How To Prepare, Splosh With & Clean Up Gunge & Slime Easily
Updated: Jan 23
What Is Gunge?
My definition of gunge/slime is the slippery substance created by mixing powdered HEC, Natrosol, MS Gunge, Xanthan gum or Methylcellulose with warm water. All are available from messysupplies, eBay and sometimes amazon, plus some chemical companies. Slube is also a great option and very easy to mix (slube is available in many different flavours too unlike other gunges)
Some people refer to cake batter and other things as gunge, but they have very different ingredients, mixing methods and clean up techniques - if you are thinking of using cake batter, see the separate article here first for some important pointers.
Gunges like J-lube and Nuru will be in a separate article soon as they can be slightly different too.
Gunge is very mild and doesn't sting eyes or other body parts. You can see some of my gunge in action here on YouTube
Preparing Gunges & Slimes
The way I mix and prepare these powders is pretty much the same for all.
I use warm water, but not too warm - just above tepid. If you use water that is too hot, lumps will form as the edges of any powder clumps will turn into a gel and thicken before dispersing, trapping dry powder inside the clumps. This is a pain to rectify, so don’t have your water too hot. Don’t have it cold either, or it will take forever to thicken and be unpleasant to use.
I use ten litres of water in a larger bucket per packet. I use 12 to 14 litre buckets, and fill to roughly the ten litre mark, this leaves room for vigorous stirring if needed.
Use one packet at a time, or 100 to 200g of your chosen powder per ten litres (depending on how thick you want the result. More powder = thicker gunge)
I begin with the bucket placed under a tap, running with warm water, just above tepid. Then, when you have an inch or so of water in the bucket, grab a whisk and your chosen gunge powder, and sprinkle the powder in under the running water, mixing vigorously as you go while the bucket continues to fill.
Once all the powder is in and mixed, switch to stirring with a large spoon to knock out any airy and foamy areas. When the bucket is about 2 to 3 inches below full, shut off the tap and continue mixing with the spoon until it thickens.
Depending on which powder you are using, it could start thickening right away, or take up to ten minutes. Just keep stirring! HEC or MS gunge always seems to be the quickest.
Xanthan gum will likely have lumps at this stage regardless of how careful you are, but let it sit for an hour or more and then mix again with a hand mixer or whisk, and it should smooth out. This advice also applies to any other powder used if you end up with lumps.
Other Gunge Recipes & USA supplies
I also found some more interesting recipes and methods here, particularly useful for those in the USA https://rogergeorge.com/blogs/special-effects-guides/methylcellulose-tips-and-troubleshooting
Preparing Instant SLIME™
This guide refers to the product with the above name sold on the messysupplies website. (very different from their natrosol, HEC, MS gunge etc) It’s a great option for the easiest preparation and clean up by far compared to other slimes and gunges. It offers OK coverage, and easy preparation and clean up. Their instant mud is made of the same stuff, it's not really slime as such but it does give a very slimy effect.
1. Sprinkle the powder into 10 litres of water.
2. Stir for a few seconds
To dispose of it afterwards, all you need is salt. Add salt to turn it back into water, with no viscosity at all. The dissolving agent referred to on the website is salt. They often include it free, but just in case you lose it or they are unable to supply it for any reason, regular household salt will do the job.
This is most easily available sold as VIVI-slime™ Lite Stretch FX and a longer lasting, thicker and stretchier version called VIVI-slime™ Xtreme Stretch on the messysupplies website. They deliver worldwide, and it's well worth a look!
It's easy to mix and dispose of, very similar to the other gunges described in the paragraphs above. Full guidelines are give on each item page on their website.
Slube is also quite stringy!
Adding Colour To Your Gunge
Gunge sold in packets with the colour already added usually won't stain hair, clothes or skin at all.
If you add your own colour, use non toxic washable poster paints in bottles or in powdered form. These usually don't stain at all either, the exception being a highly pigmented black as pictured covering Lottii Rose below. Even that will still come off easily, you just may have scrub and pay a little more attention.
Food colouring has a very high risk of staining skin, clothes and hair, especially if you have any areas of dry skin. It does come off again eventually, it's just a more lengthy process. I recommend avoiding food colouring altogether.
Cleaning Up Gunge or Slime
Body, Skin & Hair
Gunge can be sneaky! Leftover gunge can be difficult to feel by touch alone on a wet body (and on hair) so as always I highly recommend those plastic loofahs or bath puffs, made of scrunched up plastic mesh for removing any mess from skin, or a soft bristled body brush. Add lots of warm water and shower gel or soap.
I also recommend having a mirror within your line of sight in the bathroom so you can visually check for any missed areas. Common areas I used to miss were backs of arms, flanks, backs of legs and ankles. Always check every single crevice of your ears too! Give your bathroom mirror a thin coating of washing up liquid to stop it fogging up with the steam from the bathroom.
For short haired people it’s not too much of a problem, rinse the worst off first and then use lots of shampoo, maybe wash twice if you want to be sure.
For longer hair
First of all, stand under the water and let the water rinse the worst off. Use your hands to run over your head and down the length of your hair to feel where the worst is and encourage it along by gently squeezing it out. Once the worst is gone, shampoo twice. Do this gently though, be careful not to rub it into your hair, rather just keep smoothing down and gently work it in with fingertips. Use conditioner as usual and rinse more thoroughly than you usually would, just to make sure.
Cleaning Up Gunged Items & Objects
Buckets & Tools
To clean gunge/slime off buckets it's great to have a hose or tap with good water pressure to blast the clinging gunge off, and/or a good stiff washing up brush.
Don’t try to do it with your hand or a flannel, you’ll be there all day! Microfibre cloths are good to get any last bits and help dry them off, but not for the initial washing. Don’t forget the outside of the buckets, bottoms of buckets and under the rims.
If it’s a carpeted floor, then use a microfibre cloth and a little spray of water or clear antibacterial spray. Make sure you don’t use anything with bleach unless you know the carpet is certified for safe bleach use. For laminate flooring, tile or stone, microfibre cloths are your friend. Same for any splashes that have got onto a wall or door, or door handles etc.
If any splashes have dried, soak a microfibre cloth or a few sheets of kitchen roll with your cleaning spray and leave it on top of the dried mess for about 30 minutes. When you return it will just wipe away. If anything is still stuck, soak it again and use your stiff brush. On most ‘washing up’ brushes, there is a flat side on the bristly head that can be used to scrape without scratching. Dry the area afterwards.
Baths, Showers & Drains
If you get messy in the bath it may temporarily or even fully block the drain if you don't remove it first. Many things are fine to get washed straight down, like custard, smooth gunge and slube. Other items are water soluble, like syrups and treacle and just need warm water to help them dissolve and vanish. Messysupplies instant slime just needs salt to dissolve it.
The way I recommend, no matter what the substance is, is to empty as much out as you can and flush it down the loo instead (unless you're on a septic tank system. I have separate advice for that)
To empty the bath you'll need a dustpan or scoop, or just your bare hands, and get everything into buckets. Then see my section below on flushing things down the loo or septic tanks, whatever is applicable to you.
I also recommend using a different area and a pool, a mat with inflatable sides or makeshift mess nest (heavy grade plastic sheets with towels propping up the sides) rather than the bath, as though baths and showers may seem convenient, it then means you have to clean it out first before you can get yourself clean.
If you use a different area, you can get yourself clean, get into some comfy cleaning up clothes and then tackle your messy area.
If the worst happens and you get a blockage, use some drain unfucker. Otherwise known as mr muscle 15 or 30 minute unblocker. You can pour it through standing water and leave it, and it will eat through whatever is clogging the drain. I always keep some handy, just in case!
If you want to clean and save the pool
My general pool cleaning advice applies here. Scoop leftovers up into buckets, watering it down and mixing it around to thin it if need be. Then tip it down the drain or flush it down the loo. Then tip a bucket of warm soapy water into your pool, and give it a good scrub around with a brush. Now scoop all that out and tip it away or flush the water. Keep the pool inflated the whole time, and clean the sides of the pool with a few microfibre cloths, a soft brush and a cleaning spray. Then with it still inflated, stand it up against a wall and use the cleaning spray and cloths all over it.
Dry the pool thoroughly with towels and kitchen roll and then allow to thoroughly air dry, still inflated, before trying to pack it away. If any moisture remains when you deflate and fold it to store it, it will go mouldy.
I recently wrote an even more in depth guide to pool cleaning with step by step instructions from prep to finish, and my thoughts on wet/dry vacuums and lining the pool with plastic. To read that, go here
If you want to throw away the pool
If you used a small pool and a bucket or less of porridge/other mess in total, you may be able to simply pop it and put it into a bin bag. If you do this, secure the first bin bag and then add another to be sure of no leaking. I often use three bin bags with this method, and with any other messy things that have to be thrown away.
If you used a large inflatable pool and a large amount of mess, you'll need to scoop out and flush everything before trying to bag it, or it will be too heavy. 10 litres is one bucket, and is the equivalent of 10kg. Even if you are strong enough to lift it easily, you risk the bin bag tearing if the contents are too heavy.
Flushing The Leftovers
If you are connected to a normal waste water system You can flush pretty much everything except oil. If you have a septic tank, please see the separate advice. I have never happened upon a loo that can’t handle mess being flushed down it. If any appears to be blocking the loo, use a sink or bath tap to fill a bucket with water and pour the water from a height on top of the blockage… wiggle around a loo brush too, or even your hand if it comes to it.
Flush after each bucket, and make sure you give time for the loo tank to refill before expecting it to flush again. Repeat this as necessary and then check after an hour or two that nothing remains in the bottom of the loo. If you are disposing of very thick gunge, it may be better to only half fill your buckets, and mix water into each one so that it becomes runnier and flushes easier.
If you have a septic tank, you won’t be able to flush leftovers down the loo. Instead you will need a series of bags, and absorbent puppy pads, or wood pellet cat litter, as much as it takes to absorb all your leftovers. Triple bag it all with very strong bin bags, securing each layer, and take it all to your local tip, to the general waste area.
Washing Gunged Clothes
Ideally take them into the shower with you to rinse them off a little and squeeze them out. Be careful with water temperature if any items are dark in colour in case the colour runs. Then wrap them up in a large clean towel or two, or drop them into a clean bucket so they don’t drip on the way to your washing machine.
Be mindful of the weight, wet or sploshed clothes are often heavy, so don't overload your machine. Give them one washing cycle with no laundry liquid, and then another washing cycle or two with the usual amount of laundry liquid and fabric conditioner.
Washing Gunged Underwear, Lingerie, Tights & Stockings
Put tights and lingerie items in zip up mesh laundry bags, separate from each other. It's especially important to keep them separate from bras or anything with clasps or fastenings, as they will get snagged and rip and be difficult to untangle.
You could also keep them separate to hand wash on their own. Bras, teddies, babydoll nighties, basques etc all need their own zip up mesh laundry bags, or like with tights and stockings, keep them separate for thorough hand washing individually.
You can wash most shoes in the sink with warm soapy water as though you were washing dishes. Some shoes like trainers and flat ballet pumps can instead be put into a zip up mesh laundry bag and washed in the washing machine. To dry shoes, stuff them with newspaper or kitchen paper and leave them somewhere warm, but away from direct heat.
For wigs, hand washing is best. Be very gentle and use shampoo twice, rinsing each time. Then liberally soak it with hair conditioner and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Brush it out gently with a wet brush - a wet brush is a great invention and is the name of the brand. It's very gentle and good for head hair too. Rinse thoroughly and wrap it in a towel, then apply pressure to dry it a little, do not rub it. Then keep away from direct heat to dry it, preferably hanging on something rounded to help it keep its shape, like a mannequin head.
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