Orbeez are undoubtedly a surefire way to spice up shower moments for the little ones. How these tiny beads absorb water to magically grow several times their initial size seems to offer irreplaceable fun for children.
But before you add that packet of best-seller water beads to your shopping cart, knowing a few basics about Orbeez is essential. For instance, you may need to understand the exact chemistry of how Orbeez work and the time it takes for them to grow.
And yes, if these are the questions troubling you, you came to the right place. This article will explain everything you need to know about Orbeez, from how they grow to the time it takes for them to reach their full size.
How Much Time Does It Take For Orbeez To Grow?
The time it takes for Orbeez to grow depends on the size of the water beads. Usually, that time can be about four hours, although it can take up to 36 hours for larger water beads to reach maximum size.
Before we sink our teeth into the subject, it’s essential to know what Orbeez are and how they work. That way, we will find it easier to understand where the variation in growth time emanates.
So, what are Orbeez?
Well, Orbeez, also known as water orbs or jelly beads, are soft and squishy balls made of polymers composed of water, sodium hydroxide, and acrylic acid. These are the same materials manufacturers use to make diapers and other super-absorbent stuff.
Orbeez starts off as tiny, hard beads. However, when you place them in water, the spaces between the polymers absorb the liquid, making the beads grow several times their original size.
That means the bigger the beads, the more the spaces, and the more water they can absorb, which explains why it takes them longer to grow.
But as already said, it takes about four hours on average for a typical water bead to grow. But for the larger ones, you can expect to take a much longer time before they get saturated water.
Do You Grow Orbeez in Hot Or Cold Water?
You should grow Orbeez in cold or warm water if you want the best results. Using boiling water will make them grow bigger, but they will also be more likely to burst. So, to avoid that, stick to cold or warm water.
Whether to use cold or hot water for water beads is one of the frequently asked questions by many parents. The answer to that is; avoid boiling water as it will make the beads break.
While hot water works better than cold water across various applications, it’s not the case with water beads. The high temperatures will make the beads grow bigger, but they can also cause them to become more fragile.
Where possible, use warm water. Orbeez seems to like warm water more than a cold one. Warm water will make them grow a little bigger, but not enough to cause any problems.
As for the cold water, it can still do. However, it will make the Orbeez grow slower and take a more extended period. So, as long as you don’t mind waiting a while, then cold water should suffice.
And whether you use cold or warm water, ensure that you replenish the liquid regularly. As the beads absorb water and grow bigger, the water in the container will get depleted. So, to avoid that, ensure that you top it up with fresh water as often as possible.
Usually, you will need 240ml of water for every 100 beads. So, if you bought a packet containing 50000 beads, you will need to work with 12 liters (about 3.2 gallons) of water.
How To Make Orbeez Grow Bigger Than Normal?
You can make Orbeez grow bigger than usual by using distilled water. Pure water doesn’t have any impurities that could interfere with the ability of the water beads to absorb water.
If you explore several internet sites, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of conflicting information on making giant Orbeez. Some sites will tell you that adding salt or sugar to the water will make them grow larger.
But that’s not accurate. Salt or sugar creates a difference in osmotic pressure, forcing water molecules to move from an area of low solute concentration (inside the beads) to a region of high solute concentration (the water outside).
Therefore, theoretically, using salt or cold water for your beads should do the opposite. So, if you want to make Orbeez grow larger than the average size, avoid water containing salt, sugar, or any other solute.
For best results, we recommend distilled water. This water doesn’t contain any impurities, so it’s ideal for growing larger Orbeez.
Where possible, consider using warm distilled water. As we all know, an increase in temperature can make the beads expand in size a little, allowing them to absorb more water and grow to an even bigger size.
Does Hot Water Make Orbeez Grow Bigger?
Yes, hot water does make Orbeez grow bigger, but we don’t recommend using boiling water. While the high temperatures will cause the beads to expand bigger, they will also make them more susceptible to breakage.
As aforesaid, temperature increase causes expansion. So, hot water will make Orbeez grow bigger.
But, at the same time, the high heat will make the beads more susceptible to breakage. So, as much as you want to grow giant Orbeez, we recommend that you avoid using hot water.
For larger Orbeez without all this trouble, work with warm distilled water. The size may not match that of ones grown in hot water, but they will be close enough, and they won’t break as easily.
How Big Can Orbeez Grow?
Orbeez can grow to a maximum size that’s 100 times their original size. However, whether or not they’ll get this size depends on the availability of the water and how long you leave them soaked in it.
As they absorb more water, Orbeez gets larger and become more squishy and bouncy. How many times their original size they’ll get to depends on how much water they have access to and how long you leave them in it.
Under optimal conditions, water beads can become as big as 100 times their initial size. Some brands can even get to 150 times bigger than their prior size.
So, if you think your beads haven’t gotten to that size, it could be that they need more water or more time to grow.
Most of the time you’ll know that your beads are approaching their maximum size limit by looking at the color. As they absorb more water, the color changes, and you’ll notice the beads looking a lot more translucent.
What Happens If You Leave Orbeez in The Water Too Long?
When left in the water for too long, Orbeez will grow to their maximum size, become more likely to break, and may even mold. So, avoid leaving submerged water beads for more than two days.
Leaving Orbeez in water is a good way of ensuring that they grow to their maximum size. But, if you keep them in water for too long, they will become over-saturated and may start to mold or break.
To grow Orbeez to their largest size, we recommend that you leave them in water for no longer than two days. After this time, they will have absorbed all the water they can and will be at their biggest.
How Many Days Does Orbeez Last?
The lifespan of Orbeez depends on where you’re using them. If for decoration purposes, they can last for about two years due to exposure to sunlight. But when using them for retaining moisture in the soil, Orbeez can stretch to as many as nine years.
The durability of water beads differs a lot. It all comes down to usage. If the place of use is likely to expose them to degraders such as sunlight, then they will not last as long.
But if for a more practical purpose like retaining moisture in the soil, they can last much longer. In this case, Orbeez can last for up to nine years.
The ideal storage for Orbeez at their full size is an airtight container with low humidity levels. You can use ziplock bags, jars with screw-on lids, or containers with snap-on tops.
Do Orbeez Get Small Again?
Yes, Orbeez can get small again, but it takes time and effort. Shrinking Orbeez is known as desiccation, and it can take up to 2 weeks for them to return to their original size.
In the same way all Orbeez don’t take the same amount of time to grow, they won’t all require the same amount of time to shrink. The size and type of Orbeez will affect how long it takes for them to desiccate.
Getting rid of the water from Orbeez can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. The size and type of Orbeez will affect how long it takes for them to desiccate.
To speed up the process, you can put them in a container with dry rice. The rice will absorb the water from the Orbeez, and they should shrink within a few days.
You can also put Orbeez in an open container in the sun to shrink them. However, ensure that you place them on a paper towel so that they don’t reabsorb the water they are giving off. Be sure to replace the paper towel as it gets wet.
Once they have shrunk, you can store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them again.
Orbeez are fun and will equip the little ones with lots of skills as they play around with them. They are also perfect for adding a splash of color to any event. But, like all things, there is a limit to how long they will last.
With proper care and storage, you can extend the lifespan of your Orbeez. But, eventually, they will reach the end of their life cycle and will need to be replaced.