What Are Orbeez Made Of? Crazy Kids' Toys Explained For Parents

Oluniyi Akande
Oct 17, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Oct 27, 2021
Children is hands play orbeez in a plate.

Have you ever wondered what your colorful, soft, and bouncy orbeez are made of?

These are super absorbent polymers and when submerged in water, they have the capacity to grow 10 times their size. They are non-toxic gel beads which are used in bath tubs, baby pools and even in gardens.

Orbeez are fun and come in different colors, which makes kids love them. In fact, adults love them too.

If you have touched and played with orbeez, I am sure you know what orbeez are. They are not just toys, but they are also useful in many realistic ways.

These small, fun water beads filled with water or gel are not toxic. As soon as these beads absorb water molecules and moisture, they become these big gel-filled beads that act as a toy for kids and makes a swimming pool or bath tub colorful and fun.

Have you ever wondered what these Orbeez polymer water beads are made of? Have you wondered if these are biodegradable?

This raises the question about whether they are toxic if accidentally ingested by your kid when playing with orbeez. At first glance, these plastic-looking beads definitely look fun and pretty but not so friendly.

However, we will let you in on a little secret. These colorful water beads or gel beads which you see are made of acrylic acid sodium hydroxide.

The sodium in the component helps these beads absorb water as sodium as an element has a characteristic to absorb water through the process called osmosis. Products like orbeez have been influenced by science and you can also check out yourself how they make it.

Coming back to the water bead and addressing your doubts we must tell you if your kid ingests these water beads accidentally during play or after mistakenly thinking orbeez is a food or a candy because they look like gel candies, do not fret.

If swallowed during kids' play with Orbeez balls, they will simply pass through the digestive tract without issue, and will come out naturally without any harm.

They won't cause digestive distress. They are non-toxic and do not bind together.

The best part is they do not break down during the digestive process; therefore, these colorful orbeez balls are considered non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally and kid-friendly water toys. Did you know there are edible orbeez too?

Yes, they are called edible jelly orbeez. Maybe you want to grab a bag and bring a whole bag of jelly Orbeez to your kid (or buy some for yourself!).

Put them in moist soil or in water and let them grow. Grown edible jelly orbeez are fun, edible toys for kids.

Best of all, you do not have to worry about any choking hazards. Did we mention that orbeez balls are multipurpose?

These grown orbeez balls after they absorb water from the sink may clog the sink so for you to dispose of them or shrink them add some salt and cleaning acid. Orbeez will shrink and flush down the drain, cleaning your sink and pipe.

If you want to learn more factual content, you can also check out what crocs are made of and what plates are made of.

What are orbeez?

Most kids love to play with toys. Some toys can cause injury. However, orbeez are safe and fun for kids.

These plastic-looking water soil beads and balls are slippery. It is not easy to hold them. Children love to play with these toys while in the bathtub.

Kids love to play with them for fun. Even young children can also play with orbeez due to their harmless nature. Orbeez are good for everyone. They do not harm our environment in any way and are easy to shrink by adding salt or acid to them, or you can expand them by putting them in the water.

Many YouTubers have taken the one million or thousands of orbeez challenge to build up their followers. This challenge has sparked the popularity of orbeez among kids and even adults. It is the dream of many to play in a pool filled with orbeez.

Orbeez are friendly for the environment. They grow and expand in the water and it can become difficult to dispose of them.

People do not know what to do with them or how to dispose of them.

The easiest way to get rid of these orbeez water beads is to put them in plants and they will protect the environment and your plants.

With their peculiar system and body to absorb moisture, they will help retain moisture in the plant for a longer duration which means you do not have to water your plant as often as you would before putting these Orbeez water beads in your plants, vases or in the garden.

This product is the best solution for planning a vacation out of the home while nobody is there to take care and water your plants.

Biodegradable, environmentally friendly water beads and balls to your rescue - pretty neat! Many people also use orbeez to relieve their stress as they are fun to play with.

How are orbeez made?

Before orbeez turn into bouncy and jelly-like round objects, they are just small pellets that grow or turn into orbeez when they are put in water. Originally, these were generally made for the purpose of moisturizing a plant's soil.

However, orbeez went to the next level by becoming everyone's favorite toy to play with. You must ensure that orbeez disposed of in a safe manner to avoid clogging your drains.

These water or jelly balls are made of super absorbent polymers which are made with acrylic acid sodium hydroxide. The sodium in these polymers, which form the covering of these water beads, gives them the ability to absorb water.

Sodium is known for its characteristic to absorb water. This gives these orbeez gel balls the capacity to grow a hundred and or a thousand times their size.

They may look like they aren't friendly for the environment or look non-biodegradable as they seem like jelly wrapped in a plastic cover. But they are safe for the environment. They are kid-friendly too.

You do not have to worry about your child or children swallowing orbeez. Orbeez will pass right through the digestive tract without breaking down.

The impact of orbeez on the environment

These beads used as a toy for kids are fine for the environment because they are biodegradable. These beads will shrink when you put acid or salt over them and they dissolve in soil.

After all, sodium is soluble in soil. These kids' toys can be used to protect your home or garden environment. They do not have any hazardous impact to the environment in any way.

They have the capacity to absorb water and keep soil moisturized for a long time. Imagine using these Orbeez balls in your indoor plants, outdoor plants, garden, or soil, especially if you are planning to go on a long break or vacation without having anybody look after your garden when you are gone.

You can use kids orbeez system in your absence.

Just add them all over wherever you want the moisture to be retained such as in the soil, in your plants, vases and garden and spray some water, enough for the water to be absorbed by these Orbeez.

Off you go for your break or vacation without any crease on your forehead. These Orbeez will take care of your soil and plant body by retaining enough water and moisture for them to not dry out and die while you are gone to have some sun and fun.

However, not all orbeez are biodegradable in nature. This is where their impact on the environment is not so positive.

They do not wholly degrade or get absorbed into the soil.

They are biodegradable technically, but not fully as it takes approximately seven to eight years for them to fully degrade.

Therefore, always make sure that the orbeez you play with are of good quality and that you do not dispose of them by simply throwing them on the ground. Instead, you can put them in your plant pot as they can help plants thrive and let them absorb into the soil.

How do you dispose of Orbeez?

There are many ways to dispose of these orbeez. Always make sure you do not simply throw them on the ground or put them down your drain improperly, as this can cause issues like clogging. Instead, there are other effective ways that you can dispose of them after playing with them.

As orbeez grow in the water you can put them in the sink and then put salt on top of them. They will shrink and easily go down your sink pipe making it squeaky clean.

You can also use acid on these orbeez instead of salt.

It will work just the same. In no time your sink pipe will be clean and unclogged and these orbeez will be down the drain.

Alternatively, you can put them in your plants, soil or garden where they can retain water and help keep your plants, soil or garden moisturized. Many people also throw them in their garden to dispose of them, which is a great way to do it.

If you do not want to dispose of them by these methods, simply put them in a trash can or trash bag and wait for the trash collector to pick them up from the bin.

Did you know that various versions of orbeez are used in baby diapers and nappies to absorb the moisture and keep them dry? It is, therefore, not just a toy, but a life-saver and multipurpose product.

Is it safe to eat Orbeez?

One of the questions most pondered upon by adults and parents is whether it is safe to eat Orbeez. Is it safe if kids swallow orbeez accidentally?

What will happen if your kid ingests orbeez while playing? Orbeez may not taste good or be greatly recommended as a food source, but do not fret if your kids swallow them accidentally.

These orbeez, when swallowed, pass through the digestive tract without issue, and come out on the other side naturally without any harm to the digestive system. In general, they are non-toxic and do not harm us internally.

They do not bind together. They do not break down during the digestive process; therefore, these orbeez are non-toxic, biodegradable, and friendly for the environment. They are kid-friendly water toys.

There are edible jelly orbeez too. So if your kids or children have this habit of putting orbeez in their mouths and swallowing them, simply buy a pack or bag of edible jelly orbeez.

You can put these in the bathtub, pool, or wherever your kid would want to play with them without any fear. They are edible and filled with yummy jelly which kids love to eat and enjoy.

Besides, all the colors orbeez come in make them attractive enough for kids to put them in their mouths and eat them. However, even though orbeez are safe to eat, it's not highly recommended that your kids eat them.

These orbeez are hugely popular amongst kids and YouTube content creators. Many YouTube content creators have these colorful jelly orbeez in their tub or pool.

It makes their content look fun, lively and colorful. This trend has made people want orbeez to play with.

You can play with your friends, kids, and as a family with these non-harmful and non-toxic products. Another fact about orbeez is polymers of which these Orbeez are made of were invented in the '60s to irrigate crops. As these polymers are made of sodium they have the capacity to absorb water and retain moisture.

Therefore, these polymer beads were used in areas of drought to retain moisture or save water. That way the crop produce was good while the water consumption for its growth was minimal.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what are orbeez made of, then why not take a look at what are packing peanuts made of or what are joggers?

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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