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, avocado-green 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.”
These blobs 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 goo-makers 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,” Jagan added.
Elmer’s, the venerable childhood glue, has pages of slime recipes on its website. Colored slime, glitter slime, galaxy slime. Large, jumbo and extra-large slime. It also has a helpful FAQ on slime.
Because of the increased demand, the Elmer’s team boosted production of various glues.
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