Cleaning

You’ve been slimed! Here’s how to get slime out of carpet—and other things

The kid's hair, too? Don't pull your scissors out yet.

Hands stretching pink glitter slime with glue, mixing materials, and glitter in the background. Credit: Getty Images / Natalia Kuzina

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For the current generation of kids, homemade slime has become the insanely popular DIY activity. (Whereas I was out molding and smashing Play-Doh or finger painting with shaving cream.)

Slime ingredients are common enough—glue, borax, baking soda, contact solution, food coloring, even shaving cream—which makes it easy to make at home, over and over again. Whatever its feel or form, this mesmerizing, sticky substance is keeping kids and tweens entertained for hours on end.

But—and this is a big BUT for parents—slime can create a huge, hard-to-remove mess. And, for those in the know, slime clean-up is nothing short of an absolute nightmare.

With quarantine in full swing and winter (which means even more indoor time) rapidly approaching, we decided to talk to some cleaning experts and seasoned parents for their advice on how to get slime out of carpet, how to remove slime from clothes, and even how to unstick it from hair. There’s no need to panic—yet. Your child’s favorite shirt or your brand new rug may not be a lost cause.

With a little bit of patience and a few key ingredients, you can clean slime from nearly any surface in your home.

How to get slime out of fabric on your furniture

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Credit: Getty Images / familylifestyleto

Don't go in with any old furniture cleaner to remove slime. You'll need to use a little elbow grease, along with gentle ingredients to ensure you don't damage your furniture.

When it comes to getting slime off your couch, it’s best to approach with caution.

Gently scrape off any excess slime from the fabric’s surface—use a spoon, butter knife, or an object with no sharp edges to avoid damaging the furniture. Once you’ve scraped off the excess, use a damp cloth with lukewarm water to carefully blot the surface.

Lauren Bowen, director of franchise operations at Two Maids & A Mop cleaning services recommends using distilled water instead of tap water, since tap water contains mineral deposits can leave tough stains on hardwood and upholstery.

Before applying any sort of cleaning solution, research what you can and cannot use on the specific fabric and material of your piece of furniture.

Natalie Barrett, cleaning expert and quality supervisor at Nifty Cleaning Services and mother of two, says, “Polyester is much easier to clean in comparison to other materials, for instance.”

Barrett recommends using a mixture of 2/3 cup of white vinegar with 1/3 cup of water and spray with a spray bottle. “Alternatively, you can use a spoon to apply rubbing alcohol onto the slime,” says Barrett.

If you’re worried about damaging something like leather or stained wood, use the damp distilled water method and be patient for results to show.

How to get slime out of carpet

Let’s face it: Kids are slobs, and them dropping their slime creations onto the floor is likely. It may seem impossible to remove slime from carpet, but it’s not.

Start by pulling on the excess slime. After that, Bowen recommends soaking the area with white vinegar and warm water for about five minutes, but don’t let it totally evaporate.

Then use a soft bristle brush to gently loosen up the slime. Once you’ve removed the bits of slime, pat dry—don’t wipe—with a paper towel.

Once the carpet dries, Bowen recommends vacuuming the area to suck up any leftover slime residue.

Don’t panic if you don’t see the slime spillage until days later. We can tell you how to get dried slime out of carpet, too.

First, try to scrape out any excess with your fingers—if you think you’re beginning to damage the carpet fibers, stop. Let a few ice cubes rest on top of the slime, melting into the material. After a few minutes, begin to scrape again and watch as slime will become easier to remove. Keep applying ice cubes regularly and scraping the slime until clear.

How to get slime off the wall

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Credit: Getty Images / yaoinlove

"Getting slime off [wall] paint is a bit tricky as there's a risk of damaging the paint if you're too aggressive about it," Barrett tells us. To avoid damage, go slow and don't use any sharp objects to scrape.

Parents know slime can turn up anywhere—including your walls. Thankfully, this is one of the easier household surfaces to clean.

"The best option is to create your own mixture of baking soda, water, and vinegar to treat the spot directly," says Barrett. She recommends mixing together one tablespoon of baking soda, 1/4 tablespoon of water, and just a tiny bit of vinegar—this should form a cleaning solution with the consistency of a paste.

"Allow the substance to work its magic for around 10-15 minutes," says Barrett.
From there, use a clean dry towel or paper towel to clean up the excess, leaving a clean wall behind.

How to get slime out of clothes

If there’s slime in your home, there is a 100% chance you’ll be dealing with slime on your clothes. For most common fabrics like cotton and polyester, cleaning can be straightforward. For more delicate materials like silk or wool, be sure to follow the care labels before starting the cleanup process.

“Start by removing as much slime as you can using your fingers,” says Barrett. “You won’t be able to take out the whole spot as it’s incredibly sticky.”

From there, use the ice cube method to freeze off the remaining slime, scraping as you go. “Press the ice cube against the remaining bits until you feel that the slime is becoming harder,” says Barrett.

Once you’ve cleared the physical gunk off the piece of clothing, you’ll want to wash it to avoid any slime stains. Use laundry detergent to pretreat the area, gently rubbing the detergent into the fabric. Let this dry for a few minutes.

Then, let the clothing soak in hot water for a half hour. For delicates, let soak in lukewarm water to avoid any damage to the fabric. From there, launder as normal. Again, for delicates, follow the care labels from here—we recommend washing on a delicate mode then air drying if possible.

How to get slime out of hair

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Credit: Getty Images / Klavdiya Volkova

Getting slime stuck in hair isn't a fun experience. With a little bit of patience, you should be able to massage it out. When showering, use a fine-toothed comb after your conditioner to begin removing bits of slime.

Getting slime stuck in hair is nearly as bad as getting gum stuck in it. But before you get your scissors out, removing slime from hair isn’t impossible.

First, encourage your child to take a long hot shower. Use a generous amount of conditioner to work through the hair that contains the slime.

If this doesn’t work, Barrett suggests using peanut butter as a detangler. Work the peanut butter by using circular motions to massage into the hair. You can also try olive oil, coconut oil, or any other plant-based oil, says Barrett.

From there, rinse carefully and repeat this process if needed. When you do finally get the slime out of their hair, shampoo and condition it as normal.

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