How To Make Homemade Playdough Without Cream Of Tartar

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This is a simple and easy recipe for homemade playdough without cream of tartar. It took me under 10 minutes to make this playdough.

Playdough without Cream of Tartar :

This is my first time making playdough. I thought it would be difficult and may be expensive.

I actually never use cream of tartar so I did not want to buy it just to make playdough and then don’t know what to do with it.

So I decided to try out a recipe that does not require any cooking and cream of tartar.

Also, my toddler loves playdough and takes it with her everywhere she goes. But throws and lose them a lot.

Hence, homemade playdough is much cheaper than to keep but it from a store.

Here is the best ever playdough recipe without cream of tartar:

Ingredients : 

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/4  cup of Salt (CUP, not table or teaspoon or you will end up with a sticky dough)
  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (gel food preferably)
  • Water
  • Scent ( if you want it to smell nice)

How to make:

Step 1: Place the flour and salt in a bowl

Step 2:In another bowl mix water and food coloring

Step 3: Mix the 2 bowls together and stir well, keep adding flour if it gets too sticky

Step 4: Add vegetable oil at the end and store it in a container.

Just a note this playdough recipe can last for few weeks. I actually store it in the fridge once the kids are done playing with it.

Note: This playdough recipe can be a little sticky if you don’t use enough salt. 

For easier playdough that lasts longer follow the recipe below 

Watch this 30-second clip on how to make homemade playdough without cream of tartar:




Making playdough with just 3 ingredients:

Ingredients :

  • 100 ml conditioner
  • 1 cup Cornstarch
  • Food coloring


  • Put the conditioner into a bowl. Choose a nice conditioner color otherwise, don’t worry you can add food coloring
  • Add food coloring and mix
  • Add glitter to make it look more exciting
  • Add the cornstarch (It will look like it is crumbling, but keep mixing until it becomes smoother)
  • Keep adding cornstarch until you get the right texture.

Is the cream of tartar needed in making playdough?

The cream of tartar basically helps in preserving the playdough. However, this is not actually needed.

If you add enough salt on your playdough it should then last for a long time. Salt makes playdough more elastic and smoother as well.

The playdough you buy from the shops has the cream of tartar and also many other ingredients. For example,  retrogradation inhibitor, lubricant, surfactant, fragrance, and color.

For longer last ting playdough you can try the easy playdough recipe below with cream of tartar.

Making playdough without cream of tartar :

Here are few substitutes for the cream of tartar in playdough you can try :

  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Lemon & Vinegar
  • You can also add a hair conditioner if playdough starts to get hard.

Here is a play dough recipe with cream of tarter:

  • all-purpose flour
  • water
  • cream of tartar
  • salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring


  1. Add 1 cup of flour,2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1/3 CUP of salt in a bowl
  2. Add water, vegetable oil and food coloring
  3. Heat burner to medium and cook all the ingredients. Continue stirring until it all solidifies
  4. Don’t worry about lumps. Do this for about 30 seconds in a gas stove. It may take 2 minutes on an electric stove.
  5. Remove from saucepan and it is cool. Don’t worry about lumps.

Other playdough tips :

  • Try using neon gel food coloring. I used a cheap one that was just lying in my cupboard ( probably an expired one) . Using neon gel makes the color come out more.
  • You can also cook this in medium-low heat. This can make the play dough soft and less sticky

Is It OK to eat Playdough?

This playdough recipe is made from flour and homemade ingredients. It is safe if your child accidentally bites a little.

But since it is uncooked flour I would still keep an eye when my child is playing with playdough to ensure they don’t eat it.

The benefits of playdough for toddlers :

It is undoubted that playdough brings a lot of benefits.

I use play dough to teach my little one the different colors and shapes. And most importantly to develop her motor skills.

She loves just exploring the texture of the playdough and squeezing it.

Playdough plays ideas :

Stick objects into the playdough and ask them to pick it up and stick it back in. I used cotton buds in this example. But you can use any other things like sticks, straws, etc.

Shape the playdough. If you have different cooking shapes like stars, circles, squares you can use it to make shapes with play dough.

You can also journal your play experience with your toddler. It makes nice memories for your child in the future,

If you have a creative little toddler that makes characters with the play dough. You can add buttons to give it an eye for example. Or you can even create an ice cream play dough cone. Ask your little one to stack the playdough and place it on an ice cream cone.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the growth-mindset kit aimed at raising children growing in a tech world. 

14 thoughts on “How To Make Homemade Playdough Without Cream Of Tartar”

    • Hi Lori, this would depend on the amount of Playdough you are making. We suggest that you add water bit by bit so you don’t overflood the dough which can then be very sticky. So adding a little water and then mixing till you get the right consistency when making the playdough without cream of tartar.

  1. If following the directions and measurements without cream of tartar, it says to add water in step 2. How much water would you use or start with if using all other measurements listed.

    • I would prepare 1 cup of water but keep adding little by little until you get the texture that you want. Don’t pour all at once.

  2. Play dough strengthens children’s hands and develops fine motor skills so it is very beneficial. It is also relaxing and calming and stimulates creativity.

    • Definitely, especially homemade playdough made without cream of tartar where the ingredients are natural and can be kept for a long time 🙂

  3. “In another bowl, mix water and food coloring.” There’s no water listed in the ingredients. Then when you watch the video, its only a teaspoon or so of salt is added, not 1/4 cup. I can’t be the only one leaving your page to find a recipe with instructions that make sense.✌

  4. The playdoh I have made called for 2 cups of flour 2 cups salt 2 tables spoons baby oil and 2 teaspoons tartar. Kool aid for coloring.
    You mix and dissolve koolaid in the water first then dry ingredients…cook in microwave 4-5 minutes. At this point while I am kneading I coat my hands in baby oil oftenjust to so I can get a more silky smooth as I am working it…smells good nice smooth texture

    • If you are adding 1 cup of flour then I would use 1/2 cup of water. So you can decide based on the number of cups of flour. I would not, however, make so much the first time. I would try it out first to make sure you feel the consistency is right for you.


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