How to Make Water Jelly Crystals

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Water-jelly crystals are made from sodium polyacrylate, a water-absorbing polymer, also known as "waterlock." Because the polymer can absorb up to 300 times its weight in water and hold it in gel form, sodium polyacrylate is used in disposable diapers to absorb large amounts of liquids and prevent leakage. Water-jelly crystals are also widely used as a gardening tool to reduce the amount of watering necessary for keeping plants and flowers fresh and growing. Use the crystals in the soil for potted plants, or make a decorative statement in a clear-glass vase filled with fresh-cut flowers or candles.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 gallon distilled water
  • 1/2 oz. sodium polyacrylate
  • 1-gallon pitcher or container
  • Sieve or strainer
  • Glass vase
  • Flowers or candle
  • Fill a pitcher with 1/2 gallon of distilled water.

  • Add a 1/2 oz. of sodium polyacrylate to the pitcher. Sodium polyacrylate can be purchased at science-supply stores or online.

  • Let the mixture stand for at least six hours.

  • Pour the resulting wet gel into a strainer to remove any surplus water.

  • Set the gelatinous mass out to dry for at least two hours.

  • Place the gel crystals inside a glass vase and add flowers or candles.

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References

  • "A Collection of Interesting General Chemistry Experiments"; A.J. Elias; 2002
  • Photo Credit potted plant image by Joy Fera from Fotolia.com
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