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How Long Do Gel Balls Need to Soak

by BiuBlaster on April 13, 2022

Gel blaster games are action-packed outdoor fun. Tiny colorful gel balls get loaded into toy guns and fired across yards or courses. But for top performance, players need to prep the balls correctly first. Dry pellets must soak in water ahead of time to expand to the right size and weight. This blog will explain everything about properly soaking gel balls for awesome gel-blasting action.


What Are Gel Balls Made of?

Gel balls look like tiny colorful plastic beads or sprinkles, around 3-4mm wide. They are made of polymers, which are long chains of molecules that absorb water really well.

The polymers are shaped into little balls with tons of microscopic holes inside, kind of like a sponge. When dry, the balls are full of gaps and air pockets.

When soaked in water, the liquid gets pulled into all those tiny holes in the plastic. This makes the balls expand like mini water balloons being filled up!

Originally only 3-4mm wide, the gel balls can grow over 300% to 10mm wide when fully soaked. The water gets trapped inside the polymer matrix, making the balls heavier and denser.

This amazing absorbency is perfect for gel blasters. The concentrated water weight gives the soaked gel ball pellets more mass and power when fired from the toy guns. It transforms them from tiny beads into vivid super balls ready for battle!

Gel Balls Soak


Why Bother Soaking Gel Balls?

Gel blasters can technically shoot unsoaked gel balls. But skipping the soaking causes big problems with how they perform:

Fragile and Dangerous - Gel balls that are not soaked enough will break easily into sharp pieces when fired or when hitting something. These fragments could hurt someone's unprotected face or skin.

Terrible Accuracy - Dry gel balls often go way off course when shot. They don't fly straight due to uneven shapes and tiny cracks. This makes accuracy very difficult.

Weak Speed and Distance - Without soaking, the gel balls lack density and power. They fire slower and don't go as far as soaked ones. This really limits playing area and tactics.

Soaking the gel pellets properly before using them avoids all these issues and makes playing safer and more fun. Here's why it improves performance:

Soaked balls don't crack apart so no dangerous shards go flying.

Even saturation makes them more aerodynamic for better aim.

The concentrated water weight transfers more energy for faster shots over longer distances.

Taking time to soak means gel ball players can master skills like precision sniping instead of random ricochets. The ammunition performs reliably across wider battlefields when properly prepped ahead of time. Don't limit the action - soak for superior shooting!


The Science Behind Soaking Gel Balls

While soaking gel balls is simple, some interesting science makes the magic of expansion happen!

The polymer material used to make gel balls contains tons of microscopic gaps between the molecule chains. When soaked in water, hydrogen bonds form between the water and polymer molecules.

As more water gets absorbed over time, more hydrogen bonds attach inside the polymer matrix. This gradually stretches out the polymer chains as the gaps fill up with water.

Originally only 3-4mm wide, the cumulative effect of trillions of new hydrogen bonds expands the polymers over 300% to 10mm size!

But there's a limit. Once almost all the gaps inside are filled, adding more water doesn't expand the balls much further. The polymer reaches a balanced, saturated state.

Soaking too long after reaching this point can actually oversaturate the balls, making them swollen and weak. The key is hitting the sweet spot for maximum stable expansion.

While involved chemically, it's easy to achieve. Just soak patiently in enough water for 1-6 hours depending on factors like ball size. With good technique, the balls transform from tiny beads to vivid super balls ready for battle.


What Affects How Long to Soak Gel Balls?

Several key things impact the time needed to fully soak gel balls:

Size of the Balls - Standard gel balls are about 50 caliber size. But larger or specialty sizes take more time for the water to soak into the middle.

Brand Quality - Cheaper brands may cut corners, so the plastic absorbs unevenly compared to premium quality balls.

Water Temperature - Warm water makes the soak faster. But too hot can melt the balls! Tepid temps around body heat work best.

Amount of Water - More water ensures all the balls soak evenly. Use at least 3 times the amount of water to gel balls.

Purpose - Short 1-hour soaks work in a pinch. But for maximum expansion and durability, longer soaks up to 6 hours are better.

Considering these factors, the ideal soak time ranges from 1-6 hours typically. Warm water, quality balls, and plenty of water make for a good soak. Be patient - resist checking or changing the balls too early.

Tips for Soaking Gel Balls Properly

Follow these best practices for smooth soaking success:

1. Patience Over Pace

Avoid rushing the process. Don't remove balls early just to check the size. This disrupts even soaking across the whole batch. Be patient and let them soak fully for the best results.

2. Gentle Agitation

Occasionally stir the balls gently during soaking. This circulates the water so it absorbs evenly. But don't over-handle them or it can damage the surface.

3. Rinse and Dry

When done soaking, strain out the water using a mesh strainer. Let the balls air dry for 10-15 minutes before use. This prevents extra sloshing liquid from ruining gel blaster performance later.

4. Test a Few First

When trying a new soak time, test a few balls first before committing the whole batch. Check for proper expansion and bounciness. This helps dial in ideal timeframes.

5. Consider Water Quality

Use filtered or distilled water for soaking when possible. Impurities in tap water may complicate absorption. Clean water ensures the best results.

Proper technique ensures all balls soak uniformly for maximum expansion and battle readiness. Consistent, patient soaking transforms tiny beads into vivid super balls ready to rock! With these simple guidelines, you’ll be prepared to marshal vivid volleys in no time.

Gel Balls Soak


How Long Should You Soak Gel Balls?

The ideal soak time ranges from 1-6 hours typically. But you can adjust as needed:

Minimum Soak Time

In a rush? 1 hour may work for some instant action.

The balls expand enough for use but are not fully saturated yet.

Maximum Soak Time

For maximum expansion, soak for 6-12 hours or overnight.

After 12+ hours, returns diminish as the balls reach full saturation.

Adjusting Soak Time

Soak longer in cold water, and less in warm water.

Test a few balls first when trying a new duration.

If storing balls after soaking, a longer temp soak preserves them.

Quickly soaking in warm water works for fast use.

The perfect soak time balances patience and your purpose. With experimentation, you can customize the ammunition performance!


Fixing Soaking Issues

Getting the soak time right takes practice. Here's how to identify and fix problems:

Under-Soaked Balls

Balls are too hard and brittle

They crack or shatter when fired

They don't bounce off surfaces well

Solution: Resoak for longer periods until spongy yet firm

Over-Soaked Balls

Balls burst easily during firing

Greatly reduced firing accuracy and distance

Balls feel too soft and squishy

Solution: Use new ammo and reduce soak time

Adjusting soak times and testing a few balls first helps dial in the right saturation. With experimentation, you can perfect prep for peak-performing ammunition!


How to Handle Gel Balls After Soaking

Once soaked, proper drying and storage preserves the gel balls for future use:

Drain excess water through a mesh strainer before drying.

Let balls air dry for 10-15 minutes before storage.

Gently dab balls with a lint-free towel to remove moisture if needed.

Store hydrated balls in breathable mesh bags, not airtight containers.

Keep in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Avoid refrigerating.

With careful drying and storage, properly prepared gel ball ammunition maintains maximum expansion and performance for repeated use across multiple battles. Taking steps to preserve your arsenal keeps the vivid action rocking!


Closing Considerations

Soaking gel balls has some interesting science behind it with polymers and hydrogen bonds at the microscopic level. But the core techniques are simple - just soak patiently for 1-6 hours in enough warm water. Handle the expanded balls carefully afterward, letting them dry properly before storage. With good soaking habits, participants can maximize performance and safety. Fully prepped gel ammunition ensures vivid, vibrant volleys fly straight and hit hard across the battlefield or backyard. So, take time to soak for superior shooting, then blast away!