How to Dry Play Sand

Play sand is naturally white but is often dyed bright colors.
Play sand is naturally white but is often dyed bright colors. (Image: white sand image by Julia Chernikova from

Play sand is fine white sand developed specially for use around children. Additionally, play sand is common in small pet cages for use as a litter box or bedding area. When wet, play sand forms a mud-like texture and adheres to most surfaces it meets. According to Sherrie West and Amy Cox, authors of "Sand and Water Play," you should dry wet play sand before allowing children or pets to use it. The process of drying sand takes only a few hours of spare time and some simple household supplies.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking pan
  • Oven
  • Oven

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Preheat your oven to 225 F. According to Janet Sobesky, author of "Household Hints for Dummies," this temperature will not only dry the sand but sterilize it as well.

Pour two inches of play sand into a large baking pan and place into the oven. Leave for one hour.

Turn off the heat in the oven and open the door, allowing air to circulate. Let cool for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven with oven mitts to protect against the hot surface. Allow the sand to cool for an additional 20 minutes. If you need to dry more of the sand, preheat the oven at this time.

Pour the play sand out of the pan and refill if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to Ziba Kashef, author of "Backyards for Kids," if you need to dry sand within a sandbox, lay black trash bags over it on a sunny day. The black bags will attract the sun's heat, drying the sand over time.


  • "Household Hints for Dummies"; Janet Sobesky; 1999
  • "Sand and Water Play: Simple, Creative Activities for Young Children"; Sherrie West and Amy Cox; 2001
  • "Backyards for Kids: Playhouses, Sandboxes, Tree Forts, Swing Sets, Sports Areas, and More"; Ziba Kashef; 2008
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