How To Mix Alginate?

Alginate is easy to work with and delivers excellent results as long as you follow certain pertinent rules about measuring and mixing the alginate. Know what you should and shouldn’t be doing with alginate.

You almost cannot imagine making body molds and life casts without alginate. This ever-resourceful compound comes in the form of a simple white powder. In fact, it is very similar to what dentists use for making tooth impressions.

The alginate used in life casting is fun to work with. All you have to do is mix it with water to form a smooth and creamy paste. Applying it all over the body part to be cast and reinforcing it with a shell mold will yield a detailed mold that meticulously captures the fine hair, skin folds and fingerprints too.

However, you need to work carefully when mixing the alginate. The first rule is to always weigh out the powder to get the ratio exactly right. This is because alginate is compressible and measuring the quantity by volume will wreak havoc on the proportions. Use a weighing scale and always make a little extra mixture than required. This will prove handy as the alginate tends to set very quickly and you may not have time on hand in case the mixture falls short.

Another rule of thumb is to always use soft water for mixing alginates. If you inadvertently happen to use hard water, you will end up with a lumpy mess that is mostly unusable. In a pinch, use mineral water rather than risking the unknown tap water!

You can even play around with the temperature of the water to vary the expected set time of the alginate paste.

When you are actually mixing, always place the powder in the container and then pour the required water and not vice versa. Blend them rapidly, but take care not whip air into the mix. Rather than whisking by hand, use a turbo mixer on a variable speed drill to get a smooth and lump-free paste.

Always source your alginates and other materials from reliable suppliers like EnvironMolds (