Borax substitute?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by lucybelle, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I want to make the homemade "slime" (putty, whatever) from glue, water and borax. But I have been quite unsuccessful finding borax here. No one even knows what it is. They don't sell it in the grocery store. At the pharmacy they tried to sell me boric acid. Is there another way to make the slime? Or some substitute for borax? I looked at the laundry detergent and they don't have the borax compound in them.

    OR- do you know of any other fun, cool experiments to show "compounds"?

    :thumb:
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I saw a recipe that included cornstarch instead of borax. Not sure if it works as well.
     
  5. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Thanks I just googled and saw that people used cornstarch, liquid laundry starch or epsom salts instead of borax. But has anyone actually made these with any success?
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Well, there's "oobleck": water plus cornstarch. I don't recall the proportions offhand, but it's runnier when still than it is when in motion.

    Wikipedia on borax gives a couple other names you could ask under: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'll add that I use cornstarch a fair amount for thickening... and a slurry of cornstarch and water DEFINITELY behaves oddly.
     
  8. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Honestly, cornstarch is even a little tricky to find. Most of it is flavored to make some sort of awful dessert. I have yet to find just regular cornstarch.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hm. What about laundry starch?
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  11. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    :lol: Thanks! Maizena is the flavored stuff here. Like I said, it's hard to just find normal cornstarch! Last time I bought what I thought was cornstarch and it wasn't. So we ate chocolate pudding instead of chocolate pie;)
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I honestly don't know whether arrowroot would work, or potato flour, but either might be worth a shot.
     
  13. janney

    janney Cohort

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  14. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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  15. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Yes, I have used starch. It comes in liquid form in the detergent ailse and is used for stiffening when ironing. I know it is in Hispanic markets here, but under a different brand name. It contains borax which is why it works. It does turn out a little slimier but has a lot of the same properties.

    Borax comes in powdered form and is located in the same place in the store. I have actually been to the area it is mined - Trona. It is a natural mineral used in many laundry detergents (including ones used for diapers because it is abrasive and is a cleaning boost) so it makes sense that Tide or other powdered detergents may work but you might have to use more????
     
  16. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I use cornstarch and food coloring
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh yes, finding all those things can be tough, can't it? Hope you figure something out. I have had to modify plenty of times because I can't seem to find something here. Good luck!
     
  18. paperlabs

    paperlabs Rookie

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    You might try several dif.glue.bonding materials to see the effect. Students might note the effect of replacing borax with starch, epsom salts, etc.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I would think that most powdered laundry detergents would work, but I'm not certain.

    Edit: Apparently not. They use washing soda instead.

    I think you might be able to find Borax at a pool supply store if you have one nearby.
     

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