Rainbow Water Beads
Credit: Getty Images/Yulia Naumenko

These Toy "Rainbow Beads" Helped Soak Up All the Water in a Couple's Flooded Basement

In just one hour.
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We're big proponents of thinking of a creative solution to any problem, which is exactly how we discovered that hair spray can keep your dress from static-clinging in a pinch and that beard dye really does work wonders on eyebrows. You never know until you know, you know? Everything's worth a shot. 

Well, that's exactly the mindset that husband-and-wife TikTok account @adventuresofbella used when their basement flooded with water. Instead of dealing with dozens of sopping-wet towels and getting on hands and knees for hours—or risking mildew and stagnant water—they thought of an inventive solution: a popular kids' toy called Orbeez

These "rainbow water beads" are known for being able to increase in size exponentially when exposed to water. What starts as a teeny-tiny bead grows to be a thousand times larger than its original size in just four hours, and when you have hundreds (or thousands) of them, the transformation amazes and delights its main demographic—kids! As it turns out, they're also quite ingenious for soaking up excess water in very little time, as was demonstrated in the two TikTok videos. (Watch here for the process and here for the result and cleanup.) 

In just one hour, the Orbeez soaked up a majority of the water in the flooded basement. While initially the idea seemed potentially counter-productive—is it really better to have a basement full of enlarged gel beads than water?—the user was able to scoop them up easily and quickly using a dust pan. All in all, it saved both time and mess. No one had to haul around dirty, soaked towels, and you can let the Orbeez dry out in a large storage container outside or dispose of them however you see fit. (While they're biodegradable, it would take a while if thrown in the yard.)

If you'd like to stock up on a children's toy and household cleaning hack all-in-one, shop the colorful water beads below. 

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