Polymer clay is a versatile and long-lasting crafting material, but like any other substance, it can undergo changes over time. However, polymer clay doesn’t exactly “expire” in the traditional sense.
Changes Over Time
While polymer clay doesn’t have a strict expiration date, it can experience certain changes over an extended period:
- Hardening: Over time, polymer clay may become slightly harder and less pliable, making it more challenging to work with. Proper conditioning can help restore its flexibility.
- Color Fading: Colors in polymer clay may fade or shift over time, especially if exposed to direct sunlight or heat. Store clay away from sunlight to maintain its vibrancy.
- Oxidation: Some metallic and pearlized clays may develop a dull appearance due to oxidation. Kneading and conditioning can help restore their luster.
Storage and Maintenance
To extend the shelf life of your polymer clay:
- Store clay in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
- Keep each color separated and sealed in an airtight container or plastic wrap to prevent contamination and drying out.
- Periodically check your clay’s consistency and condition it if needed before use.
When to Replace
If your polymer clay has become extremely hard, crumbly, or discolored beyond restoration, it’s advisable to replace it with fresh clay to ensure optimal results in your crafting projects.
While polymer clay may experience changes over time, proper storage and maintenance can help you continue to enjoy its creative possibilities for an extended period.