Sum­mer of Slime: DIY goo takes over tweens’ lives

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

ST. PETERS­BURG, FLA. | Call this The Sum­mer of Slime.

The slime trend is prob­a­bly hap­pen­ing right now in your home, if you live with a tween girl. Or maybe it’s on your phone, in end­less video loops that crackle and pop on In­sta­gram and YouTube.

For Boomers and Gen X-ers who aren’t aware, slime is like mod­ern-day Silly Putty. Or Play-Doh. But in­stead of be­ing able to copy newsprint on the gooey sub­stance (re­mem­ber newsprint?) or sculpt a grubby, av­o­cado­green an­i­mal that re­sem­bles a Pi­casso night­mares, 21st cen­tury slime is slick and pretty. It’s DIY and so­cial me­dia ready.

It’s bright and fluffy, crunchy and glit­tery. Like uni­corn poop would be, if uni­corns ex­isted and pooped.

“It’s just re­ally sooth­ing to touch and stuff,” ob­serves Stella Tem­plin, a 13-year-old from Northamp­ton, Massachusetts. “And the noises it makes are re­ally, re­ally sat­is­fy­ing.”

Full dis­clo­sure: This re­porter pur­chased a 4-ounce jelly jar of Cherry Bomb Slime from Stella who, with a friend, has a slime-mak­ing busi­ness that sells the con­coc­tions for $8 each. Yes, they are slime-trepreneurs. More on that in a minute. Let’s back up and ex­plain these blobs that have taken Amer­ica by storm. It’s mostly girls who make it, video it and sell it.

Slime is easy to cre­ate with a bit of a mad-sci­en­tist feel to the process. Sure, there’s pre-made slime, but there’s not much ex­cite­ment in that.

Glue, bak­ing soda and con­tact lens so­lu­tion are all it takes to make sat­is­fy­ingly stretchy slime. Some recipes call for Bo­rax (although con­cerns over chem­i­cal burns have led some goomak­ers to sub­sti­tute other in­gre­di­ents), shav­ing cream or Tide laun­dry de­ter­gent.

The op­ti­mal slime is not too wet, not too sticky, stretchy and mal­leable. When squooshed by hand, it emits sat­is­fy­ing pops and bub­bles, sounds that are part of the al­lure. Some fans watch videos of peo­ple play­ing with slime be­cause they find the noises re­lax­ing.

“The videos are sat­is­fy­ing be­cause they help peo­ple calm down,” said Alyssa Ja­gan, a 15-year-old from Toronto, whose In­sta­gram slime videos have hun­dreds of thou­sands of views. “Es­pe­cially peo­ple with anx­i­ety. My fol­low­ers have said it helps them sleep.”

Elmer’s, the ven­er­a­ble child­hood glue, has pages of slime recipes on its web­site. Col­ored slime, glit­ter slime, galaxy slime. Large, jumbo and ex­tralarge slime. It also has a help­ful FAQ on slime, with press­ing ques­tions such as “Is there any way to re­vive old, hard­ened slime?” (Try adding wa­ter and knead­ing with your hands) and “Can slime be used on fur­ni­ture or walls?” (Ab­so­lutely not.)

“It takes one bot­tle of Elmer’s glue to make one batch of slime, and many con­sumers are mak­ing mul­ti­ple batches or ‘ex­tra-large’ batches of slime — so de­mand in glue is up sig­nif­i­cantly since the slime trend took off,” Elmer’s spokes­woman Caitlin Watkins wrote in an email.

Be­cause of the in­creased de­mand, the Elmer’s team boosted pro­duc­tion of var­i­ous glues. Many par­ents feel the need to pur­chase glue in gal­lon jugs on­line be­cause of short­ages in brickand-mor­tar stores.

At least one teacher re­ports that tubs of glue have been stolen from schools for at-home slime-mak­ing.

“It’s re­ally the most ba­sic sci­ence recipe that you can have. You can put ba­sic in­gre­di­ents to­gether and you get to be a lit­tle sci­en­tific and a lit­tle cre­ative at the same time, and I think peo­ple en­joy that,” said Amy Anderson, a blog­ger at Mod Podge Rocks, who is plan­ning on show­cas­ing slime recipes this sum­mer.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Astrid Rubens shows the elas­tic­ity of home­made slime in her St. Paul, Min­nesota, kitchen. Glue, bak­ing soda and con­tact lens so­lu­tion are all it takes to make slime.

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