I recently gave my mum a bag of clay for Mothers day and told her not to throw anything away as it can be recycled.  She asked me how it was done.  So below is a step by step guide of how to recycle clay by hand:

What you Need:

  1. Bowl
  2. Water
  3. Plaster Bat (or something that will absorb water like a clean towel)

1.  Put the clay in a bowl and fill it with water 3/4 full.  After an hour or so you can push any bulky items down so they all get submerged in the water.

Clay in bowl for reclaim

When it has all turned to smush it should look something like this:

Clay slush

2. Next you need to remove the surface water.  You can carefully just poor the bowl down an outside drain, or use sponges to take the surface water off.

clay and plaster bat

3. Next the remaining water needs to be taken out and water removed.  A plaster bat is best as it will asborb the water and just leave the clay behind.  Mine has broken in half and could do with replacing but it still does the job: (I am wondering if anyone has used something else like newspaper or sponge, comment below if you have)

clay put on plaster bat

4. Then leave to dry for a few hours, check back occasionally.  With plaster its not long before the clay closest to the plaster will have dried.  The picture below shows where its dried enough for me to turn it over, so the soggy clay on top can touch the plaster which will absorb it.

5. Once the clay has dried on both sides of the bat you can wedge it back into blocks of clay:

blocks Of Reclaimed Clay

6. Bagged up and ready to return to my mum!

The whole process took about 6 hours.  The warmer the environment the quicker the process will be.

But the beauty of clay is that it can be recycled so there is little waste.