Orbeez or gel balls are colorful water beads that provide great fun to kids. You can dry out orbeez and reuse them later. This can be done without much effort. In this article we will guide you about the steps to dry out gel balls and use them later.
Orbeez balls comes in various shapes and sizes, and most people find them best suited for their kids to play indoors. Parents take no concern regarding any harm from these toys as they are non-toxic, environmental-friendly and free from danger.
If you want to use an orbeez outdoors, by shooting them with gel blasters, you should be aware that they become brittle if left alone without water. They will eventually break unless you take steps to keep them hydrated.
Drying gel balls are also helpful if they become smelly. You need to wash your balls and place them in sunlight, so that they can dry and their smell vanishes. Orbeez can be used after one day of soaking in water as they will grow instantly to their bigger size.
Ways to Dry Out Orbeez and Gel Balls
Orbeez are made of the best absorbent polymer, they absorb the water very quickly and becme bigger. The process of hydration and dehydration occurs in them. When water removes from them, they start becoming smaller.
The dehydration process make them shrink as happens in case of plants. Storing gel balls is easy so you can use them again. Most people look for the best and fastest ways to dry their water beads. These ways are surely going to help you.
1. Place them in a Warm Environment
The first and most obvious way is to place them in a warm environment, not too hot. A sunny window, a warm room, and even a hot air vent can work wonders.
By doing this, you are causing the water to evaporate more quickly, leading to a faster shrinkage and hardening of the Orbeez.
One important thing to remember is that the Orbeez will pop if you put them in a too-hot environment, like a microwave. Finding the right mix between warmth and heat is crucial. A warm environment will take long to dry them compared to sunlight exposure.
2. Place them in Ventilated Area
You need to ventilate your room for quick dryness. The fan will help a lot in this regard. Ventilation will dry them and causes the water to evaporate; proper ventilation will make this process much faster.
Place them on a flat surface of a well ventilated room. You can run exhaust fans at high speed and put them on surfaces such as carpet or wood. In this manner, they can swiftly dry off water from your gel beads.
You also want to ensure that no other dirt or impurities are present in your room, as these can cause mold and mildew growth on the orbeez.
3- Expose them to the Sun Light
Exposure of the orbeez to the Sun is the fastest and correct way to evaporate them. Spread them in the sunlight, and you will witness that they will shrink in just a few hours. Thus, you will store them in air-tight containers and reuse them later.
Orbeez can last for about 6-8 months, and you must reuse them again before this period. Check the expiry date of your water beads, mentioned on the packet.
4. Place Gel Balls on a Towel
Make sure to create thin layers because they will make the task easier. It is preferable to spread them out on something absorbent, like a kitchen towel, to catch the water they will emit.
4. Use a bowl which has small Holes
If you want to place them in a bowl, you will observe that they will somewhat contract and that water will surround them. You will get the intended outcome if the bowl has holes for draining the water and letting the beads dry.
Can I dry orbeez in the Oven?
Orbeez could be dried in an oven if you placed them for just 5 seconds, not 5 minutes. However, you should keep an eye on them so they don’t overheat and melt, but that is not recommended.
How to shrink Orbeez?
There are several ways to shrink Orbeez fast:
- Dry them out: One way to shrink Orbeez is to remove the water they have absorbed by placing them in a dry environment. This can be done by placing the Orbeez in a sunny window, a warm room, or even on a hot air vent. Orbeez can dry out within a day if left in direct sunlight, but can last for weeks or even months in a closed container out of the sun.
- Soak them in saltwater: Another way to shrink water beads is to soak them in saltwater. Mix 1/2 cup of salt with 4 cups of water and stir until the salt dissolves. Then, add the Orbeez to the saltwater and let them soak for several hours. The Orbeez will gradually shrink as they absorb the saltwater.
- Freeze them: Orbeez can also be shrunk by freezing them. Place the Orbeez in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for several hours. As the Orbeez freeze, they will shrink in size. Once they are frozen, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw. The Orbeez will remain shrunken even after they thaw.
- Sun dry them: Start by placing the Orbeez on a clean, flat surface such as a tray or baking sheet. Then, place the tray in a sunny spot and let the Orbeez dry out for several hours. The Orbeez will gradually shrink as they dry out.
How many times can orbeez be reused?
It has been said that you can reuse them 2-3 times after dehydrating and rehydrating them. The best way to ensure your orbeez are as good as new is to store them in a dry place. Before they lose their effectiveness, they can be used multiple times.
The more you use them, the quicker they will lose their effectiveness. After that, you should throw the old one and buy the new one.
Can I Make Gel Balls Last Longer by Adding Some Salt or Rubbing Alcohol?
There is still no conclusive response to this. This is something that some people advise, and it might be somewhat effective because both salt and alcohol are antimicrobial. But remember that the alcohol and salt will somewhat shrink the orbeez.
Water beads and balls can shrink back to their original size by exposing them to the Sun. You can use the above ways and apply precautions so they do not become brittle.
Ensure that if you want to dry and store them for a long time, they should not make any contact with water, and don’t place them in humidity. The most important thing is to ensure that your orbeez are completely dry before storing them for future use.
If you store them in a container and there is still water in it, they will start growing. So keep that in mind. We hope that you have got the answer to all your queries and now you can easily apply these methods.
Gel balls can also dissolve or crack upon collision with solid objects when you fire them with gel blasters or try to crush them. Orbeez drying out is a great experiment for children of all ages.
I am a Nerf gun fan, researcher and modder. I post reviews about Nerf blasters and also share tips to solve issues with your toy guns.