I'm a high school student who makes slime for fun, using polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue and borax as my main ingredients.

Earlier, I had the idea of adding fragrance oils to clear glue. However, because they aren't soluble, it makes the whole thing cloudy. I tried using a fragrance oil solubilizer, polysorbate 20, however I soon found out that it wasn't soluble in it the clear glue either!

This hit me as odd, since polysorbate 20 is perfectly soluble in water. I'm trying to find out what exactly makes up clear glue, but all I know is that it contains PVA. I read somewhere that since PVA isn't super soluble in water, it's the reason why white glue is white. In addition, I also read that clear glue might be solvent based altogether. I'm not sure if any of this is actually true, but if anyone has insight on this it would be really helpful!

Should I be trying a different solubilizer, or am I missing a crucial step when I mix the two ingredients? Or is the issue not even related to solubility altogether?

Here is a short list of what I have tried and what happened:

Experiment Observation
Mixing the oil directly with the glue Glue mixture ends up cloudy
Mixing the oil into the polysorbate 20, and then adding water Water mixture ends up clear
Mixing the above water mixture into clear glue Glue mixture ends up cloudy
Mixing polysorbate 20 directly into clear glue Glue mixture ends up cloudy
Mixing water directly into clear glue Glue mixture ends up clear

Some other information you might find helpful:

  • I use Darice clear school glue.
  • All of the ingredients on their own are already clear.
  • I have run each of those above trials multiple times and have gotten the same result each time.

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