Does polymer clay yellow over time?

Polymer clay is a versatile and popular crafting material used for creating a wide range of artistic projects. However, concerns may arise about the long-term stability of polymer clay and whether it has the tendency to yellow over time. In this article, we’ll delve into the phenomenon of polymer clay yellowing, its causes, and potential ways to prevent or mitigate the issue.

1. Polymer Clay Composition

Understanding Ingredients:

Pigments and additives:

Polymer clay is composed of pigments, plasticizers, and other additives that give it its color, texture, and workability. While efforts are made to create stable and fade-resistant pigments, certain factors can contribute to color changes over time, including exposure to light and environmental conditions.

2. Ultraviolet (UV) Exposure

Effects of Sunlight:

UV rays and fading:

One of the main factors that can cause polymer clay to yellow over time is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight or artificial light sources. UV rays can break down the molecular bonds in pigments and additives, leading to color changes and a yellowing effect.

3. Environmental Factors

Air Quality and Storage:

Impact of environmental conditions:

Environmental factors such as air quality, humidity, and temperature fluctuations can also contribute to the yellowing of polymer clay. Storing polymer clay items in areas with excessive heat, humidity, or air pollution can accelerate color changes and affect the overall appearance of the clay.

4. Prevention and Protection

Preserving Polymer Clay:

Preventive measures:

To minimize the risk of polymer clay yellowing, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Store polymer clay items in a cool, dry, and dark environment away from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to UV rays by displaying or using polymer clay creations in shaded or indoor areas.
  • Use UV-resistant varnishes or sealants to provide an extra layer of protection for polymer clay items.
  • Consider using pigments and additives known for their color stability and fade resistance.


While polymer clay is a versatile and durable crafting material, it is not entirely immune to color changes over time. Polymer clay may yellow due to a combination of factors, including UV exposure and environmental conditions. By understanding the causes of polymer clay yellowing and taking preventive measures, crafters can create and enjoy polymer clay creations that maintain their vibrant colors and appearance for years to come.

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