Slime and Silly Putty: How to get the most annoying toy out of carpeting

Silly putty and slime are no friends to carpeting. They are both fun to play with and both a pain to clean up.

Slime is the chemistry of stuff made from a chemical reaction between a polymer (glue) and an activator (sodium borate, borax powder, or boric acid).  Most slime also contains food coloring and glitter. Silly putty is similar to slime only thicker, it contains more activators which in turn creates a thicker texture, more putty-like so then it is moldable, rubbery, and bouncy. 

When cleaning either of these from your carpet, you want to work fast. The glue is going to bond to your carpet fibers and food coloring is going to initially stain them. So, you need something that’s going to break down the glue, first and foremost, as well as to remove the pigment from the food coloring.

Whenever you’re dealing with carpet spotting and stains, you don’t want to aggressively scrub the carpet. Your goal is to gently remove the substance from the carpet. This time is no different.

Slime and how to remove it from the carpet

Ice cubes can be used to remove homemade slime from the carpet. If the slime spill is still fresh, apply ice or ice packs for 10-15 minutes to freeze the slime and then scrape it out of the carpet and vacuum it up. Another way to remove slime (mostly because of the food coloring in slime), a mix of water and vinegar should do the trick with some light scrubbing.

Most slimes have ingredients in them like glue and borax, vinegar is then needed to break it down. If you mix together 2/3 cup of distilled white vinegar and 1/3 cup of water (warm). Pour over the slime, but don’t saturate the carpet. Let sit for a minute (unless the slime has been there a long period of time – then you want to let it sit for about 10 minutes), then scrub lightly with a scrubbing brush and pat dry. The spot should be gone, if not repeat the steps.

How to Get Silly Putty out of Carpet

It is important to scrape as much of the silly putty from the carpet with a paint scraper or a knife as soon as you see it on your carpet. Time is of the essence. Be careful not to be too aggressive so as not to rip up the carpet fibers.

Similar to slime, using ice on the silly putty to almost freezing, will make the silly putty solid making it easier to scrape off the carpet. Be sure to not get the putty wet, remember silly putty is made up of glue, and getting it wet could make it sticky. When using ice, put the ice in a Ziploc bag.

After scraping from the carpet, mix two teaspoons of non-bleach detergent with one cup of warm water and apply to the area, blot and make sure the entire putty surface is covered. Let soak for about 20 minutes. Using a damp cloth, wipe the area, then blot with a dry towel and vacuum. If any putty remains, you should be able to pick it out by hand.

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