Waterproof Expert

Waterproofing tips & tricks

How to Make Waterproof Sand AKA Magic Sand at Home

Ever heard of magic sand that stays dry even underwater? Strap in, because we’re about to dive into the simple steps of creating your own waterproof sand at home.

What Is Waterproof Sand?

Waterproof sand, also known as hydrophobic sand, or magic sand, is a type of sand that’s been coated with a substance that repels water. This means, even if you dunk it in a glass of water, it won’t get wet.

Once you take it out, it’s still completely dry, almost as if it defies the laws of nature.

It’s a pretty cool scientific phenomenon that’s not only fun to play with but also a great way to learn about hydrophobicity and the science behind it.

Why Does Magic Sand Stay Dry in Water?

Magic Sand stays dry in water because it has a special coating called trimethylhydroxysilane, which makes the sand hydrophobic.

This compound causes the sand grains to stick together and form compact cylinders, minimizing the surface area exposed to water.

This arrangement creates a pocket of air around the sand, preventing water from penetrating and making the Magic Sand unable to get wet.

As a result, when submerged in water, the sand particles don’t clump together or disintegrate, maintaining their dry and separate state.

How to Make Homemade Hydrophobic Sand

To make homemade hydrophobic sand, spread out fine-grained sand in a container. Apply a light, even coating of hydrophobic spray onto the sand and let it dry completely.

Once dry, test its water-repelling magic by submerging it in water and witnessing how the sand stays dry and separate.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the steps to follow.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

You’ll need some fine-grained sand, a hydrophobic spray (such as a waterproofing spray or a silicone-based spray), and a large container or tray to work in.

Step 2: Prepare the Sand

Spread out the sand in the container or tray, ensuring it forms an even layer. This will make it easier to apply the hydrophobic spray.

Step 3: Apply the Hydrophobic Spray

Holding the spray can approximately 6-8 inches away from the sand surface, evenly spray the sand with a light coating of the hydrophobic spray.

Make sure to cover all the sand particles with the spray.

Step 4: Allow it to Dry

Let the sand dry completely after applying the spray.

Follow the instructions on the spray can regarding the drying time, as it may vary depending on the specific product used.

Step 5: Test It Out

Once the sand is dry, you’re ready to put its hydrophobic properties to the test.

Fill a glass or bowl with water and slowly submerge the coated sand into it.

Observe how the sand remains dry and separate, defying the water’s attempt to saturate it.

How to Make Waterproof Sand Without Scotchgard

If you want to make waterproof sand without using Scotchgard or similar products, you can try an alternative method using common household ingredients.

You’ll need:

  • Fine-grained sand
  • A water-repelling substance like beeswax or paraffin wax
  • A heat source, such as a stove or a microwave
  • A container or tray for mixing

Step 1: Prepare the Wax or Paraffin

Melt the beeswax or paraffin wax using your chosen heat source until it becomes a liquid.

Be cautious and follow proper safety precautions when handling hot wax.

Step 2: Mix the Sand and Wax

Pour the melted wax into the container or tray, and gradually add the sand while stirring continuously.

Make sure that the sand gets evenly coated with the wax. The ratio of sand to wax may vary based on personal preference and the desired level of waterproofing.

Step 3: Allow It to Cool and Solidify

Let the mixture cool down and allow the wax to solidify, binding the sand particles together.

It’s essential to give it enough time to harden properly.

Once the mixture has hardened, you can test the waterproof sand by submerging it in water.

How Long Does Magic Sand Last?

With regular usage and proper care, Magic Sand can last for approximately 2 to 3 years. This duration assumes regular play and handling of the sand.

If you use Magic Sand sparingly, its lifespan can be extended further. With low usage and careful storage in a dry and sealed container, Magic Sand has the potential to last up to 5 years.

How to Clean up Magic Sand

To clean up Magic Sand, gather it into a designated area or container. Use a handheld vacuum or dustpan to collect the spilled sand. Wipe surfaces with a damp cloth and check crevices for any remaining sand.

Repeat if needed until the area is free of sand.

What Gets Hydrophobic Sand Wet?

Hydrophobic sand is designed to repel water and remain dry. However, certain substances or contaminants can affect its hydrophobic properties.


Substances like oils, lotions, or other contaminants can interfere with the hydrophobic coating of Magic Sand and compromise its water-repelling abilities.

Strong Soaps or Detergents

Strong soaps or detergents can break down the hydrophobic coating on the sand particles, diminishing its water-repelling properties.

High Humidity

Prolonged exposure to high humidity levels can gradually reduce the effectiveness of the hydrophobic coating on the sand, making it less resistant to water.

Age and Wear

Over time, the hydrophobic coating on the sand particles may degrade or wear off, especially with frequent use or rough handling.

This can make the sand more susceptible to getting wet.

How Much Does Magic Sand Cost?

On average, a small package or container of Magic Sand can range from $5 to $15. Larger kits or bulk quantities may cost more, typically in the range of $15 to $30 or more.

It’s worth noting that prices may vary between online retailers, toy stores, or specialty shops. Additionally, promotional discounts, seasonal sales, or bundled packages can affect the overall cost.

Enjoy playing with Magic Sand!

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