How to Dry Sand in a Sandbox

How to Dry Sand in a Sandbox (4 Easy Methods)

Kids love to play in the sand a lot because it means lots of fun to them, and it sets off their imaginative juices. 

Kids are very imaginative, and when they play in the sandbox with all their toys like buckets, shovels, and cars, they can build sandcastles, make tunnels, and generally live in a world of their own.

However, there are times when you might forget to cover the sandbox for the night only to wake the next morning to realize that the sandbox is all wet because the rain fell. 

This wet sand is never a place for kids to play in, so you must dry the sand. 

The good news is that you can easily dry the sand using one of the methods we will discuss.

Safety Tips for Kids While They Play in A Sandbox

While sandbox can be a place where kids can have an amazing time there if certain things are not put in place and precautions are not taken, the sandbox can become a box of misery and a place they can get infected with diseases. Here are some of the safety precautions you must imbibe as your kids play in the sandbox.

  1. Only get clean sand beaches where people are restricted from littering so that you don’t carry dirt, debris, and disease-causing pathogens to your home and kids.
  2. As much as possible, use sand that comes naturally, not ones that come from minerals or rocks that have been crushed because they give off dust and stain your kids’ clothes as they play.
  3. It is a good idea for kids to wear glasses when they play in the sandbox and use sunscreen, especially in the afternoons because sand and water can reflect the sun. Hence you need to protect them from the ultraviolet rays of the sun on their skin.
  4. Ensure that kids always wash their hands and, if possible, have a birth when they are done playing in the sandbox to get rid of any bacteria or fungi that can infect them
  5. While sandboxes made of wood and metal can be used, your best choice is a plastic sandbox because they are soft and do not have sharp edges that can hurt the kids as they play. So, plastic sandboxes are the safest of them.
  6. Always cover your sandbox when it is not in use as this will keep it clean and free from dirt and debris, and any other potentially object like ants or insects getting into it.
  7. As much as possible, ensure that the sandbox is always dry because wet sand is a good breeding ground for pathogens like pinworms and fungi of all sorts that cause diseases.
  8. While adults are not expected to play inside the sandbox with kids, they should, however, be close by to monitor how kids play, especially if they are toddlers because they might eat some of them or get them into their natural body openings like nose and mouth which can cause discomfort and even diseases.
  9. Always rake the sand as possible to remove the dirt that can harbor or introduce diseases to the sandbox. 

Benefits Kids Derive from Playing in The Sand

If the benefits derived from kids playing in sandboxes are limited to having loads of fun in a safe environment and giving their parents a little alone time to be by themselves, then this benefit is more than worth it. However, other added benefits make playing in a sandbox not just a place for kids to relax. The other benefit of a sandbox includes:

  1. Playing in the sandbox for toddlers provides a great opportunity for them to develop a sense of touch, to be able to feel the difference in temperature between warm and cold sand, and the ability to detect vibration helps them develop their sensory perception.
  2. It also helps in their physical development because playing in the sandbox involves a lot of coordination, so as they play, it helps them become more coordinated. It also helps them develop their muscles and bone, especially as they lift and carry sand.
  3. There is no end to the endless possibilities of what kids can dream up and achieve in that little sandbox of theirs. If these imaginative abilities are nurtured and harnessed well, they can yield incredible benefits when they get older. So, it is okay to allow kids to create their realities, even if it is only in the sandbox. All you need do is provide them with the right tools and training to bring their imaginations to reality.
  4. It also helps kids to develop communication and interactive skills with others as they play in the sandbox.
  5. Research has proven that kids who play outdoors like on sandboxes have their immunity boosted than those who always stay indoors. So, playing in the sand is great for your child’s immunity. But we must sound this warning: you must ensure that the sand, sandbox, and the entire environment are clean and safe for kids.

How To Dry Sand in A SandBox

How to Dry Sand in a Sandbox

If you forget to cover your sandbox and it gets wet during the rain, there are ways you can dry your sand and make them for kids to play in again. 

To dry your sandbox, you will need a heat source, time, and lots of patience because sand does not dry out that easily.

Here are some methods you can use in drying your sandbox:

1. Sun Drying

This is a very easy way of drying the sand in your sandbox; all you need do include:

  1. If you have a big mesh, you can strain the water from the sand, especially if the sand is very wet.
  2. Get a tarpaulin that is large enough to carry the quantity of sand you have in your sandbox. Shovel sand into the tarp and use a clean rake to spread it thinly. A thick layer of sand will take more time to dry.
  3. Leave the sand in the sun to dry, but you must continuously rake it so that they dry evenly.
  4. Depending on how much sand you have and how thin the layer of sand is, it should be dry in 24 hours. But if it rains again before that time, it quickly lumps the sand at the center of the tarp and then covers it.

2. Oven Heating

If you want to dry a small quantity of sand, then oven drying is the best option for you. The best below is helpful:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250-degree Fahrenheit because you don’t want the sand to dry out fast.
  2. Then spread a baking tray with a foil to keep it free from dirt and then spread the sand in a very thin layer on the tray.
  3. Put the tray of sand into the oven and leave it to heat for about 40 minutes or for as long as it takes for the sand to be completely dry. Stir the sand every 15 minutes to ensure that the sand dries evenly.

3. Drying Using Cement Mixer and Propane Torch

We must start by stating that before you can use this method, you must ensure that you know how to operate the cement mixer properly or enlist the help of a professional because operating a cement mixer can be dangerous.

The steps below are useful in drying sand:

  1. Use a wheelbarrow or a bucket to pour sand into the cement mixer.
  2. Turn on a propane torch aiming along the bottom edge of the mixer so that part of the flame is inside the cement mixer as the cement mixer is tumbling the sand.
  3. Continue to heat the tumbling sand for about 30 minutes or until the whole sand is completely dry.
  4. Allow the sand to cool down, and then use a shovel to scoop some of it out to check if the sand is as dry as you want.

4. You Can Dry Sand in The Microwave

Yes, of course, you can dry sand in the microwave, even though a microwave will only heat wet substances, so if the sand is wet, it will dry it. 

All you need to do is to put the sand inside a microwavable plate and heat it. You stir the sand every 3 minutes with a hand trowel to ensure that the sand dries evenly.

How To Dry Sand Without the Sun?

Drying sand in the sun is the easiest way of getting your wet sand dry. However, if you are in that time of the year when the sun is hardly out, and you cannot dry your sand outside, you can resort to drying the sand in the oven or microwave if the quantity of sand is not much.

If, however, you want to dry a larger quantity of sand, you will have to use a cement mixer and a propane torch to dry the sand. 

But before you do, ensure that you know how to operate the machine properly; otherwise, you get an expert to do that for you.

Is Beach Sand Okay for Sandblasting?

Before now, beach sand was used in sandblasting in many places, but these days with better options, people see reasons not to use any sand, especially beach sand, for blasting.

For starters, sandblasting materials are supposed to have a uniform size and texture, and that might not be the case with most sands, so they do not work so well for sandblasting. Secondly, sand contains Silica which is known to cause a lot of serious respiratory sicknesses for workers involved in the sandblasting business. 

Using beach sand for sandblasting will damage the sandblasting machine because of the high moisture content of the sand that can cause untimely wear and tear for the machine.

How Do You Dry Sandblasting Sand

To dry sandblasting sand, you will need a drum dryer, a shovel, space heater, metal rake, broom, tarp. You will also need to protect yourself with a dust mask and safety glasses. The procedure can be found below.

  1. Lay a large tarpaulin in a convenient place
  2. Pour the sand on the tarp and then use a broom to spread the sand out. You can alternatively use the back of a rake to spread the sand too.
  3. Leave the sand in the tarp to sit until it is completely dried.
  4. Then pour the sand into a drum dryer and then close the door.
  5. Turn the drum dryer on, and it will remove the remaining moisture left in the sand, leaving you with very dry sand.

Can I Use Play Sand for Sandblasting?

Play sand, like all sand, has a good deposit of crystalline Silica which can cause many problems for your lungs which lead to respiratory infections. 

Play sand that you use in sandblasting poses a health hazard for people around it. This sand must first be crushed and pulverized, which raises clouds of dust of sand that the workers can easily inhale without them knowing it, even if they are wearing respirators.

Hence play sand is not recommended as a sandblasting material.

Conclusion

Playing in the sand can be great for our kids, and there is no reason you should discourage them from doing so because it helps them in their physical and emotional development.

It even helps them in interacting and communicating with others which is very important.

You can sundry, oven-dry, or even microwave the play sand if it gets wet. You can also get a professional to use a cement dryer to dry the sand in your kids’ sandbox if you can’t do it by yourself.

As much as possible, you should not use any sand, be it a beach or play sand, for any sandblasting purposes because they pose a health risk for you and the people around you.

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