Air-dry clay is a great crafting medium especially for hobby crafters who don´t have access to a kiln to fire clay. But air-dry clay will start to dry out as soon as it is out of its package so what can be done if you only need a small amount of clay and you don´t want the rest of the package to go to waste? Well luckily, air-dry clay can easily be stored for a long time if you know how to. In this article, you will learn how to properly store air dry clay as well as how long air dry clay can usually be stored.
As a whole, air-dry clay can be stored by putting the clay in a Ziploc bag or by wrapping the clay in some plastic wrap. Then the clay has to be put in an airtight container, for example, a lunchbox, to keep it from drying out. Air-dry clay can be stored indefinitely when done right.
Air-dry clay starts to harden as soon as it is taken out of its packaging.
The clay hardens because the water, that is present in the clay, starts to evaporate. The clay is fully set once most of the water has evaporated from the clay.
So in order to stop the clay from drying you have to keep the clay in a sealed container that keeps the moisture in the clay.
The easiest way to do that is to wrap the clay in some plastic wrap or to put the clay in a Ziploc bag. But the clay can still dry as long as the water has a way to evaporate from the clay.
So you have to put the wrapped up clay in an airtight container to ensure that no water can evaporate anymore.
I usually use regular lunchboxes to store my air dry clay but you can also use airtight storage boxes from the hardware store.
Put the boxes in a cool location where the box is not exposed to direct sunlight.
A basement is perfect for storing your clay.
How Long Can Air Dry Clay Be Stored
Now that you know how to properly store air-dry clay you might also want to know how long air-dry clay can be stored like that.
As a general rule, air-dry clay can be stored for multiple years if it is stored correctly. It is important to keep the air-dry clay from drying out by sealing it in an airtight container and it should be stored in a cool location away from direct sunlight.
I have air-dry clay that is about 4 years old now. This 4-year-old clay is still good, can still be molded, and it dries just fine.
I have friends that have air-dry clay lying around that is even older and that is also still completely fine.
So as long as the clay is stored properly there really isn´t a limit as to how long you can store it.