How to keep play-doh soft

Updated April 17, 2017

Play-Doh, the colourful dough children can use over and over again to mould and shape anything they image, must remain soft for use. No matter how you store Play-Doh, it will begin to dry out over time, making it hard or impossible to mould. Keep Play-Doh moist so it stays soft enough to be shaped by little hands.

Dampen a piece of paper towel. Ring as much water from the paper towel as possible.

Remove the Play-Doh from its container and wrap it in the paper towel.

Replace the Play-Doh, now wrapped in the damp paper towel, in its original container or another airtight container. Place the lid on the container and leave it overnight.

Remove the wrapped Play-Doh from the container the next day. Unwrap it and dispose of the paper towel. Replace the refreshed Play-Doh in the airtight container for storage. Repeat this process whenever the Play-Doh begins to become tough to mould.


Try other methods to moisten the clay: If the Play-Doh is stiff but still workable, knead a few drops of water into it to add moisture. If it's stiffer, hold the ball of Play-Doh over a pan of boiling water to allow the steam to add moisture back into the drying dough. Always store Play-Doh in an airtight container to keep the moisture in it from evaporating as quickly as it would otherwise.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel
  • Air-tight container
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About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.