As an avid gel blaster player enthusiast, I often see confusions among recreational gamers about drying and hardening those tiny colorful gel balls. One of the most common questions I hear from newcomers is that if they need to dry their gel beads before using them in their blaster.
In this blog post, I’ll be exploring the various factors that can influence whether or not drying your gel balls is necessary, and sharing my own experiences and recommendations for getting the most out of these fun little projectiles. So, let’s dive in and unlock the full squishy potential of these gellets!
Do You Need To Dry Gel Blaster Balls Before Use?
As an expert with gel blasters, I can confidently say that it is not necessary to dry gel balls before use. This is because gel blasters need a certain size (6-8 mm) of hydrated gel balls to function with optimum output, and drying them up will make them shrink. If the gellets do not have the proper size (shrunk or oversized), they may get stuck in the blaster, causing damage or jamming.
Did You Know?
Although it may seem that dried-up gel balls make them more effective, doing so can cause them to become hard and brittle, reducing their ability to absorb impact and decreasing the performance of your blaster in the long run. Dried-up gel balls can even hit harder, hurting the other players. This is why no manufacturer recommends drying gel balls before use.
Therefore, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for soaking the gel balls and loading them in the blaster while they are still moist. By doing so, you can ensure optimal performance and longevity of your gel blaster and play safely.
Still, Is There Any Advantage To Dry Them Out?
Honestly, slightly dried gel balls make far less of a mess than wet ones. When the balls are drenched in water, shooting with the gel blaster causes water to splatter everywhere. You’ll have less cleaning up to do after playing and can reuse more gel balls.
A dry gel ball flies much better, covering a long range. Water sticking to the surface of the balls can badly affect their flight. When you shoot wet gel blaster bullets, the water sticking to their surface increases air resistance. This not only causes the balls to hit less hard than usual but also compromises accuracy and range.
When Should You Dry Up Gel Balls?
While I do not recommend drying gel balls before using as gel blaster ammunition, you can still dry them up in two conditions-
- Storing & Reusing In Future: Drying up the gel balls can help you shrink them to their normal size and store them in a convenient way. This is especially helpful in case you have grown an excess amount of gel beads and want to reuse them in future.
- Using In Other Recreational Games: In case you don’t use Orbeez in toy guns like gel blasters or splatter guns, and want to explore other recreational options like sensory play and making decorative arts and crafts, you can dry them up.
Drying Out Gellets: The Most Effective Methods
While it is not recommended to dry gel balls before use, you can still dehydrate excess gellets to reuse later after playing with your gel blaster. Here are the best methods I found most effective for this purpose.
Air Drying: The most common method for drying out gel balls is simply leaving them out to air dry. Gel blaster balls naturally dry out if you keep them open in the air. Spread the gel balls out evenly on a clean, dry surface and allow them to air dry for at least 24 hours.
Exposure To Sunlight: This is another popular method to dry up gellets. Simply keep the hydrated gel beads under direct sunlight and let the moisture evaporate. Usually, in this method, the surface of the gel beads dries out within 15 minutes and they shrink to the original size within a day.
Dehydrating The Beads: If you have a food dehydrator at home, you can use it to dry your gel balls quickly and efficiently. Spread the gel balls out on the dehydrator trays and set the temperature to the lowest setting. Leave them in the dehydrator for several hours until they are completely dry.
Using Silica Gel Packets: Silica gel packets, which are often found in shoeboxes or other packaged products, can also be used to dehydrate Orbeez. Place the gel balls in a plastic bag with a few silica gel packets and seal it tightly. Leave the bag for a few days, and the silica gel will absorb any moisture from the gel balls.
Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to make sure that the gel balls are completely dry before reusing them. Damp gellets can cause jams or other issues in gel blasters, and can also lead to mold or other problems if used in decorative vases or other applications.
Should You Harden Gel Balls?
No, you should not harden gel blaster balls. Gel beads are designed to be soft and pliable when hydrated, which allows them to absorb the impact of being fired from a gel blaster without causing harm or damage. If you harden the gel balls, they would become much more rigid and could potentially cause injury or damage to property.
Newcomers in gel blaster games often look for ways to harden the gel balls using additives and hardening agents, but none of them actually work. Hardened gellets are brittle and can break easily before hitting the target. Some players try to freeze gel balls to make them stiffer. However, it is also a bad practice. So, you should not try to harden gel balls ever!
Some products on the market claim to harden gel blaster balls, but those should be avoided. Not only can they be dangerous, but they may also damage your gel blaster by causing jams or other malfunctions.
As someone with extensive experience playing with splatter balls, I can assure that you do not have to dry gel balls before using in the blaster. But, you can dry out the leftover gel beads to prevent mold and bacterial growth, ensuring they’re ready for reuse the next time you want to play.
To dry up used gel balls, it’s important to remove excess water and then spread them out to air or sun dry completely. Storing them in an airtight container after they’re dry can help prolong their lifespan and keep them squishy for longer.
In summary, taking the time to dry up your gel blaster balls is an easy and effective way to ensure they’re clean, safe, and ready for your next playtime adventure.