Unleash Your Inner Scientist: Exploring the Wonders of Oobleck – From Making to Disposal

February 8, 2023 in environment, recycling

Article summary and Key takeaways: Oobleck is a mysterious substance that behaves like both a liquid and a solid. It is made from a simple mixture of cornstarch and water and has unique properties that make it popular for sensory play and scientific experiments. When it comes to disposing of oobleck, it is important to allow it to dry out completely before disposing of it in the regular trash. Pouring oobleck down the drain can lead to clogs and blockages, and disposing of it outdoors can harm the environment. Oobleck is not intended for ingestion as it is not processed to meet food-grade standards and can cause digestive issues. Its liquid-like behavior is due to its non-Newtonian nature, where its viscosity and flow behavior change depending on the shear forces applied to it. Overall, oobleck offers a fascinating sensory experience and a way to explore the properties of non-Newtonian fluids, but proper disposal and caution should be exercised.

Dispose of Oobleck

Have you ever found yourself mesmerized by the strange and fascinating properties of oobleck? Perhaps you stumbled upon it while searching for sensory play ideas for your children, or maybe you’ve used it in science experiments. Whatever the case may be, one question that often arises when it comes to oobleck is how to dispose of it properly. In this article, we will explore the best methods for getting rid of this intriguing substance, as well as delve into its unique characteristics and answer some commonly asked questions.

What is Oobleck?

Oobleck is a mysterious substance that behaves like both a liquid and a solid, depending on the force applied to it. Named after the gooey substance mentioned in Dr. Seuss’ book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck,” oobleck is made from a simple mixture of cornstarch and water. When gently touched or poured, it flows and behaves like a liquid, but when squeezed or hit with force, it becomes solid and resists the pressure.

This non-Newtonian behavior is what makes oobleck so fascinating to experiment with. Its unique properties have made it a popular choice for sensory play activities, as it provides children with a sensory experience like no other. Additionally, scientists have used oobleck in various experiments to study fluid dynamics and the behavior of materials under different conditions.

How to Make Oobleck

Making oobleck is a simple and fun process that can be done with just a few ingredients. Here is a step-by-step guide to making your own oobleck:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of cornstarch with half a cup of water.
  2. Stir the mixture until it reaches a thick, gooey consistency. If it is too runny, add more cornstarch; if it is too thick, add more water in small increments.
  3. Continue mixing until all the cornstarch is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
  4. Your oobleck is now ready to be explored and played with!

It’s important to note that oobleck can be made in larger or smaller quantities, depending on your needs. Just remember to maintain the ratio of one cup of cornstarch to half a cup of water.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also experiment with adding food coloring to your oobleck to create vibrant and colorful mixtures. Just be cautious as food coloring may stain surfaces or skin, so it’s best to use protective gloves and cover your workspace.

Can You Put Oobleck Down the Drain?

While it may be tempting to wash away your oobleck by pouring it down the drain, this is not recommended. Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means it can behave in unpredictable ways when subjected to pressure or shear forces, such as those present in plumbing systems.

Pouring oobleck down the drain can lead to clogs and blockages, as the substance can solidify and create obstructions in the pipes. This can result in costly plumbing repairs and inconvenience.

It’s also worth noting that oobleck is not biodegradable, meaning it does not break down naturally over time. This further emphasizes the importance of disposing of it properly.

How to Dispose of Oobleck

So, how should you dispose of oobleck? The best and most environmentally-friendly method is to allow it to dry out completely. Once the oobleck has dried, it can be safely disposed of in the regular trash.

Place the oobleck in a container or spread it out on a flat surface, and leave it undisturbed until it becomes completely dry. Depending on the quantity and thickness of the oobleck, this process can take several hours or even a few days.

Once the oobleck is dry, you can simply scrape it off the surface or collect it from the container and dispose of it with your regular household waste. It’s important to ensure that it is completely dry before disposing of it to prevent any potential mess or contamination.

It’s worth noting that improperly disposing of oobleck can have negative consequences. If you choose to dispose of it in a liquid state by pouring it down the sink or toilet, you risk clogs and plumbing issues. Similarly, if you dispose of it in the yard or outdoors, it can contaminate the soil and harm the environment.

Is Oobleck Edible?

Given that oobleck is made from a simple mixture of cornstarch and water, you might be wondering if it is safe to consume. While oobleck is technically non-toxic, it is not intended for ingestion.

The cornstarch used in oobleck is not processed or treated to meet food-grade standards, and therefore, it is not recommended for consumption. Additionally, oobleck may not be prepared under the same sanitary conditions as food products, so it’s best to avoid eating it.

Furthermore, ingesting large quantities of oobleck can lead to digestive issues, as the cornstarch can absorb liquids and expand in the stomach. This can cause discomfort, bloating, and potential bowel obstructions.

Why is Oobleck a Liquid?

Curious about why oobleck behaves like a liquid despite its solid-like properties? The answer lies in its non-Newtonian nature.

Oobleck is considered a non-Newtonian fluid because its viscosity and flow behavior change depending on the shear forces applied to it. When a gentle force is applied, such as slowly pouring or stirring, the cornstarch particles slide past each other, allowing the mixture to flow like a liquid. However, when a sudden or forceful pressure is applied, such as squeezing or hitting, the cornstarch particles lock together, creating a solid-like behavior.

Pressure and shear forces play a significant role in oobleck’s behavior. Under low or slow forces, the cornstarch particles can move and slip past each other, creating a liquid-like behavior. However, under high or sudden forces, the particles jam together, forming a solid-like structure.


Oobleck is a fascinating substance that offers a unique sensory experience and provides a fun way to explore the properties of non-Newtonian fluids. However, when it comes to disposing of oobleck, it’s essential to follow the proper methods to prevent plumbing issues and environmental harm. By allowing oobleck to dry out completely before disposing of it, you can ensure a safe and environmentally-friendly disposal process.

Remember, oobleck may be mesmerizing, but it’s crucial to exercise caution and avoid ingesting or improperly disposing of it. As you continue to explore and experiment with oobleck, let your curiosity drive you to further explore the fascinating world of science and materials.

Question: What is the best way to get rid of oobleck?
Answer: The best way to get rid of oobleck is to let it dry and then scrape it off surfaces.

Question: Can cornstarch go down the drain?
Answer: No, cornstarch should not go down the drain as it can cause clogs.

Question: How do you dispose of cornstarch and water?
Answer: Cornstarch and water can be disposed of in the trash or composted if it is a small amount.

Question: What is the problem with oobleck?
Answer: The problem with oobleck is that it can be messy and difficult to clean up.


About the author 

Jason Farland