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How to Make Slime with Laundry Detergent

Discover the fun of making slime with laundry detergent! Kids will love getting messy with this easy activity they can do at home.

Skills Required: None. Anyone of any age can make slime. Perfect for ages toddler to adult. All you’ll be doing is mixing ingredients in a blow.

how to make slime with laundry detergent

There’s only one question I have about slime making these days – why didn’t we know about this fun activity when I was younger?

It was a simpler time back then I suppose.

Either that or my parents completely deprived me of any slime making fun. Maybe everyone else was doing it and I didn’t know? That’s quite possible. I come from the kind of family that derives entertainment from twigs and Tupperware containers.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, right? It stimulates the imagination when you don’t have a bunch of toys as a child, at least it did for me.

how to make slime laundry detergent

Having said that, I think this slime recipe is a fun way to get creative with your kids. Though there are only a few ingredients, the customization possibilities are what make it fun. You can toss in food coloring, glitter, and endless add ins (which I discuss below).

You’re going to love making slime, and I can’t wait to show you how it’s done!

Making Laundry Detergent Slime

Before we get into how to make slime with laundry detergent, let’s answer a few frequently asked questions! Inquiring minds want to know the best things to buy and make sure they work before purchase. That’s what these FAQs are for. Scroll down if you want the recipe!

How is this slime made?

You’re going to mix glue and mix ins (like coloring and glitter) in a container, and then add an activator. Activator is the additive that turns the glue into slime. In this case, the activator is laundry detergent!

laundry detergent slime

What laundry detergent is best for slime?

In order for the slime to work, the detergent must contain sodium borate such as Gain or Tide Free and Clear.

Can you make slime with just glue and laundry detergent?

Yes you can! This is a three ingredient slime, but you can add glue to a vessel and then pour in a little activator until you get your desired consistency.

Can you make slime with Tide?

Absolutely! The detergent must contain sodium borate, so use Tide Free & Clear or Simply Clear & Fresh.

slime with laundry detergent

What add ins can you put in your slime recipe?

This is one of my favorite parts – adding various goodies into my recipe! This is where you can really have fun. Here are just some of the things I’ve used when making slime. I’d love to know which of these you’ve tried.

  1. Action Figures – we used plastic zombies in our Halloween slime!
  2. Beads – all different kinds, but plastic pony beads are really fun
  3. Buttons – Small, colorful plastic buttons look great in white/clear slime
  4. Clay Pieces – these small polymer pieces are so fun; I especially love the fruit!
  5. Confetti – It’s so fun to add in confetti – yes, even paper confetti! See a recipe I did here that uses it
  6. Essential Oils – these don’t color your slime, but they sure make it
  7. Fake Snow – very similar to confetti, but often shimmery, and great for Christmas slime recipes
  8. Foam Beads – you can get these in almost any color, and they add a fun texture
  9. Food Coloring – this is what you’ll use for a base color
  10. Glitter – one of the core tenants of slime add ins; you can use it with all the other add ins for a very cool effect
  11. Pigment Powder – another way to add a base color, typically with a metallic sheet
  12. Poly Pellets – another way to add texture similar to foam beads
  13. Polymer Clay – Clay makes slime recipes very soft; you’ll love the texture
  14. Pom Poms – these small little balls add a lot of color and texture

Are you ready to learn how to make slime with laundry detergent? Let’s dive in!

slime with detergent

Gather These Supplies

  • Laundry detergent (detergent must contain sodium borate such as Gain or Tide Free and Clear)
  • School glue – 4 oz. (1 bottle)
  • Food coloring (or other add ins)


  • Bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Fork
  • Airtight container

Tip: Choose a bowl that you’ll only use for crafting. None of the ingredients are food safe, and although they’re non-toxic, I prefer having designated bowls for this project.

Now prepare yourself for hours of good times!

how to make slime with glue and laundry detergent

Store in an airtight container when not being used. Slime doesn’t really go bad . . . but it can lose moisture or grow mold depending on the environment. If you have to throw it out, you can easily make a new batch!

Now that you know how to make slime with laundry detergent, start experimenting!

Yield: 1 cup

Laundry Detergent Slime

how to make slime laundry detergent

Learn how to make slime with laundry detergent - this simple recipe has only three ingredients.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • Laundry detergent (detergent must contain sodium borate such as Gain or Tide Free and Clear)
  • School glue - 4 oz. (1 bottle)
  • Food coloring (or other add ins)


  • Bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Fork
  • Airtight container


  1. Add bottle of white glue to a bowl. Add in food coloring or glitter if desired. Mix thoroughly.Adding white glue to a glass bowl
  2. Stir in 1 T of liquid laundry detergent. Begin mixing with a fork. Continue to stir as the mixture begins to stick together.Adding laundry detergent to the glue
  3. Repeat step 2, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is no longer sticky and starts pulling away from the side of the bowl.Stirring the laundry detergent and glue mixture with a fork
  4. As the slime forms, start kneading with your hands. Add any add ins at this time.Kneading the slime and laundry detergent with hands


In this recipe I used 6T total of liquid Gain detergent.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!

If you enjoy kids’ crafts, I’d love for you to check out these other slime recipes that your whole family will love:

ClayClearCloudColor ChangingCrunchyEdibleFluffyGalaxyGreen BoogerGlitterGlow in the DarkHalloweenPlay DohRainbowSandSlime ShopsUnicorn


Saturday 25th of May 2024

People in these comments are taking slime a little too seriously... 🙄 Worked for us, just had to add more Tide than I thought and my daughter kneeded it for a while! Thanks for the recipe!


Tuesday 23rd of April 2024



Wednesday 24th of April 2024

You don't need to KYS. You need to use the right detergent! Only certain ones work. Bye


Tuesday 16th of April 2024

Just so you are aware sodium borate is the IUPAC name for borax, they are both the same compound - you recipe does in fact contain borax if you are using detergent with sodium borate and it is exactly just as toxic :)


Monday 11th of September 2023

I used arm and hammer detergent and it just turned into a thick soup, google recommended it but it still doesn’t work, just make slime the regular way if you don’t want to waste your money.


Friday 18th of August 2023

This recipe did not work at all. Tried it 3 times. Is there a specific detergent because apparently off brand does not work.

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