We’ve put together this list to help you learn about Orbeez (also known as water beads). If you have a question that is not on this list, please send us an email. We will endeavor to respond with an answer within 12 hours.
Thank you for all of those who have already asked questions and allowed our knowledgebase to grow ever larger!
Are Orbeez Gluten Free?
Yes, Orbeez (water beads) are gluten free. They are made from two things – sodium polyacrylate and water.
Can You Use Orbeez in the Bath?
Yes, you can use Orbeez (water beads) in the bath. Just make sure none of them go down the wastewater pipe as this may cause a blockage.
If you believe Orbeez have gone down the drain then you can read about what to do here.
Can You Use Orbeez to Water Plants?
Yes, you can use Orbeez (water beads) to help retain moisture in the soil. Orbeez will slowly release water over time.
Some plants that are susceptible to root rot should not be grown in soil with Orbeez.
Can You Use Orbeez in a Normal Foot Spa?
This depends on the type of foot spa.
If we’re talking about a DIY home foot spa that’s just hot water in a bowl, then sure.
But, a powered foot spa with functions such as heating and pumped water jets, possibly not. As water is recycled through these machines, there is a chance of a blockage with Orbeez. To minimize this risk, you should always use fully hydrated Orbeez, and also check to see whether the Orbeez can fit through any of the holes. If they can then don’t try it! But, if they can’t fit through then you should be fine.
Always discard Orbeez that have been used in a foot spa.
Can You Put Orbeez Down the Drain?
No, if you put Orbeez (water beads) down the drain then you risk causing a blockage.
Can You Use Orbeez in Slime?
Yes, you can use Orbeez (water beads) in Slime. It’s perfectly safe to combine the two.
Can You Use Orbeez in a Bong?
Yes and no.
Orbeez (water beads) are made from sodium polyacrylate which is a non toxic material. However, small particles of sodium polyacrylate may cause lung irritation if inhaled.
You should discard Orbeez after every use in a bong. Do not subject Orbeez to high temperatures. Don’t use Orbeez which have broken apart.
Note: Orbeez won’t break apart in warm or hot water (we’ve tested them in water up to about 60°C (140°F).
Do You Put Orbeez in Cold or Hot Water?
You can put Orbeez (water beads) in either cold or hot water. They will grow faster in warm/hot water.
Don’t put Orbeez in boiling water as you will damage them. The maximum temperature you should use is 60°C (140°F).
Are Orbeez Edible?
Orbeez (water beads) are not edible. Whilst you can eat them it is not 100% safe to do so (especially for young children).
Can You Put Orbeez in the Freezer?
Freezing Orbeez (water beads) will destroy them as they will disintegrate once thawed.
However, whilst in their frozen state they can still be used.
Can You Use Tap Water for Orbeez?
Orbeez (water beads) are best grown in distilled water.
If you don’t have access to distilled water then filtered water is your next best option.
Tap water can be used but the quality of tap water can vary considerably depending on where you live. Tap water can contain impurities which will slightly reduce the maximum size Orbeez grow to. Tap water can also contain microorganisms which can contaminate Orbeez (something to think about it you’re using them for play).
Can You Put Orbeez in a Fish Tank?
No, should not do this as Orbeez (water beads) are a danger to small fish. Read more about this here.
Can You Put Orbeez in the Garden?
In general, we do not recommend you put Orbeez (water beads) in the garden. Orbeez are a danger to wildlife.
You can still play with Orbeez in the garden but you should clean them up once you finish.
However, you can put Orbeez in garden pots (especially good for indoor plants).
Can You Use Orbeez More Than Once?
Yes, you can generally reuse Orbeez (water beads). However, this depends on how you originally used the Orbeez and also how you plan on reusing them.
Orbeez that have been used in a way that contaminates them with microorganisms should not be reused for playtime. This includes all Orbeez that have been used in the garden, as well as Orbeez that have been touched with dirty hands, feet etc (if hands were clean then reusing for playtime should be OK).
Contaminated Orbeez can be reused in other ways, such as using them in planter pots.
Can You Put Orbeez in the Microwave?
No, putting Orbeez (water beads) in the microwave will destroy them. They will fuse together, disintegrate, or explode!
Of course, there is a difference between putting them in a microwave for 5 seconds versus 5 minutes. Orbeez should survive 5 seconds but there won’t be many left after 5 minutes.
Can You Put Orbeez in a Pool?
Yes, but you should be careful of your filtration system. Orbeez will get sucked through and may cause a blockage.
If you have a filtration system installed then you should turn it off and block off any way for the Orbeez to make their way inside.
Can You Put Orbeez in Resin?
You can put Orbeez (water beads) in resin.
Dehydrated Orbeez will not enlarge in resin and if you try it this way you will end up with a mixture of tiny beads in resin.
If you put hydrated Orbeez in resin then they will stay enlarged and will set in the resin.
As to whether they will stay hydrated is another matter. Presumably, any Orbeez trapped inside the resin will stay fully hydrated, but any Orbeez that are partially outside of the resin will shrink.
Can You Vacuum up Orbeez?
Yes, this makes a fast and efficient method of cleaning up Orbeez (water beads). You can vacuum them up in their dehydrated (small bead) size or their fully hydrated (ball) size. Just make sure to empty your vacuum straight away to prevent water leaking from the Orbeez into your machine.
Can You Use Orbeez for Artificial Flowers?
Yes, you can use Orbeez (water beads) for artificial flowers. They should last weeks to months before you need to discard them.
Can You Use Orbeez for Orchids?
No, it is best not to use Orbeez (water beads) for Orchids due to the danger of root rot. Orchids need soil with good aeration and drainage. Unfortunately, whilst Orbeez are great at retaining moisture they do have a tendency to hold too much of it in the soil.
Can You Use Orbeez for Succulents?
It’s best not to use Orbeez (water beads) for succulents. Succulents require soil with good drainage and aeration.
If you grow them in an Orbeez/water mix they will quickly die.
If you grow them in an Orbeez/soil mix they will not be happy plants and will likely die. Orbeez tend to keep the soil permanently damp as they hold and release water over a period of time.
Can You Use Orbeez for Bamboo Plants?
Bamboo will grow in most soil types, but it prefers well aerated moist soil with good drainage. It is a versatile and hardy plant which will should do fine in soil that has Orbeez mixed into it.
Some bamboo types can be grown in just water (with fertilizer added). Lucky bamboo is one such type. You can grow this type of bamboo in a water/Orbeez mix so long as it has the nutrients to survive.
How Many Times Can You Use Orbeez?
This depends on how you’re using them. Generally speaking, you should get two to three uses out of them before they become too damaged or contaminated.
Please note that Orbeez (water beads) should generally not be reused if you want to use them for playtime with children. For example, don’t reuse Orbeez for playtime that have been in the garden, or ones which have been used a foot spa. You could reuse ones which have been used with clean hands.
Before reusing your Orbeez, make sure to check them for any fungal growth.
Can You Dry Orbeez in the Oven?
You can dry Orbeez (water beads) in the oven so long as it is at a low temperature (less than 60°C (140°F)). Orbeez will make a lot of water vapour as they shrink.
However, it is still better to just leave them on a tray in a dry place as it is cheaper and there is less chance of damaging them.
Can You Soak Orbeez Overnight?
Yes, you can soak Orbeez (water beads) overnight. They generally only take between 3 and 5 hours to grow to their full size. So, if you left them overnight they would certainly have reached their full size by the morning.
Can Babies or Toddlers Play With Orbeez?
Orbeez (water beads) are a choking hazard for children under 3 years of age. They are also a slight danger whilst in their dry state as the beads can be inserted in the nose/ears or aspirated.
If you plan on letting you baby, toddler or child play with Orbeez you should watch them closely.
We would strongly recommend you NOT allow your child to play with Orbeez (even if supervised) if they are less than 2 years of age.
Are Orbeez Good For Those With Autism or Special Needs?
Yes, Orbeez (water beads) make a great sensory experience for those with special needs and autism. Just make sure they are not consumed.
Are Orbeez Good For Those With Alzheimer’s or Dementia?
No, they should not be used with those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
You may be thinking about edible water ball ‘Jelly Drops’ which are different and have been designed to keep those with memory loss hydrated.
Can You Add Scent to Orbeez?
Yes, you can add scent to Orbeez (water beads) to make your own fancy DIY air freshener.
You can do this by growing the Orbeez in scented water (best way), or by sprinkling the scent over the top of fully grown Orbeez (still works well).
Are Orbeez Biodegradable?
Orbeez (water beads) are made from sodium polyacrylate which biodegrades very slowly (over a period of decades in most cases). We have written a more in depth article on this here.
Are Orbeez Toxic?
Orbeez (water beads) are made from sodium polyacrylate which is deemed to be a non toxic material.
This does not mean it is entirely safe (possible choking hazard), but the material does not leech chemicals and won’t be digested if consumed.
Can You Use Orbeez With Essential Oils?
Yes, you can use Orbeez (water beads) with essential oils to make your own scent diffuser.
Are Orbeez the Same As Water Beads?
Yes, Orbeez are the same as water beads. Orbeez is the trademarked version of a generic product.
Both are made from sodium polyacrylate and enlarge in water.
How Long Should I Soak Orbeez For?
You should soak your Orbeez (water beads) in water for at least 4 hours.
You can soak them for longer than this to ensure they have reached their full size. There is no danger in doing so.
Orbeez will grow faster in warm water. They will grow slightly larger in distilled water when compared to tap water.
What Should I Do About Mold on My Orbeez?
The safest thing to do is dispose of your Orbeez (water beads) in the trash. It is difficult to completely remove mold from Orbeez.
Some people recommend trying a vinegar/water solution but we have not tested this.
My Orbeez Are Not Growing, What Should I Do?
First make sure that you have allowed enough time for your Orbeez (water beads) to grow. You should see a difference within the first 10 minutes, but they won’t reach their full size for at least 4 hours.
If they are still not growing, then you likely have a defective product. This is a rare occurrence and more likely to happen with generic water beads rather than trademarked Orbeez.
You can’t do anything to get defective beads to grow.
Are Orbeez Compostable?
No, Orbeez (water beads) are not easily compostable. They take decades to fully biodegrade.
Are Orbeez Dangerous to Cats?
Orbeez (water beads) are a choking hazard for small animals and this includes cats.
They also pose a risk of blocking the digestive tract, especially so if consumed in their dry state. However, this is very unlikely to happen. Cats rarely try to eat inedible things.
Are Orbeez Flammable?
No, Orbeez (water beads) are not flammable.
Orbeez in their dry state are not flammable.
Orbeez in their hydrated state are also not flammable. This is in part due to the Leidenfrost effect and also due to the fact that hydrated Orbeez are mostly made from water.
As an interesting side note, whilst sodium polyacrylate (the material that Orbeez are made from) is non flammable. It can be explosive if suspended in air as a powder. This is irrelevant for Orbeez as Orbeez are not in a powder form.
How Are Orbeez (Water Beads) Made?
Unfortunately, we don’t know the process for turning the base material of Orbeez (sodium polyacrylate) into Orbeez.
However, we do know that sodium polyacrylate is made from acrylic acid (H2C=CHCOOH) and its sodium salt (H2C=CHCOONa).
Pigments are also added to the Orbeez for colour.
Where Are Orbeez Made?
The manufacturer of Orbeez has not specified country of origin on their website and the information is not readily available online, so we are not certain.
However, all of the water beads we have found (the generic version of Orbeez) are made in China so there is a good chance that Orbeez are also made in China.
Are Orbeez Messy?
This is very subjective. They do have a tendency to roll everywhere.
If used inside then cleanup tends to be pretty easy. Simply vacuum them up, either in their dry or hydrated state.
If used outside, then it’s harder to get them all. They get lost in the grass, bushes and so on. Every time it rains they enlarge. You can definitely use them outside, just make sure you use them in one place (such as a paddling pool).
Are Orbeez Recyclable?
Orbeez (water beads) are not made from plastic (they are made from a polymer of an organic salt).
No recycling centers that we know of will take Orbeez.
Are Aroma Beads the Same As Orbeez?
No, aroma beads are not the same as Orbeez (water beads).
Aroma beads soak up fragrance but don’t enlarge in size.
Orbeez can also soak up a water/fragrance mix but they dramatically enlarge in size when doing so.
They are made from different materials and they have a different life expectancy.
Are Aqua Beads the Same As Orbeez?
No aqua beads refers to a different product. Aqua beads is stick-with-water bead toy. You use water to stick the beads together into different designs.
Do Orbeez Absorb Oil?
No, Orbeez (water beads) do not absorb oil. This includes cooking oil and aromatherapy essential oils.
Are Orbeez Alive?
No, Orbeez are not alive.
This might seem like an odd question, but (according to Google search data) dozens of people search this question every month!