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Exploding Slime

Just what is Exploding Slime?

     Freaky and fun, all in one! This exciting DIY combines two very popular chemical reactions - volcanos and slime - to create a unique material that is both entertaining and educational. The entertaining area of exploding slime can be experienced through social media as many influencers have made thousands off of these multi-million viewed slime videos. Let’s take a look at the educational side of exploding slime! 

How to make it

  1. Before you get messy, place a foam plate into a plastic grocery bag and stand it up on your workspace. This is where you will be mixing your materials and performing your DIY.

  2. Take the label off of the small water bottle and pour out half of the water. Place it onto the foam plate.

  3. Label with sticky notes the bottle as “detergent and baking soda” and the plastic cup as “vinegar and glue”. Review: which of the chemicals from each are paired together to form a reaction?

  4. Fold a piece of paper into a funnel and tape it together.

  5. With your funnel, add 1 teaspoon of Borax detergent (or 3 teaspoons of powder or liquid detergent) and 5 teaspoons of baking soda to the water bottle. Put the lid on tightly and shake the bottle well.

  6. In a plastic cup, add 3 teaspoons of vinegar, 3 heaping teaspoons of glue, and 4 - 5 drops of food coloring. Mix well with a plastic spoon.

  7. Shake the bottle of detergent and baking soda again. Open the bottle, then very quickly scoop all of the vinegar and glue into the bottle.

  8. Watch your slime come to life! After the fizzing stops, go ahead and carefully grab your slime from the top of the bottle and stretch it around. Does it feel like normal slime? Have fun!

  9. To dispose of your DIY, simply tie up your plastic bag and throw it away!

Yellow Slime

What you'll need (for one bottle of slime)

  • A plastic grocery bag

  • A foam plate

  • Paper towels (for cleanup)

  • A small, 8oz. Water bottle

  • Tape

  • Sheet of printer paper

  • Sticky notes

  • A marker

  • A plastic cup

  • A plastic teaspoon

  • 1 teaspoon Borax (substitute: 3 teaspoons powder detergent, 3 teaspoons liquid detergent)

  • 5 teaspoons baking soda

  • 3 teaspoons vinegar

  • 3 heaping teaspoons glue

  • 4-5 drops of food coloring

What did you notice? What is it about this mixture that makes it do its thing?

  • The baking soda and vinegar react before the detergent and glue reaction. This is why the sticky mass bubbles up like boiling water in the very beginning of the chemical reaction, then the bubbling slows down as the slime begins to solidify.

  • The slime reaction is endothermic, meaning that it absorbs heat energy. Reactions like these are cold to the touch, so your slime will be cold as well.

  • Different detergents have different chemical compositions, so be sure to always exercise precaution by cleaning your hands before and after the DIY and wearing proper safety gear. Borax can be quite harmful if consumed, so substitute with powder or liquid detergent if necessary. Concentrated detergents can have a very strong scent, so we also suggest alternatives that are scent-free or that cater to those with allergies.



Both the volcano (baking soda and vinegar) and the slime (detergent and glue) are created in this DIY due to a chemical reaction called an Acid - Base reaction. An Acid - Base reaction is a chemical reaction that involves the exchange of one or more hydrogen ions (H+) between molecules. These hydrogen ions are also known as hydrogen protons. An acid is a substance that donates protons (like hydrogen) or accepts electrons to form a bond. A base is a substance that can accept protons (like hydrogen) or donates electrons to form a bond. 



  1. Where on the internet have you seen the use of exploding slime being used in an educational manner OR being used for entertainment purposes ? 

  2. Why do you have to shake the bottle before you add the vinegar and glue? Hint, let the solution sit in the bottle for a few minutes and see where the baking soda goes.

  3. What happens if you add too much detergent? What happens if you add too much glue? 



When the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) combine, they create a chemical reaction that produces a salt (the positive ion of a base and the negative ion of an acid), carbon dioxide gas, and water.The chemical equation looks like this:


  1. CH3COOH + NaHCO3 = CH3COONa + CO2 + H2O.

(Acetic Acid) + (Sodium Bicarbonate) = (Sodium Acetate) + (Carbon Dioxide gas) + (Water)


When PVA glue (polyvinyl acetate) and liquid detergent containing sodium tetraborate combine, it causes multiple chemical reactions to occur that, in the end, produce slime.  The chemical equations are in order of when they happen in the reaction:


  1. Borax (Na2B4O7 * 10H2O) dissolves in water to form sodium ions (Na+ ) and tetraborate ions  (B4O7 2-)

  2. Tetraborate ions (B4O7 2-) combine with water to form hydroxide ions (OH- ) and boric acid (H3BO3)

    1.  ( B4O7 2-(aq) + 7H2O  <—>   4 H3BO3(aq) + 2 OH- (aq) )

  3. Boric acid (H3BO3)  reacts with water to form borate ions ( B(OH)4- ):

    1. H3BO3(aq) + 2 H2O <— > B(OH)4-(aq) + H3O+(aq)

  4. Bonds form between Boric acid and OH groups in the polyvinyl acetate in the glue, linking them in long chains that form a new liquid-solid hybrid: slime!



  1. From this experiment and looking at the chemical formulas, do both chemical reactions happen within the same amount of time? Why or why not?

  2. Which of two chemicals in the volcano reaction (vinegar and baking soda) is the acid? Which one is the base?

  3. Could this reaction happen without added water? Why or why not?

Happy experimenting friends!

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