The "No Borax, No Glue" TikTok Trend Dates Back to Slime's Heyday

Some of the most popular TikTok trends are the saddest, and the "no borax, no glue" trend is no exception.

Sara Belcher - Author

Feb. 20 2024, Published 6:57 p.m. ET

As social media continues to be a staple part of our lives, plenty of users have turned to different platforms as an outlet for their feelings. Even some of the best trends aren't the happiest, but they can also be a great way to find solace in knowing you're not alone.

Some of these trends, like the "history repeats itself" and the "she lives inside me" trends are heartwarming, romanticizing the little things, while others can make you sob while scrolling.

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The "no borax, no glue" trend on TikTok is one of the sadder ones, set to a sped-up version of Lorde's song "Ribs." Often the user will caption the video with a question, posing for users to help them figure out "how to not care no borax no glue." But what does the second half of the sentence mean? What do borax and glue have to do with figuring out how not to care? Let's break down this confusing (and a little heartbreaking) trend currently going around TikTok.

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What does "no borax, no glue" mean on TikTok?

To really understand the meaning of the "no borax, no glue" trend, it'll help if you were chronically online at the peak of slime's internet heyday. Making slime at home is actually incredibly simple, using a lot of ingredients that are found in most households — which is part of why it was incredibly popular for young kids to make it.

Most recipes require some combination of glue, baking soda, contact solution, and borax. Not all of these ingredients are needed, and there have also been a variety of substitutions made with items like soap and liquid starch, but all of these substitutions come with varying degrees of success. Any seasoned slime maker will tell you that to make a good slime, you need liquid glue and borax.

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That said, sometimes you'd get the desire to make slime but find that you don't have these two necessary ingredients, leading to plenty of kids searching how to make slime without borax or glue.

Unfortunately, these ingredients are pretty necessary if you want the slime making to be a success. Though there are recipes out there that don't use either ingredient, you won't get the same result.

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That's the point of the "no borax, no glue" trend on TikTok: there are certain components necessary for a specific outcome. If you want to process your feelings better, you're going to need to confront them; if you want to feel fulfilled in your job again, you may need to look for employment elsewhere.

In many of these instances, "no borax, no glue" is used to describe something that just isn't possible, like never growing up or making someone love you again.

It's a sad trend, with many using it as a way to lament over hard times or negative feelings, addressing the things that they wish they didn't have to confront. But in between the down moments, the comments are filled with other people feeling similarly to you, so maybe you can find community amid the chaos.

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