Over time, playdoughs get dry and get tough to work on.
Kids won’t be that happy to play with tough playdough that can’t form into any shape.
Remedy this dilemma and make your kids happy again with these easy to follow techniques on making playdough soft again.
Different ways to make a playdough soft
- Put a Few Drops of Water
Just like making bread, you’ll need enough water to make a moist bread dough. The same goes for playdough. Its compound got dry because of a lack of moisture. Work on your dried playdough by adding a few drops of water until it feels more dense and stretchy. Be careful not to put too much water, or it would be too sticky and wet to form a “doughy” texture. Feel the playdough in your hand and check if it’s moisturized enough while kneading it. If it feels right and already stretchy enough, then stop adding water.
- Hydrate in an Instant
Dried playdough can be tricky to get softened again, especially if it hasn’t been played for a long time. If you didn’t remedy it with the first method mentioned, you would need to do instant hydration. 3-4 ounces of playdough would need at least 1-2 teaspoons of water. You may use a dropper if you have one to drop the water gradually onto the playdough. Work on it and knead it like bread until it’s soft. Fold and press the playdough until it’s soft and stretchy. Add more water if needed if it still feels dry.
- Hydrate it Overnight
To achieve the best result, moistened your dried playdough overnight. You would need to wrap the playdough in a warm moist paper towel or a cling wrap and place it in an airtight container. The damp paper towel will be locked inside, making the playdough gets moistened up. The next day, open the container and test if the feel is what you’ve desired to achieve. Knead the dough to test its softness and stretchiness. If it’s not stretchy or soft enough like how playdough should feel like, add a few drops of water to moisturize it a little bit. Then, continue needing until the playdough is soft.
If your playdough is not responding to any of the methods mentioned above, perhaps it’s time to get rid of it and get a new one.
Just like anything else in this world, nothing lasts forever. Playdough has the same mechanism as the bread dough. Over time, the gluten chains weaken and fall apart and lose its elasticity. That’s the reason why it’s too dry and less stretchy.
Another reason is also how you store the playdough. If your child always leaves it outside after playing, then most likely, it would go dry, especially if you live in a tropical or warmer location. If you don’t store it properly, it will dry up over time and lose its moisture. Make sure that you are storing the playdough away from direct heat or dry area.
If you’ve been keeping the playdough for a long time now, the accumulated dust and germs can also be the culprit. Although playdough is non-toxic, that doesn’t mean it’s susceptible to germs. If it’s no longer working and quite dirty, it’s best just to let go of it.
It will be safe for you and your kids to not play with it anymore. Good thing you can make your playdough from scratch by following this simple recipe!
Making your DIY playdough
- You will need 1 cup of hair conditioner, 2 cups of cornflour and cornstarch.
- On a flat surface, place 2 cups of flour and make a well in the middle.
- Put some flour on your hands so the mixture won’t be too sticky or hard to knead for later.
- Add a cup of the hair conditioner and mix it well with the flour.
- Just like making bread dough, knead it by folding and pressing the playdough until it becomes silky, soft, and stretchy. Do this for about 5 minutes.
- If the dough is still crumbly, add another teaspoon of hair conditioner then knead again until you’ve achieved the desired soft texture. Knead again for another 5 minutes.
- If the dough is too wet and sticky, add a teaspoon or two of your cornflour then knead again until you achieve the right consistency.
- You may divide the playdough into different parts and add food coloring to it.
- Add only a few drops of food coloring and knead it until the color has evenly spread out. Please make sure you’re careful with the food colors so it won’t stain your table or other home surroundings.
- Do the same with other colors. Make as much colored playdough as you want.