How to make Magic Sand
Magic sand works by coating the sand with a hydrophobic material. The hydrophobic material causes the sand grains to adhere to one another and form cylinders. This greatly minimizes the surface area when exposed to water. This allows for the sand to be completely dry when removed from the water, as no water was able to penetrate the individual grains.
Magic Sand Items List
Here’s a quick parts list to get you going on this project in no time:
Let’s make Magic Sand
You’ll need a flat baking pan. It can be any shape you have around. A rectangular pan works well, but you could also use a pizza pan or a deep dish pan (like the kind used to make brownies). It just needs to have a flat bottom.
You’re probably going to want to use this pan for food in the future. So let’s take just a second to protect it from the sand and the Scotchguard protector we’re about to spray it with. If you don’t plan to ever use this pan for food again, then this step is purely optional.
You’re going to need some sand and some Scotchgard protector. The finer the sand particles are, the better it will work. I recommend getting some hermit crab sand from your local pet store. Any sand will produce the effect we’re looking for though, even beach sand.
Make sure you get Scotchgard Protector rather than cleaner (the can in the picture is wrong and will not work, where it says cleaner, it needs to say “Protector”). You can get the protector at just about any home improvement center or big box retailer.
You’re going to want to spread the sand over the pan as thinly as possible. The thinner the later the better. Cover the entire surface area of the pan. If you have more sand don’t make thicker layers. Set it aside and make a second batch. The thinness of this layer is a key to correctly making magic sand.
Spray on a fairly thick coating of the Schotchgard protector. The idea is you want it to penetrate all of the grains of sand. But don’t spray it on so thick that there is liquid pooling anywhere. The sand should easily absorb all of the protector.
Wait 15 minutes (or more if needed) to let the Scotchgard protector completely dry. Once it is dry use your fingers and stir and mix the sand. The idea here is to expose any grains of sand that did not get coated in step 5.
Once you’ve mixed it and spread it all back flat again, spray on another coat of the Scotchgard Protector. Repeat steps 5-7 as many times as necessary. I’ve found that it takes a good 4 coats to get the best magic sand effect. If you find your magic sand isn’t working, you probably needed more coats.
The best way to test your magic sand to find out if it needs additional coats is to put some of it in a spoon and then drizzle some water on it under the sink. If its not working, your pan needs another coat.
Pour your magic sand into a container of water! Go amaze your friends and family! Magic sand is fun to show off!
Your Finished Magic Sand
Magic Sand is fun for the entire family, and it’s a great and simple science project to use for explaining hydrophobic sand! Thanks for visiting us and watching our videos!
You’ve probably seen Magic Sand at your local gift shop or magic store. Today, I’m going to show you how it’s made.
The first thing we’ll need is a baking pan wrapped with aluminum foil, so that we don’t damage it. Be sure to wrap it around the edges to completely protect it. The second thing we’ll need is some dry sand. I bought this bag of hermit crab sand at my local pet store for about $3 bucks. And lastly, the key ingredient is can Scotch Gard from your local home improvement store.
Now take some of the sand and spread it around evenly on your baking pan. I like to shake the pan gently to thin it out. Then spray an even coat of Scotch Gard over the top of the sand. Once it is dry use your hand to spread it around and mix it up. We want a whole new layer of sand to coat. Once you’ve smoothed it out completely, it’s time to apply another even coat of Scotch Gard. After dries you’ll need to repeat this process five or six times.
And that’s it! Now you have your own batch of magic water-proof sand to amaze your friends with! Try pouring some into a glass of water. The effect is quite cool and it really shows the water repelling effect of Scotch Gard. Since the sand is heavier than the water it just clumps at the bottom of the glass and pushes the water to the top.
Well hey, that’s it for this mini project. Thanks for watching.