Can you swim with polymer clay?

Polymer clay is a versatile and popular crafting material that can be used to create a wide range of items, from jewelry and sculptures to decorative pieces. One common question that arises among polymer clay enthusiasts is whether it is safe to swim with polymer clay items. In this article, we will explore the water resistance of polymer clay and provide guidance on how to ensure the longevity of your creations if they come into contact with water.

Understanding Polymer Clay Composition

Polymer clay is primarily composed of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) polymer, plasticizers, pigments, and fillers. When properly baked, polymer clay undergoes a chemical reaction that transforms it into a solid and durable material. However, it’s important to note that while polymer clay is water-resistant to some extent, it is not entirely waterproof.

Water and Polymer Clay

Exposing polymer clay to water, especially for extended periods or in certain conditions, can have an impact on its appearance and structural integrity:

  • Temporary Contact: Brief exposure to water, such as washing your hands or being caught in the rain, is unlikely to cause significant damage to polymer clay items.
  • Extended Submersion: Prolonged contact with water, such as swimming or soaking, can potentially lead to changes in the texture, color, or finish of polymer clay. It may also weaken the material over time.
  • Chlorine and Saltwater: Chlorine and saltwater can be more abrasive and damaging to polymer clay, accelerating the deterioration process.

Protecting Polymer Clay Items

If you want to wear polymer clay items while swimming or in water-prone environments, here are some steps you can take to help protect them:

  • Sealant: Applying a clear sealant or varnish to your polymer clay creations can add a protective layer that helps resist water and environmental factors.
  • Avoid Direct Contact: If possible, avoid direct and prolonged contact with water to minimize the risk of potential damage.
  • Dry Thoroughly: If your polymer clay items do get wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly before storing them to prevent moisture-related issues.
  • Storage: Store your polymer clay creations in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and humidity, to maintain their longevity.


While polymer clay is not entirely waterproof, it can withstand brief and incidental exposure to water. If you choose to wear polymer clay items while swimming or in water, taking precautions such as using a sealant and properly drying and storing the items can help extend their lifespan and maintain their appearance. Ultimately, it’s important to strike a balance between enjoying your polymer clay creations and protecting them from potential water-related issues.

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