Cleaning Polymer Clay

Cleaning Polymer Clay

Uh-oh! You’ve just noticed that the polymer clay mini-sculpture you made last year is dusty. And that gorgeous Sculpey® oven-bake clay pendant? You've worn it so much that it’s gotten a bit dirty. Now, you’re wondering whether it’s possible to clean in-progress or finished polymer clay projects.

You’ll be happy to hear that the answer is yes! It’s simple to clean dirty uncured or cured polymer clay as long as you follow some basic tips.

Hints for Washing Polymer Clay Items

When it comes to washing your polymer clay items, you want to make sure you choose the correct method and cleaning solutions.

Cleaning Uncured Polymer Clay

What happens when the jewelry you’ve been working on for days collects some lint, dust or even animal hair? Get out the tweezers. You’ll be surprised at how many larger items you can pick off unbaked polymer clay. You can even use some wrapping paper tape to gently lift small particles from the surface of your clay projects.

Still see a few specks of dirt? Dip a cotton ball or swab into a bit of rubbing alcohol and carefully run it along the surface of the clay.

Cleaning Cured Polymer Clay

Once your polymer clay project has hardened, you have several ways to get it looking like new again. First, you can return to the above-mentioned rubbing alcohol trick. Just be sure to use as little rubbing alcohol as necessary. Alternatively, hand-bathe your polymer clay artwork with warm, soapy water. It should clean off well.

However, you should never put your finished polymer clay in the dishwasher. The detergent, heat and jostling can be too harsh for your creations.

What Happens When Polymer Clay Gets Stuck Somewhere?

It happens to the best of clayers — your polymer clay ended up on the carpet or stuck to the fabric of your sofa. There’s no need to panic. Start by scraping up all the excess residue you can with one of your claying tools. Sometimes, you can scrape away all of the clay without leaving anything behind.

If there's still residue, make a mixture of one part white vinegar and three parts water. Dab it onto the site you want to clean — be sure to spot-check your carpet or fabric beforehand to ensure it doesn’t leave a mark. Use a clean, soft cloth to pull up the clay from the textile. Be patient! This process may take a little time. You can sometimes use warm, soapy water depending upon the fabric or carpet type.

sanitizing clay tools

Keeping Your Polymer Clay Clean

While cleaning polymer clay is necessary from time to time, sanitizing your claying tools and area can help prevent your clay from getting dirty during the creating process. That way, you can keep calm and clay on!

Ready for claying fun? Check out all the Sculpey® polymer clay options at our store today.