South and Hickory Facade

Why You Need Cleaning Putty and How to Make Your Own

Cleaning putty on a computer keyboard

November 2022


If you and your friends don’t talk about cleaning products very often, you may not have heard about cleaning putty. It’s a newish thing that can really up your cleaning game. Think about trying to clean things like keyboards, vents, your car console, or little ridges on furniture. It’s not easy, or, in some cases, even possible. That’s where cleaning putty can come to the rescue.

It’s a gel-like blob that easily molds to every nook and cranny. And when you pull it back out, the dust, dirt, crumbs, and mystery debris come out with it. Take a minute to look around your apartment and you’ll probably find a dozen places where this stuff will change your life. Think about your remote controls, buttons on appliances or electronics, anything with a speaker covered by all those little holes, keyboards, earbuds, and USB ports. They’re all hard to clean… unless you use cleaning putty.

For the sake of convenience, you can just buy pre-made cleaning putty, but when it’s so easy to make, who wouldn’t? Search the internet and you’ll find countless recipes, but here are our two favorites.

Recipe 1:

  • ½ teaspoon of borax. You can find this with the laundry detergent at the grocery store (it’s a great additive to your laundry, too)
  • 1 tablespoon of PVA glue. This is also called carpenter’s glue or wood glue. You can find it at hardware stores or Home Depot
  • 2 tablespoons of warm water

Pour 1 tablespoon of water and the borax into one container. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the borax. Pour the glue and the other tablespoon of water into a second container. Stir to mix well. Slowly pour the borax solution into the glue solution as you stir. Knead the putty in your hands until it’s fully mixed.

Recipe 2:

  • 2 ounces white glue (like Elmer’s)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • contact lens solution (like Biotrue)

In a bowl, mix together the glue, water, and baking soda. Add contact lens solution a few drops at a time while stirring. When it starts condensing into a slime-like substance, you’re pretty much there. Knead it for a minute.

For a fun twist, you can mix in a little food coloring to either version. Now get cleaning!