Polymer clay is a popular and versatile medium used by artists and crafters to create a wide range of projects. However, once polymer clay has been properly baked and cured, there are certain considerations to keep in mind when it comes to exposing it to water. In this article, we’ll explore whether you can put polymer clay in water after baking and provide insights into how water can impact cured polymer clay.
1. Understanding Cured Polymer Clay
Exploring the water resistance of properly baked polymer clay:
Once polymer clay has been baked according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it undergoes a chemical reaction that transforms it into a durable and rigid material. Cured polymer clay becomes water-resistant and can withstand occasional contact with water. However, it’s important to note that prolonged exposure to water or submersion in water can have negative effects on the clay.
2. Effects of Prolonged Water Exposure
Potential for color changes when polymer clay is exposed to water:
Prolonged exposure to water can cause certain colors of polymer clay to fade or change. Light-colored clays may be more susceptible to discoloration than darker-colored clays. It’s advisable to avoid wearing or using polymer clay creations in situations where they might come into prolonged contact with water, such as swimming or showering.
Softening and Degradation:
How water can affect the texture and structure of polymer clay:
While cured polymer clay is generally water-resistant, prolonged exposure to water can lead to softening and degradation of the clay’s structure over time. This can result in a loss of shape, flexibility, and overall integrity of the piece. It’s recommended to avoid submerging polymer clay creations in water to maintain their longevity.
3. Sealants and Protective Coatings
Using sealants to provide an additional layer of protection:
If you anticipate that your polymer clay creations may come into contact with water, you can apply a sealant or protective coating to the surface. Clear varnishes, sealers, or water-resistant finishes designed for use with polymer clay can create a barrier that helps prevent water from directly affecting the clay. However, it’s important to ensure that the sealant is compatible with polymer clay and does not cause any unwanted reactions.
4. Cleaning and Maintenance
Safely cleaning polymer clay items:
If you need to clean polymer clay items that have come into contact with water, use a damp cloth or sponge to gently wipe the surface. Avoid soaking the clay in water or using abrasive cleaners, as these can potentially damage the clay. Always allow the cleaned item to dry completely before storing it.
While properly baked polymer clay is water-resistant to some extent, it’s important to exercise caution when exposing your creations to water. Prolonged water exposure can lead to discoloration, softening, and degradation of the clay. If you anticipate that your polymer clay items may be exposed to water, consider applying a compatible sealant for added protection. By taking proper precautions and practicing safe cleaning and maintenance, you can enjoy the beauty and longevity of your polymer clay creations for years to come.