Social media users have become obsessed with slime, with videos dedicated to the colorful goo amassing millions of views (and for some lucky content creators, turning into six-figure revenues).
Slime is like modern-day Silly Putty or Play-Doh, but it’s slick and pretty in addition to being DIY and social media ready. It’s bright and fluffy, crunchy and glittery.
On Instagram, accounts such as rad.slime, glitter.slimes and slimequeens, have amassed 888,000; 1.2 and 1.5 million followers, respectively. Their feeds are made up mostly of videos of hands and fingers manipulating various types of slime, from rainbow-colored to glittery to Oreo-cheesecake-scented.
Mesmerizing: Social media users have become obsessed with slime, with videos dedicated to the colorful goo amassing millions of views
All the rage: On Instagram, accounts such as rad.slime (pictured), glitter.slimes and slimequeens , have amassed 888,000; 1.2 and 1.5 million followers, respectively
Ideal: Slime is like modern-day Silly Putty or Play-Doh, but it’s slick, pretty, easy to make at home and aesthetically pleasing on social media
In the comments section, slime aficionados exchange their tips and questions about slime-making, or marvel at the soothing power of the popping and crackling sound emitted by the goo.
‘It’s just really soothing to touch and stuff,’ Stella Templin, a 13-year-old from Northampton, Massachusetts, observed. ‘And the noises it makes are really, really satisfying.’
The girl has even started her own slime-making business with a friend, and the two now sell four-ounce jars of their concoctions for $8 each.
Some slime-trepreneurs have taken their mastery of the playful goo to the next level and turned into an impressively lucrative pastime.
At the age of 23, Karina Garcia, of Riverside, California, makes up to $200,000 a month and has helped her parents retire, all thanks to her YouTube videos in which she shares slime recipes.
Karina is one of a growing numbers of slime experts who have taken America by storm with their content.
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.
Big bucks: Some slime-trepreneurs have taken their mastery of the playful goo to the next level and turned into an impressively lucrative pastime
Secrets: 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
Soothing: Some fans watch videos of people playing with slime because they find the noises emitted by the goo relaxing
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.’
Science does provide answers to explain the appeal of slime, as biopharmaceutical sciences professor Craig Richard told Marie-Claire.
The clips apparently have a soothing effect on viewers, and could prompt their brains to release feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.
As such, they are part of a category of videos believed to cause a tingling sensation on the skin, beginning on the scalp and traveling to the neck and upper back, called autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR).
Business: At the age of 23, Karina Garcia (pictured), of Riverside, California, makes up to $200,000 a month thanks to her videos in which she shares slime recipes
Industry: Karina (pictured) is one of a growing numbers of slime experts who have taken America by storm with their content
‘These videos relax us because we are hardwired to be soothed by people who can provide care to us,’ Richard said.
Not only does slime fit the bill for ASMR clips, but its bright colors might trigger an evolutionary response that causes humans to relax at their sight—because in nature, they’re associated with the presence of fruits and vegetables in a forest, the professor added.
With slime’s increasing popularity, demand for its ingredient has increased. 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, 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 brick-and-mortar stores.
At least one teacher reports that tubs of glue have been stolen from schools for at-home slime-making.
Specific: The optimal slime is not too wet, not too sticky, stretchy and malleable. When squooshed by hand, it emits satisfying pops and bubbles
Components: With slime’s increasing popularity, demand for its ingredient has increased. Elmer’s, the venerable childhood glue, has pages of slime recipes on its website
Entrepreneurs: The goo has become something of a cottage industry for tweens who want to earn a bit of pocket money, or at least cover the cost of supplies
‘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.
The goo has become something of a cottage industry for tweens who want to earn a bit of pocket money, or at least cover the cost of supplies. Alyssa has an Etsy store, and Stella and her friend sell on another site.
‘Slime has been one of our top search items since last October,’ said Dayna Isom Johnson, a trend expert at Etsy.
For Karina, a former waitress, her love of goo has turned into a 6.2-million-subscriber YouTube channel, accompanied by a book deal so she can share her slime recipe with readers. She has now bought a six-bedroom house in California, where she enjoys a swimming pool, a game room and a screening room.
Unlike many slime creators, Karina doesn’t sell her products but makes most of her profits from partnerships with brands such as Coca-Cola and Disney.
‘I’ve retired my parents,’ Karina told the New York Times. ‘It’s definitely really crazy. Even I can’t believe it. I’m like, “How is this happening?” ‘
But for parents of younger children, slime can be annoying to parents, which could be part of its lure, as well.
Craft: Astrid Rubens, 12, of St. Paul, Minnesota, is one of many tweens who have become captivated by slime and enjoy making it
Experience: The girl’s mother, Sarah, believes making slime can be a powerful endeavor for children of her daughter’s generation, allowing for some ‘deep thinking’
Stella’s mom, Naomi Shulman, says that a batch of pink-dyed slime has left streaks in the family’s upstairs bathroom sink that might not come out.
Still, for some, slime is a way to connect with others. The substance is tailor-made for social media because it’s so pretty – especially when it contains rainbow-colored beads or shimmery blue glitter.
Since March 1, Elmer’s has received nearly 200,000 social media mentions about slime. And Alyssa, the 15-year-old in Canada, has nearly 650,000 fans on Instagram, all because of her slime videos. Her book, ‘Ultimate Slime: DIY Tutorials for Crunchy Slime, Fluffy Slime, Fishbowl Slime, and 50 Other Oddly Satisfying Recipes–Totally Borax Free!’ comes out in November.
Sarah Rubens of St. Paul, Minnesota, reports that her family has witnessed the onslaught of Styrofoam beads, kinetic sand, shaving cream, food coloring, acrylic paint and, the horror of all craft horror, glitter. All are in the service of slime-making by her 12-year-old daughter Astrid, who makes it in the basement in what Rubens calls ‘The Slime Lair.’
A teddy bear and a neck pillow were recently sacrificed for their inner bead stuffing.
‘If you put the beads in the slime it makes it really crunch,’ Astrid explained.
Rubens thinks slime is a powerful sensory experience for a generation that’s relied on electronics, saying of her daughter: ‘I feel like she does some really deep thinking when she’s got her hands in the slime.’