Will PLA dissolve in Water and will it decompose?

PLA: The Star of 3D Printing! How many times have you pondered over its resilience when wet? The burning question on everyone’s mind: Does PLA succumb to water’s embrace? And if so, just how swiftly does it wither away? Dive in with me!


In your everyday water, without any added steam or sizzle, PLA stands tall and proud, potentially for generations. Why? Because this superstar material demands a unique environment to falter. From the calm corners of aquariums to the roaring vibes of swimming pools, PLA remains unaffected. Ever heard of PLA grooving underwater for years? Well, it’s been tried, tested, and proven!

Salt water? No sweat! Contrary to popular myth, PLA doesn’t melt away or deteriorate in water. It stands its ground and keeps its cool.

Time for a Deep Dive! How long does PLA stand strong in aquatic realms? Does it truly fade away with time? Let’s delve into the mysteries surrounding PLA’s life underwater.

True to its robust nature, PLA doesn’t waver, crumble, or disappear unless it’s dancing in water heated above 50°C. But even then, it demands specific enzymes for a biological ballet, taking about half a year to truly fade.

Numerous curious minds have delved into this. From soap trays made of PLA enduring shower rains for years to sturdy garbage disposal strainers designed to tackle boiling water and regular sink torrents, PLA continues to shine.

One adventurer subjected a 3D Benchy print to varying environments: water, soil, sunlight, and the realm of his work desk. Two years on, the results? No discernible change in PLA’s might!

How Swiftly Does PLA Wear Out? Despite its eco-friendly badge, PLA does face the ravages of time, especially when submerged. But, believe it or not, it might hold out for an astonishing two years before showing any signs of age. Exposed to the sun’s gaze, it’s been rumored to endure for a whopping 15 years!

One experiment saw a variety of filaments, including the alluring Silk PLA and atomic PLA, dancing in a 70°C water bath. The result? Some instant transformations, with PLA taking about four days to exhibit signs of age.

Do you ever wonder about PLA prints that have drunk water before being crafted? They might swell or weaken, given PLA’s penchant for moisture. Beware of bubbling caused by heated nozzles clashing with this moisture, as this speeds up PLA’s aging process.

Is PLA a Green Warrior? Relative to its peers, PLA stands on the greener side of the spectrum. Though recycling it can be tricky, it scores brownie points for being crafted from non-hazardous materials like natural starches. When you’re diving into the world of 3D printing, PLA is hailed as the plant-based, eco-friendly knight. But remember, being biodegradable doesn’t automatically crown it as the ultimate environmental champion.

Thankfully, innovations are ensuring PLA doesn’t go to waste. From melting and reshaping to crafting new filaments, the possibilities are endless. The mantra? Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, aiming for a world with minimal plastic footprints.

Can PLA Compost in Your Backyard? Dreaming of composting PLA at home? Hold that thought! Standard composting units might not fit the bill. To truly break down, PLA yearns for a commercial composting realm, with temperatures soaring beyond what our home systems offer.

That said, PLA’s raw form is slightly more amenable to degradation compared to petroleum-based contemporaries. A little birdie told me that for effective decomposition, compost units need to sizzle at 60°C, a feat achieved in commercial operations but tricky at home.

What About PLA Plus? Fancy a watertight PLA Plus creation? The secret lies in meticulous 3D printing. With the right settings, you’ll have a container ready to hold the mightiest of torrents. Looking for waterproofing magic for your PLA+? More perimeters, over-extrusion, thicker layers with wider nozzles, and a touch of epoxy or resin might just be your answer!