How to Soften Dried Play-Doh? (Easy Steps)

Basana Saha


Play-Doh is a timeless toy that has been a staple in children’s playtime for generations. It fosters creativity, imagination, and fine motor skills development. However, every parent or caretaker has encountered the dreaded dried-out Play-Doh at some point. 

In this helpful guide, we’ll share effective methods on how to soften dried Play-Doh and tips for preventing it from drying out in the first place.

Let’s dive in!

Factors Causing Play-Doh to Dry Out

Before we explore the solutions, it’s essential to understand the factors that cause Play-Doh to dry out:

  1. Improper storage: Not sealing the containers or bags properly allows air to enter, which leads to drying.
  2. Prolonged exposure to air: Leaving Play-Doh out for too long causes it to lose moisture and harden.
  3. Exposure to heat sources: Storing Play-Doh near heaters or in direct sunlight can cause it to dry out faster.

Essential Tools and Materials for Softening Play-Doh

To soften dried Play-Doh, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

  • Plastic bag or airtight container
  • Water
  • Paper towels or clean cloth
  • Food-safe oil (optional)

How to Soften Dried Play-Doh?

Assessing the Condition of the Play-Doh

First, determine the condition of the Play-Doh. Is it slightly dry or extremely dry? This will help you choose the best approach.

The Water Method

If the Play-Doh is slightly dry, the water method should work well.

  1. Add a few drops of water to the dried Play-Doh.
  2. Knead and mix the water evenly into the Play-Doh.
  3. Repeat the process, adding small amounts of water, until you achieve the desired consistency.

The Wet Paper Towel Method

For moderately dry Play-Doh, try the wet paper towel method:

  1. Wrap the Play-Doh in a damp paper towel or cloth.
  2. Place it in a plastic bag or airtight container.
  3. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight to absorb the moisture.
  4. Check the consistency and repeat the process if necessary.

The Oil Method (For Extremely Dry Play-Doh)

For extremely dry Play-Doh, consider using food-safe oil:

  1. Add a few drops of food-safe oil to the dried Play-Doh.
  2. Knead the oil into the Play-Doh.
  3. Add more oil if needed, until you reach the desired consistency.

Tips for Preventing Play-Doh from Drying Out

To keep your Play-Doh in good condition, follow these tips:

  1. Proper storage techniques: Always store Play-Doh in airtight containers or resealable bags, and keep it in a cool, dry place.
  2. Educate children: Teach kids the importance of sealing the containers or bags after playtime to maintain the Play-Doh’s consistency.
  3. Regularly check the condition: Monitor the condition of the Play-Doh and take action when it starts to dry out.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

  • Q1: Can I use homemade play dough recipes to revive store-bought Play-Doh?

    Answer: Yes, you can use homemade play dough recipes to rejuvenate store-bought Play-Doh. Many homemade recipes call for ingredients like water, salt, and cream of tartar, which can help restore moisture and elasticity to dried Play-Doh. However, it’s essential to add these ingredients in small amounts and test the consistency as you go, to avoid over-softening or altering the texture of the original Play-Doh.

  • Q2: Is it safe to add food coloring to dried Play-Doh to revive its color?

    Answer: Adding food coloring to dried Play-Doh can be a great way to refresh its appearance. Make sure to use a small amount of liquid or gel food coloring and knead it thoroughly into the softened Play-Doh. Keep in mind that adding too much food coloring can affect the consistency of the Play-Doh and may also stain hands or surfaces during playtime. It’s best to use gloves while mixing in the food coloring and to cover any play surfaces to prevent staining.

  • Q3: How long does it take for the softened Play-Doh to dry out again?

    Answer: The longevity of softened Play-Doh depends on factors such as storage, usage, and environmental conditions. With proper storage in airtight containers or resealable bags, and by keeping it away from heat sources, softened Play-Doh can maintain its consistency for several weeks or even months. However, it’s important to remember that the more frequently the Play-Doh is used and exposed to air, the quicker it will dry out. Regularly check the condition of the Play-Doh and apply the softening techniques mentioned in this guide when needed.


Let’s conclude the post on how to soften dried Play-Doh!

Reviving/Rehydrating dried Play-Doh can be as simple as adding water, using a wet paper towel, or incorporating food-safe oil. The key is to assess the condition of the Play-Doh and choose the right method. Remember, proper care and storage will help prolong the life of your Play-Doh, ensuring endless fun and creativity for your kids.

So, go ahead and bring those dried-out cans back to life and let the playtime continue!

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Basana Saha