Glow-in-the-Dark Slime

    Kids, this recipe is for a clear slime that glows in the dark after you expose it to light. The main ingredients are: Elmer's glue gel, (saturated) borax solution and glowing paint. You’ll also need measuring cups/spoons, a bowl or Ziploc baggie and a spoon. 

    Please note:  All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performed without proper adult supervision.

    First, prepare a glue gel solution by mixing 1 part of glue gel (either clear or pale blue) with 3 parts of warm water. Stir the glow agent into the glue gel, about 1/8 teaspoon (tsp) per 30 ml (2 tablespoons, Tbsp) of solution. You can find glowing paint at some paint stores or glowing paint powder (which is zinc sulfide, ZnS) at craft or hobby stores. The paint powder will not dissolve so you just want it mixed in really well.

    The other solution you need is a saturated borax solution made by stirring borax into warm water until it stops dissolving, leaving borax at the bottom of the container. Mix together 30 ml (2 Tbsp) glue gel solution with 10 ml (2 tsp) of borax solution. You can use a spoon and a cup or you can just squish it together inside a sealed baggie. The phosphorescent glow is activated by shining a light on the slime. Then you turn out the lights and it will glow!


    • Store your slime in a baggie or other sealed container to keep it from evaporating. You can refrigerate if desired. The slime cleans up well with soap and water.
    • Do not eat or drink any solutions or the slime, and wash your hands after playing with this slime. Do not inhale or ingest the glow-in-the-dark ingredient, whichever you choose to use.
    • A glowing paint called 'Glow Away' at Michael's craft store ($1.99) is reportedly good for many batches of glowing slime. It's safe, washes away with water, and is easy to mix into the slime gel. It may be located with the tempera paints. Other products may work equally well, just be sure to check the label for safety information (especially paint powder).
    • Elmer's non-toxic blue glue gel has been used; it’s sold with school supplies. There is a clear glue gel made by another manufacturer, plus there are red or blue glue gels with stars and glitter that you could use. Borax is sold in stores near laundry detergent or household cleaners.


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    January 2008



    Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine at