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How and why does nail polish and vegetable oil form slime?
Question Date: 2016-10-27
Answer 1:

The main ingredient in nail polish is a chemical called nitrocellulose, which is the material that coats your nails. Another ingredient in the bottle is meant to keep the nitrocellulose liquid before you put it on your nails. This ingredient is called a solvent, and the nitrocellulose is dissolved in it, like salt dissolved in water. When you apply the polish to your nails, the solvent evaporates away, leaving the nitrocellulose dried on your nail.

Vegetable oil is the opposite of a solvent for the nitrocellulose. Nitrocellulose really doesn’t like to be dissolved in vegetable oil. But, the solvent that the nitrocellulose is dissolved in does like the vegetable oil. So, when you add oil and mix, the solvent mixes with the oil, and the nitrocellulose clumps together and forms the slime that you see. You could make slime by adding any oil to nail polish, including olive oil, or peanut oil. Try it and see if the slime you form is different!

Answer 2:

It is my guess that nail polish is an oily substance like oils themselves. Oily liquids can dissolve oily substances, just as non-oily substances will dissolve in non-oily liquids (like water).

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