How to Keep Orbeez from Smelling

Orbeez are colorful, water-absorbing polymer beads that provide sensory play and decoration. But, over time, they can develop an unpleasant odor. So, do you know how to keep Orbeez from smelling?

Well. There can be various reasons behind smelling Orbeez. But with proper storage and simple tips, you can keep them from smelling.

In the present guide, I will discuss why do Orbeez smell and provide tips on how to prevent this issue. I will also elaborate on how to clean and maintain your Orbeez.

Let’s get started.

Why do Orbeez Smell?

Orbeez can develop a smell due to several factors. Here are some of these factors:

How to Keep Orbeez from Smelling How to Keep Orbeez from Smelling

Microbial Growth

When Orbeez beads come into contact with moisture, they create an environment conducive to bacterial and mold growth. These microorganisms release unpleasant odors as they multiply and break down organic matter.

Debris Accumulation 

Dust, debris, dirt, and other particles can settle in the crevices of the Orbeez over time. This debris buildup can emit a foul odor as it interacts with the moisture present.

Moisture Trapping

Orbeez beads have a tendency to trap moisture within their layers. This trapped moisture provides a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can produce foul-smelling byproducts.

Chemical Changes

As Orbeez beads age, they can undergo chemical changes. These changes might result in the release of certain compounds that contribute to an unpleasant odor.

Improper Storage

Storing Orbeez in damp or poorly ventilated spaces can exacerbate odor issues. Inadequate airflow prevents proper drying and can lead to bacterial growth.

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Tips on How to Keep Orbeez from Smelling

Now, here are some tips on how to keep Orbeez from smelling:

Use Distilled Water

When hydrating your Orbeez, opt for distilled water instead of tap water. Distilled water contains fewer minerals and impurities that can contribute to odor over time.

Regular Replacement

Consider replacing your Orbeez periodically. This practice prevents the buildup of bacteria and mold that can lead to unpleasant odors.

Airtight Storage 

Store your Orbeez in an airtight container. This helps prevent the introduction of moisture and keeps the Orbeez fresh for a longer period.

Anti-Bacterial Additives

Consider adding a small amount of white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to the water during hydration. These additives have anti-bacterial properties that can help inhibit microbial growth.

Avoid Sunlight

Direct sunlight can accelerate the breakdown of Orbeez and may contribute to odors. Store them in a cool, dark place to preserve their quality.

Clean Hands and Play Area

Before playing with Orbeez, ensure your hands are clean and the play area is free from dirt and contaminants. It prevents the introduction of particles that could contribute to odor.

Silica Gel Packs

Place silica gel packs in the storage container with your Orbeez. Silica gel helps absorb excess moisture and can aid in keeping the Orbeez dry.

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Pro Tip

Don’t pack Orbeez too tightly during storage; allow some space to help air circulate.

How to Clean and Maintain Your Orbeez?

Now that you know how to keep Orbeez from smelling, here are some maintenance and cleaning tips:

Use Mild Soap

Fill a bowl with slightly hot water and add a small amount of mild soap. Place the Orbeez in the soapy water and gently swirl them around. This can help dislodge any stubborn dirt or grime.

Agitate Gently

Gently agitate the Orbeez in the soapy water with your hands. Avoid excessive force; Orbeez beads are delicate and can burst if handled too roughly.

Rinse Thoroughly

Empty the soapy water and rinse the Orbeez thoroughly under running water until the soap residue is completely washed away. Ensure that no soap remains, as it can contribute to odors.

Air Dry in Ventilation

Spread the cleaned Orbeez on a clean cloth or paper towel in a well-ventilated area. Allow them to air dry completely. This step is crucial to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to microbial growth and odors.

Regular Rotation 

If you have multiple batches of Orbeez, consider rotating them. This prevents one batch from sitting unused for too long, reducing the risk of odor development.

Check for Odors

Periodically check your stored Orbeez for any signs of odor. It might be time for a thorough cleaning or replacement if you notice any unpleasant smell.

Replace if Necessary

If your Orbeez beads start showing signs of degradation or a persistent odor, replace them with fresh ones.

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Can I Use Baking Soda to Prevent Odor?

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer. So it can help prevent odor in Orbeez. Here’s how you can use it effectively.

Light Sprinkling

Lightly sprinkle them with a small amount of baking soda on your dried Orbeez. Mix the baking soda well so it is evenly distributed among the beads.

Allow Absorption 

Then, allow the Orbeez to sit with the baking soda for a few hours. Baking soda has natural odor-absorbing properties and can help neutralize any lingering odors.

Then, Rinse Your Beads

After the baking soda has had time to work, rinse the Orbeez under lukewarm water to remove any residue. 

Pro tip

Use baking soda in moderation, as using too much might affect the texture of the Orbeez.

Use of Essential Oils to Prevent Odor: Is it Safe?

While essential oils may have pleasant aromas, it’s not recommended to use them directly with Orbeez. 

Essential oils are concentrated and can potentially damage the polymer structure of Orbeez or interfere with their water-absorbing properties. 

Additionally, some essential oils might contain compounds that can react negatively with the Orbeez. They can cause Orbeez to break down or develop an unpleasant smell over time. 

Instead of using essential oils, it’s better to focus on proper cleaning, drying, and storage techniques to maintain your Orbeez.

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Best Playing Practices

Now that you know how to clean and maintain your Orbeez, here are some best playing practices:


Always supervise children, especially younger ones, during Orbeez play. This ensures their safety and prevents accidental ingestion or misuse.

No Food Contact 

Avoid direct contact between Orbeez and food items. Orbeez are not intended for consumption, and keeping them separate from edibles prevents any contamination.

Age-Appropriate Play

Choose the appropriate size of Orbeez based on the age of the participants. Larger beads are safer for younger children, reducing the risk of choking hazards.

Play Mats or Towels

Place a waterproof play mat or towels under the play area. This helps contain any stray beads and simplifies the cleanup process.

Limit Playtime

While Orbeez play is engaging, it’s a good idea to set a time limit. Prolonged exposure to moisture can contribute to bacterial growth and odor development.

Wash Hands After Play

After playing with Orbeez, encourage everyone to wash their hands thoroughly to remove any residual moisture or bacteria.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Keep Orbeez from Smelling

Question No. 1: Can I add bleach to prevent Orbeez from smelling?

Answer: No, adding bleach to Orbeez is not recommended. Bleach can damage the polymer material of the Orbeez and might introduce harmful chemicals. 

Question No. 2: How do I know if my Orbeez Beads need replacement?

Answer: Pay attention to visual cues and odor. If you notice a persistent foul smell, despite cleaning and proper storage, it’s a sign that bacteria or mold might be present. 

Visually, if your Orbeez beads appear discolored or have an unusual texture, it is an indication that they may be deteriorating. 

Question No. 3: Can I store my Orbeez in the freezer to prevent odor?

Answer: Storing Orbeez in the freezer is not recommended. Freezing can cause the water within the Orbeez to expand. And it might cause premature bursting or structural damage. 

Question No. 4: Can I mix Orbeez with other sensory materials?

Answer: Mixing Orbeez with other sensory materials can enhance the play experience. But be cautious when combining Orbeez with sand, rice, or other textured materials, as they can get lodged within the beads and potentially cause mold growth or odor. 

If you do mix materials, be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the Orbeez afterward to prevent any potential issues.

Question No. 5: Can I use Orbeez in water tables or pools?

Answer: While Orbeez can be used in water tables or pools for sensory play, there are considerations to keep in mind. 

Ensure the water is clean and properly maintained to prevent bacterial growth. After the play, thoroughly rinse and dry the Orbeez before storing them. 

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Final Reflection

To sum up, keeping Orbeez from smelling isn’t too hard if you follow some simple steps. Remember to use clean water and replace Orbeez when they develop mold or wear and tear.

Make sure they are completely dry before storing them. These tips can really help you keep Orbeez from smelling.

Also, be careful with where you keep them – a cool, dry place is best. If you see any changes in color or they start to smell funny, it might be time to get new ones. 

Orbeez can be super fun to play with, but taking care of them is important too. Just a little care can make your Orbeez stay fresh and ready for playtime fun!

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