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Care of Polymer Clay


Polymer clay pieces can last many years with the proper care and handling. However, polymer clay can be very fragile when mistreated. It can crack and dent fairly easily, much like earth clays. ArtistCrafts offers the following care tips to help you keep your items looking beautiful for years to come.

  • Polymer clay objects are very easy to take care of. Usually, an occasional dusting is all they require to keep them beautiful.
     
  • If polymer clay items begin to lose their sheen, you may buff them lightly by hand. Use a chamois, your jeans, or a soft piece of cotton, and gently rub the item until its shine is restored.
     
  • All polymer clay items may be washed with soap and water, or similar mild cleaners. Dishwashing liquid works great for this. However, you should keep harsh chemicals away from polymer items. Do not use glass or multi-purpose cleaners (Formula 409, Windex, etc.). Unglazed items may be cleaned with an alcohol pad, if necessary. However, alcohol and ammonia should be kept away from glazed items. They will dissolve the glaze on the piece, or make it gummy at the very least.
     
  • Polymer clay burns at temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep polymer clay items away from radiators to avoid overheating. Use appropriately-sized candles in candle holders (i.e. votive candles in small holders.)
     
  • Polymer clay scratches and dents easily. Keep sharp objects away from polymer clay objects. Never use powered screwdrivers to apply polymer clay switchplates. If a screw hole needs to be enlarged, use a drill bit with the end wrapped in tape to gently hand-drill the hole larger.
     
  • Polymer clay jars and bottles should be washed by hand. Do not put polymer clay items in the dishwasher.
     
  • Believe it or not, Bic lighters can actually vary a little in size from lighter to lighter. When inserting a replacement lighter, do not remove the sticker first. If the cover seems to fit a little tight, remove the sticker and insert the lighter into the sleeve. If the sleeve seems a little loose, leave the sticker on. (Or, this is a great use for all those return addresses you get in the mail. Apply one to the side of the lighter, and it will fit snugly in the sleeve.)  Always remove and replace lighters gently, to avoid cracking the polymer clay.

 

Member, National Polymer Clay Guild


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