Cross-Linking PolyVinyl Acetate AKA Gloop ~ Mountain Mama

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Cross-Linking PolyVinyl Acetate AKA Gloop

Lots of questions about my dishwashing detergent. I'll do my best.

I started with this recipe which did not work well for me. The dishes had a cloudy film on them after the first wash. I gave up after a week. Later I learned about adding vinegar to the rinse dispenser, which did help but I never tried this recipe again. Some people have great results with it so I think it depends on your water.

Then I learned the basic recipe of 1T Borax and 1 T Super Washing Soda with vinegar in the rinse. I've been using this for a few months but there are still times when I get a film on my glass. To counteract this, people add salt and/or citric acid (which is a powder) to the Borax/Washing Soda but citric acid can be expensive and/or hard to find so you can use KoolAid (which is mostly citric acid). This is the first time I've added it. So far it's working fine. It smells nice too.

Is it "green?" Possibly. It is phosphate free but there are some concerns about the boron in Borax. It's a natural product (as are arsenic and uranium) but we're effectively removing it from an isolated location and dispersing it with unknown consequences. That said, I feel better using this than paying more for a phosphate free product. For me, cost is important too.

While researching Borax I stumbled upon an experiment I had to try.

What I Made:

Cross-Linking PolyVinyl Acetate or Gloop.

On the left: 1T borax dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
On the right: 1/4 cup Elmer's glue (leftover from school) and 1/4 cup warm water mixed well.

Slowly pour the two together in a bowl. Ask someone to help stir.

The Borax reacts with the glue and coagulates. Pull out the slime and knead it (guess who loves that part?). There will be some fluid left over.

It's gross, and slimy, and kids love it. Please take normal precautions and don't make this if there is any chance of your kids trying to eat it. Just because something is non-toxic doesn't mean your kids shouldn't learn discretion. That's all I'm saying.

I looked up the chemistry behind this. If you still remember O-chem (and I totally understand if you're trying to forget) you might find it interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool!!

    Dropping by to visit before we kick off April new blog. :-)


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