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How to soften polymer clay at home
How to soften polymer clay at home

Almost every craftswoman working with polymer clay has repeatedly encountered such a nuisance as a hardened mass for modeling. Such a substance is difficult to knead, it begins to crumble strongly. Often, beginners, faced with a similar problem, gave up modeling, considering that such a tedious task was not for them.

Working with low-quality materials is very difficult even for experienced needlewomen, the modeling process does not bring pleasure, but only tires.

Although the hardening of the clay does not mean that it is of poor quality. It happens that it is simply stored in improper conditions.

Polymer clay pieces stiffen over time if stored unpackaged, exposed to direct sunlight, or not at the right temperature.

In such cases, it seems that there is nothing left but to throw it away! But do not despair - if your plastic has deteriorated, do not rush to part with it. WeWe will tell you how to soften polymer clay if it is dry. There are several ways - from mechanical action to chemicals.

What is polymer clay

This is a substance similar in properties to ordinary plasticine, but contains a plasticizer. During heat treatment of an already finished product, it evaporates, and the figure acquires strength and a solid texture. Non-fired plastics are also produced, which do not require heating.

Manufacturers offer various types of clay - a huge palette of shades, a translucent consistency, pearlescent additives, a shimmer, etc.

Before starting work, polymer clay must be kneaded with your fingers - this will convert it into a plastic mass.

finger kneading

But it also happens that the texture becomes too dry and crumbly, that is, absolutely unsuitable for creativity. Such a nuisance occurs when using inexpensive plastic, and when working with expired plastic, and if storage conditions have been violated (this is the most common case).

Do not overheat the mass - this will lead to the evaporation of the plasticizer, do not freeze - further operation may become impossible. Exposed polymer clay will also harden very quickly.

Since softening polymer clay and returning it to its original properties is quite difficult, after finishing working with clay, it is necessary to carefully pack it by wrapping it with foil or cling film. Storage is best done in cool places.

How to softendried polymer clay with improvised means

But sometimes it happens that there is no time to pack and everything is left as it is. The result is lumps of clay that have lost plasticity and are completely useless. There is no need to rush to throw away this rather expensive product - put in a little effort and plastic will please again.

So how do you soften polymer clay at home?

For the resuscitation of dried residues, tools that are definitely in every home are suitable! But do not soften the whole mass at once, it is better to break off a small piece and try on it.

So there are several options:

  • Vegetable oil of sunflower - it is used in extreme cases, because it can spoil the clay. 1 drop is added, this is enough to restore plasticity. The dye loses its durability, the work must be carried out using gloves.
  • Grape seed oil gives a much better effect - you can buy it in pharmacies. But the paint is also washed out and hands must be protected with gloves.
  • The third option would be to use vaseline oil.
  • Vaseline to soften

    The result of adding it is similar to the first two.

  • Nourishing hand creams are also added. The effect is not bad, but the mass for modeling becomes more sticky.

All these methods are suitable only for beginners, since it is impossible to soften polymer clay using these substances without spoiling the quality of the substance. Of course, for the first trial work is not worth expensive funds.

But in the case when products are created for sale, it's not worth saving - after all, this is the "face" of the master!

In this case, it is better to purchase special substances that do not violate the structure of clay and do not spoil the appearance of crafts.

Softening with special products

Every self-respecting manufacturer, faced with these problems, seeks to eliminate them. How to soften polymer clay for modeling so as not to spoil it? Many different products have been developed to soften plastics at a professional level. Here is a description of a few of them:

  • "Artifact" - the tool is a gel-like softener that does not damage the shade of clay. Let's apply to plastics of any brands. 2-3 drops of the substance are enough, after which everything is thoroughly kneaded.
  • Skulpey is an oily, highly concentrated liquid. Do not add a large amount, otherwise there is a risk of getting a "floating" substance. The durability of the dye is broken, it is recommended to work with protective gloves.
  • Fimo - is a liquid plastic. It mixes with solids and kneads well. Gloves are not required as the color does not change.
  • Cernit and Fimo are dry softeners. They are a solid white mass, which is mixed in small portions. In general, it is permissible to add almost the same volume as a piece of dried clay, this does not change the original properties.

Each of these remedies has an excellent reputation, marredonly a very high cost.

clay softening

This is the reason why they are widely used in the professional environment.

Mechanical methods of resuscitation of clay

For amateur craftsmen who are just learning to work with plastic and use small volumes, easier ways to restore it are possible:

  • It is necessary to break the piece into smaller ones and try to knead it with your fingers. Since polymer clay can be softened using heat transfer, the heat generated will help restore lost plasticity.
  • Warm water can also help - you just need to dip the clay into it, and knead after a few minutes.
  • Possible heating in the oven for a few seconds - no longer than eleven!

All these methods of reanimating dried clay are effective and tested by experienced craftsmen.

clay storage

By applying one of them, and perhaps several at once, you will be able to make a plastic and malleable material suitable for creating works of art from a petrified lump of clay!

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