I’m often asked – can you leave orbeez in water forever? Orbeez are designed to be reusable, but leaving them sitting in water for too long can start to break down the orbeez. The recommended time to leave orbeez in water is no more than 2 days. After a couple of days of soaking, the water should be changed.
This gives the orbeez time to fully expand and absorb water, while not oversaturating them to the point that they could begin deteriorating. Changing the water every few days will help keep the orbeez fresh.
Can You Leave Orbeez in Water Forever?
Don’t Leave Orbeez in Water for More Than 2 Days. You can’t leave orbeez in water indefinitely. For optimal lifespan, change the soak water every 2 days and dry orbeez between uses.
Can Orbeez Stay in Water Permanently?
Given that orbeez have a maximum absorption threshold, it’s logical to deduce that they cannot keep absorbing water forever. Besides, another factor that determines how long orbeez can last in water is the degradation of the actual polymer material over time.
When placed in water, the super absorbent polymer that makes up orbeez will gradually begin to break down. The rate of degradation depends on several environmental factors, such as temperature, light exposure, and the chemical composition of the water.
Higher temperatures, UV light exposure, and certain minerals or chlorine in tap water can accelerate the breakdown of the polymers. Under ideal cool, dark, and purified water conditions, orbeez may last for months before beginning to deteriorate.
However, degradation will eventually occur, even if it takes a long time. The polymer chains that give the orbs their absorbency will start to break down through hydrolysis. As the intricate polymer networks begin decomposing, the orbeez will become damaged and begin to fall apart.
So in summary, while the orbeez may appear fine after being engorged in water for weeks or months, they cannot maintain their swollen state indefinitely. Their maximum absorption capacity and gradual chemical decomposition limit how long they can viably remain in water.
Related Article: Do Orbeez Shrink Back Down After Expanding In Water?
Recommended Water Storage Periods
Based on my research into orbeez materials and countless hours of hands-on play, I generally recommend the following storage times for maintaining orbeez integrity:
Short-Term Wet Storage
For short-term wet storage, such as between play sessions, I recommend changing the water every 1-2 weeks. This helps limit bacterial growth as the stagnant water provides an ideal breeding ground. Storing orbeez in the same water for more than 2 weeks increases the chances of the water becoming foul and contaminated.
Every 1-2 weeks, transfer the expanded orbeez to fresh clean water to extend the life and safety of the product. Discard any orbeez that appear damaged, discolored, or decomposed. With regular water changes, orbeez can be enjoyed for repeated short-term play.
Long-Term Dry Storage
For long-term storage when orbeez won’t be used for many weeks or months, it’s best to completely dry out the orbeez instead of leaving them expanded in water.
To dry orbeez, simply strain out the liquid and spread the orbeez out on a towel or baking sheet. Allow them to air dry completely for 24-48 hours until hardened back to their original bead-like shape. This stops the hydrolysis reaction and degradation process.
Once completely dried, store the orbeez in an airtight plastic container or bag. Kept dry in a cool, dark place, the orbeez can be kept for many months. When ready to play again, simply add water to rehydrate and expand the beads.
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Can you leave orbeez in the water overnight?
Yes, it is okay to leave orbeez in water overnight. But don’t leave them in water for more than 2 days before changing the water.
Why did my orbeez shrink in water?
Orbeez may shrink in water if they are left soaking too long. After a few days, the water starts breaking them down. Change the water every 2 days to keep them full size.
How much water do orbeez need?
Orbeez only need enough water to cover them. You don’t need a lot of water for orbeez to grow. A shallow dish of water is enough for orbeez to absorb and expand.