We have a love/hate relationship with slime. On the one hand, the gooey stuff can keep our little rascals entertained for hours on end, giving us a much-needed break. And if they whip up their own slime, it teaches kids valuable skills, like patience and basic chemistry. So what’s the downside to the slippery stuff? Just check out our living room sofa after they’re done playing with it. Or our kid’s sweater. Or—worst of all—our favorite pair of jeans. The thing that makes slime so fun (i.e., its stickiness) is exactly what makes it such a pain. But fear not—we tapped laundry expert Mary Marlowe Leverette for her advice on how to get slime out of clothes and furniture. Here’s how to clean up after your kids took their crafting project from the playroom to the rest of the house.
How to Get Slime Out of Clothes
Your kid got so excited about her DIY slime that she couldn’t wait to show you...and then she proceeded to give you a giant hug to celebrate her accomplishment. Cue major mess all over your T-shirt. Fortunately, your clothes can be saved. “Techniques for removing play slime from washable fabrics vary, depending on if the slime is fresh or has dried,” says Leverette. Here’s how to tackle both types of damage.
- If the slime is dry, use a dull knife or the edge of a plastic credit card to carefully remove as much of it from the fabric as possible. Then treat the stain by following the next steps, which should also be used for fresh slime.
- Start by holding the fabric directly under a faucet that’s running full force with cold water. This will help force the slime from the fabric fibers.
- Next, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (such as OxiClean, Nellie's All Natural Oxygen Brightener or OXO Brite) and cool water, following the package instructions.
- Completely submerge the garment in the mixture and allow it to soak for at least eight hours. This step will remove the dye component.
- If the stain is gone after soaking, then you can wash your garment as usual. If it remains, mix a fresh solution and repeat.
How to Get Slime Out of Upholstery
Found some slime lurking under the throw pillows? It happens. Here’s how to get your furniture looking as good as new.
- Lift away as much slime as possible from the fabric using a dull knife. Note: You should never rub a slime stain since this will push the stuff deeper into the fabric.
- If the upholstery is microfiber suede, determine if it can be cleaned with water (it will have a “W” or “WS” on the care tag if that’s the case) or isopropyl alcohol (look out for an “S” on the care tag). Choose the appropriate cleaner and gently blot the stain with a sponge working from the outside toward the center of the stain to prevent spreading. Rinse the sponge often.
- For cotton upholstery, use the same cleaning products as you would for washable fabrics (see note above)—just make sure that you don’t supersaturate the cushion.
How to Get Slime Out of the Carpet
Your once-cream Moroccan rug now has a bright pink stain in the corner, complete with sparkles. Here’s what to do.
- Use a tool with a dull edge to lift away as much of the matter as possible.
- Then mix a solution of oxygen bleach and warm water, according to instructions.
- Saturate the stained area and allow the solution to work for at least one hour.
- After an hour, wipe away with a clean dry cloth. If dye remains, repeat with a fresh solution of oxygen bleach.
- Once all of the dye is gone, sponge with plain water and allow the carpet to air-dry.
Um, What About Getting Slime Out of Hair?
The bad news is that your eldest thought it would be fun to paint your youngest child's head with slime. But the good news is that you don’t need to bust out the scissors to clean up this mess. Just follow these steps (and maybe hide the slime for a couple of days).
- First, try washing your kid’s hair with good old-fashioned shampoo and conditioner. But here’s the trick: Use conditioner first and then shampoo. Why? Because many conditioners contain oil, which is what you’ll need to combat all that ooey-gooeyness.
- No luck? OK, time to use actual oil. Most oils you have lying around the kitchen will do the trick, including olive oil, canola oil and coconut oil. Hey, even mayonnaise or peanut butter can work in a pinch.
- Gently massage the oil into your kid’s slimy hair, working in the direction of the hair’s growth. Once the slime starts to loosen, use a comb to tease it out or wash the hair with shampoo.
(FYI: This method will also help to get that giant wad of gum out of your kid’s hair.)
How to Make Slime Without Glue
Here’s the thing: Glue is the standard, reliable way to make slime. And it does a great job of holding the stuff together and making it extra sticky. But glue also makes it practically impossible to scrub slime out of fabric once it dries. So, why not give your kids some slime to play with that’s been made without the pesky craft supply? They’ll have just as much fun and you won’t have to clean up their mess. That’s what we call a win-win. This recipe uses shampoo, food coloring and cornstarch (glitter is an optional—but recommended—ingredient) to create the slippery stuff. Grab some measuring cups and spoons and let your kids get in on the DIY fun. Your finished product should stay damp enough to play with for about five days. When it starts to dry and crack, then it’s time to toss it.