Last summer, I took my kids to Sloomoo, a slime museum in downtown Chicago. They had a blast – it’s a great way to pass a few hours when it’s too hot, too cold, or raining. We had managed to avoid gooey slime until then, but once they were introduced, they were hooked. As any parent can attest, the wonder of slime can quickly turn into a complete and utter disdain for the stuff. Yes. I hate slime. Once slime makes its way into your life, it’s only a matter of time before it finds its way onto your kids clothes. The sticky, gooey mess seems impossible to remove, but it’s actually pretty simple. With the right technique and a little patience, you can actually easily get slime out of your kids’ clothes. This guide will walk you through the best methods to tackle slime stains. 

 

The Easy Way to Get Slime Out of Kids Clothes

 

The first time my kids played with slime, my younger daughter got it all over the sleeve of her favorite shirt. Slime really is the worst, but if you have kids, there’s a good chance they love it. Funny enough, I just got tickets to go back to Sloomoo because like I said, my kids had a blast and I’d rather they play with slime there than in our home. 

Before diving into slime removal techniques, it’s helpful to understand a little more about gooey slime. Most homemade slime recipes involve a combination of glue, borax (or a similar activator), water, and sometimes food coloring or glitter. This mixture creates a sticky, polymer substance that clings to fabric fibers. Store-bought slime often contains similar ingredients, though the exact formulation can vary. It doesn’t matter what kind of slime your kids like – they all stick to clothing. 

 

The Best Ingredient for Slime Removal

There are a few different methods, but white distilled vinegar is the best product for getting slime out of kids clothes. It worked so well, not only getting all the slime off, but the stains came out, too. 

 

How to Get Slime out of Clothes

The first step is to scrape off any excess slime particles from the affected area with a smooth object. I would recommend using a butter knife, spoon, or a credit card. Remove as much slime as you can while trying to avoid pushing the slime further into the fabric fibers. Use a soft brush like an old toothbrush to scrub any pieces of wet slime that may be stuck to the fabric and immediately rinse the area with cold water. This helps to loosen the slime and prevents it from setting further into the fabric. Avoid using hot water, as heat can cause the slime to adhere more firmly to the fibers.

Pour white vinegar into a small bowl and dip the stained area into the bowl. Vinegar helps to break down the slime without damaging the fabric. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes. The slime should come right off, but if not, let it soak for a few more minutes. 

After treating the stain was the clothing in your washing machine using your regular laundry detergent. Check the stain before drying – if it persists, repeat the treatment steps before putting the garment in the dryer. Heat can set the stain, making it more difficult to remove.

 

Soak in a Baking Soda Solution

This is another option that’s helpful for removal and any hard-to-remove stains. Fill a large basin or sink with warm water and add a generous amount of baking soda. Stir to dissolve the baking soda. Submerge the slime-stained garment in the solution and let it soak for 30 minutes. Baking soda helps to lift the slime out of the fabric.

 

Apply Liquid Dish Soap

Apply a few drops of liquid dish soap directly onto the stain. Gently scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush, working the soap into the fabric. Dish soap is effective at breaking down the slime and removing any residual grease.

 

Removing Dried Slime from Clothes

Use ice cubes to remove dry slime from carpet, furniture, and clothes, too. Press an ice cube or ice cubes, depending on the amount of slime that’s stuck, onto the slime. Once you remove all the slime, use a cleaner to treat any left-over stains. I love this oxygen boost for everything – it’s one of my favorite cleaning products. From grout to fabric stains, it’s the best. If you’re dealing with carpet, Folex is magic. 

 

Advanced Techniques for Stubborn Slime Stains

Sometimes, slime stains can be very stubborn, requiring additional steps for complete removal. If the basic method doesn’t fully eliminate the stain, YOU can use rubbing alcohol or acetone. This is highly likely to discolor your clothes, so be careful wit this one. Dampen a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol or acetone and gently dab it onto the stain. 

 

Tips and Tricks for Preventing Slime Stains

While knowing how to remove slime stains is essential, preventing them in the first place can save you a lot of hassle. Here are some practical tips to keep in mind. Establish rules for slime play, such as no throwing slime or keeping it away from furniture and clothing. Clear guidelines can help minimize accidental stains.

Designate a Slime Play Area

My kids know that all crafts need to be done at their craft table. Encourage your children to play with slime in a designated area, like a craft table, play table, or better yet, outside when the weather is nice. This can help contain the mess and reduce the likelihood of slime ending up on their clothes.

Use Protective Clothing

This seems fairly obvious, but dress dress your children in old clothes or have them wear an apron or smock when playing with slime. And avoid putting your kids in long sleeve tees or sweatshirts. Good idea, right? A long sleeve smock is the best way to prevent stains on their clothes. 

Choose Slime Wisely

Some types of slime are less messy than others, but I’ve found that they’re all sticky enough to stick to clothes. Whether it’s gooey or fluffy slime, anything can stick. Consider opting for less sticky slime varieties or making slime with less glue. 

 

What to Avoid When Removing Slime

While there are many effective methods for removing slime, there are also a few common mistakes to avoid/. Hot water can cause the slime to set into the fabric, making it more difficult to remove. Always use cold water when treating slime stains. Second, rubbing the slime stain vigorously can push the slime deeper into the fabric fibers and cause the stain to spread. Use gentle dabbing and blotting motions instead. And finally, do not use bleach to remove slime. Bleach can cause discoloration and damage to colored fabrics. Stick to safer alternatives like vinegar and baking soda, or use a color-safe stain remover.

 

Hate Slime? Try These Slime-Free Fun Alternatives

If dealing with slime stains becomes too much of a hassle, there are plenty of alternative activities that offer similar fun without the mess. Here are a few ideas:

Play Dough

Play dough provides a similar tactile experience to slime but is less sticky and easier to clean up. You can make your own at home or purchase it from a store.

Kinetic Sand

Kinetic sand is another great sensory play option that’s easy to mold and shape. It sticks to itself, making cleanup a breeze.

Water

Yes, water. Water tables are a great, clean way to have fun. Set up a water table, or a bin full of water and toys. You can see how I made a water sensory bin complete with a fountain and water pump. It’s a completely mess-free activity that has kept my kids engaged for hours. 

Foam Dough

Foam dough is a lightweight, moldable material that doesn’t stick to surfaces or clothing. It’s a great alternative to slime for creative play.

 

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Removing slime from your kids’ clothes might seem impossible. Our first slime stain was pretty bad, and I thought we were going to have to give up. But a little vinegar and patience works wonders. I would just recommend acting quickly, treating the fabric as soon as you see the slime. The sooner you tackle the slime, the easier it will be to remove it. Taking preventive measures can help minimize future slime mishaps, allowing your children to enjoy their creative play without causing you unnecessary stress.

I’m a Virgo, so these messes really get to me, but I try to be cool and let them be kids. With these tips and tricks, slime doesn’t have to be a parent’s worst nightmare. Ok, it’s still a nightmare, but at least you’ll be able to save their clothes and maybe, your sanity.