My oldest son, Max, is obsessed with slugs this summer! But, with slugs, comes SLIME. Gross, gooey, sticky, orange slime.
Bugs are these amazing tiny creatures our kids can find right in their own backyard that are the perfect size for tiny hands to pick up. Max has always loved ants, rollie pollies, and anything that can crawl around in the palm of his hands. I can understand the amazement because I was the same way. I actually used to pick up the garden snakes in our yard because I could, and freak my older sister out. I can’t even imagine doing that now…for fun.
Although I was pretty adventurous as a kid when it came to creepy crawly things, I have never picked up a slug. I’ve always known they were slimy, and it immediately deterred me from ever touching one. But when Max wanted to pick one up, I agreed it was fine. Slugs, snails, and puppy dog tails, right? What I never knew (because I had never picked one up myself before), and figured out really quickly, is that a slug’s slime DOES NOT WANT TO COME OFF. Slug slime is so strong, sticky, and elastic, scientists are actually using it as inspiration for a new medical adhesive glue that will better adhere to biological tissues than the currently available medical glues. Their slime is actually a liquid crystal! Mental Floss says, “It’s a liquid crystal, a substance that’s somewhere between a liquid and a solid. It flows a bit like a liquid, but at the molecular level, it’s more organized. It can be both adhesive and lubricating, and it actually slurps up water.”
Great for surgeries, holes in your heart, Sammy the Slug‘s night out on the town (my garden), but not for my kid’s fingers! Sammy is the slug in our garden that Max loves to pick up, he was recently featured in some of my Instagram stories! (are you following me yet?)
With my son’s fingers covered in orange goo, I raced to Google for an answer. A quick search with panicked fingers brought up other panicked moms writing in forums about the sticky mess before them. No answers. No solutions. Just more sticky fingers. I had NEVER seen something like this before. It literally stuck to his fingers as if it was suddenly a new part of his hands.
So, I was on my own. I used the three most common household items I reach for when it comes to cleaning, or removing makeup. And it worked!
Here’s how we removed the sticky, awful, orange mess:
|1| Wash hands with Dawn dish soap.
Just a little bit will do, with some luke-warm water. If they are old enough (perhaps 5+ years old) to scrub their own hands so you don’t share the sticky glory with them, I’d recommend letting them do it!
|2| Take 1 tsp of coconut oil, drop into hands, and sprinkle with baking soda.
(I actually do this for my face once a month, highly recommend!).
Scrub this mixture together between fingers and around slime-coated areas. You want to make sure it is more gritty than gooey.
Does it have to be virgin coconut oil? I’m not sure on that one. I only keep this one (unrefined) on hand because I use it on my face and for deodorant. Store brand baking soda worked great though!
Can we just take a second, and admire my ‘amazing’ sprinkle skills? ^^^ 🙂 Max did not have any slime on his wrists, but I apparently could not help myself…
When you pull your fingers apart, they will appear more gooey (the slime is starting to break down, this is good news!). This was the most fun part for my son – MORE GOO! Rinse off, examine progress.
Rinse off, examine progress.
We noticed the slime amount decreasing each time – you should too!
|3| Time for more coconut oil and baking soda! Scrub again.
More GOO! It’s still breaking down. It will become more and more like runny snot (sorry for the lack of better words there). By the second or third time, Max was able to pick off some of the slime with his hand (see photo above).
|4| Yep, you guessed it, more coconut oil and baking soda.
Make sure to get the thumb pads really good!
My son loved to hold the Sammy the Slug between his forefinger and thumb.
We only have to scrub with coconut oil and baking soda 3x to break down the slime and remove.
Wipe down fingers with a paper towel, twisting towel around fingers to ensure slime is off. The hands will be very dry now, so lotion is necessary!
Wa-la! Clean fingers, happy mama, and mess-free kiddo! At least, for a little while. We’ve used this method three times now, and it’s worked each time. So, it is my tried and true method for slug slime removal!
Pin this, and save for a sticky finger-ed day with your own ‘Sammy the Slug’.