This fluffy slime will keep your kids entertained for hours.
Slime is not only a great way to get in some tactile play, but it also can help introduce kids to basic science concepts too.
Slime Without Borax
There are so many ways to make fluffy slime, but a lot of slime recipes contain boron. This includes laundry starch slime, Borax slime, and slime made with contact solution. This is a mineral that may be irritating if a person is exposed to it on a regular basis.
An issue that many families seem to have with fluffy slime is that the combination of the laundry starch or Borax and the shaving cream can make little hands itchy and red. This combination of ingredients can cause more irritation than regular slime. However, this version, using baking soda and dish soap, leaves hands feeling soft and is non-irritating to all but the most sensitive skin.
That was the initial reason I decided to make slime without borax. However, I have to admit it’s nice to have a fluffy slime recipe that doesn’t take a dozen ingredients! This version only has four, and that includes the coloring.
Slime Without Borax vs Slime with Borax
If your kids love making and playing with slime a lot, it is helpful to have some Borax-free slime recipes for them to try instead. Most Borax-free slime recipes are not as stretchy as the original, including this one.
However, my children love this “slime” and find it stretchier than playdough or other non-borax recipes.
Just keep in mind as you try this slime that it will be different than ‘true slime’, given that the borax is where you get the truly stretchy results.
If you prefer a version WITH borax that is more stretchy, check out my easy homemade slime in 5 minutes (aka) gak that does contain borax.
How to Make Fluffy “Slime”
Ready to start making the fluffy slime? Your kids will be playing with it in minutes!
Fluffy Slime Ingredients
There are just four simple ingredients you’ll need to make this slime. You may even have them all at home already. You’ll need:
- Dish soap – I recommend Gain for the best results. There are many variations and different ingredients in dish soap and others may not yield desired results
- Elmer’s white glue
- Baking soda – the amount varies depending on the humidity level. You will need 1 cup to a whole box.
- Gel food coloring
Steps for Making the Fluffy Slime
Mix 1/2 a cup of Elmer’s glue with about a tablespoon of dish soap. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and stir. The mixture will start to foam, at which point you can add in your favorite color of food coloring.
Add one cup of baking soda to the mixture and stir. Here’s where the science experiment comes in: the baking soda and glue will start to react, creating a stretchy slime that is slightly heavier in texture than regular slime.
Add more baking soda until you can handle the slime without it sticking to your fingers. How much you need will depend on the humidity levels – in the summer, readers have reported needing a whole box of baking soda, while we have made this recipe several times in the winter with just 1 cup.
The slime won’t be quite as stretchy as borax-based slimes, but it will stretch and pull to some extent. If you add too much baking soda, however, you will transform the slime into a play dough, which although fun to play with, doesn’t quite have the same effect.
If you do end up putting too much baking soda in, you can add a little more dish soap to thin it out again.
Kids will love this fluffy version of slime. My kids loved puffing it up into a ball, then pressing their hands into it. They also had a blast stretching and pulling the slime like they do with traditional borax-based slime.
I really liked this version of fluffy borax-free slime, because once the kids were done with it, their hands were so smooth and smelled amazing!
Fluffy Slime Tips & FAQ:
Since I first made this fluffy slime post, I have had a lot of reader questions and comments. I collected some of the most common ones to address here.
Can I Substitute…?
While I will often give substitutes to try in my projects, this is one where I can’t. I highly recommend you use the recommended ingredients as listed above. We have found this recipe to be unforgiving for ingredient substitutions.
How to Store Homemade Slime
Store your fluffy slime in an airtight container or plastic bag. It should last for 3-4 days. Because it’s not preserved with borax, it is likely to get sticky and runny after a few days.
Will This Feel Like Regular Store-Bought Slime?
This slime won’t have the same texture as traditional slime. In most slime recipes, the borax helps the ingredients bond, giving it a stretchy texture.
This version is more like a stretchy, soft play dough, which will have some of the same sensory benefits as traditional slime but won’t act like “true” slime due to the absence of borax. It is a wonderful alternative for kids with sensitive skin to provide sensory input without skin irritation.
Make sure when you mix the glue dish soap that it creates a foamy, airy texture. This is what will make the slime work. Some brands of soap work better than others. We used Gain dish soap and it worked great.
I needed more baking soda!
When we first published this recipe, it appears we weren’t as clear as we should have been on the baking soda quantities. To all those commenters who tried this recipe and were bummed they needed more baking soda, even a full box, sorry about that! We’ve updated the post to make it extra clear that you may need MORE than 1 cup of baking soda when making this “fluffy slime.”
If you do this activity during the summer, especially when it’s humid and damp, you WILL need more baking soda. You might need even a full box of baking soda or 2-3 cups worth. If you make this during a dryer time of year, you will need less, probably closer to 1 cup of baking soda.
I suggest having a full box of baking soda just in case you do need more. (At least baking soda is super inexpensive!)
Help! My Slime is Too Thin
If your slime is too runny: Add more baking soda until it thickens. Depending on the humidity in your room and how liquid your dish soap is, you may need to add 2-3 cups of baking soda, possibly a whole box.
What to Do if the Slime is Too Solid
If your slime is too solid: Add a bit more dish soap until it has a pliable texture.
I hope your family enjoys this fluffy “slime” recipe as much as mine does!
IMAGINATIVE FUN ↓Print
Fluffy Dish Soap “Slime” (Borax Free)
Simple 4-ingredient fluffy slime recipe.
- Dish soap – I recommend Gain for the best results.
- Elmer’s white glue
- Baking soda
- Gel food coloring
- Mix 1/2 a cup of Elmer’s glue with about a tablespoon of dish soap.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and stir. The mixture will start to foam, at which point you can add in your favorite color of food coloring.
- Add one cup of baking soda to the mixture and stir. (Keep adding baking soda until you can handle the slime without it sticking to your fingers. You may need a whole box, especially during the humid summer months.
- If you do end up putting too much baking soda in, you can add a little more dish soap to thin it out again.
*Pin the image to save this homemade dish soap “slime” for later.
My kid is enjoying mashing this around in the bowl, but it’s definitely not slime or even particulary thick. I’ve put in well over 1 cup of baking soda. Feeling disappointed. I wonder if it’s because the only glue we have is the washable kind?
That’s disappointing, Larissa. The washable kind of glue should be fine. What brand of soap did you use? We added some notes/tips at the end of the post to help.
Panda Pirate says
Yeah, it definitely is not a slime. I’ve added much more than a box of baking soda, and it won’t even turn into a dough.
This was fun. It I would not call it “slime”. The kids had fun making it and playing with it! I also needed way more baking soda but it turned out well. How do you store this? Thanks!
Hi Jessica, you can store it in an airtight container. It should last 3-4 days – after that, it may get sticky or runny becaues it’s not preserved with borax. I’m glad your kids had fun!
It did not work! Almost a whole box of baking soda is needed! There texture is very soft. Will try to store it and see what happens after it sits for awhile.
Bummer! I’m sorry Diane. What kind of soap did you use? We added some notes at the end of the post to help answer some of these questions.
How long can I expect this slime to last?
How to store it and for how long it will last? I have the same questions as others here have.
The probable reason for Slime failure is the lack of anionic surficants in the soap. Look for “laurel or Laureth Sulfates, Sulfonates, or Esters in ingredients in soaps
Thank you, Robin. This is very helpful!
Slime MOM says
This is a great way to make slime!!!
Bree matherly says
In a container in a fridge your in a bag
This took almost my whole 2 kg bix of baking soda and far to long to mix, try sticking to borax next time
Panda Pirate says
I don’t have access to borax though.
To be honest this didn’t work at all for me, and I used the same dish soap as the one in the pictures
I’m sorry, Ana. That’s disappointing for you and your kids. Did you follow the tips about the humidity, etc.?
I did this with my kids, and it worked! jus had to tweak the recipe a bit..the first time goin by recipe, and using Palmolive it was sticky slime… then I added more baking soda and it was perfect.. the kids had fun. I was also told to add shaving cream to it or even laundry detergent rather than dish soap.. IT IS SCIENCE.. nothing like a little chemistry to make or miss……
This worked ok… I had limited ingredients, so I don’t think I added enough glue. I added baking soda until it wasn’t sticky but by then it was a dough. I tried adding some more dish soap and it did thin out, but it also made It to sticky again.
Laurel Reedy says
I’m having trouble with the first step. I’m using white glue and Dawn dish soap and the soap causes the glue to coagulate right away and will not mix with the water. The result is a stringy mess. Any ideas?
We used Gain dish soap and that worked well for us. Maybe try that? I had thought Dawn would work but there are so many different soap variations and ingredients and that seems to cause issues.
Didn’t work at all. Followed the recipe exactly. I should have read the comments before wasting my time. Eventually turned it into some kind of dough with baking powder, as I dumped a huge amount of baking soda in and it didn’t work. Really disappointing
Emily .H. says
I tried it but it didn’t work. Do you have any suggestions without borax or shaving cream or eye drops. Thanks
Did you see the troubleshooting tips at the bottom of the post?
Hi, It took longer than we expected but it worked in the end after we kept adding baking soda.The key really is the baking soda. Once we saw the mixture getting thicker and coming off the sides of the bowl, we gathered up everything to make it into a ball. Otherwise it wouldn’t stick together by itself, Thanks a lot for the instructions. My children wanted me to leave this review.
Thanks for sharing!
I made this slime 2 times following your instructions and it did not work for me. I ended up adding Elmer’s magical liquid the 2nd time and it just felt like wet paper. Not sure where I went wrong.
I rate this 3 stars based on the fact that is does take more baking soda then stated ( I used a cup and a half – 2 cups) and if you don’t have much on hand that would be a problem. Also, I don’t think this is slime at all. It has the consistency of moon sand, a product that I remember using years ago. With that said I was happy with what we got. My 2 year old played with it for an hour straight. Awesome!
Thanks for your feedback, Wendy. We do say in the post that it may need 2-3x more baking soda depending on the humidity levels. I’m glad your 2 year old loved it!
I’ve made this recipe three times with my children now. and they love it. I’m not sure why there are complaints about needing more than 1 cup of baking soda – the recipe does say that’s a possibility. I had more on hand (at least baking soda is seriously one of the cheapest ingredients you can use) and it was no problem for us. We have really enjoyed this, especially with no borax. Thanks for the fun!
I’m so glad. Thanks for the comment, Jennifer!
We almost gave up on this, but eventually it came together. Ours required almost 2 BOXES of baking soda to get to the point where it didn’t stick to the bowl/hands. FYI, it’s winter, and our house is not humid by any stretch. So I’m not sure why we needed so much.
We definitely did NOT use the right kind of soap, ours is Seventh Generation dish soap. So maybe that had something to do with it? Who knows. But once we got through the wondering-if-it’s-ever-going-to-work phase, we thought it was pretty cool. Not typical slime — as the post makes very clear — but fun! Thanks!
Hi Joy, I’ve heard from others that Seventh Generation soap doesn’t work well for this activity. It’s something to do with the ingredients. That’s why we recommend Gain or a brand with similar ingredients.
We used Blue Dawn and had to add about an extra cup of baking soda before it came together. Daughter added glitter and it looks like fluffy marshmallow clouds.
This experiment worked. We live in florida where there’s always high humidity and we only had to use a little bit more Baking soda than listed. Can you explain the science behind it please?
Hi ESR, I’m glad it worked well for you. It’s so interesting to hear that you didn’t need to use a lot of baking soda. I wish I could explain the science to you, but I don’t understand it myself. I’ll have to ask my oldest who is majoring in chemical engineering and LOVES chemistry.
This was so fun to make and my kids love it!
We followed your directions and tips exactly and had great results. My kids love their fluffy slime. Thanks for the recipe!