Can polymer clay be washed?

Polymer clay is a versatile and popular medium used by artists, crafters, and hobbyists to create a wide range of projects. From jewelry to sculptures, its durability and vibrant colors make it a favorite choice. However, when it comes to cleaning polymer clay, there are important considerations to keep in mind. In this article, we will explore whether polymer clay can be washed, the best practices for cleaning, and how to care for your polymer clay creations.

Cleaning Polymer Clay: Dos and Don’ts

While polymer clay is relatively resilient, certain precautions should be taken when cleaning:

1. Water and Mild Soap:

Polymer clay can be gently washed with water and a mild soap if it has accumulated dirt, dust, or oils from handling. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently clean the surface. Avoid using abrasive materials that could scratch or damage the clay.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals:

Avoid using harsh chemicals, solvents, or strong cleaning agents on polymer clay. These substances can potentially react with the clay, causing discoloration, deterioration, or other undesirable effects.

3. Baking Before Washing:

Before washing, ensure that your polymer clay creation has been properly baked and cured. Washing unbaked clay can cause it to become soft and lose its shape.

Caring for Polymer Clay

To maintain the quality and appearance of your polymer clay creations, follow these care guidelines:

  • Storage: Store your polymer clay items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to heat or sunlight can lead to softening, distortion, or color fading.
  • Avoid Water Exposure: While light washing is possible, avoid submerging polymer clay in water or exposing it to prolonged moisture. Water can seep into crevices or affect the clay’s finish.
  • Protective Coating: Applying a sealant or varnish to your polymer clay creations can enhance their durability and resistance to wear. Be sure to use a sealant that is compatible with polymer clay.
  • Handling: Handle polymer clay items with clean, dry hands to minimize the transfer of oils, dirt, or contaminants to the clay’s surface.
  • Avoid Sharp Objects: Avoid scratching or scraping polymer clay with sharp objects, as this can damage the surface and detailing.


Polymer clay can be cleaned with water and mild soap to remove dirt and oils, but it’s important to exercise caution and follow proper cleaning techniques. Harsh chemicals and solvents should be avoided, and care should be taken to prevent excessive water exposure. By following the recommended cleaning practices and caring for your polymer clay creations, you can ensure their longevity, vibrant appearance, and continued enjoyment.

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