Decorating for the Artistic Soul

How to Use Polymer Clay Safely

Posted on: August 13, 2008

Polymer clay is a wonderful material that is used for making jewelry. It is flexible and easy to work with making it the number one product used today. Polymer clay is not a dangerous product as long as you know and follow a few simple safety rules. Polymer clay is a form of PVC or polyvinyl chlorides. When making polymer clay the ingredient plasticizer is added to make the material soft and manageable.

It is vital that you do not let the polymer clay come in contact with food because the plasticizer in the clay is dangerous if ingested. Therefore, it is important to follow certain steps to make sure it does not come in contact with food.

Steps on how to use polymer clay safely:

1. Keep the polymer clay away from all food products and areas where food is prepared. This includes the kitchen table and counters.

2. Separate any utensils used for the polymer clay from the ones used for food. Keep them together with your polymer clay and make sure they are labeled so they will not accidentally end up back in the kitchen.

3. Any appliances used for polymer clay should never be reused with food products such as the pasta machine or the oven you use for firing. Most artist use portable or toaster ovens for firing the clay because the plasticizer can leach out during this process making the oven unusable for cooking food.

4. Do not let the oven go above 300 degrees Fahrenheit when firing the clay because if the clay begins to burn it can release toxic fumes into the air. Always fire the polymer clay in an area that is well ventilated.

5. Always wash your hands thoroughly after each use. Plain soap and water doesn’t seem to affect the polymer clay very much so try using a pumice stone along with the soap to help remove it from your hands. Using certain facial scrubs, hand creams or rubbing cooking oil on your hands can also help remove the clay.

6. Supervise the use of polymer clay when it is being used by children. Don’t allow small children to use the clay at all if they still put their fingers or other things into their mouth.

Following these few simple safety rules will help to ensure you stay safe while having fun making jewelry and other creative designs.

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1 Response to "How to Use Polymer Clay Safely"

Great rules we should ALL follow. I can’t believe the number of clients I have in the studio who cure their clay in their food oven!

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