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How to get slime out of clothes (and just about everything else)

These cleaning tips will make your clothes, hair, and more slime free

how to get slime out of clothes the best unicorn
cottonbro studio / Pexels

Slime is every parent's worst nightmare but every child's best friend. Engaging kids in mixing together common household ingredients like Borax, liquid laundry detergent, contact solution, glue, and cornstarch to create the gelatinous material was only made more exciting by the addition of glitter and food coloring. And while making it at home was a fun science experiment that taught kids about measuring and mixing, parents became disenchanted once they discovered slime on everything from their children's clothes and hair to the furniture. Then the question became how to get slime out of clothes, hair, carpet, and maybe the family pet.

Difficulty

Moderate

Duration

20 minutes

What You Need

  • Vinegar

  • Scrub brush or toothbrush

  • Dish soap

  • Ice

  • Laundry detergent

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Baby oil or kitchen oil

  • Water

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Acetone

  • Nail polish remover

  • Cotton balls

Making slime is still a great way to teach your kids about how different substances work together to create something that feels like a solid and a liquid at the same time, but knowing how to get slime out of clothes (and just about everything else) is important. Here's how to make sure slime won't make you sad.

Child making slime.
Ilina Yuliia / Shutterstock

How to get slime out of carpet

It's all fun and games until your child accidentally drops their slime on the carpet. The good news is you don't have to panic, because there are a few methods to use to get the slime out without ruining your carpet or your sanity.

Step 1: If the slime is still fresh when it falls on the carpet, drop a few ice cubes on top of the spill.

Step 2: Wait 10 to 15 minutes to let the mixture freeze.

Step 3: After the mixture is frozen, peel or scrape the slime mixture off the carpet.

Step 4: Follow up with a good vacuuming over the spot.

Kids playing with yellow slime.
Yuliia Yuliia / Shutterstock

Another way to remove slime from carpet

You can also use vinegar and water to remove slime. Every house should have a bottle of vinegar, especially if you have kids.

Step 1: Scrape as much of the slime off the carpet as possible, moving from the outside to the middle to prevent spreading the stain any further around on your carpet.

Step 2: Spray a mixture of 2/3 of distilled vinegar and 1/3 of warm water on the stain. Do not over-saturate.

Step 3: Leave on an additional 10 to 15 minutes if the stain has dried.

Step 4: Use a brush to gently loosen the slime from the carpet. Be careful not to use too much pressure to avoid damaging the carpet.

Step 5: Repeat until all the slime is gone.

Step 6: Once you have removed the slime, use a clean towel to soak up any excess liquid.

Step 7: Follow up with a vacuum after the carpet has dried.

Child playing with slime.
PhotoLife_Style / Shutterstock

How to get slime out of hair

Slime really does manage to get everywhere, but nothing sets a parent's heart racing more than seeing a big old glob of slime in their child's hair. Fortunately, there are a few different ways for how to get slime out of hair without making an emergency trip to the salon.

Step 1: First use water (as hot as can be) to help rinse out as much slime as possible from your child's hair. If the slime is really stuck in there, soak the hair for a few minutes to help loosen it.

Step 2: Apply conditioner to the hair (before using any shampoo) and massage it through the scalp, trying to work the slime free.

Step 3: Rinse out the conditioner. If the slime has been removed, then shampoo the hair.

Step 4: If the slime is still there, repeat the conditioner process.

Hand holding purple slime.
Iuliia Tarabanova / Shutterstock

Another way to remove slime from hair

If you don't want to use up the conditioner, try oil (any kitchen or baby oil) to remove slime from hair.

Step 1: Apply a generous amount of oil to the hair.

Step 2: Massage thoroughly through the hair, working out the pieces of slime.

Step 3: Once you have most of the slime removed, shampoo the hair.

Step 4: You may need to shampoo the hair more than once to help get rid of the oil.

A group of kids holding slime in their hands.
Nellie Adamyan / Unsplash

A third way to get slime out of hair

Just like with removing slime from your carpet, use a mixture of water and vinegar to remove slime from hair. Know that many professionals don't recommend vinegar on the hair because it could dry the hair out, but if these other solutions don't work it may be worth a try.

Step 1: Mix distilled vinegar with water to dilute it and work through the hair.

Step 2: Shampoo after as directed.

Kids playing with yellow slime
Yuliia Yuliia / Shutterstock

How to get slime out of clothes

You don't have to chuck your kids' clothes or socks just because they got slime on them. Here are a few ways for how to remove slime from clothes to save them in the event of a mishap.

Step 1: Vinegar saves the day again. If the slime is wet, (which makes it easier to remove) wipe off as much as possible before applying vinegar to the affected area.

Step 2: Leave the vinegar to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Don't leave it to dry.

Step 3: Use a small brush, like a toothbrush, to scrub the affected area in a circular motion.

Step 4: Rinse with hot water.

Step 5: Wash and dry the item.

A person pulling slime apart.
loocmill / Shutterstock

Another way to remove slime from clothes

If the slime is dry, try a similar method as you would use for removing slime from the carpet,

Step 1: Scrape off as much slime as possible from the garment.

Step 2: Add ice to the stain and wait 10 to 15 minutes for the slime to freeze.

Step 3: Peel or scrape the remainder of the slime from the article of clothing.

Step 4: Wash and dry as directed.

Containers of different kinds of slime.
Dado Photos / Shutterstock

A third way to get slime out of clothes

Dish soap is another tool to clean slime out of clothing. If it gets the grease off cute ducks, it can tackle slime on clothing.

Step 1: Apply dish soap to the affected area.

Step 2: Rub the clothing together to loosen the slime as you hold it under running water.

Step 3: Repeat if needed.

Step 4: Wash and dry as directed.

A child stretching out yellow slime
Nellie Adamyan / Unsplash

What to try when the basics aren't working

Slime, gum, paint — it all takes a certain set of skills to get messes out of whatever a child got it stuck on. If any of the tricks don't work, you might have to bring out bigger friends. These are more potent, so make sure to do a spot test first.

Step 1: Try the tips to remove slime but use rubbing alcohol, acetone, or nail polish remover in place of vinegar.

Step 2: Use a cotton ball to gently dab when using a stronger chemical like acetone, nail polish remover, or rubbing alcohol. You don't want to put a chemical hole in any fabric you're treating.

Stock up on supplies like vinegar and an extra toothbrush if your kids love to play with slime. It gets messy but is also a great way for your kids to learn a bit about science while letting them explore their creativity when they make their own slime. No matter how prepared you are when your kids play with slime, accidents happen. It's best to know how to remove slime for clothes, hair, carpet, and who knows what else, so you'll be prepared for anything.

Kelli Catana
Contributor
Kelli is a freelance writer who has covered the world of entertainment, pop culture, parenting, and lifestyle for various…
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