Have you ever tried to shred cardboard without a shredder? It’s not easy.
You can try using scissors, but that takes forever and it’s really hard on your hands.
Or maybe you could use an old-fashioned paper cutter, but then the pieces are too big and they don’t fit in your recycling bin!
Well, guess what – there is actually an easier way to do this. And no, we aren’t talking about hiring someone else to do it for you (although that’s always an option).
We’re going to show you how YOU can shred cardboard without a shredder yourself!
All of these methods will work with any type of cardboard – from cereal boxes all the way up to large shipping boxes. So let’s get started…
How to Shred Cardboard Without a Shredder
As a general rule, we know that soaking the cardboard in water will decrease the stiffness of the cardboard. So, soaking the cardboard in water makes it easier to shred the cardboard.
However, the question is how long should you soak it? Well, that depends on what kind of results you want.
If you want to make your cardboard completely fall apart in your hands then all you need to do is leave it in water for a few hours or even overnight. Alternatively, if you want to make your cardboard easier to shred then all you need is about 30 minutes.
The longer you soak it in water the more pliable and flexible the cardboard will become.
The reason for this is that when paper or cardboard becomes moistened with warm or hot water, its fibers expand away from each other which makes them much more vulnerable to being cut by a knife.
For example, have you ever noticed how easy it is for someone who has just got out of the shower?
Their skin gets so soft because they’ve been soaking in warm/hot water!
That’s exactly what happens when we submerge our pieces of cardboard in water except instead of having smooth wet skin, our cardboard ends up becoming really tenderized making it really easy to cut.
So, there you have it! Now that you know how to shred your cardboard without a shredder, go out and save yourself some money by not having to buy one.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: Does cardboard soak up water?
Corrugated boxes are made of wood fibers, which means that they can absorb and release moisture.
This is known as hygroscopy. The porosity of the box allows it to soak up water like a sponge.
But not as fast as other papers. It takes time to get properly soak up water.
FAQ: Why does cardboard soak up water?
When the piece of cardboard becomes moistened with warm or hot water, its fibers expand away from each other which makes them much more vulnerable to being cut by a knife.
This phenomenon is called “plastic deformation.” And it’s exactly what would happen if you had just gotten out of the shower and your skin was really soft!
Except instead of having smooth wet skin, our pieces of cardboard become tenderized making it easier for us to tear them apart.
FAQ: How long should I soak my cardboard?
If you want your pieces of cardboard to completely fall apart in your hands then leave them in water overnight.
If you’re looking for an easier way to rip the cardboard into smaller pieces then leave them soaking in water for around 30 minutes.
FAQ: How to shred large pieces of cardboard without a paper cutter or knife?
If you don’t have access to either, then the best way is still by ripping it apart.
The key here is long and slow: start at one end and pull the two sides in opposite directions until they tear away from each other.
If you try pulling them quickly or with too much force, chances are that your hands will get stuck inside the middle layer which makes tearing off any additional pieces harder than it needs to be.
Soaking larger/thinner pieces of cardboard for 15-20 minutes should work just fine! If the cardboard is larger and harder then soaking it overnight is recommended.
FAQ: What is waterproof cardboard?
Waterproof cardboard is a type of paper that has been chemically treated to protect the contents inside from water damage.
It’s often used by companies who want their items safely stored in a waterproof environment, such as food/beverages or electronics.
FAQ: How do you shred waterproof cardboard?
In order to properly shred waterproof cardboard, you first need a high-quality paper cutter or sharp knife.
The best way is to cut it into smaller pieces by hand and then let these soak in water until they become moist enough so that your fingers can tear them apart easily.
FAQ: How long should I soak my waterproof cardboard?
You should let your pieces of waterproof cardboard soak in water for long enough so that they become moist.
When you feel the paper start to get soggy, it means that the fibers are softening up and breaking apart. This is when you can tear them apart by hand!
FAQ: How do you shred large pieces of waterproof cardboard?
If you’re looking for a way to properly dispose of your unwanted waterproof boxes then just use scissors!
A paper cutter might be too dangerous or expensive so instead, we recommend using something that is safer in everyday life: SCISSORS!!
Just cut waterproof cardboard into reasonably small pieces. After that sock them in a container with water.
As the cardboard is cut from sides it allows water to enter the inner part of that cardboard. This makes it much easier to shred/tear.
Soaking for 30 minutes should be fine but if you want them completely torn apart then leave the cardboard soaking in water overnight!
Soaking large pieces of cardboard in water makes them way easier to shred. The longer you soak them, the easier they’ll be to shred.
Soak them for long enough and they’ll fall apart in your hands.