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Can Polymer Clay Air Dry? Get Wet? Dry Out?

These are all common polymer clay questions in the crafting community, that I have come across time and time again; luckily I have the answers available for you! If you need to know if polymer clay can air dry, get wet or dry out, here are the answers.

Can Polymer Clay Air Dry?

Polymer Clay cannot air dry; it needs to be oven baked at the correct temperature for the brand you are using. Oven baking allows the clay to sufficiently cure (harden) which cannot be achieved at room temperature with air drying.

Can Polymer Clay Dry Out?

Polymer will not dry out at room temperature. Polymer clay requires oven baking in order to properly dry and harden and so will not dry out in a normal room in normal conditions.

Can Polymer Clay get wet?

Polymer can get wet without damage, as both baked and unbaked polymer clay is waterproof due to the material being oil based. However, prolonged exposure to water should be avoided.

Isn’t polymer clay amazing? The versatility and ease of use is what makes it such a fantastic crafting material.

Read on for more in-depth answers to the above, including the ‘whys’ and my super special top tips to make sure you’re ahead of the curve when working with this lovely stuff!

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Can Polymer Clay Air Dry?

It’s not possible for polymer clay to air dry due to what the material is composed of.

Polymer clay is made up of plastics, fibres, stabilizers and dye, and each of these components need to fuse in order for the clay to properly harden, and for your design to be as sturdy as possible. Don’t worry, these components are non-toxic and designed for oven baking at home – so no need to worry about working with them under temperature!

Polymer clay will only correctly fuse and harden once it is exposed to the correct temperature and for a prolonged period of time. Now, there is no standard temperature and time across the board for all polymer clay; this definitely depends on the brand, and each clay should be baked to it’s proper instructions.

I have compiled an A-Z list of popular brands and their baking times for you below, so you can’t go wrong!

Baking instructions by brand:

Cernit: 30 minutes between 110 and 130°C (230-266°F)
Fimo: Maximum of 30 minutes at 110°C (230°F)
Kato Polyclay: 10-30 minutes at 150°C (300°F)
Original Sculpey: 15 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness at 130°C (275°F)
Pardo Art Clay: Min 30 minutes at 120 decrees (248 F)
Pardo Translucent Jewellery clay: Min 30 minutes at 120°C (248°F)
Premo: 30 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness. If thicker, initially bake for 15 minutes and then add another 5 minutes, another 5, and so on until done.
PVClay: 15-20 minutes at 130°C (275°F)
Sculpey III: 15 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness at 130°C (275°F)
Sculpey Souffle: 30 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness at 130°C (275°F)

Top tip: often polymer clay can be left in the oven a little longer than what is suggested on it’s packaging (5-10 minutes), so it can harden that little bit extra! This is great for jewellery making for sale, as your customers will get non-brittle sturdy pieces of jewellery.

For more baking tips, check out: How Long to Bake Polymer Clay Earrings – Quick Guide

Can Polymer Clay Dry Out?

It’s not possible for polymer clay to dry out, as it is made from plastics with oil components, not water elements.

It can be left out for a long time, and stored without baking for as long as you need.

Top tip: you don’t need to bake your clay right away after you finish your design; take your time and keep it for a day or so and see if you would like to make any additional tweaks.

As polymer clay won’t dry out until it is exposed to heat, it’s best to store it in plastic storage drawers, in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Sunlight can also bleach the colour of your clay, so it’s best to store both baked and unbaked projects like this, away from the light.

Whilst polymer clay won’t cure in a room temperature environment, you can firm it up and soften it with various temperature exposures, to make it easier to work with, depending on your project.

To soften it, use your body temperature and roll the clay between your hands for a few minutes, until it is malleable.

To firm it up pop it in the fridge or freezer for 30 mins, if it’s a little too squishy at room temperature for your design.

Another way to firm it up is to squash some of the oily residue from the clay, with kitchen towel and a heavy object. Sandwich your clay between two sheets of kitchen towel and place a heavy flat object on top for a couple of hours. After the time has passed you will see the paper has absorbed some of the oil, and the clay will be much firmer.

Can Polymer Clay get wet?

As polymer clay is a waterproof oil based material it can get wet, either in it’s baked or unbaked state.

Water can however make the clay a little more brittle, if a design is submerged after baking. In other words don’t take your polymer clay swimming, but a little exposure to rain should be fine.

The best way to avoid any water getting into contact with your baked clay is to store it properly in plastic storage drawers. If you own a piece of polymer clay jewellery, don’t shower with it on and keep it in it’s packaging when not in use – in a gift bag or on it’s earrings card. It’s even better if you can keep in in a jewellery box away from sunlight.

To give your clay an extra waterproof seal, varnish the design after it has properly baked and cooled. Varnish is cheap and readily available in craft stores, DIY shops and online.

Top tip: Simply swipe a thin layer of varnish over your finished design to add an extra hardened barrier!


I hope my ‘Can Polymer Clay Air Dry? Get Wet? Dry Out?’ article was helpful for you and you now feel confident to head to your craft table with your clay!

Polymer clay is so easy to use for beginners because it’s versatile when moulding, comes in loads of great colours, can be firmed up or softened depending on the project, doesn’t dry out, is water proof and can be stored for a long time unbaked because it doesn’t air dry! Wow!

This is why it’s so great for jewellery making around the home, as you can set up a small business (How to Sell Polymer Clay Earrings on Etsy) from a nook in your space, without the need for a professional set up, overly complicated storage solutions and a premium-grade industrial kiln or oven.

Make your jewellery from the comfort of your kitchen, and make some serious money selling it online – wonderful!

Good luck with your creations, and don’t worry about air drying, getting your clay wet or having it dry out on you – easy peasy.

My goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to understand the world of polymer clay earring making, so you can go into your new hobby or small business venture with estimates, tips and facts under your belt for a smooth and rewarding start in this craft.

I also provide articles on: a How-to Guide for beginners, a Sales Guide for selling polymer clay earrings on Etsy, a comprehensive Cost Guide, and a bumper list of earring Design Ideas, so you’re never stumped by clay-makers block!

For more information on getting started with polymer clay earrings, check out:

How Much does it Cost to Make Polymer Clay Earrings?

Can You Paint Polymer Clay Earrings? A How-to Guide

How Long to Bake Polymer Clay Earrings – Quick Guide

How to Sell Polymer Clay Earrings on Etsy

How to Make Polymer Clay Earrings: the Basics

Design Ideas for Polymer Clay Earrings

Top Tips for Making Polymer Clay Earrings

Why Polymer Clay Breaks and How to Fix it