To sterilize sand, spread it in metal baking sheets a maximum of 4 inches thick, cover it in foil and bake it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until the center of the sand reaches between 180 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the oven to maintain the temperature for 30 minutes. Keep covered until use.
- Fill the baking dishes
Purchase the required amount of washed sand. If reusing sand, rake and remove any debris before baking. Place the sand in a metal baking dish. Spread the sand to a maximum height of 4 inches. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- Bake the sand
Place the foil-covered pans in an oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert a meat thermometer through the foil into the sand. Begin timing the process when the sand temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain the temperature between 180 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Do not allow the temperature of the soil to exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide ventilation, as the sand gives off an odor as it is heating.
- Cool the sand
Remove the pans from the oven and place them in a safe place to cool. Leave the pans covered, and cool to room temperature. Do not remove the covers until you are ready to use the sand.