How To Make Homemade Playdough Without Cream Of Tartar

Recently updated on December 13th, 2023 at 06:43 am

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This is my first time making playdough. I thought it would be difficult and may be expensive. But I found a simple and easy homemade playdough without cream of tartar recipe. 

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

So I decided to try out homemade playdough without cream of tartar and cooking.  The recipe below takes only 10 minutes to make.

Before going into the different playdough without cream of tartar recipes, let’s first look at substitutes to cream of tartar when making playdough. 

Can you make playdough without cream of tartar?

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

If you add enough salt to 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 lastting playdough you can try the easy playdough recipe below with cream of tartar.

What other ingredients can I use instead of cream of tartar in playdough?

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 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 coloring 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 add drops of 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 an airtight 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:


How to make playdough with 3 ingredients? No flour playdough

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.

Note : This is not the best playdough recipe. The texture can be a little more stretchy like slime

playdough without cream of tartar

How do you make playdough with just two ingredients?


  • Cornstarch
  • Conditioner

How to make : 

  1. Add cornstarch into the bowl
  2. Mix it with the conditioner
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water until it forms like a thick ball 
  4. Add food coloring ( optional) 

2 ingredient playdough without cream of tartar

Note : This is not the best playdough recipe. The texture can be a little more stretchy like slime

Dandelion playdough without cream of tartar

dandelion playdough recipe

This is our favorite recipe especially during spring when there are plenty of dandelions growing in the back garden. 

Dandelion playdough can be an absolutely fun experience to make with your toddler. This is an easy playdough recipe. 

Firstly, you need to collect a handfull of dandelions and place them in a bag. 

Now follow the recipe below to make dandelion playdough without cream of tartar: 


  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • Cup of water prereferably warm water
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil 
  • Food coloring (optional) 

How to make :

  1.  Heat water in the microwave for about one minute
  2. Mix dandelion and hot water in a mixer
  3. Add lemon juice
  4. Add Vegetable oil 
  5. Mix them all well in a mixer until you get the right consistency
  6. Add some yellow food coloring if you want it to be even more yellow
  7. Finally, you can also add a pinch of glitter 

Related : How to make slime without borax

Playdough recipe with cream of tartar:

Below is a easy homemade playdough recipe that requires cream of tartar: 

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

How to make:

  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 on 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.

playdough with cream of tartar

Thermomix playdough recipe: 

Basic Ingredients: 

  • 1tbsp cream of tartar
  • 110g salt
  • Boiling water
  • 330g plain flour
  • Vegetable oil

How to make : 

  1. Put salt in the Thermomix bowl and blend for about 8 seconds until it becomes like a powder
  2. Add cream of tartar and blend again for few seconds
  3. Add boiling water and cook at 60 degrees for about 3 minutes
  4. Add flour and mix for about 60 seconds and speed 3. 
  5. Add the vegetable oil and mix it together. 
  6. Take the playdough out of the Thermomix bowl and add a few drops of different colors.
  7. You can also add essential oils if you want the dough to smell nice. 
  8. Store the dough in an air-tight container to preserve it for a long time. 

thermomix playdough recipe

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 try using liquif food colouring
  • You can also cook this in medium-low heat. This can make the play dough soft and less sticky
  • Always make playdough in small batches when you are first trying it out. You can increase the amount you make for the next batch once you have mastered the recipe.
  • Fresh playdough can last for a couplf of weeks when kept in an air-tight container

Related : Homemade moon sand recipe

How do you make playdough soft and stretchy?

To make playdough soft and stretch add few drops of water. 

Do not add too much water as it will ruin the playdough and it is hard to come back from that. You will most likely need to make a new batch. 

Also, knead the playdough using your fingers so the water seeps through the dough. 

playdough without cream of tartar

How do you soften hard dough?

Firstly, you need to add water to the playdough. 

Leave the playdough soaked in water for a couple of minutes. Then pour the excess water out.

Transfer the playdough to a plate and keep squeezing the playdough. 

Then put the playdough back into the container and leave it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. 

When you first take it out it will be very sticky. But once you start playing with the dough it will not be sticky anymore. 

playdough soft and stretchy

Does playdough get moldy?

Homemade playdough without cream of tartar can get moldy it is kept in damp conditions. 

How do you harden playdough without cracking it?

You can do this by putting the playdough inside the oven. 

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and place the dough in the middle of the foil that is covered with a baking sheet. 

Let the dough bake for about 15 minutes. 

How do you keep playdough from drying out?

Always keep the playdough in a closed container each time you are not using it. Leaving the playdough out will dry it out. 

Related : How to make glue dry faster?

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 :

Playdough is great for sensory play. The little hands can feel different textures when squeezing and playing with playdough. It can also help with hand-eye coordination. 

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

The best thing about playdough is that it is a good indoor activity especially on a rainy day. 

benefits of playdough

Playdough plays ideas :

Stick objects into the playdough and ask them to pick them up and stick them back in.  But you can use any other things like sticks, straws, etc. You can also ask your toddler to make different things like sun or flower using playdough. 

Shape the playdough is another play activity. If you have different cookie cutters like stars, circles, squares you can use them to make shapes with play dough.

This is a fun activity that can get your children playing for hours. It will also help them with their fine motor skills.

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

playdough without cream of tartar

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.


playdough without cream of tartar

Playdough monsters: Encourage your child to make playdough monsters by adding different features like eyes, noses, and teeth. They can create a whole army of creatures and give them fun names and personalities.

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Parven founded Kids N Clicks after obtaining her MSc in Corporate Governance from the London School of Economics. She worked as a business studies and digital marketing lecturer. Internet Matters recognizes her profound knowledge of online safety, dubbing her an Internet safety expert. At Kids N Clicks, Parven keeps abreast of the newest apps. Drawing from her teaching background, she fervently promotes screen-free activities for students and encourages introspective thinking through journaling, games and writing prompts.

16 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.

  5. My kids and I love making this! So fun! Apparently I need to make some rules about where they’re allowed to play with it though! My daughter was playing with it on the carpet when I was paying attention and it got in the carpet and stained it!! Does anyone know how to get that kind of stain out of the carpet? I sure didn’t! Good thing I found a carpet cleaning company who knew exactly what to do! Anyway, glad I was able to make this with my kids. Thanks!


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