Can You Bake Air Dry Clay In The Oven? – 5 Tips To Speed Up Drying Time

I love using air dry clay but there is only one thing I don’t like about it and that is, that it takes so long to dry, I’m not alone when it comes to the time it takes.

Air dry clay is made by using chemicals that help moisture in the clay to evaporate naturally at room temperature.

So, can you bake air dry clay in the oven? No, unfortunately, you can’t bake it in the oven, your typical home oven will have hotspots and coldspots which will cause your air dry clay to dry unevenly. Also air dry clay should never be exposed to high heat.  This can cause the clay to become flammable and will cause cracks to appear on the final product because it was dried too quickly.  You could bake it on a very low heat but it is not advisable.

If the temperature is too hot, it will likely to be soft in the middle even though the outer shell is hardened.

Your air dry clay needs to be completely dry before you paint your air dry clay projects.

Even though you can’t speed up the drying time by baking it in the oven, there are few steps you can take to speed up the drying time that doesn’t involve an oven or a kiln.

5 Tips To Speed Up Drying Time For Air Dry Clay Projects

In this section, I will cover 5 tips that will speed up the drying time for your air dry clay projects.  This said it doesn’t mean your project will be dried in an hour but it will save you hours of waiting.

No matter which option you go for, always remember to place your air dry clay projects on a non-stick surface such as a silicone mat or even a sheet of parchment paper.  This will prevent your clay projects from getting stuck to the surface.

1. Place Air Dry Clay Near An Open Window

This is probably one step anyone can do no matter where you live.

I find if I place my clay projects on the window sill next to an open window, it speeds up the drying time.

A gentle breeze will do wonders for your air dry clay projects.  Best of all it doesn’t cost a penny.

If you find that your window sill is not big enough for your projects, use a small table and place it near the window.

As long as there is a breeze, this tip will make a big difference to the drying time. 

Keep in mind if it is raining outside make sure no rain is coming through the open window.

Better still if you have access to a balcony or a garden that will work too, but if you decide to go with this option make sure there is no rain due.  Rain is bad news for your clay and if your projects get caught in the rain you will need to start all over again on your project.

No matter which option you go with, don’t forget to place your air dry projects on a non-stick surface.

2. Point A Fan Towards Your Air Dry Clay

Direct the fan towards your clay projects.  Not only will this keep you cool but it will also help to speed up the drying time for your clay projects.

You can either use a portable fan or a ceiling fan.  I like to use the fan during the hot days, this way I’m making the most of the electricity being used.

Having a fan in your home is a great idea for obvious reasons, they don’t cost much plus they are portable which means you can move them from room to room.  Plus they don’t eat up much electricity.

When using a fan to dry your air dry clay projects don’t place them right beside the fan, I usually keep them around 6 feet away, this prevents the clay from collapsing and curling around the sides.

The closer to you place your projects to the fan, the slower speed you will need to use.  The clay only needs a light breeze from the fan to speed up the drying time.

You can find a decent fan for around $20, which is a great value because you will use it throughout the year and not only for drying your clay projects.

Just a side note: you can actually make your own DIY air dry clay at home.  It’s easier than you would think

3. Place Air Dry Clay In Direct Sunlight

If you live somewhere that gets plenty of sunlight then you have another free method to speed up the drying time of your air dry clay projects.

The sunlight is not as hot as an oven so you can safely use the sunlight to speed up the drying time of your clay projects unless you live in the desert where it is super hot. Lol

When using this method, check your projects every 15mins to make sure it’s not too hot for the clay.  I have read that when you use this method you should cover your projects with some parchment paper.

This said, we don’t get much sun where we live, so I haven’t really tested this method much.  If you have used this method to dry your air dry clay projects, let me know down in the comments how well this method works.

4. Use A Portable Heat Source

You can place your air dry clay projects near a portable heater and if your projects are super small such as jewelry then you can even use a hairdryer to speed up the drying time.

Never place your clay projects too close to your portable heat source otherwise you will cause more harm to your clay than good.

Always check your projects every 15 mins, in case you need to adjust the distance between the heat source and your clay project.

If you live somewhere like me that is mostly cold throughout the year then you would probably already own a portable heater, if not, you can find one around $25 which will not only speed up the drying time for your clay projects plus it will keep you warm during the cold nights.

5. Use A Dehumidifier To Dry Air Dry Clay Faster

Dehumidifiers are getting more and more popular by the year. This is another great way to speed up the drying for your air dry clay projects.

A dehumidifier maintains the level of humidity in the air in your home by removing moisture from the air.  Using this can do wonders for your clay projects and your help you breathe better if you suffer from allergies

This isn’t the cheapest option but it is great for every home to have one.  This doesn’t mean you need to spend hundreds of $$ for one, you can find a decent one for around $50 nowadays.

To use a dehumidifier to speed up the drying time for your clay projects, place your clay projects in the same room where you have the dehumidifier switched on.  I would also recommend you keep the door shut especially if you have a small dehumidifier.

For the best results, place it in the smallest room in your home such as a closet or a small room.

Final Thoughts

As we have learned in this article that you can’t bake air dry clay in the oven to speed up the drying time, this said there are many other ways you can speed up the drying time without the need for an oven, by using the following:

  • Open Window
  • Fan
  • Direct Sunlight
  • Portable Heat Source
  • Dehumidifier

Before you paint or seal your air dry clay projects make sure the clay is completely dry otherwise it will cause cracks to be formed.

Can you bake air dry clay in the oven? I hope this article has answered your question and also given you some new ways to speed up the drying time for your air dry clay projects.

If you have any other ways to speed up the drying time for air dry clay projects then please share them down in the comments.

Let’s share and learn together.

Happy Crafting!

Zac & Terri Signature

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