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What is it about slime? And how to clean it!

What is it about slime? Why is it that at a certain age, usually around 6 or 7 or so, kids become obsessed with the stuff? First, they want you to buy it, then they want you to make it, then they spill it over everything. They seem to love it so much that you can’t say no to slime without leaving them forlorn, broken-hearted and seemingly and dramatically impacted for life.

So what to do when that slime spills onto your lovely beige rug?

Or when it finds its way onto your favourite shirt, or worse, accidentally falls smack bang in the middle of your brand new sofa? Fear not, because as bad as a slime stain looks on first appearance, it is not always definitely permanent, particularly if you can get to it sooner rather than later.

In my own case, I endured the slime phase on three separate and distinct occasions with three daughters. How can a dad say no to those cute little faces? I remember at one point incrementally spending $120 to try and save money on a $15 jar of slime. Craziness. Anyway, no matter how many promises were made or how many precautions we took, the slime would invariably end up anywhere it shouldn’t; on carpet, on clothes and my personal favourite, in hair! Now we have fluorescent slime and even more colourful emotional meltdowns all bundled together in the one perfect home spun symphony!

So, when you scour the net you will find many different tactics for waging war with the aftermath of an errant slime party. For me the caveat on all of these remedies is are they toxic? Aesthetics are an important consideration in removing slime for sure, but even more important is to make sure the cure is no worse than the disease. That means non-toxic remedies are the only ones that we will be considering here.

After all, it’s the ongoing health and well-being of our little angels that matters the most. They will be bringing joy into our world for many years after the thought of a slime stain has faded into ancient forgotten repressed memory.

My favourite, and in my experience one of the most effective ways to deal with fresh slime is the humble ice cube. As soon as you see that slime stain, get a piece of ice onto it. You may want to use gloves with this one because it can get cold rubbing that ice cube into the slime stain, but after about 10 – 15 minutes it should be sufficiently frozen that you can scrape it off in frozen chunks, and vacuum it up before it melts again.

This has remarkable results when the slime is not acidic, but if you have any ingredients in the slime that are caustic or on the extreme side of the PH scale, you may find that there are no remedies as a stain is a stain. Looking deeper it’s all about whether or not the molecular structure of the affected fibre in question has been damaged. If it’s permanently damaged in this way, it’s like trying to wash away a scratch on a car, and only a magic wand can work such wonders.

Another non-caustic method that I recommend is a mixture of vinegar and water. Mix one part warm water with two parts vinegar and get scrubbing. Spray this mix onto the stain, and then scrub at it with a soft brush really working the fibres from all angles in small circles. Do this for a little while before drying it with absorbent paper.

Another method is dish soap. I recommend a plant-based dye free dish soap, which works wonders with warm water. After the initial clean or two with dish soap does the trick, it’s a good idea to rinse it with straight water to remove the final residue the dish soap will leave behind. I like to work this one with a nice big thick old rag. I keep dunking the rag and transferring the muck from the carpet onto the rag and then from the rag into the water and then cleaning the water and starting again. Follow this procedure until the water remains clear and then you know you’ve got it all. That section of carpet may now look a little weird as it is so clean compared to the surrounding carpet. At night it glows!

The final thing to note is that the most important thing is to get to that slime quickly, as it is considerably easier to deal with it when it’s fresh. It’s important to appreciate that when your kids go through their slime phase, it is practically impossible to guarantee you won’t get some slime on something. So if it happens, and it probably will, be prepared and try to show your kids how when stuff goes wrong it’s not the end of the world. People are much more important than things.

We breathe, we deal with it and we get on to enjoy the day with a loving energy. After all, this is the true gift that slime offers to a family. Quality time together and precious memories of parents who love and laugh and care.

About the author ~ Michael Sweet has over 30 years of professional cleaning experience and is the founder of 1800 CLEANER.

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