Can You Microwave Modelling Clay? (What You Need To Know)

Modelling clay can be shaped into a wide array of things. Some people create accessories and utensils to sell and some people produce sculptures and ornaments as a hobby.

However, modelling clay can be tricky to use, and you might be wondering whether you can microwave modelling clay. Here is what I found!

Can You Microwave Modelling Clay?

You can microwave modelling clay to different results. If the modelling clay is oil-based, the modelling clay will melt. If the modelling clay is made of polymer, the modelling clay can burn and harden. To be safe, it is best to microwave only modelling clay that is designed for microwaving and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

In case you are interested to learn more about microwaving modelling clay and what happens when modelling clay is exposed to heat, keep reading!

Can You Microwave Clay To Harden It?

It is possible to harden modelling clay through the microwave. For best results, you will want to use polymer modelling clay because polymer modelling clay hardens in heat.

Additionally, there are other types of commercial modelling clay that are designed to harden in the microwave.

Unless the modelling clay’s description says so, it is best not to microwave modelling clay for any reason.

Can You Soften Modelling Clay In The Microwave?

You can soften modelling clay in the microwave, regardless of whether the modelling clay is oil-based or polymer. However, you have to be careful not to overheat both types of modelling clay.

When you use low heat and short bursts of five seconds, the modelling clay will soften just enough for easier use. Any longer than that and the clay might harden or melt.

What Happens If You Put Clay In The Microwave?

Modelling clay can melt, soften, burn, or harden in the microwave. Results vary based on the type of clay you are using and how long you expose the clay to heat.

Oil-based clay will melt completely when heated in the microwave for three minutes, sometimes shorter if you use small amounts of clay.

Light-colored polymer clay can harden and turn brown while dark-colored polymer clay will not have any obvious color changes. Additionally, polymer clay is likely to smoke.

However, if you submerge the polymer clay in water, the polymer clay will simply harden in the microwave.

Can You Heat Modelling Clay?

Can You Heat Modelling Clay?

You can heat modelling clay to create sculptures, accessories, and other crafts. However, you should choose the modelling clay wisely before microwaving the modelling clay.

Otherwise, the modelling clay might melt when you intend for the modelling clay to harden and vice versa.

How Do You Harden Modelling Clay In The Microwave?

You can harden modelling clay in the microwave by putting the modelling clay in a mug or bowl filled with cool water.

Make sure that the modelling clay is fully submerged. Otherwise, the exposed part of the modelling clay may soften, melt, or burn.

Next, microwave the modelling clay at low heat for thirty seconds. If the modelling clay is not completely hardened, microwave the modelling clay again in thirty-second bursts.

Can You Cure Polymer Clay In A Microwave?

You can cure polymer clay in the microwave either to solidify the polymer clay or simply make the polymer clay less susceptible to impressions.

Regardless, you will follow the same process of putting the polymer clay in a cup or bowl of water and microwaving the polymer clay in thirty-second bursts.

If you do not want the polymer clay to harden completely, use twenty-second intervals instead and check the polymer clay in-between.

Can Modelling Clay Melt?

Most types of clay will melt when overheated. However, there are types of modelling clay like oil-based clay that require only short exposure to heat to liquefy completely.

Meanwhile, polymer clay must be exposed to heat for a longer amount of time for the polymer heat to melt and even boil.

Nonetheless, some parts of the polymer clay may melt while other parts will simply harden.

Can I Microwave Air Dry Clay?

Air-dry clay should not be microwaved unless the manufacturer clearly states in the packaging that their product can be microwaved.

Generally, air-dry clay will dry on its own at room temperature. When microwaved, air dry clay tends to overheat, crack, and break.

Currently, there are only a few brands of air-dry clay that hold up well when microwaved, although the inside of the clay could still take time outside the microwave to fully set.

How To Harden Clay In An Oven?

First, you have to make sure that the type of clay you are using is oven-friendly. Typically, it is a polymer clay that can be hardened in an oven without the use of water.

Once your clay is ready, put the clay on a ceramic dish or an oven tray covered with baking paper. Never place the clay directly on the metal tray as the clay will likely stick to the tray.

Afterward, preheat the oven to the temperature indicated by the clay’s manufacturer. Usually, this information is visible in the clay’s packaging.

Preheating done, place the clay inside the oven and let the clay bake. Depending on the size of the clay you are baking, you might have to wait anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour.

It is important to remember that the clay will not be hard yet when you take the clay out of the oven. Generally, the clay has to cool down first before the clay will solidify.

Can You Soften Polymer Clay In The Microwave?

Softening polymer clay in the microwave is tricky because polymer clay might not heat up evenly. Additionally, there is a risk of polymer clay sparking and catching fire.

However, if you use low heat and short bursts of heating time, some parts of the polymer clay may soften. Nonetheless, some parts of the polymer clay may also harden.

If you want to learn if you can microwave mayonnaise, if you can microwave mashed potatoes, and if you can microwave Nutella, check out our other articles.


There are types of modelling clay that you can microwave, and types that you cannot. Additionally, different types of clay yield different results.

While some modelling clay melts in the microwave, others get burnt and hardened. To be safe, it is always best to check with the manufacturer if your clay can be microwaved.

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