homemade flubber for kids

the other day my kid came home from school super excited – his teacher had sent him home with his own bag of flubber! i’d heard of this fun playdough-type of thing, but had never made it nor held it in my own hands. my own excitement came when i saw that she’d also sent home the recipe! i couldn’t wait to make it at home – i already had everything i needed!

flubber recipe with borax and glue

some water, glue, borax, and food coloring is all you need. mix the glue, water, and food coloring in one bowl. in a separate bowl, mix hot water and borax. when you mix the two together, a magical thing happens – it turns into this smooth elastic-y substance that i can’t quite describe – though it does remind me a lot of “B.O.B.” on the monsters vs. aliens movie! are you curious to know for yourself what this stuff is like?! try it yourself – your kids will love it!! here’s the recipe!

what you need:

3/4 cup cold water

1 cup Elmer’s glue

liquid food coloring

1/2 cup hot water

1 teaspoon borax (you can find this in a box in the laundry aisle)

directions:

step 1: in bowl 1 – mix together the cold water, glue, and food coloring. set aside.

step 2: in bowl 2 – mix together the hot water and borax, until the borax is completely dissolved.

step 3: slowly add glue mixture to borax mixture. mix well. pour off excess water.

 

***UPDATE: i just want to reiterate that i got this recipe from my son’s preschool. we tried it out and my kids absolutely loved it! i’m thrilled that so many others have loved it as well. having said that, i’ve received many comments expressing concern about borax. some helpful, others extremely rude, the latter of which i will not publish. for those expressing concern about borax, my understanding is that it is not harmful and is different than boric acid. nonetheless, i am by no means an expert and assume that you will do your own research and use it as you see fit. some people have offered suggestions in the comments section and some have even provided links. feel free to look at those if you like, but just because i have “published” the comments does not mean i endorse them one way or another. having said all this, i am going to continue to use it with my children as they love playing with it. i will do my best to respond to comments as i can but in some cases, i simply do not know the answers.***

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Comments

  1. Anne says:

    Now that looks like great fun!

    • Katie says:

      sure is!! :)

      • Pat says:

        I have been making this for years with my Prek class. they love it!!!! I have them mix the ingredients themselves in a plastic cup. I love hearing all of the wows when it turns into flubber. I will continue to do this with them an suggest that others do this as well. My daughter who is a 5th grade teacher loved it so much that she also does it every year with her 5th graders and she gets the same wows that I do!

        • Ann says:

          Does look like fun; I’m a nanny; I’m wondering if it hardens with all the glue in it. If so, how long does it last before it hardens?

          • Katie says:

            Ann, I keep mine in a resealable plastic bag and it lasts a long time! only if you leave it out in the air for an extended period will it dry out. Hope that helps!

        • Lorai says:

          can i use baking soda instead of borax??

      • Katie says:

        I appreciate all the comments regarding health/safety, my main concern for my child. I wish you would delete the rude comments from the haters like Jeanie. It is not about how many fingers and toes your child was born with. Birth defects happen from prenatal exposure, not playing with silly putty. There are however some concerns about the toxicity of Borax and I for one think that my child will be just fine without silly putty since it isn’t worth the risk.

        • a c quinn says:

          borax is old fashioned brand ant killer

          • Dell says:

            Boric Acid is the is the old fashioned brand ant killer, Borax is a brand of detergent (old fashioned)sodium tetraborate, is a boron mineral and salt that’s mined directly from the ground
            The difference between the two is: Boric acid is produced when borax is reacted with another acid (like sulfuric or hydrochloric acid). The result is an acid structure (pH of 5.0), rather than alkaline, as borax is (9.3 pH).

          • Andrea Hogge says:

            No it is not that is boric acid big difference. It is laundry detergent! You are mixing up the two. Boric acid is used for killing ants roaches and other pests.

          • Pat says:

            I use borax in my pool and laundry never had any problems.

        • Nance says:

          I am sorry BUT.. Jeanie was not rude in any way form or fashion; I think you need to read it again please. :/

        • britany says:

          a great substitute is JUST using the glue food coloring and your favorite liquid laundry soap we love using the gain in this because of the scent NO WATER

          • Sandra Warren says:

            How much detergent do you use? I just tried both ways and the detergent one is so thin we can’t use it. The borax one is perfect. The grandchildren are loving it!

          • Toni says:

            Are you using liquid gain?

      • michelle says:

        this stuff is so cool I think I made this once in school awwwwwwwwwwwsome!!!!!!!!!! =^)

    • Marianne says:

      It sure is fun but borax is poison. A good replacement for borax however is potassium carbonate. This is also a salt and also forms combined with a fatty acid a SOAP. But does not have the harmful properties of borax.

      Current research has shown that borax is toxic. (Yes I am talkiing about sodium tetraborate better known as borax (E285): a salt as the result of a chemical reaction between sodium and boric acid.) In combination with a fatty acid borax is SOAP. The SOAP has an emulsifying effect so that oil and water do not separate. Hence, borax is often used as an emulsifier in cosmetics. Current research has shown it can go through damaged skin and is harmful to liver and kidneys. Under current (EEG) legislation, it is classified as a category 2 dangerous substance. That is, it can harm the unborn child, and is harmful for fertility. In any case the use of borax In Netherlands is therefore prohibited in cosmetics since 2009. In America however, this is not the case, and on the internet as well as in several books you’ll still find many recipes in which borax is used as emulsifier. Let us all use potassium carbonate instead of borax and not risk the health of our beloved children!

      • jeanie says:

        Always one in the bunch….. well my kids and I still have all our fingers and toes. The mixture worked great!!! thanks for sharing your fun for myself and 5 kids rainy day fun.

        • Di Gully says:

          Has anyone in Australia successfully made this ? I have tried 3 times, & it has looked like scrambled eggs each time . I used PVA glue or Aquadhere as we don’t have Elmers glue in Australia. Please help as I would love to use it with my Kindy children….thanks

          • Mel says:

            I’m not in Australia but in NZ, we don’t have elmers glue either. The same thing happened when I used normal (school grade) PVA. I have found that art grade PVA works perfectly. I order mine from Office Max, they are in Aus as well so maybe you could get it from there.

          • Amanda says:

            Di
            Check out Officeworks. Our local store sells Elmer’s. I think I found this exact glue there the other day.

            Hope yours has it too.

          • Kelly condren says:

            You can find elders glue in woolworths, in the stationary section. Just Made it and worked out well

          • Brooke says:

            Di,
            I have been buying Elmers glue from Woolworths for a few years now, so you can get it in Australia :)

          • Jacqui says:

            I have just picked up some Elmer’s School Glue from Woolworths (In Australia). It is in the stationary ISle if that is at all helpful.

          • Samantha says:

            This looks like a cool thing to make for the kids, def try it out with my 21/2 yr old, I have seen elmers glue here in Australia,seen it in woolworths as people have been saying. the people on here are complaining that borax is harmful….Ive made a similar recipe to this year many years ago, and it was great, for people who think this product is gonna make your kids fingers and toes fall off, still have all mine( i think). Its an awesome thing to make great recipe thankyou

          • Sharon says:

            Di and Mel…that’s what the web is for…order it from a school supply website or even an office supply!

          • Brenda says:

            I’ve used cheap glue and had no problems.

          • Silver says:

            We can get Elmer’s at Officeworks, off to buy some today to try!

          • Carol says:

            In Australia – Elmers glue is available at officeworks . I have made this for our playgroup and the kids love it and so do the big kids.
            cheers

          • Heather says:

            You can get Elmer’s glue at Officeworks stores in Australia.r

        • Cindy Lou Who says:

          We’re all still intact here, too! I’ve seen high school biology teachers do this for years at my school. I’ve not heard about any flubber-related poisonings. Thank you for the recipe!

          • W2 says:

            I just made flubbedrfor the first time for my 7-year-old daughter and her friend. What a hit! I happen to have borax at home because home chemistry is my hobby. Borax is also called sodium tetraborate. You can find it naturally on alkaline lakeshores. The stuff you buy in the laundry section is chemically identical but made in a factory. It’s a mild alkaline (opposite of acid) and so has cleansing properties. That’s why it has been used in laundry detergents for eons. Now much fancier, stronger, more effective laundry powders are available, making borax sort of an old-fashioned (but more natural) laundry option. My degree is in microbiology and immunology, and I raised my daughter from infancy trying to protect her from chemicals (making things like natural insect repellents, etc). But I am perfectly OK with the small amount of borax in this recipe. I might be more cautious with small children who might eat the flubber, but even so with the amount of borax in the recipe being so tiny I don’t think it would be cause for serious concern. Just my two cents.

        • Katie says:

          I resent the comment “there is always one in the bunch” from Jeanie. She appears to express it in a derisive manner. I am sorry Jeanie that there is one (I bet more than one!) Mom in the bunch that asks questions and understands what her children eat and play with. I know the idea is that we should all be zombies and never ask questions, but I for one reject that notion. I am way too intelligent to be a zombie.

        • Perry says:

          Does it bounce?

      • Rhonda says:

        What isn’t poision anymore my mom washed my clothes in borax her mother washed her clothes in borax and I’m 61 and in good health, i wouldn’t recomend you eat it, but don’ eat play douh either…..Play with your kids more ofter and observe what they are doing. Time spent with your child. They also say don’t eat school paste…….

        • Dorian says:

          I like how u said that Rhonda!! I work at a preschool and we made this in our ages 2-3 toddlers class and they loved playing with it!! There is not enough BORAX in this homemade flubber to hurt u unless u let your kids eat it all!! So there really is no need to get all upset about this unless u are a parent that keeps your child in a bubble!!

      • Matt says:

        I think you should check your data on sodium carbonate ” anhydrous” . Unless your gonna have your kids play with this and wear a respirator! I think I will take my chances and just wear rubber gloves if it bothers me that much about age old borax.

      • Jackie says:

        For questions about the safety of Borax, go to http://momsaware.org/household-general/139-borax-friend-or-foe.html Or, just Google it!

      • Sarah says:

        I don’t think a preschool would give parents a recipe that could “poison” their kids, as poisoning could result in a loss of jobs or being sued. Also, no one has complained about the effects of using this.

      • Christina says:

        Borax and boric acid aren’t the same thing. Boric acid is a poison, borax is not. Here’s a helpful link.
        http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not

      • Jody Rubin says:

        As a preschool teacher for almost 30 years, I have made lots of flubber. Recently we have had mixed reports about whether or not Borax is safe for young children. There is a wonderful substitute that works as well…liquid starch (the kind used for ironing clothes). Just mix the two (glue and the starch) and you will have a great flubber concoction

        • Tara says:

          To all of you saying to use Sta flo ironing starch as a “safer” alternative to the tiny amount of borax in this recipe, maybe you should read the ingredients on the bottle. It lists borax as well as a few other ingredients, chemical perfumes, etc… I would rather have a little borax than borax mixed with all of that extra stuff.

      • amy says:

        As someone stated already…If there were any actual proof that this stuff causes any kind of harm..you better believe they would have pulled it a long time ago.

      • Mary Akers says:

        Borax is acutely toxic in the same manner that salt is (in rats, it’s 4500-5000 mg/kg of body weight, which is A LOT). Ingested in moderate quantities, it causes gastrointestinal upset and nausea. Bottom line: While it may be listed as “poison” on the box, it’s only toxic at very, very high levels. (Like salt, baking soda, and even water is.)

        • Amanda C says:

          As long as it is used under very close supervision – NO INGESTION IS DEFINITELY PREFERRED – I am going to research a cornstarch alternative for my own kids I will try to comment if it works… I don’t want them putting something on their hands that I don’t want in their mouths.
          This looks like a lot of fun, but not really worth risking a diarrhea outbreak in my kids!? Yuck!

      • Deb says:

        This is a typical case where the dose determines the poison. I am a chemist,, and try to represent my decisions factually., So here is my attempt at explaining why this post is uhnder-informed. Most things (including most ingredients in any hair, food, or cleaning products, NATURAL OR NOT) could kill you in their concentrated form. RAnyone ever been told to pour coca cola on your battery to clean it off? That beacause it has nitric acid, in a very low dose, as an ingredient. Nitric Acid, similar to Borax, is deadly. Yet a littlle nitricin your soda just preserves it. PLEASE feel free to message with questions.

      • Brenda says:

        Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.

        Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, a texturing agent in cooking, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.

      • Cassie says:

        Just made this using Sta-Flo instead of Borax! Turned into a mix between slime and putty! Instead of using borax and water just added enough sta-flo until it was the consistency I wanted. The more you add, the less sticky it gets. No need to pour any water off the top. Lots of fun… thanks!

      • Johanna says:

        This is copied from nytimes.com

        Potassium carbonate is a white powder used to make soap, glass, and other items. This article discusses poisoning from swallowing or breathing in potassium carbonate.

        This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

        I think you might want to look into things before you give advice seems that potassium carbonate is more toxic.

      • Debbie says:

        Borax is a naturally occurring mineral. Not poison. In this small amount (1 teaspoon) shouldn’t be a problem. Its not related to boric acid, which is what I believe you are thinking of.

      • Robin says:

        Thanks for the additional information, it is up to the parent to research and draw their own conclusion. Appreciate the additional information, the children in my family will love it and I will do my research to decide whether to use an alternate ingredient.

      • Rachel says:

        Maybe your kids shouldn’t eat it and they’ll be fine. I don’t see it as harmful as long as the children don’t eat it or put it in their faces lol. Some people

      • jose casiano says:

        so were can we get potassium carboate ???

      • Kevin says:

        Without the borax you would not get the reaction. Potassium carbonate will not work in the sligtest as the borax here is not being used as an emulsifier.

        This Flubber is being created by cross linking a polyvinyl alcohol(found in the glue) with a boron compound such as borax. Borax has extremely low toxicity, and is used in quite a few processes. The gelation process entails formation of a borate ester that crosslinks the chains of the PVA. Borate esters form readily by condensation of hydroxyl groups and the B-OH groups. In this reaction the borax is completely used up.

        No, boric acid is NOT borax. Borax is Sodium tetraborate decahydrate or Na2B4O7·10H2O while Boric acid is H3BO3. The 2 chemicals are completely different is almost every way. Borax is a base with a high PH value, while Boric acid is acidic with a high PH value.

        So people, before you freak out because there is chemicals in something and bash the post, do your research. If you really want to get deep download the MSDS or Material Safety Datasheet for the chemicals used. Because like people said EVERYTHING is toxic at the right amount.

      • Cashemre says:

        Man!!! Smart people are so dumb. Did you for one second while doing your resource on what Norway does, EVER think about, ONE thing! The chemical reaction MAY just MAY…. REACT into…… dare, I say it…..something non toxic. Silly monkey.

      • mommy of 2 says:
      • Tammie says:

        this is borax it is a laundry detergent not an ant poison or an acid
        http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/02/34/00/00/0002340000368_500X500.jpg

    • charlie says:

      is there a way to store it? how long will it last? would like to make this for the kids in the family for christmas in a cute little gift basket.

    • shonn from portland OR says:

      love it!!!!! that flubber stuff is cooooollllllllll.

    • richele says:

      I love this thank you for sharing parents who were rude shut it down you don’t want to be told how to parent and with supervision and proper cleaning I am so happy you posted this.

    • Julie says:

      We did it . Make sure u do it in a clear class bowl so the can see the change.

    • Ami says:

      http://theliberatedchild.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/why-borax-is-not-safe-for-kids.html
      It’s not safe for kids to play with. Just make sure to research the ingredients.

      • Carol says:

        This article is incorrect. She’s confusing boric acid and Borax. The army used truckloads of boric acid powder to kill bugs, not Borax.

        One person’s (uneducated) blog post is not the same as a researched article.

    • reyanna miller says:

      Is flubber bouncy?

  2. Dee Johnson says:

    I made this for my oldest son about 17 years ago and have been wanting to find the recipe again to make it for my other 7 kids. I know they will like it. Thanks!

  3. Julie says:

    My daughter and I are so excited to make this today! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Oooohhhh…this looks like so much fun!!! Can’t wait to make this! My kids and I will love it – and I have a little hunch my hubby will think it’s pretty cool too. :D

  5. Kathy says:

    Looks like loads of fun. Does it stain carpet etc? Or, is it for outside play?

    • Katie says:

      great question, kathy! we’ve been using it inside – it doesn’t appear to stain anything, but then i pretty much just have my kids play with it in the kitchen/at the kitchen table. if you were to play with it outside, you’d probably get dirt and things stuck in it, since it’s kinda gooey. i probably wouldn’t recommend playing with it on the carpet, but i haven’t done that yet – if you do try it out, lmk how it goes! thanks!

      • Tonya says:

        My daughter accidentally leaned over her flubber and a huge mass of it stuck to her shirt…I mean really stuck! I thought the shirt was ruined! However, I put the shirt in a bowl of hot water and allowed for it to soak, maybe 20 minutes, it disolved the flubber and I used a soft brush to fleck it off the material and it came out perfect!

    • Olivia says:

      Just make sure that if it gets on your carpet or a rug, you get it up before it dries! I work with kiddos and they love making this but when it dries it turns into a hard plastic that is very difficult, if not almost impossible , to get out. Have fun!

  6. Sue says:

    How should it be stored, and how long will it keep?

    • Katie says:

      great questions, sue! and i can answer them now that it’s been a few weeks since i’ve made it – we’ve kept it in a plastic ziplock bag and it’s been going on 2 weeks now and it’s still working great!

    • Kd says:

      I make this every year with my students and just found a glob from last year in my closet. It’s about the size of a fist and was stored in a ziplock sandwich bag. Shockingly, it still looks the same and has the same consistency. I can still play with it a whole year later! Hope this answers your question. :)

  7. Kirstylee says:

    I had no idea it was so easy to make flubber. I’ve played with it, but it was years ago back when I was in elementary school. I haven’t made it with my kids yet, but I am definitely going to after seeing this post. My boys will love this stuff! Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Lynnette says:

    My four and two year old boys made this today and LOVED it! Super easy and a lot of fun! Thank you for the post!

  9. Adrienne says:

    This looks like a fun project! Quick question…one of my daughters has very low muscle tone in her hands. I’d love to make this flubber and hide buttons and small objects in it so she can manipulate the flubber by herself. Do you think a small child would need to exert some strength to stretch the flubber? I can’t tell how soft the flubber is just by looking at the pictures, so any opinions would be helpful.

    • Katie says:

      Great question, Adrienne! From what I recall, the flubber was super soft and stretchy, especially when we first made it. The more my kids played with it, the less elasticity it has. Though, having said that, over 2 weeks later they’re still playing with it and it’s still pretty soft and pliable. I hope it works for you!

    • victoria says:

      One way to make flubber easier to stretch is to play with the recipe a bit. I’ll give you an example. I mix equal parts of water and glue in a bowl. Abd then I slowly add the water-borax solution to tge glue-water mixtuer a spoonful at a time, mixing it with my hand until I get the consistency I want. But if I want super gooey stretchy flubber I use 1 1/2 parts water to 1 part glue, or even 2 parts water to 1 part glue. Experiment with it. I know all of this from experience because I am an Early Childhood Educator and have made over 100 batches of flubber in my lifetime and I have experimented with the recipe. Hope this helps.

      • courtney says:

        you being an early childhood teacher would you recommend a toddler and young children to use this with the borax in it…i would love to try but after seeing some hipe about borax being dangerous im a little worried…

  10. Nan Harrison says:

    I just made this with my Grand-daughter…It is awesome…so cool how it instantly congeals! Thank you for posting.

  11. Niki says:

    Can anyone tell me what “borax” is? I’m from Belgium, so we don’t that in our country. And I really want to make this myself. It seems to be a lot of fun!

    • Katie says:

      borax is a white powder that’s commonly used as a laundry booster. here, we can find “20 Mule Team” (that’s the brand name) borax boxes in the laundry aisle. i’m not sure what a good substitute would be, so i hope you can find some somewhere!

      • Valerie says:

        Maybe she can order it online?

      • Lyssa says:

        I’ve made this several times using liquid starch instead of Borax and it works great. Perhaps you could find some kind of liquid starch in the laundry isle if you’re having trouble finding Borax.

      • Caitlin says:

        When I was a kid, we made flubber all the time. The recipe we used was school glue and liquid starch in equal measurements, although I’m sure the recipe could be tweaked to make it more or less pliable. Food coloring is a good idea, although the base mixture was always blue, since the starch was blue, which made certain colors almost impossible, such as red and yellow, as they had a tendency to come out a strange green or a brownish-purplish mushy color. I hope this helps anyone wondering what else works in place of Borax. I will say that the starch mixture starts to become very stiff the more you play with it. I remember that it didn’t seem to take that long before it stopped being gooey and elastic and just kinda snapped apart if stretched, although it wasn’t difficult to form back into a ball. I plan on trying this recipe soon with my son, since his favorite color is red, and as stated before red is not an easy color to make with the starch method. I also wonder if anyone has tried this recipe with gel glue?

      • Jessica says:

        I make this with my pre-K class all the time, but I use liquid starch from the laundry aisle rather than the powder kind. No need to dissolve anything. Just mix equal amounts of glue and starch and add food coloring.

    • Liba says:

      Borax is Boric Acid. I was told that here, in Israel, it is possible to get it in small quantities from the pharmacist. Maybe your pharmacists has it as well?

      • Borax and boric acid are NOT the same thing. They are similar, but NOT the same. Boric acid is used to kill roaches and other bugs.

        • Valerie says:

          It may not be the same thing but there are warnings on the box not to ingest it, etc and it can also be used to kill ants etc by mixing with sugar and water and putting on cotton balls in a small jar.

          • Tanja says:

            So can baking powder mixed with sugar. Borax is harmless in small quantities on skin. Hence it is a laundry booster – which will always leave some residue in your clothes, just like detergent. Of course you don’t ingest it, just like shaving foam play. It is assumed you watch your kids I guess. I love making it with my Kindy class.

      • Teresa says:

        Chemical formula of Borax is Na2B4O7·10H2O. Chemical formula of Boric Acid is H3BO3. While Borax is a salt component of Boric Acid, you must mix a specific amount of Hydrochloric Acid with a specific amount of Borax to CREATE Boric Acid. Borax is a major component of the children’s play dough called “Slime,” which was made popular by Nickelodeon and sold during the late 70′s as , “Slime.” It is also used in cosmetics, in Asian foods – although it is banned as a food additive in the US, as a laundry booster – the list of uses is extensive.

      • sarah vine says:

        I lived in Israel, too, and you can’t buy Borax. Boric acid is not the exact same thing.x

    • Lisa says:

      sodium borate – you might try the local chemist or hardware store. I read somewhere that Boots stores carry it, but I don’t know if they are in Belgium. Also, you can make flubber with liquid laundry starch instead of Borax.

    • Bhani says:

      I think borax is Broxo matic onthardingszout in the Netherlands

      • Marianne says:

        No, Broxo matic is Natrium Chloride (NaCl) 99,9 %*
        waarvan natrium 39,0 %
        vocht (H2O) < 0,05 %

        Where as borax is sodium tetraborate. Current research has shown that borax is toxic. (Yes I am talkiing about sodium tetraborate better known as borax (E285): a salt as the result of a chemical reaction between sodium and boric acid.) In combination with a fatty acid borax is SOAP. The SOAP has an emulsifying effect so that oil and water do not separate. Hence, borax is often used as an emulsifier in cosmetics. Current research has shown it can go through damaged skin and is harmful to liver and kidneys. Under current (EEG) legislation, it is classified as a category 2 dangerous substance. That is, it can harm the unborn child, and is harmful for fertility. In any case the use of borax In Netherlands is therefore prohibited in cosmetics since 2009. In America however, this is not the case, and on the internet as well as in several books you'll still find many recipes in which borax is used as emulsifier. A good replacement for borax however is potassium carbonate. This is also a salt and also forms combined with a fatty acid a SOAP. But does not have the harmful properties of borax.

        • Amy says:

          Borax is not boric acid so please don’t misinform the public.
          Marianne, please stop simply reposting your post in a copy and paste manner when actual chemists and those with a science background have replied. It is not information for you to respond this way and not post the differences for parents to make a more informed decision–as opposed to one-sided because there are concerns for borax AND potassium carbonate. You state potassium carbonate is safer well the second post states otherwise.

          Kevin says:
          May 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm
          Without the borax you would not get the reaction. Potassium carbonate will not work in the slightest as the borax here is not being used as an emulsifier.

          This Flubber is being created by cross linking a polyvinyl alcohol(found in the glue) with a boron compound such as borax. Borax has extremely low toxicity, and is used in quite a few processes. The gelation process entails formation of a borate ester that crosslinks the chains of the PVA. Borate esters form readily by condensation of hydroxyl groups and the B-OH groups. In this reaction the borax is completely used up.

          No, boric acid is NOT borax. Borax is Sodium tetraborate decahydrate or Na2B4O7·10H2O while Boric acid is H3BO3. The 2 chemicals are completely different is almost every way. Borax is a base with a high PH value, while Boric acid is acidic with a high PH value.

          So people, before you freak out because there is chemicals in something and bash the post, do your research. If you really want to get deep download the MSDS or Material Safety Datasheet for the chemicals used. Because like people said EVERYTHING is toxic at the right amount.

          Johanna says:
          November 11, 2013 at 9:33 am
          This is copied from nytimes.com

          Potassium carbonate is a white powder used to make soap, glass, and other items. This article discusses poisoning from swallowing or breathing in potassium carbonate.

          This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

          I think you might want to look into things before you give advice seems that potassium carbonate is more toxic.

    • Cori says:

      Niki, if you haven’t been able to find any Borax in Belgium yet, message me at sabhaile@yahoo.com and let me know how I can mail some to you. I have a whole big box of it (I use it in the making of my own laundry detergent) and I’d be more than happy to share some!

    • Amy Pieper says:

      A good replacement for borax however is potassium carbonate.

    • Rebecca says:

      Hey,
      I also live in Belgium and I bought some Borax at the pharmacy the other day to treat an ant problem. You just ask for Borax and they transfer some out of their big container into a little pot. I bought a smallish jam jar for €3. Hope this helps.

    • Brenda says:

      Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.

      Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, a texturing agent in cooking, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.

  12. christina says:

    mine came out a little hard any suggestions?

    • Katie says:

      sorry, Christina – I’ve only made it a couple of times and it’s worked out both times for me. I’m not sure what would cause that.

    • Nicole says:

      You probably used too much of the borax. The more borax you use then stiffer it becomes. I’ve made this with my science club and they love it!

  13. Kirsty says:

    Is there a uk alternative for ‘borax’?

  14. Agatha says:

    Hai Katie, i’ve got a 9 year old son and 2 girls of 6 who i babysit on. I always make something with them. Last week one of the girls had a kind of flubber in a plastic bag, that is made of bathfoam/shampoo and water, but you can’t ever take it out! So your flubber is a really great option!!! But i can’t find out what borax is, here in holland, so please tell me what it’s made for oryou use it fore. Tank you very, very, very mutch!!! Love, agatha

    • Katie says:

      Hi Agatha! There have been a few similar questions – I responded to Niki (3 comments above) and hope that answer will answer yours, too!

  15. Carol Freidman says:

    Hi, can any one tell me what is borax? I live in Brazil, and i think that we don’t have this…. So sad, because i really wanna make whit my little son! :/

  16. Wendy k says:

    Is there an alternative that you could use instead of borax? Borax is toxic- I don’t especially want my kids playing with it…but this would be a great thing if a substitute can be used.

  17. Angie says:

    You could try cornstarch as a substitute for borax

  18. Brooke says:

    My daughter had her autistic friend over for their first play date today. Me made flubber. Her friend loved it! She played with it for over an hour. Thanks for the fun experiment.

  19. Trisha says:

    I found a substitute for the borax that is non-toxic. It is recommended that you us metamucil instead of the borax. I hope this helps and here is the link to the website I found the information on.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_7620871_make-nontoxic-flubber.html#page=0

  20. Brenda Stephens says:

    Can I use another brand of glue?

    • Katie says:

      Good question! But my answer is “I’m not sure!” I’ve only made it this one time, but next time I make it, I’ll experiment with another brand. I don’t see why a different brand wouldn’t work?

    • Susanna says:

      Any white glue should work since it’s pva, the borax reacts with the polymers in glue and solidifies, the result it’s soft because there’s water and other things in the mixture to dilute the glue and the borax.

  21. Nicole says:

    I have read some other blogs where people have bought up issues with the toxicity of using Borax especially with young children. Does anyone else have concerns?

  22. Kristine says:

    People in EU countries may have trouble finding Borax as the borate group (including borax) was classified “Reprotoxic Category 2″. The chemical name for borax is sodium tetraborate. So that’s what you’ll need to look for if you’re searching for it.

    There are no Borax free solutions, because the Boron is incorporated into the reaction. There isn’t a substitute.

  23. David says:

    Borax is also sodium borate, Which is not banned in most countries. Places that sell chemistry sets should have it, or you junior/senior high.

  24. Jennifer S says:

    My 3 1/2 yr old son and I just made this… It was so easy and quick to make. This is the coolest stuff and it will keep him occupied for hours, I am sure! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  25. Rhonnda says:

    You can use liquid starch (like for the laundry) and elmer’s glue and mix (I start off with equal amounts of both and just play with it until it becomes the consistency I want. Liquid starch may be an option for those who can’t access Borax.

  26. Barbara says:

    is this product anything like silly putty, can it transfer comics from the paper onto the f lubber or does it bounce.. if not like silly putty do you have a recipe for silly putty ..
    Thank You B. Baze

  27. Brenda says:

    Was wondering about being toxic with borax in it? We know how little ones can be curious. I want to make it but am a little worried about that

  28. Amy says:

    We just made this!!! LOVE IT!!! So do the 5 & 3 year old. I saw in the postings that you store in a plastic bag…. in the ref or at room temp????

  29. Jill Dawson says:

    We play with this stuff a lot at my preschool. One of the favorite things to do is color on it with colored pens. Most of our pens are the washable kind but not all, but they all seem to adhere quickly to the gak without getting the kids hands messy. Then when you pick up a piece the designs starts stretching. Twist it and it looks like taffy. The ink on the gak fades and mixes to light gray overnight. Gak provides hours of fun and it seems to last for weeks and weeks, just gets a little dryer/ more kind of brittle than the very stretchy state it starts in.

  30. myra d. says:

    we did this. so fun!!!

  31. Ping says:

    Can’t find Borax at my place too. Can you help by listing down the ingredients in borax so we can find a similar substitute? That is, if the box says anything. Thanks in advance!

    • Tara says:

      Borax is sodium tetraborate (a natural mineral). Any large chain of store should carry it. I get mine from my local Fry’s ( or Kroger in the mid west) you should also be able to find at Walmart, in laundry isle. Full name… 20 mule team Borax. Good luck:)

  32. Molly says:

    Hiya !
    Just wanted to let you know that we made this for my son’s third birthday party yesterday ie: making it was a party activity (I don’t believe in party games – always end in tears)

    Well, it kept 10 children, ages 18 months to 14, happily occupied for an hour while we adults got to have a chat :) )

    Fantastic activity – thanks for the recipe !!

  33. Heather says:

    Okay, 1 cup of glue??? Can I just buy an 8oz glue bottle or do I really need to measure it? Just curious, I have a giant bottle, but I need to know for sure:D

    • Katie says:

      Hi Heather! I just used 2x4oz bottles of glue – I didn’t actually “measure” them in a measuring cup or anything, I just poured them in. 8oz is the right measurement (the same as a cup), so if you had an 8oz bottle, I’d just use that. If you have a huge bottle of glue, though, then I’d probably measure it out so that you get an accurate measurement. Hope that helps!

  34. Tara says:

    This looks fun will try it today. When I was much younger, I worked at a preschool. I would make something similar… Glue, liquid starch (equal parts) and food coloring. But, you Need old shirts and if the girls had long hair you need to pin it back. When your kids play with this do you put them in smocks/old clothes? If it get in hair will I be giving my kids new hair cuts? Thanks for the fun project idea!

    • Katie says:

      i haven’t gotten it stuck in hair yet, haha! but it doesn’t appear to really “stick” to anything that i’ve noticed. i don’t put my kids in their art clothes to play with this – i just ask them to stay in the kitchen (because that’s the rule for a lot of things like this – i just don’t want it all over my house! ;) )

  35. Brigid beck says:

    Hi , is that a Pva type glue ?

    • Katie says:

      great question. i’m not an expert on this, so take the following for what it’s worth, but i *think* that elmer’s glue has a little more to it than pva glue.

  36. Ashley says:

    I just made this about 5 minutes ago ;) absolutely amazing! Surprisingly doesn’t turn your hands green, doesn’t stick to anything in a bad way.. it reminds me of jiggly silly putty! Thanks sooo much :)

  37. Barb Keizer says:

    f there are concerns about Borax why not make homemade playdough.
    Surely there is nothing to be concerned about flour, salt, oil, water and a touch of food colouring.
    Find a recipe on the web. You and the kids will have fun!

  38. Aisha says:

    Hi
    I tried this 2x with generic glue and all I got was a bunch of dishes and pastel glue! I used a glass measuring cup to measure, and used microwaved water for hot and water from the fridge for cold. I stirred everything until smooth in their own bowls. I tried to pour the water off, there was very little. It’s slightly stringy but very wet. I tried to pour off water before stirring, what am I doing wrong? I really want to make this for my 3 year old but hate to waste more glue!

    Thanks

    • Katie says:

      Hi Aisha! I microwaved my water to get it hot, too, and just used cold water from the tap. When we made it, as soon as we mixed the contents of the 2 bowls together, I could tell that it was working and although there was obviously some water still left in the bowl, it wasn’t a huge amount that ended up being drained off. The flubber will be soft and slightly moist at first, but the more you play with it and the more time that passes, it should become less and less moist and soft. I’m not sure what the difference might be in how we make it, except for maybe the glue?

  39. Borax is a 100% natural product and is safe to use in home applications. I wouldn’t eat it by the spoonful, but you shouldn’t be eating flubber. Here is a link to explain what the product is. I hope this helps anyone who has questions or concerns.
    http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/about/what-is-borax/

  40. Jan says:

    I am going to use this for physical therapy on my left hand…………..

  41. Clare says:

    I asked my high school teacher friend about borax and in Australian schools they’re not allowed to use it. She did have a fabulous tip though…. Psyllium husk (sold as Metamucil in Australia) can be used for this purpose…. gram for gram. Now I can’t wait to try and have suggested it to kinder!

  42. Stacey says:

    Thank you for posting! I’m going to try this with my 3rd grade students! Do you think it would work to cut the recipe in half or fourths (just thinking about the expense of materials for 20 kids) or should we make the whole batch and then divide the flubber into baggies?

    • Katie says:

      i haven’t tried cutting the recipe, (i don’t see why that would be a problem though) but i do know that it’s totally doable to make a batch and separate it. for 20 kids, depending on how much you want to give each child, you might need to make a few batches.

  43. Chris says:

    This looks like so much fun! I think this will be one of the favors for my soon to be 9 yr old party this summer. thanks for the recipe.

  44. Lori says:

    Mine didn’t come out right

  45. Diane says:

    Hi,
    I used this as a project in Sunday School today…..I just eyeballed the measurements in a plastic cup and plastic spoon…..used 2 dishpans and then poured it together…..and then the fun and yuck squeals began. Fun stuff that they could take home in a baggie. Thanks for the recipe!!

  46. carl says:

    When I was growing up, we put a box of borax in our well twice a year to “sweeten” the water. Borax is a natural anti microbial and as long as you don’t eat it by the spoonfuls, is not harmful.

  47. Alicia says:

    My two year old & I just made this and had a blast. We used dollar tree glue & it appeared to work great (maybe not as elastic as I thought it would’ve, but could be something I’ve done). As to the great borax debate it’s used in laundry soaps, dish soaps, play dough etc. & I’m still alive and healthy so that’s my personal answer to the question. Thanks for the funtastic recipe!!

  48. Kylie says:

    Hi, We use borax a fair bit in After School Care to make slime, goo etc. We just talk to the children clearly before hand, not to touch your mouth, not play with the borax etc. We then encourage the children to wash their hands after playing with it. Other educators panicked a bit when I told them that we use it, but you wouldn’t eat hand soap either ?! I downloaded the various msds sheets on it and read thoroughly, it is not more dangerous than other products we use, just don;t eat it!
    On the actual activity you have shown, looks like comes out different to other recipes I use, I am going to give it a go!

  49. lyn says:

    you can also make this using liquid starch instead of the borax we did it with equal parts glue and starch and water mix till thick

  50. Chrissy says:

    I was really looking forward to making this with my boyzz….but now I am nervous about borax :(
    I looked it up on the FAQs on their website. They don’t suggest contact with children or animals. :( boo.
    http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/about/faq/

    • Sarah says:

      If you are nervous about using Borax, you can try liquid starch instead. If you’re like me, and can’t find it ANYWHERE, it’s easy enough to make it yourself (though it does add a few extra steps)
      1 tbsp corn starch
      1/4 cup cold water
      3 3/4 cups tap water
      2-3 drops essential oils / lemon juice (for scent – completely optional)
      directions:
      bring 3 3/4 cup water to a rolling boil. While waiting, add cornstarch to cold water and stir until completely dissolved. Once water is boiling, slowly stir both mixtures together. If adding oils, do this now, and continue to stir for about a minute more. Remove from heat, and let cool.

      That’s it!

      Happy sliming!

  51. Jackie says:

    I taught 3rd grade in the past years and have done just this “recipe.” I checked with our district science curriculum department to confirm the ingredients were indeed considered “child safe”….and the were. We have done this for years and is one of the favorite polymer experiment. Am going to do it this summer with my son’s girlfriend’s 2 little girls…can’t wait!

  52. Christine says:

    THIS LOOKS SO AWESOME!! I don’t have children, but I plan on trying this out at home and sharing with my friends who do have children!
    I have used borax soap powder in the past and found it to be completely safe! ” As a reminder, we recommend you keep 20 Mule Team Borax out of reach of pets and children.” is listed on their website.. People, this is common sense with ANY detergent. You’ll be diluting it with water and glue, I mean really… If you’re THAT afraid, just wrap you child up in Bubble Wrap and call it a day.

    • Tina says:

      I like the way you are thinking. Here is my nickles worth…
      The amount *1 teaspoon in a cup of water, with a bottle of glue would seem to me not a big issue. It might be an issue if they ate the whole flubber makings. We as a whole have gotten way too protective of the little ones. They absolutely need dirt and rocks to grow. If this is such a problem for folks ask those who have made it for years, had children while making it, and who think it is fine… They would I am sure tell you the same thing. I would venture to say that most of the parents who are asking and those who deem it totally unsafe are all under the age of 35 or so. There may be a spattering of older folks but that doesn’t mean that they are any more or less helicopters.

  53. Virginia says:

    This looks awesome. It’s a chemical reaction so as long as the proportions remain intact you should be able to scale the recipe up or down. The MSDS (safety sheets with first aid measures and protection etc…) sheets on baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and borax(sodium borate decahydrate) they are virtually the same in terms of toxicity. Don’t eat it in large quantities, don’t bathe in concentrated solutions and you and your supervised kids will be fine. Just my two cents on the safety of borax. I don’t know enough chemistry to find a substitute.

    If you’re really concerned try magic mud. It’s cornstarch and water and combines to form a non-Newtonian liquid. http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/keeping-em-out-of-trouble/20121126/little-scientist-how-to-make-magic-mud-and-silly-putty I can vouch for the mud recipe; we made it all the time as kids, but I don’t know about the silly putty.

    Chemistry is fun!!!

  54. amanda says:

    Just wanted to give some of your parents some peace of mind about the Borax… I have a 1 and 3 year old and asked their pediatrician about the toxicity of it and she said it was perfectly fine to use AS LONG AS ITS NOT INGESTED. so basically as long as they don’t eat it they will be fine. also to wash their hands very well after playing with it :) so flubber away!!

  55. Sharon Ferguson says:

    To settle the borax vs boric acid once and for all: BORAX IS HARMLESS. As an archaeology student, I would use BORAX ALL THE TIME as a soaking solution for skeletal material brought in from field excavations. It is a non-corrosive agent that is used as a cleaner and it was very effective in separating the dirt from the bones without harming the organic material of the bones.

    There should be no fear in using a cleansing agent that is used by lots of people in their every day lives.

    BORIC ACID IS INDEED SOMETHING ELSE.

  56. SharonT says:

    Wow! This looks fantastic! We have Borax in Australia but not Elmer’s Glue! Doh! Can you tell me what that is? Is the same as PVA glue perhaps?

  57. Cindy Skillman says:

    Regarding the rude comments you’ve been experiencing regarding the safety of borax:

    Borax is a softening and whitening agent used often in cosmetics. If I’m in a hurry I wash my hair with borax by putting a couple of Tbsp in a small pitcher of water, pouring it over my hair and then rinsing several times, first with hot, then with cold water. Works great. As with all things you place on your skin from baseball gloves to kittens to home remedies, do a patch test and if your skin reacts to the substance, don’t touch it.

  58. Kendra says:

    Just wondering if clear glue would work or if its better for the food colouring to stick to the white glue?

    • Katie says:

      interesting question – i’ve seen the clear glue but have never used it for anything before. if you do try this out, lmk! i’d be curious to see if it works the same or has a different effect than the white glue.

  59. Megan says:

    Does this have a watery feel or a foamy feel? We used to make this when I was younger and had so much fun but I just cannot remember the texture! Let me know!

    • Katie says:

      Hi Megan! It’s definitely not a foamy feel – it’s just squishy. It might feel slightly watery at first because not all the water drained off, but as kids play with it it gets absorbed.

  60. Rachel says:

    Apple cider vinegar will take this outta hair! Don’t ask how I know lets just say DON’T turn your back not even to wash the bowl out!! Gotta love my little girl!!

  61. Corina says:

    Just made this with my kiddos, and they LOVED it! I have a daughter with low muscle tone and this is so great for her to work those fingers with!!! Happy Kids = Happy Mama!

    Thanks!

  62. K says:

    In response to your *Update… Borax is every safe and used in most natural, homemade detergents!

  63. Colleen P says:

    The recipe worked out well for us even though we cut it in half. It was very watery at first, but it got drier as the kids played with it. (Don’t use paper towel to blot it dry. They stick. I know now.)

  64. lori ross says:

    thank you so much for this recipe :) me and the kids are going to try it tomorrow … thank u so much for the post!!!!!!!!!!

  65. Melissa says:

    We made this today and the kids LOVED it! Thanks for sharing the recipe and helping us create a family memory.

  66. Kathy says:

    My son went to a summer camp and they made this. he loved it! however, he fell asleep with it (without my knowledge) not it’s on his bottom sheet, pillowcase, and pajama outfit. Any tips on how I can deal with this?
    Thanks!

  67. priynaka says:

    Hi dear,
    I want to ask whether any glue will work or just Elmer’s glue for the activity?

  68. priynaka says:

    Hi dear,
    I want to ask whether any glue will work for the activity?

  69. Felicity says:

    Was just wondering if this “melts” in your hands if you aren’t constantly moving it around. Made this before using liquid starch and my son got himself covered in it lol.

    • Sarah says:

      We call that ‘Oobleck’ and it’s a different thing entirely. The point of Oobleck is that it’s runny but when you squeeze it, it feels solid. Flubber actually feels rubbery, a bit like ‘Gak’ (remember that stuff?!?) and is fun for squishing and making fart noises (Joy!) Both are a lot of fun to make but Oobleck is messy so I reserve it for old kids.

  70. Nicola says:

    Could anyone tell me, how flexible it is, could you use it to take a mould of something?

  71. Payton says:

    Hi! My father and I just made this and LOVE it! We already had all the ingredients so was super easy!
    Thank you for the recipe!

  72. Julie says:

    Use a few drops of diluted water color paint instead of food color. Doesn’t stain and will wash off easily with soap and water.

  73. Linda says:

    Thanks so much for this even though I think I screwed it up a little my son still have lots of fun. I did pour the hot water with borax into the glue with cold water so I had tons of left over liquid and not so much of a flabber but that is ok. Next time will do it properly.
    What amazes me however are some of the comments of people about the poisonous borax. Borax is not boric acid. Borax is safe unless of course you decide to eat the whole box but then the same applies for the glue or liquid detergent or box of salt. All the power to the worried moms to use what they want but do you ever think about the same when you give your kids a coke to drink? Or what kind of preservatives are on the fruits and veggies …did you researched baby carrots for example if not you should guarantee you will not feed those to your kids ever again….but anyway this flabber is great awesomeness for a rainy day when you have a kid at home who just bounces of the wall…lol. Love it and thanks for the recipe ..

  74. Casey says:

    We are having a rainy summer day and I made it with my older son (3) while younger brother napped. He LOVES it! Have you had success storing it for repeated uses? Thanks!

    • Katie says:

      that’s great, Casey! yes, we’ve played with the same batch several times and stored it in a plastic ziploc bag after each use. it’s still going strong! :)

  75. Andrea Boggs says:

    I can’t help but wonder how borax is safe…I use it to make laundry detergent, which is kept up from my children, but it’s also used as rat poisoning.

  76. Cori says:

    Borax powder (as found in the laundry isle) IS INDEED POISONOUS!!!!!! Although in the amount found in this recipe it is unlikely to do more than make your child have a sick tummy, it would still be wise to supervise children with the making and use of this flubber, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep the box of Borax out of reach! If you suspect that your child has actually ingested any, PLEASE contact poison control immediately!

    • Cori says:

      I should have said that Borax is poisonous IF EATEN. I use it quite safely in the laundry detergent that I make, but would never EAT it. I always wash / thoroughly rinse my skin if I get any Borax powder or laundry detergent on it, and would see that anyone under my supervision playing with this flubber did the same. Borax IS perfectly safe, as long as it’s not INGESTED.

  77. Susan says:

    Kate, I have been making this gak/goo/slime with my kids for YEARS and they absolutely love it!! It’s always cleans up well from my granite countertop and my hardwood floors as well as my carpet. Sometime I’ll have to share with you the recipe for our glow-in-the-dark “flubber”….

  78. Esther says:
  79. Mandi says:

    Looks like lots of fun. I know my kiddos will love it. Thanks for sharing!!
    I will admit I was a little nervous reading your post script regarding some individuals concern with the “toxicity” of Borax. So I did a little research of my own…
    Yes Borax, sodium tetra -carbonate, is “toxic” in very high doses (probably higher than anyone could handle consuming). As is baking soda, table salt, toothpaste, and numerous other substances we have throughout the home. While “certain studies” state that high rates of oral consumption to certain animals (mice and dogs) resulted in fertility issues with the male subjects, I could not find any statistics or information on a single borax related death or even severe illness due to borax exposure or ingestion. As far as being on the EEG (which is essentially Germany’s FDA) category 2 dangerous substance, all that entails is warning labels stating it “may damage fertility”. Again this was only in the case with animals given high oral doses. It is listed by the MSDS and the NPIC as having a low toxicity and is non-carcinogenic. An infant would have to literally consume this entire flubber recipe to have a “toxic” level a child would need a little more. So I think we can happily make this, allow our children to play and enjoy and not be concerned about the terrible ramifications for our children (unless they decide to eat it all up!). Thanks again.

    http://www.anvilfire.com/21centbs/material/33850-usborax-borax.pdf
    http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/borictech.pdfhttp://momsaware.org/household-general/139-borax-friend-or-foe.html
    http://www.boraxfree.com

  80. jenniffer says:

    Just curious, does it really matter how you mix the iingrediants?

    • Katie says:

      Interesting question – I have no idea, I haven’t done it any other way. But if you try it another way, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  81. Nancy says:

    Katie: can’t wait to try this out today!!! And FYI to those who are haters, BORAX is a detergent booster. I use it I make homemade detergent and dish washing powder. Thanks for the recipe!

  82. Kayla boo says:

    I made this for my friends baby shower and all of the adults loved it more than the kids :) super easy and super fun

  83. Liz says:

    Hello. I am going to make this with my summer camp kids. How many kids do you think one recipe is good for?

    • Katie says:

      It really depends on how much you consider to be “enough” for each kid. Personally, I’d say 1 recipe would be good for 2-3 kids. But you could probably get 4 out of it.

  84. Chantelle says:

    is there any special way i need to store it for later use or do i need to remake it each time.

  85. cindye says:

    we just made this last week at girl scout camp and everyone lived. it is NOT harmful in any way. as a matter of fact our older girls were (12-15 yr olds) were helping the younger ones. it is perfectly safe. not consumable but not harmful to play with.

  86. Emily says:

    Flubber is cool and I think it looks good in orange how about you???????????

  87. Lovey says:

    Can you use Glitter Glue? I want to make it today, but I’ve only got a bottle of glitter glue and almost a full bottle of regular glue.

  88. Adl says:

    I have no problem with using borax except….I don’t have any. And I’m not going to go out and buy a $4 box of borax just for this, so is there anything else I would have around the house already I could use? Baking soda? Washing soda? Cornstarch? Flour? Powdered dish soap? Powdered laundry soup? Anyone tried anything like that…that are regular house hold items? So I can make is.

    • Byra says:

      I don’t know what you could use, but if you decided to buy Borax it has MANY uses. I use it mainly as a deodorizer. I throw in a scoop with the laundry (we us free and clear so no perfume to do the trick) and everything comes out with out any smells just the way it should!! This is extremely helpful with potty training and if you forget to switch your wash and it smells sour. One box has lasted us 4 years!!!!

  89. Jessica says:

    I don’t usually leave comments but I had to on this one, as you saved our flubber project today. My kids and I excitedly followed 2 other slightly different, not clear what so ever directions and our flubber failed until we tried your recipe, the directions were so clear (I could follow along even with 5 screaming kids!) I just wanted to thank you for such a fun, easy to follow recipe that truly delivered tons of flubber fun- you hooked me on to your blog :)

    • Katie says:

      Jessica, that’s awesome!! I’m so glad it worked out in the end! Thanks for leaving me a comment :) And hopefully your 5 kids weren’t screaming anymore once it all came together ;)

  90. Linda says:

    For all those who think they know everything but just come off making themselves look stupid this one is for you:

    I personally use 20 Mule Team borax in our laundry detergent, crafts, dishwasher soap and to clean with. Guess what…….none of us have killed over! Its amazing I know but just so you know, borax is harmless unless you intend on opening up a box and eating it all with a spoon. For some of the rude people, I have a spoon you can borrow :) . Boric acid is sold to kill bugs. If you cannot tell the difference between a box with instructions about using it for laundry, dishwashers, cleaning, etc. and a bottle with scull an crossbones then perhaps you should just be quiet. Go back into your safe box and keep your “scientific” (misdirected google) research to yourself.

    On another note : Thank you so much for sharing this! My children will love this!

    • LynnM says:

      I can’t wait to make this with my 6 grandchildren. We do a lot of crafts together so this will be a hit. I just need to get the borax today. A few wks ago my 9 y/o granddaughter made playdoh and honestly it held together better than what you buy at the store.
      The lady who expressed concern regarding the safety of borax was simply expressing an opinion and does not deserve to be attacked or called names like she has been. Read it, use it or throw it away. Simple as that.

  91. rubi says:

    I love it, this great! Ppl just need to supervise there kids borax is used on many things, every thing we eat or breathing outside air is toxic ppl like Marianne need to stop preaching. Keep up the great work my kids love it! Thank you!

  92. Julie says:

    This was lots of fun with my little girl who is 3. Thanks!

  93. Carrie says:

    Thanks so much for this, 3 out of my 4 kids loved it. The other one just looked at me like I was crazy to suggest she touch THAT. LOL

  94. Ashley says:

    I don’t know what happened… I followed the recipe EXACTLY and it won’t ‘harden’ up. It’s completely sticky and glue-like. :(

  95. Ashley says:

    ***** I decided to go back and make more of the borax and water mixture and add it to the flubber and it worked!!!

  96. Kelly says:

    Thanks for the recipe! It’s a little bit different than the one from Girl Scouts but I used yours because it has a lot less Borax. My daughter is having a blast playing with it right now as I type this out! I do have a question though – can you store /save this. If so, how? I know the sillly putty you get at stores is just in a plastic container so wanted to check.

    • Katie says:

      Hi Kelly! Great question. I just put ours in a plastic ziplock bag and it kept for weeks! No need to do anything else (ie refrigerate) – just leave it zipped-up airtight on the counter top (or wherever you want to keep it, as long at it’s at room temp) :)

  97. do u have use borax to make it or does it matter cuz I can’t find it?

  98. Karen says:

    The Borax they are talking about is 20 mule team borax natural laundry booster and if it were poison I am sure they would not advertise it as a helpful to make your babies clothes and diapers fresh. We use it around the house. I can’t wait to try this, I bet my Grand daughter will love it.

  99. Leis says:

    I didn’t read all the comments (there are so many!) but wanted to say that I have made this for my kinder class lots of times! Once a girl plonked it on her head and it got completely stuck. The only thing that we had that would get it out was hand sanitiser. Just a tip for anyone who has a mishap like we did :)

  100. Katelin says:

    I want to make this when I babysit our neighbors but I can’t find borax at their house and my mom won’t let me get some just to get some. I was wondering if 1. You can make this without borax or 2. What else can borax be used for?

  101. rhonda says:

    With out making this recipe 4 times, how can i divide to make different colors?

    Thanjs in advance

    • Karisa says:

      just divide the recipe before you put it together. I have made it and divided it before adding the coloring

  102. Karisa says:

    Borax in such a small amount is harmless. If kids have a problem putting stuff in their mouths, maybe they should look for the kool-aid edible play dough. Just saying :) I have made this and my kids love it! I have even put together kits with the instructions and gave them as birthday gifts.

  103. Karisa says:

    Oh, and another thing. I have made it with clear glue before. It makes it a different texture, and the colors are more vibrant. I have also added a few dabs of glow in the dark paint. FUN!

  104. April says:

    Just like anything you should watch your kids while they play if you have oral children you may not want to leave them alone with flubber. But on the other hand it’s one teaspoon vs like 16oz of water/Elmer’s it states on the website that the anal woman posted about the evils of borax that one tablespoon killed lab rats that if a human ingested 1tble spoon they may become ill, a child would have to eat the whole container and may end up with an upset stomach I would be more worried the glue would bind them up!

  105. Helen says:

    This looks such fun. I tried to make some the other day with my little ones here in the uk but just used PVA glue as can’t seem to buy Elmers here for a reasonable price, but it didn’t work at all. Does anyone know of an alternative glue to Elmers that I can buy here in England? Thanks

  106. Giavanna says:

    It is GAGK. That stuff has been around for ages. I remember doing it in my own kindergarten class and my eldest sibling who is 43 remembers doing it too though it was called something else then. But either way its great fun, just don’t let little ones try to eat it….it has a horrible taste.

  107. Cindy says:

    Isn’t this just awesome!? Fun activity, people from ALL OVER this big/small world helping each other find something so they can make memories with their kiddos!! This is AWESOME!!! :D

  108. Dana says:

    I am a high school chemistry teacher, we use borax in quite a few of our experiments. It is harmful if ingested in large amounts as is most soap type products. However, we do a project similar to this, and it is not at all harmful. If it was something that was harmful, we would not be allowed to use it in public school! I love this idea, I wish I would have known about it when I was a nanny.

  109. Erin says:

    It says to add the glue mixture to the Borax but can you add the Borax to the glue? Does it matter?

  110. Eden Briscoe says:

    I just made some of this Flubber! It was an amazing transformation to witness!! I began giggling like a child! I love it and I will make it again and again!! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience!

  111. Elaine Hess says:

    Made 2 batches of flubber today,the 1 turned out great ,the other one when you go to roll a ball just kind of crumbles , does anyone know why.My grandkids love it anyway.

  112. Samantha says:

    How much does this make?

  113. 96stix says:

    I don’t understand the ridiculing of the posters who point out potential harm in the use of borax.
    No one said it would cause the loss of digits, either toes or fingers, I’m certain we are all happy that you and your kids still have the originals, so why the sarcasm?
    Yes, it has been around for a long time, yes it is marketed as a delightful way to make your clothes fresher.
    Use it or not, the research is ongoing, just remember products and material from the past that we now know to be harmful. Like the asbestos pads we used as trivets in the 40′s and 50′s, the mercury our high school science teachers gave us to play with, the cigarettes we thought were so cool. And please, stop ridiculing and denigrating anyone who believes that perhaps everything that we use now is NOT perfectly safe and is pointing that out in a respectful manner. Comments such as “there’s one in every crowd”, “just be quiet” or my personal favorite for the mean girl award, “For all those who think they know everything but just come off making themselves look stupid this one is for you” are counterproductive to what we most of us are trying to do, which would be to give the kids in our lives a bit more fun.

  114. Lesa Logan says:

    I am thinking of making this for the first time. I live in Australia. My son is almost 4yrs. I am thinking of buying some ironing aid in a spray can from the supermarket & using this instead of borax. Just wondering also whether maybe I could replace borax with baking soda as another alternative. We have Elmers glue here in Woolworths supermarkets.

    I would of course watch my son carefully but what if he accidently ate some?

  115. Lesa Logan says:

    I am thinking of making flubber for the first time. I do have some concerns with borax. I am thinking of subsituting borax for liquid starch. I will just buy a spray can of ironing aid from the supermarket. Was wondering as well could I substitute borax for baking soda? We can also get Elmers glue here in Woolworths supermarkets here in Australia.

    I of course would watch my almost 4yr old son but was wondering if somehow he accidently put a bit in his mouth and ate it what would I do then?

  116. Camille says:

    I am super super excited to try this with my son! I bet he will love it :D I actually just went out today and bought some borax. And as far as the negative comments.. There are always those few people who feel the need to criticize everything *sigh*

  117. Brenda says:

    It’s Gak the stuff they sell in stores. Same recipe. so how’s it dangerous?

  118. MARY says:

    to all the negative people on this matter, its fun to make and play with, she posted it to be fun. Not for negative people to judge she never said you had to make this and you definitely should be watching your kids anyway it was not meant to eat, my kids love it also, I made this in school years ago when I was younger find something better to do with yourself then posting negative things.

  119. Sherry says:

    Borax 20 Mule Team is the Borax your talking about right. It is not a poison. It is a laundry detergent booster. Thanks for the awesome recipe. Can’t wait to try this with my niece.

  120. Rita Wilhelm says:

    I taught preschool for 25 years and I used liquid starch instead of the water and borax. Worked just as well.

  121. Kiyo says:

    Hi, this looks like a fun thing to do when babysitting my niece and nephew, but how do you play with it? And how old isbthe recommended age to let kids play with it?

  122. Julie says:

    I was wondering if you can store it and how is best to store and how long it is ok to store it. If you happen to know…

    • Katie says:

      Julie – I just keep it in a ziplock bag on the counter top! it lasted us a really, really long time…like months! hope you have fun making it!

  123. Christina b says:

    Interesting take on whether or not borax is poison or not, especially the end:
    “The health and safety warnings are also listed on the MSDS. Everybody can make their own decisions. I simply think it’s a bad idea to make craft concoctions for small children to handle (and possibly stick in their mouths) considering all of the health risks.

    It’s important to remember that many products that we use around the house are just as harmful. However, most of them aren’t included in recipes we give to toddlers!

    Yes, we like goop as much as the next folks. After reading about the risks, though, we decided to make some nice scented play dough instead. “

  124. Kim says:

    I tried this tonight with our Grandkids and I used generic glue and it was so watetery. Has anyone else had any luck with using generic glue? It didn’t look like the picture at all.

  125. Christine says:

    I use Borax all the time. I’m attaching the MSDS PDF page for Borax. #1 Don’t inhale. It may cause lung irritation. DUH #2 Don’t eat. Ingestion of large amount may cause gastrointestinal issues. (you’ll have a stomach ache and maybe diarrhea) DUH

  126. Trinity says:

    I made this at my school!

  127. bekah says:

    We used to make this in school but instead of borax we used corn starch. Works just the same.

  128. Josie Collins says:

    Im not sure we have Borax in England. does anyone know what i would use? Also instead of Elmers glue would i use PVA glue? Please help :) xx

  129. Kathy says:

    do you have to use elmers glue or is an off brand fine? i just made some with “jot” brand glue and the flubber looked like a mass of dr. suess scrambled eggs.

  130. Crazy says:

    My Flubber was not smooth! :(

  131. Mother of 2 says:

    My boys love this! Thanks for sharing!

  132. mickey says:

    will flubber hold its shape and harden well , thinking of making friggies out of it. thanks

  133. Kimberz says:

    I hope people know that PlayDough is also made with “boric acid”. So when kids are playing with Play Dough they are still handling this chemical. I’ve never heard a complaint about Play Dough poisoning a child. However, there is always someone who has a reaction to something somewhere where most don’t have a reaction or issues. This is a fun project and relatively harmless. So, why not use gloves when handling?

  134. Richard says:

    Questions about the safety of 20 Mule Team Borax are answered on the Federally Required MSDS that can be found here: http://www.omsi.edu/sites/all/FTP/files/kids/Borax-msds.pdf

  135. Some one in Grand Cayman says:

    What can be used in replace of borax.

  136. Susan says:

    Another fun thing to do with flubber is to give the children markers and let them draw a picture on it. Then hold it up and let it oooze. See how the picture changes as the flubber droops!

  137. Jessica says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I’ve been making gak with my 3yr old. The recipe is very similar. Instead of the 3/4 cup cold water you fill each glue bottle up with warm water. The rest of the recipe is the same!

  138. Shelly says:

    Love the idea, I am a Grade 1 and 2 teacher in Australia, school starts for the year in 2 days and I cannot wait to try it out, thanks so much for sharing your recipe! Just a friendly hint for some of the ladies who have posted comments, stationery has ‘ery’ at the end, I always remember the ‘e’ at the end for envelopes, which is stationery, not stationary! Also the shopping aisle, is aisle, not isle. Hope you don’t mind me correcting, but you’ll never know if someone doesn’t tell you x x x

  139. Amber says:

    Just made this for my daughter and her friend and it is AMAZING! They just love it! I kinda want to play with it, it’s so fun. Thanks for sharing this.

  140. Heather says:

    Just made this with my 3 year old and we are having a blast! Thank you for the great idea!

  141. ayshia says:

    my siblings and cousins totally want to make this thanks Katie

  142. Marnie says:

    Didn’t scroll through all the comments, but if there is ever a concern about a product’s safety here is a good place to go: http://www.msds.com/ You can access the material data safety sheets for the particular compounds. Hope that helps.

    This looks fun, and my 3 y/o loves any sort of textural stuff to play with :)

  143. Tiffany says:

    Oh good grief people…if you have so much to say…start your own dang blog to gripe, and leave this one alone!

  144. Nancy Tetrault says:

    Everyone needs to know that anything you touch or hold goes into your skin which in turn goes in to your bloodstream. This is absolutely not safe to be using. Not to be rude but your children look to you as a parent to protect them. Just because they like to play with it should not be the deciding factor. Some children like to play with matches but would you allow that? You are exposing your children to toxic…. possibly cancer causing agents. I am a nurse of many years and have the education to back this. Please don’t take offense. Just want all you people to totally understand.

    • ane says:

      You’re making that nurse part up. Not at all toxic. I’ve been using it in my laundry for nearly forty years and I still have good health.

  145. Carolyn says:

    I don’t know why anyone would have an issue with Borax! I use 1/2C in every load of laundry. It’s more back to basics than most products out there for kids.

  146. Katherine Grand says:

    A great blog for those spouting the toxicity of Borax. http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not

  147. Diane says:

    I would like to visit just one blog where the so called “experts” would just not try to share their knowledge with the rest of us. Why do they assume we are all idiots and unable to look things up ourselves? Just because we are taking advantage of someone’s great crafts or skill doesn’t mean we are illiterate! Yes borax can be an issue, but seriously, when was the last time you let your child eat any flubber? Give us a break! We don’t leave our kids unsupervised and starving ;-) Yes, lots of chemicals are absorbed through the skin. The same sodium tetraborate decahydrate that you are so concerned about in this recipe is found in almost every public school in the US in a much higher concentration, that wonderful powdered hand soap in every kids bathroom – Boraxo! So here’s the deal, stop being a helicopter blog reader commentator. Hover around your own children, not us. Thanks for a great craft post Katie, I will continue to make this every year with my students and know that not one of them will ever be poisoned.

  148. CV says:

    I bought borax a month ago for the very reason of making this. I do think I really have to try it! Have you guys made plastic with vinegar and milk? Another thing to try :)

  149. chrissy says:

    Everyone needs to calm down! I understand wanting to protect your children from evil stuff that might hurt them… but the pesticides on your produce is more harmful than borax…. the crap they inject into the animals we eat is more harmful… my point is everything is going to kill us… borax has been used as soap for years and everything seems fine…

  150. ane says:

    Been using Borax for nearly forty years. Started using it to add to wash to get diapers clean. To call it poison is just silly .

  151. random mom says:

    in case some parents are concerned…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax

  152. C'dar Pinder-Sommerville says:

    I can’t wait to do this with my 6 year old!!! I did this in kindergarten too, AND I ate some because I really liked the texture. But it was disgusting and I didn’t eat anymore and my 5 year old self didn’t die, so obviously the teensy amount of borax in this recipe will not kill your child! There are more harmful chemicals in the foods we eat than in this recipe. For instance, margarine has almost all of the same chemicals in at as plastic. If you can’t watch your kids while they play then you have more issues than a tsp. Of borax to worry about.

  153. HappyTeacher says:

    As an educator, I have to take a moment to respond to all of the back and forth between parents on this page.
    We all have opinions on what toys, food, media, games, schooling and routines are appropriate for our children. However, it is wildly inappropriate to criticize another parent for the choices they make when they have the best interest of their child in mind. What they decide is right for their family, is no one else’s business. And so, if you find a blog online about something to try with your kids and it’s not right for your family, move on and find something that is. Let’s stop these battles between families where we judge each other and harshly criticize situations that were designed for the education and happiness of the children involved. In this amazing world with every kind of information at our finger tips there will, unfortunately, be countless things to stumble upon that you disagree with – some far more harmful than an educational experiment called flubber – that are truly worth your efforts to stand up against. Make better use of your time by supporting those you do believe in or writing to our local MPs with opinions about what really matters in this world. Spread positivity and kindness to other parents instead of bringing negativity and unkindness into someone’s life. We teach this to our children, and so we should be leading by example.

  154. Deb says:

    Can anyone tell me how much this recipe makes? I want to make it for my toddler’s bd party but not sure if I need to double, triple etc the recipe for 6 kids? Thanks for your help!

  155. catwoman13 says:

    To those concerned about toxicity of sodium borate: please consider that anything is toxic at some dosage level. Look up an MSDS and you’ll see that borax has an oral toxicity close to that of riboflavin (vitamin B2).

  156. Shauna says:

    I havent went through all the previous comments…. But did read your note about the complaints of using borax.
    You can also use stay-flo its liquid startch… Mixing it with the glue… It makes the exact same stuff but there fewer steps. All u need is the glue and stay flo… No water needed!!!

  157. Kim says:

    So I just got done making this with my granddaughter.. and I think we did something wrong… it turned really stringy… any suggestions on what we might have done wrong? I made it exactly according to the above directions

  158. Steph says:

    Borax is completely safe. It’s actually used in the making of cosmetics, and even as a water softener and a texturing agent in cooking. It’s actually an important Boron Compound. Borax happens naturally by the evaporation of seasonal lakes repeatedly evaporating… And I got all that from doing my own research before I panicked! :)

  159. Emily says:

    Borax is not poison. Boric acid is poison.

    Borax is an all natural laundry detergent.

    Please do research before scaring people by writing scary comments about it being a poison. :)

    http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not

  160. Bev Foreman says:

    Love this, eager to try. You’re recipe has made it all the way to New Zealand where borax is difficlt to get hold of (purely lack of demand) and that glue brand is non existant, do you think PVA glue would do th same thing? Now I ralise you may not know this but another reader may. Thank you for sharing.

  161. Tiffany Brown says:

    My brother and I made this all the time as kids, almost twenty years ago, and our fingers didnt fall off. Nor did we even develope cancer. Borax is fine. I wouldnt eat it but we use it on our laundry growing up and have been around it forever. I dont understand why everone wants to be so afraid of everything. Let you children be children and have fun.

  162. Jennifer says:

    BORAX is used as a laundry detergent among other things…
    BORIC ACID is poison. This is a great thing for the kids and they LOVE it! Thanks for posting…

  163. Stacey says:

    Does the food coloring rub off on tables? or hands?

  164. Meredith Hull says:

    FYI, for those of you that desire to make/leave rude comments regarding using Borax, go check the contents in your laundry detergent. Borax has been used for years and I in fact have a recipe for making homemade laundry and dishwasher soap both use borax.

  165. Dixie says:

    I make this in my classroom as well. I don’t use the borax (I did not know about it), I use liquid starch or fabric softener (the latter is my favorite as it does not get sticky). I will have to try borax and see how it works for me.

  166. Mom Of Boys and loving it! says:

    My family made this today and we LOVED it!!! Thank you for the recipe and the inspiration to make my kids first day of summer vacation so much fun. We’re an hour into it and still going strong- haven’t left the kitchen table yet!

  167. Julie says:

    Katie…I have a question related to pinning this on pintrest. I get an error saying that it isn’t a valid image. Any idea why? I bet my almost 3.5 year old would love this.

  168. Hannah says:

    Does this recipe make enough for two or three people?

  169. Jenny says:

    Hi ….. love love love to try out this Project ……BUT I can not find Borax any where …. i mostly shop @ Target & a few other stores ….. But can’t seem to find it …. UNLESS i’m not looking close enough ??? IS THERE any other POWDERED Laundy Detergent OR is it ONLY Borax ?????? PLEASE ….. WOULD LOVE TO KNOW

  170. Jordan's Mom says:

    Thank you so much for posting This! My daughter made it at her day care this summer and LOVED it! She has been begging to make more at home, but I’ve been hesitant for a bunch of reasons. After reading all of the comments I know I can’t hold off any longer and we must make this at home. We’re actually going to make a huge batch of it in order to give a way as “ooze” at her Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle birthday party in a couple of weeks.

  171. michele says:

    My daughter and her friend just made it. It came out awesome, perfect cloudy day craft!!!

  172. taylor says:

    this flubber is very fun even for me but it is very messy.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This nice craft is perfect for those who want to be glamorous even with a cheaper budget. Everybody would be amaze if they would know the exact cost on doing this craft! I’m sure they would admire your creativity and ingenuity! Great job!The source can be found here [...]

  2. [...] her family, her crafting endeavors, and eating! Come visit her and see her most popular posts: Homemade Flubber for Kids, DIY Kids Dry-Erase Book, and Homemade Nutella Ice Cream. Also check out Live Craft Eat on [...]

  3. [...] starting to wear off, we’ve got a perfect and easy project for the kids: homemade Flubber.  Click here to get a very easy recipe.  You may already have all the ingredients you’ll [...]

  4. [...] to wear off, we’ve got a perfect and easy project for the kids: homemade Flubber.  Click here to get a very easy recipe.  You may already have all the ingredients you’ll [...]

  5. [...] tried the recipe from Live Craft Eat but I have to admit Elmers glue stumped me briefly. Being in Australia we don’t have it. [...]

  6. [...] science experiments with my kids. We had a blast creating flubber together recently. My boys played with it for a solid two hours- using a straw to blow bubbles, [...]

  7. [...] Homemade green Flubber: You aren’t a true mad scientist until you’ve created your own Flubber. This is a very hands-on experiment that kids will absolutely love and the final product is something that your children won’t want to put down for hours! One of the best things about this experiment is that your child is able to play a big role in making the Flubber. While they are conducting this experiment, ask them questions along the way like “What colors are you using?”, “How many drops of this did you put in?”, or “What does the Flubber feel like?” Asking questions like this will keep your child engaged and thinking about what they’re doing. To get more information for this experiment, visit this website. Click here [...]

  8. [...] try out a very popular Pinterest pin for making flubber. The project was originally shared from Live Craft Eat and it turned out to be a great recipe for DIY flubber! It took about five minutes and just a few [...]

  9. [...] Recently I found a recipe to make flubber.  It looked pretty fun so I followed the link to Live Craft Eat where I found the perfect tutorial on how to make some awesome flubber.  So I decided that it [...]

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