Introduction: Dissolving Polymer Balls
I saw NOTHING about how to dissolve these polymer balls. They are fun for the kids, but these things never seem to die. There are very cool upcycle ideas you can do with the balls. Their super absorbent powers renders them useful in potting soil releasing water slowly which reduces the amount of times you have to water your plants. Ok so if you have no plants, used them for a project and no longer need them I have accidentally found a way to disolve them. I am not a chemist, but this worked. I even had some fun testing other possibilities, but one method proves constant every time. Let's begin shall we?
Step 1: Preparing the Balls
As you may or may not know you place the polymer balls in water and let them absorb as much as they can hold until you finish with nicely rounded, much larger balls. I let mine sit over night since I put them in late and woke up to exactly what I expected.
Step 2: Which Holds the Dissolving Power?
So I chose three experimental products that may or may not dissolve the polymer balls. One of course I know works as I mentioned I did it by accident, hoping for ine result and got a completely different unexpected one. Much like science. You make your choice based on what you know of the properties of each one. The obvious pick for me would be the Epson Salt. We know that salt dehydrates and since we are using super absorbant balls filled with H2O...Why not? Right?? Let's see....
Step 3: Poor, Mix, Add
I took a small bowl and poured a little of rubbing alcohol in, then I poured the bleach, then mixed about 3 tablespoons of epson salt in water. Then I dropped my polyerballs in. What you will notice immediately with the salt mix is that the balls actually become buoyant because of the density. When I dropped them in they hit the bottom, pause slightly then floated to the top. They went straight to the bottom in the alcohol and bleach. I waited a few hours and noticed this...
Step 4: The Results
The alcohol had no change. The Epson salt appeared to shrink the balls a little, but the bleach...DISSOLVED! Yes the bleach is the clear winner. Again I am not a chemist and cannot explain why this is but it is. How did I find out by accident you may wonder? Well I was thinking of things I can use them for. Some use them to absorb scented oil for endless smell good. I thought I can make bleach balls to drop in dirty water as a purifier or put in the tank f a toilet bowl to kill the germs so if the water splashes on you it is safer. I put the balls in like step one into bleach and they never formed. The disappeared! So I tested it as you have witnessed to see if it would work when fully absorb by water and...Eureka! Hope this helps. If someone knows why please share. Forgive any typos I am using my phone for this post.
Instead of dissolving the epson salt I made a cup with just the salt and placed the balls in it and it drasitcally reduced the size.