How to Revive Dry Play Doh
Playing with Play-Doh is a fun and simple activity that entertains kids of all ages, and is great as a solo activity or at a party. But clean-up time doesn’t always happen when it should, and Play-Doh that’s left out quickly dries up, hardens, and cracks, making it impossible to mold and play with. Luckily, there are a few techniques you can use to revive dried out Play-Doh to make it moist, soft, and doughy again for next time the kids feel like molding and shaping.
Kneading With Water
Collect your dried up Play-Doh in a bowl.Keep the same colors together to prevent the Play-Doh dyes from mixing and forming a brownish color. Play-Doh is mostly made of flour, water, and salt, so adding life back to the hardened dough can be as simple as adding back the water that’s evaporated.
- If your Play-Doh has been out for an extended period of time (more than a couple months) and has fully hardened, it may not be possible to revive it.
Sprinkle the Play-Doh with water.Massage the wet ball in your hands, working the water into the dough. Continue sprinkling the ball with water and massaging it.
Knead the ball.Once the dough has absorbed a sufficient amount of water and has become moist and malleable again, knead it on a countertop for a few minutes, until it has returned to its original form. Sprinkle it with more water as you’re kneading, if necessary.
- Try kneading one-half teaspoon of glycerine into the Play-Doh to help moisten it further.
Use the Play-Doh immediately or store properly.Play-Doh will dry out when it’s exposed to air, so store it in an air-tight container. Consider wrapping it in a re-sealable plastic bag first.
Steaming Your Play-Doh
Flatten the Play-Doh.In your hands or on a counter, flatten the dough ball to increase the absorption area. Keep in mind that you’ll be putting this in a steamer, so don’t make it too large.
Prepare your stove-top or standalone steamer.Place the flattened Play-Doh in the steamer and steam for five to ten minutes.
Remove the dough from the steamer.Knead for five to ten minutes on a countertop. If the Play-Doh hasn’t returned to its original consistency, repeat the steaming and kneading.
Rehydrating Play-Doh Overnight
Break the Play-Doh into pea-sized bits.The smaller the pieces, the easier it will be to rehydrate them. Put the pieces into a strainer and run water over them so that all the pieces are coated. Let sit for a minute to let any excess water drain off.
Place the pieces into a re-sealable plastic bag.Make sure all the Play-Doh pieces are damp (but not soaking wet) and seal them in the bag. Let the dough pieces rest for about an hour.
Remove the pieces from the bag.Once the dough has had time to rest and absorb the water, put the pieces in a bowl and press them back into a single ball of dough. Wrap the ball with a wet cloth or paper towel and return it to the bag. Seal and leave it overnight.
Knead the dough.In the morning, remove the rehydrated Play-Doh from the bag and knead it for a couple minutes to form it back into a soft, doughy ball.
Making Replacement Playdough
Assemble your ingredients.Sometimes dried out Play-Doh is too far gone to rehydrate, but making your own is a fun and inexpensive way to replace it, and it’s so easy that even the kids can help. To make playdough, you will need:
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 1 ¼ cups of salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons of cream of tartar
- 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- Food coloring
Mix ingredients in a saucepot.Cook over low heat and stir frequently. Continue stirring and cooking until the ingredients come together to form a ball of dough in the center of the pan. You’ll know it’s ready when it has the consistency of regular playdough.
Remove from heat.If the dough is too warm to handle, set it aside and let it cool. In the meantime, decide how you want to divide your dough and what colors you want to make.
Divide the dough for coloring.Form as many smaller balls as you need depending on how many different colors of playdough you want to make.
Knead the different colors into individual batches of dough.On a cutting board or non-porous counter, knead each ball of dough and work in a single color at a time. Add food coloring until the desired intensity is achieved. Repeat for every playdough color you want to make.
Store like regular Play-Doh.Keep playdough in an air-tight container, and don’t leave it out if it’s not in use. If you don't do this, it will solidify and become impossible to use.
QuestionHow can I remove dried play doh from a carpet?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTake boiling water and mix it with baking soda. Pour it on the play doh wait for a couple of minutes, then just pick it out.Thanks!
QuestionDo I need cream of tartar?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, but it makes it shiny.Thanks!
QuestionMy daughter did this project yesterday. Today, she looked at it and saw that it has cracked. How do I revive it without reassembling it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry some drops of water or oil to rehydrate and then slowly shape it with your finger to smooth the cracks.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I fix play doh that has become sticky?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could try leaving it out for about 15 minutes. If that doesn't work, you could put it in the freezer for some time.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I clean dried up dough from a tinker toy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse a tooth pick to pick out the Play Doh. If that doesn't work, put the toy in warm water.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make play doh stick together?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPlay Doh should naturally stick together. If it doesn't after following these steps, repeat with more water.Thanks!
QuestionI dissolved my Play-Doh clay in water. Is there any way to turn it back into clay?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Do what you would do to dry it for five minutes, or freeze it in a plastic bag in the freezer.Thanks!
QuestionCan you dry up play-dough to make it into statue or something?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can. All you have to do is wait a few hours or a day and a half after molding the statue for it to dry, and you should be finished.Thanks!
QuestionIf I put lotion in the Play Doh, will it stay moist or dry out again?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt can dry out again, although the lotion might help temporarily.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is tartar?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTartar is a powder that can be found in any grocery store.Thanks!
To revive dry Play-Doh, add one color of Play-Doh to a bowl and sprinkle some water on top. Then, you can knead the Play-Doh with your hands until it becomes soft and malleable. If the Play-Doh is still stiff, you can add in more water as you go. You can also revive Play-Doh by flattening it and putting in a steamer for 5-10 minutes. After it has steamed, knead it until it becomes malleable.Once your Play-Doh is soft again, make sure to store in an airtight container so it doesn't dry out.
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