Ingredient in homemade slime causing some concern

Published: Mar. 14, 2017 at 8:15 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2017 at 8:16 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - One ingredient in an increasingly popular putty recipe for children has parents and health officials urging caution.

Because of the craze - and with children on spring break - parents may want to pay attention to what health officials have to say about homemade slime and its ingredients.

A quick search online reveals countless videos of kids showing how to make the popular slime. It's been so popular that shelves can't keep one of the ingredients in stock...glue. In fact, we drove around Amarillo to see if we could find any and didn't have any luck.

But glue isn't the ingredient worrying parents and health officials. It's common cleaner called Borax.

"If a child were to get into the Borax itself, it's a skin irritant and it can be an irritant into the airways into the stomach, so that can cause stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting," says Dr. Jeanie Jaramillo-Stametz of Texas Panhandle Poison Center.

Borax can be toxic, but not usually to the touch.  And the recipe for slime calls for very little of it. But this is why monitoring the chemical and the amount is important.

"Parents are obviously buying these products for the kids. The glue also is not highly toxic, but again something you want to be careful with. So my recommendation would just be as parents we need to know what we're buying for them, make sure it's stored properly because the borax will be much more toxic in that concentration in the box, that it is in the green slime," says Jaramillo-Stametz.

Jaramillo-Stametz tells us another hazard with this homemade slime is the way it's packaged.

"The slime does become a choking hazard and some of the kids are putting the green slime inside of balloons, kind of a stress ball type product and then selling those at school. That can be a choking hazard as well for small children and for animals."

But there are recipes for this slime that do not require borax. It's a more natural approach, without any risks.

If you choose to use the borax recipe, make sure to encourage your child to use protection like gloves. Jaramillo-Stametz says once you're done, put the slime in a secure location.

If parents have any concerns about their children using these ingredients or have questions regarding its toxicity, they can contact poison control at (800) 222-1222.


Throw some cornstarch in a bowl, add water and start mixing. Add as much water as you'd like to reach the consistency of your choice. (A good place to start is 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water) Then to make it "real" slime, add some food coloring and you're done!

Copyright 2017 KFDA. All rights reserved.