So you just got your hands on some super cool splat balls, also known as orbeez or water beads. You eagerly threw them in a bowl of water to watch them grow, but much to your dismay, it’s taking foreeeever.
Don’t worry, I’ve totally been there! Those little suckers can take hours to reach their full size. Ain’t nobody got time for that! But there are a few tricks up my sleeve to speed up the process and get your splat ball party started ASAP.
How to Make Splat Balls Grow Faster Than Usual
The key to making splat balls grow faster is using warm distilled water between 80-90°F. You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to speed up the hydration process. Gently agitate the balls every 10-15 minutes in a wide, shallow container to expose more surface area. Be patient for 4-6 hours during initial expansion.
Use Warm Water for Initial Hydration
This is splat ball growing 101 here, but it bears repeating. Using warm water instead of cold water can seriously cut down the expansion time. See, the beads absorb the water through a process called osmosis.
And like most chemical reactions, osmosis happens faster when heat is applied. The ideal water temperature for rapid orbeez growth is about 80-90°F. Any hotter and you risk melting the poor little guys into a pile of goo. I made that mistake once – RIP splat balls.
So how do you get nice warm water without accidentally scalding them? I like to boil some water first, then let it cool down a bit before pouring it over the beads.
You can also run the tap until it’s hot, add some cold to balance it out, and use a thermometer to check that it’s in the 80-90° range. If you wanna get fancy, you can warm up water in the microwave in 30 second bursts, checking between rounds. The extra effort is worth it to rush the process along.
Pro tip: Prepare the water while your splat balls are still dry so it has time to cool. Then once it’s ready to go, soak those suckers!
Give the Splat Balls a Salt Bath
Here’s a nifty science trick to expand your splat balls even faster – add a bit of salt to the water! The salt interacts with the polymer inside the beads, helping them absorb more water more quickly. I’m talking like 1-2 teaspoons of regular table salt per cup of water. You don’t wanna overdo it though, or it could damage the balls.
The salt basically creates a brine solution, which draws water into the orbeez by osmosis even faster than plain ol’ water. The salt ions induce the polymer chains in the beads to swell up rapidly. It’s some wild chemistry magic, but you don’t need to understand it fully to reap the fast-growing benefits.
Just a sprinkle will do the job splendidly. Stir it in til dissolved and get ready for light-speed expansion! The beads will be bursting at the seams as the salt works its magic. It’s a great way to cut down the wait time when you’re prepping splat balls for a party or kid’s project.
Related Article: How To Charge A Splat Ball Gun?
Use a Shallow Container to Maximize Surface Area
Here’s a simple orbeez growth hack – use a wide, shallow container like a baking pan instead of a bowl or cup. This allows more beads to be directly in contact with the water at once, increasing the surface area exposure. More splat ball surface area = faster water absorption and bigger balls.
I like to spread mine out in a single layer in a wide pan or casserole dish. Trays, pans, and low containers serve this purpose brilliantly. Just make sure there’s enough water to submerge them as they expand. Deeper narrow containers limit surface contact for the poor little guys at the bottom or center of the pile. Save those tall glasses for chilled drinks, not swollen orbeez!
Get creative with your shallow vessel. Foil baking trays, lids, plastic containers – anything flat and wide will do. More space to spread out means less wait time for full sized squishy splat ball fun.
Shake or Agitate the Container
While waiting impatiently for your splat balls to reach gigantic proportions, take matters into your own hands and give them a shake! Gently shaking or stirring the container will redistribute the beads and expose new surfaces to the water. This helps the H2O penetrate into all the nooks and crannies faster than just sitting there.
You can lightly swirl or slosh the container every 10-15 minutes to speed up the hydration process. Or carefully prod the orbeez around with a spoon to agitate them if you don’t wanna risk spilling. The movement jostles them around to open up closed-off spots and let the water work its magic everywhere.
Just resist the urge to full-on swish or stir too roughly during the initial expansion phase. Be gentle until they build up some structure, then gradually increase the intensity. Your splat balls will be giant in no time with this easy hands-on trick. Shake it like you mean it!
Be Patient During Initial Expansion Phase
Okay okay, I know you’re super psyched to get your splat ball on ASAP. But bear with me here – it’s important to be patient and avoid handling the beads too soon. I’m guilty of this one myself, poking and prodding them way too early. It can damage the orbeez before they fully absorb enough water to develop their rubbery structure.
Give them at least 4-6 hours for the initial expansion, longer if possible. Set a timer if needed to stop your tinkering hands from rushing the process. Let those beads do their thing uninterrupted. The waiting game is no fun, but it ensures your splat balls reach max size for optimal squish factor.
Once they’ve achieved some squish, then feel free to give them a stir or gentle prod. But steer clear until the spheres develop noticeable volume. Good things come to those who wait! Your patience will pay off with a fine batch of giant bouncy water beads.
How long does it take for splat balls to fully expand?
On average, splat balls take 6-8 hours to reach full size, but you can speed this up to 4-6 hours with my warm water and salt tricks.
Can you microwave orbeez to make them grow faster?
Nope, microwaving will melt the beads into a pile of goo. Stick to warm water baths for faster growth.
Do you have to use hot water for orbeez?
Warm water between 80-90°F is ideal. Any hotter risks damaging the beads. Let boiling water cool before using.
What’s the best water temperature for orbeez?
Aim for 80-90°F. Use a thermometer and allow hot water to cool to reach the optimal expansion temperature range.
Can orbeez expand in cold water?
Yes, but very slowly! Warm water significantly speeds up the growth process.
How much salt do you add to the water for faster orbeez growth?
Just 1-2 teaspoons of table salt per cup of water is perfect. Too much can harm the beads.
Do you have to stir orbeez while they are expanding?
Gently stirring every 10-15 minutes helps expose new surfaces to the water for faster growth.
Can you touch orbeez while they are expanding?
It’s best to avoid handling them for 4-6 hours during initial expansion so they develop their structure.
Do splat balls stop expanding at some point?
Yes, once fully hydrated the beads will stop absorbing water and reach their maximum size.
How do you store expanded splat balls or orbeez?
Keep expanded beads submerged in water in an airtight container in the fridge for storage.
Expanding splat balls as fast as humanly possible takes some tricks of the trade. With warm salty water, wide shallow containers, frequent agitation, and sheer determination, you’ll have yourself a batch of enormous orbeez in record time. No more watching beads slowly swell for 8+ hours – we can do better!
Implement these speedy growth hacks to cut the wait time drastically. Your kids will be thrilled to start playing sooner, and you’ll feel like a science wizard making orbeez expand in lightning speed. Just be careful not to actually zap them with lightning.. that may take things too far.
The next time you need swollen splat balls STAT, you’ll know exactly how to do it. These are tried and true techniques to rush the process along. Never again will you sit around helplessly while water beads take their sweet time growing. Take charge and rapidly expand those suckers into squishy spheres! Now go forth and conquer the world of fast-growing orbeez, my friend. The power is in your hands.