Cardboard is one of the strongest, most cost-effective and versatile materials available to makers. It’s also light and easy to cut, making it a great material for home workshops. Creating things from cardboard is great fun, but you need to take precautions when using this material. If handled incorrectly or left in wet or humid conditions, cardboard can become soft or even soggy; such as eating a cereal box! But don’t worry — with the right knowledge and precautions you can use cardboard safely. In this article we’ll show you how to make cardboard hard again so that your projects last longer and are safer to handle. So read on to discover some helpful tips and tricks…
What Is Cardboard?
Cardboard is a type of paper made from wood pulp. It is often used in boxes, packaging, and other items. It can also be used to make paper airplanes and other items. The cardboard used in packaging comes in many different sizes and strengths. The thickness of this material is measured in “grams per square foot” (gsm). The higher the gsm, the thicker the material is. Note: Cardboard can be made from recycled paper, so you can reduce your impact on the environment. You can even recycle old boxes or turn them into something new, such as a table or chairs.
Why Does Cardboard Become Soft?
You may have noticed that cardboard becomes soft when it gets wet. This is because cardboard is a type of paper and like other paper products it is made of fibers that stretch when they come into contact with water. Liquid water works its way into the fibers and makes them stretchier. This process is called “soggification.” The more water there is, the more stretchy the fibers become. The key to preventing cardboard from becoming soft is to keep water out of it. You can do this by laying your cardboard pieces with the non-grain side down to keep them from getting soggy. You can also put them in a freezer or airtight container to prevent them from getting wet.
Tips To Make Cardboard Hard Again
If you find yourself with a glued-together cardboard creation that has become soft, here are a few tips that can help you get it back to normal:
- Remove Blockages: Unblocking drains can help water flow away more easily. In the same way, removing any items that have become stuck between the fibers can help water flow away again more quickly.
- Dry Out And Rest: If a part of your cardboard creation is still soft, you can put it somewhere warm and dry. Cardboard is like all other paper products — it dries out once the water is removed. Be patient, though — cardboard takes longer than most other types of paper.
- Check For Rust: If your cardboard creation is made with metal parts, rust may have formed. If so, you will need to clean off the rust with sandpaper.
- Cover The Rust: If you do clean off the rust, you can cover the area with cardboard glue and apply some heavy weights on it for a few hours to let the glue dry.
How To Make Cardboard Harder With Dry Ingredients
Certain dry ingredients, like salt and sugar, are hygroscopic, which means they can attract and hold water molecules from the atmosphere. When you mix these ingredients with cardboard, they will attract and hold the water molecules. This will quickly dry out your cardboard creation. Here are some ways you can use dry ingredients to make your cardboard harder:
- Sprinkle With Salt: If you sprinkle salt on the surface of your cardboard, it will draw water out of the cardboard.
- Mix With Hot Water: Mixing a few tablespoons of salt with a cup of hot water will make a paste that will be more effective than just sprinkling salt on the surface.
- Add Sugar To The Mix: Sugar is an even more effective way to make cardboard harder and drier.
- Try Baking Soda: If you have a lot of cardboard that needs to be made harder, you can mix baking soda with water to make a paste and apply it to the cardboard.
How To Make Cardboard Harder With Absorbent Materials
You can use a variety of absorbent materials to make your cardboard harder. These materials will soak up the water, preventing it from soaking into the cardboard.
- Paper Towels: You can use paper towels or even newspaper to soak up the water from your cardboard creation.
- Paper Shreds: You can also use paper shreds to soak up the water. They are more effective if you mix the shreds with water first.
- Cotton: You can use cotton balls, swabs, or even cotton t-shirts to soak up the water.
How To Make Cardboard Harder With Drying Agents
You can use drying agents to remove moisture from the cardboard. These include baking soda, cornstarch, and even coffee grounds. – Baking Soda: Mix baking soda with water to create a paste and apply it to your cardboard. This will quickly remove the water. – Cornstarch: Sprinkling cornstarch on the surface of your cardboard will help to draw the water out. – Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds are an effective drying agent. You can sprinkle them on the cardboard to absorb the water. – Silica Gel: Silica gel is an industrial drying agent. You can buy it at most hardware stores. You can also use desiccants, which are also industrial drying agents. These include molecular sieves and zeolites. These are best used with large cardboard pieces.
How To Make Card-Game Cards Hard Again
If you have a card game that uses cardboard cards and they have become soft due to the water, you can make them hard again using the above methods. If you want to make your cardboard cards last for a long time, you can store them in an airtight container or a freezer. If you have a large game, you can put each set of cards in a plastic bag. If you want to make your cards look new, you can use a paper towel and rubbing alcohol to clean them. If you have a deck of cards that has become worn out or torn, you can repair them with a few simple steps. First, you need to clean the cards and let them dry. Next, you need to tear off a small piece of paper and fold it in half. Then, you need to place the paper in the middle of the card and fold it over so that the paper is inside the card. Finally, you need to put a drop of glue on the paper inside the card and let it dry. This will fix your cards and make them look like new again.
Cardboard is a great material for makers, but it can become soft if left in wet conditions. This is easily avoided by keeping the cardboard dry. You can do this by keeping it away from sources of water and drying it out as soon as possible when it gets wet. If your cardboard creations have become soft, there are a number of ways to fix them: salt and baking soda are great drying agents that can be applied directly to the surface of the cardboard, whereas paper towels and cotton balls are ideal for soaking up water from beneath.