Information about Dish soap slime experiment with Fizzics Education | Kids Science Experiments

Dish soap slime

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You Will Need:

Detergent. Either dishwashing liquid, hand soap or shampoo.

Food colouring/glitter (optional)

Table salt

A container.

One Spoon

1 Dish soap slime - Squeeze some detergent into the container.

Squeeze some detergent into the container.

2 Dish soap slime - Add the food dye

Add the food dye, or glitter.

3 Dish soap slime - Sprinkle some salt

Sprinkle some salt into the mixture and stir well with a spoon.

4 Dish soap slime - Repeat step three until a ‘slime’ consistency is reached

Repeat step three until a ‘slime’ consistency is reached. Each addition of salt could take a minute
or so to mix in, so be patient.

What is the happening?

Dish detergent, shampoo, hand soap, and anything else you might use to wash things contain surfactants. A surfactant is usually a molecule with a hydrophilic “head” and a hydrophobic “tail”. This means that it is able to bridge between water soluble and oil-soluble interfaces. An anionic surfactant is one with an anionic functional group at the “head” position. They are the most common surfactants used in industry, typical examples are lauryl sulfates, laureth sulfates, sulfonates and phosphate esters. If your soapy liquid of choice has one of these chemicals in its long list of ingredients, it should make a slime when you add just the right amount of salt to it.

When surfactants are in solution they can sometimes arrange themselves into these aggregate units called micelles, where all the surfactant molecules have their “tails” pointing inwards and “heads” pointing outwards, or vice versa. In the detergents that we used to make the slime, the micelles formed have anionic “head” groups sticking out into the solution, with their hydrophobic “tails” in the centre. This gives the micelles a certain charge density on its outer surface, which can be affected by the addition of salt. The ions from the dissolved salt, at the right concentration, can cause bigger micelles to form and pack closer together, resulting in a thicker mixture or gelling effect. But if salt concentrations are pushed beyond that optimal level, the micelle structures can breakdown and the mixture viscosity will decrease.

For more slime recipes and experiments, check out our comprehensive guide to SLIME!

Learn more!


2 thoughts on “Dish soap slime

  1. thank you this is a very easy way to make slime. I have every item that is needed for this experiment. I am very happy I never made slime before and when I tried I failed lots of times.

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