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Thread: Water beads

  1. #1

    Default Water beads

    A while ago someone mentioned in a thread about the use of water beads in their diaper. it was a while ago, and I can't find the exact thread the comment appeared in. So I thought to start a new thread.

    Today while I had some time to burn, I stopped in at my local Wal Mart and bought a package of water beads. I heard they are made of the same SAP material found in diapers.

    I wanted to conduct a small test to see a few things.
    1) How fast they grew
    2) How big they got
    3) How strong they were under pressure.

    Well, today I finally got my curiosities answered and thought to share the results on here.

    First the water beads were $2 a pack at Wal Mart
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    They were very small and rather hard. If I didn't know any better I might have thought they were plastic bb's.
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    I picked 10 dry water beads from the bag and dropped them into a shallow bowl of water. I began running a timer the moment I dumped them into the water.
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    Almost instantly I could see some of the blue coloring coming off the beads as they began to grow.
    The instructions on the package said that they beads should reach their full-grown size in about 5 to 6 hours. I only had just over 1 hour to run my experiment. So, after exactly 1 hour passed I pulled one of the beads out of the bowl for a size comparison.
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    Then I scooped the rest out of the water and cupped them in the palm of my hand. I then squeezed as hard as I could and to my surprise none of them ruptured. They all returned to their ball-like shape. I then squeezed and relaxed and squeezed my hand several times (about 5 or 6 times) and again none of them popped or ruptured. With this much pressure exerted on the water beads, I was satisfied enough to think they probably would not fall apart, or rupture if I were to pour them into my diaper.

    I then put them on a fabric surface and pressed down on them and moved my hand back and fourth. Only then, did the water beads break down into the messy SAP that is commonly seen from inside a wet diaper.
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    I don't know if there is a size difference in SAP polymer, but the SAP polymer used in these water beads were easier to clean up than those from a wet diaper. of course then again, I only used 10 water beads and not an entire wet diaper.

    I just thought I would share my little experiment with anyone who might find this interesting. I do plan on using these in my diaper next time I wear one. I will report back on how that experiment goes.

  2. #2


    Interesting. You would think these beads would have to sit in liquid in order to grow. They are probably very slow in absorbing liquid if they reach full-grown size in 5-6 hours. In that respect, a diaper may not be the right atmosphere for these beads. I think you will come out with blue coloring everywhere with little to no growth size in the beads because the diaper will wick the liquid off. Let us know how it goes.

  3. #3


    I not going to use the blue water beads. I am going to use the clear ones (without any dyes). The water beads I tested reached close to maximum size in only 1 hour. I assume that if left in water for an additional 4 hours, they might get a little bit larger. But if I have an entire package sitting growing in water, then I will have enough to put inside a diaper to play with.

    As for putting them inside a diaper, I will probably soak them (grow them) in water for at least an hour before I use them. With the absorbent SAP already present in a diaper, I also doubt there would be enough standing water for the beads to even grow. This way I can have a diaper full of squishy water beads and if by some chance some of them do break apart, the dry SAP already in the diaper should absorb any moisture released, thereby containing any possible mess. At least that is my theory, lol.

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