Will polymer clay dissolve in water?

Polymer clay is a versatile and popular medium used by artists and crafters to create a wide range of projects, from intricate jewelry to sculptures and decorative items. As you explore the properties of polymer clay, you may wonder about its interaction with water. In this article, we’ll address the question: Will polymer clay dissolve in water?

The Basics of Polymer Clay

Polymer clay is a type of modeling clay that consists of polymer particles suspended in a plasticizer. It is designed to be malleable and easy to work with, allowing artists to sculpt and create detailed designs. Polymer clay is known for its ability to retain its shape and hold intricate details after baking in an oven.

Water and Polymer Clay

Unlike traditional clay, which is water-based and can dissolve in water, polymer clay is not water-soluble. This means that polymer clay will not dissolve or disintegrate when it comes into contact with water. The plastic nature of polymer clay prevents it from breaking down in a water environment.

Effects of Water on Polymer Clay

While polymer clay itself does not dissolve in water, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

1. Rehydration:

Polymer clay can absorb a small amount of water, causing it to become softer and more pliable. This can be useful if you need to rehydrate dried-out clay or soften it for certain techniques.

2. Baking After Water Exposure:

If polymer clay becomes wet or absorbs water, it is important to thoroughly dry it before baking. Baking wet or damp clay can result in steam forming within the clay, which may cause bubbles or distortions in your project.

3. Sealants and Finishes:

While polymer clay is not water-soluble, some finishes or sealants applied to the surface of cured polymer clay projects may be affected by prolonged exposure to water. It’s a good practice to avoid excessive water exposure for projects that have been finished with certain products.


In summary, polymer clay is not water-soluble and will not dissolve in water. It retains its shape, texture, and structural integrity even when exposed to water. However, it’s important to be mindful of the effects of water on polymer clay, such as rehydration, the need for thorough drying before baking, and the potential impact on certain finishes. By understanding how polymer clay interacts with water, you can confidently create your projects and explore various techniques without the fear of dissolution.

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