recipes really aren’t that safe at all!

How to Make Slime Without Borax or Glue

I didn’t want to just take out the borax, eye drops, liquid starch, laundry detergent, and glue. I wanted to take out anything that I wouldn’t allow my children to handle.

The only way to make truly safe slime was to use natural ingredients so safe you could eat them, so to the pantry we went!

It took a few attempts (seven to be exact) but we finally found a recipe that works. This slime is, well, slimy but not overly messy. It is gluten free, all natural, and can be made on the stove-top (a bonus for those without microwaves).

All Natural Slime Recipe Tutorial

I recommend getting the kids involved to help make the slime, as it’s a fun learning project and will get them thinking creatively.

Natural Slime Ingredients:

Homemade Slime Instructions:

  1. Add water to a medium-sized pot.
  2. Add in fiber and cornstarch. Drop in food coloring.
  3. Gently stir to combine slightly.
  4. Place on medium/low heat. (We set our range to 4).
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Gently boil for 5 mins.
  7. Remove from heat and let cool for two minutes.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 three more times.
  9. Test slime with spoon. If it stretches like slime it is ready, if not repeat 6 and 7 one more time.
  10. Allow to cool completely. It will thicken significantly as it cools.
  11. Store in an airtight container.

Natural Slime Tips & Tricks

Our kitchen resembled a mad scientist’s lab by the end of this experiment with slime in various conditions and stages all over the place. Along the way we learned a lot about what not to do. Here are some tips:

  • DO NOT STIR!! It is tempting but don’t do it!
  • Watch the pot closely and don’t put the heat up too high. A watched pot might not boil, but an unwatched pot of slime on high heat will boil over.
  • Since we weren’t eating it, we just used liquid food coloring, but I plan to try turmeric, spinach powder, and beet powder like I have used in playdough.
  • This slime makes a small batch. I tried doubling the recipe and it didn’t work.
  • Let the slime cool completely, for a few hours if possible, to let it set up the best. Once it is handled, it will not set anymore.

Slime … love it or hate it? Have any other ideas of how to make a successful natural slime?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


41 responses to “How to Make Natural Slime (No Borax or Glue)”

  1. Mia Avatar

    Slime fail. We tried making this and followed the directions exactly. We used pink food coloring the natural kind and ended up looking like guts. The psyllium powder brown color over powers the coloring.

  2. Cindy Avatar

    For anyone who has made this – mine is looking clear, not like the opaque slime shown in the picture. Is it supposed to be opaque and I did something wrong? Or is that just a stock photo?

  3. Tara Avatar

    Hi there! Thanks for the recipe.. At the end of your post, you mention that once it is handled, it will not set again. So does that mean it is one time use only?

  4. Melissa Avatar

    I don’t get the slime craze but my son LOVES it. I’ve cringed at the toxic ingredients. I’m very glad you posted this. Thank you.

  5. Andy J Avatar

    I mix pure borax in my smoothies, it is great for detoxing fluoride. Sounds like you just need a pure source, not one with other chemicals.


    I love you!!! thank you for posting this! my dear daughter wanted to make slime over her spring break. she is on the Gaps diet to heal from 2 auto immune diseases and i was wanting her to wear gloves to make/play with her slime. ….ended up not making the slime…..

    thanx again- we will try this recipe over the weekend!!!

  7. Angela Avatar

    I was wondering if I could switch the cornstarch with arrowroot starch? We don’t use cornstarch in our house for various reasons but loooove The fact that this is all natural. Although, it takes the mad scientist out of my daughter since it requires a stove as opposed to making a batch of slime all on her own when she feels like it.

  8. Holly Avatar

    I too have been avoiding the chemical laden slime craze. So excited to come across this all natural recipe. Thank you!

  9. Heather Avatar

    I have 100% psyllium husk powder. Will that work in place of the NuSyllium that has the added ingredients? Also, we don’t keep corn starch in the house. Will arrowroot powder work instead?

  10. Sarah Avatar

    Have you tried any add-ins to give it a different texture? I know that several slime recipes call for model-magic or Daiso clay, what is your opinion on the safety of this?

  11. Quianna Avatar

    Can you just use plain physillium husk or does it have to be the one you linked with flavor and sugar? I’ve got everything but that.

  12. Kirsten Avatar

    I can’t wait to make this…I have psyllium ”husks”, is that the same as what you used? Thanks for the fun recipe!

  13. jessie Avatar

    This is brilliant! I’m wondering if you’ve tried it with arrowroot instead of cornstarch? We have a serious corn sensitivity here. Also, does the food coloring dye your hands when you play with it?

  14. Susan Avatar

    Hi – I am wondering if you have tried adding glitter, or tiny toys, or anything along those lines, and if so, how it worked out.

    Thank you!!

    1. Meg Avatar

      The glitter would work but tiny toys…. a choking hazard for kids with the temptation to munch.

  15. Jennifer Avatar

    This is AWESOME. Way to go mom! I’ve never liked purchasing Borax and glue in the past just to make slime this looks like a great recipe – cannot wait to try it. Thank you for your research.

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