Kids are obsessed with this messy mixture of Elmer’s glue, Borax, and water. It’s all fun and games until someone gets slime in their hair. Have no fear, OOLA is here with safe, non-toxic ways to remove slime from anything, including hair, clothes, upholstery, carpet, and more. Act quickly—the longer the slime sets, the more it dries and hardens, becoming more difficult to remove.
No need to shave your child’s head. The key to all of these tricks is swift action and white vinegar. Kindercare suggests this scissor-free solution: Get them in the tub and pour white vinegar over the slime to dissolve it. Rinse and repeat until there’s no sign of slime. They do note, however, that vinegar can sting if it comes in contact with an open wound and also to keep it out of your kiddo’s eyes with goggles or a washcloth.
No vinegar? No problem. Lifehacker says “oil is The Thing to combat slime.” Since many conditioners contain oil, you can try conditioning first then shampooing to see if it rinses out that way. If not, try whatever other oil you have on hand like cooking oil (such as vegetable, olive, or coconut), peanut butter, baby oil, or essential oils. Even mayo will work. Massage the oil gently into the affected area in the direction of the hair’s growth. Once the slime begins to loosen, you can coax it out with a comb, or simply shampoo and rinse.
DO NOT throw slimy clothes in the washer! White vinegar is the trick here too. First, peel off as much of the slime as you can with your fingers. Then, fill up a sink with warm water. Next, saturate the stain with white vinegar and allow to soak in warm water. If you don’t have vinegar on hand, rubbing alcohol will work too. If the slime is being stubborn, try squirting it with a little Dawn dish soap and rubbing the cloth together in the warm water. Once the stain is out, rinse and wash as usual.
Popsugar posted this tip for removing caked-on slime: Rub an ice cube over the area before using vinegar. It will freeze and harden the slime, making it easier to take off.
These methods also work for tablecloths and tapestries. If the garment is dry clean only, remove excess slime and take to dry cleaner asap. They have solvents for everything, even slime.
Whether it’s in your car or on your sofa, when it comes to upholstery, the key is to lift the slime off rather than rubbing in the stain. This solution requires rubbing alcohol, a spoon, and a towel. Using the spoon, scrape away as much of the slime as possible. That may do the trick if your upholstery fabric is polyester or a poly blend. If not, put some alcohol on the towel and dab it on the stain.
Attend to this mess as quickly as possible, not just to get to it before it hardens and dries, but also before it gets smashed further into the carpet and/or tracked all over the house. Again, start by removing as much of the slime as you can by hand or with a spoon. Maeve Richmond of the home organization blog Maeve’s Method told Today to “Use a soft bristled brush to gently loosen slime out from each individual carpet fiber, then blot with a clean, dry towel to absorb the liquid. Repeat this process several times, using a clean bucket of diluted vinegar-water as your base. Once clean, allow the spot to dry, then vacuum as usual for a restored look.” Maids.com says club soda will work if you don’t have any vinegar.
It’s fairly easy to scrape slime off of hard surfaces like counter tops, but you want to be especially careful scraping excess slime off of your walls to avoid taking off the paint. Use the spoon method to gently scrape off what you can, then make a paste using our all-star vinegar to obliterate stubborn slime stains. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda, one tablespoon water, and one tablespoon white vinegar into a thick paste and apply it to the stain on the wall. You can put a towel or newspaper down on the floor to protect it from drips. Coat the stain liberally, then let it dry for a couple of hours. Once dry, just brush it off with a paper towel or rag. Repeat until stain is removed.
Slime that is dyed with food coloring can leave a lasting impression. If color stains are still sticking around after you’ve removed the gunk, get rid of them by using rubbing alcohol.