How to Rehydrate Play Doh (6 Easy Steps)

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How to Rehydrate Play Doh

Play-Doh can be great fun for kids from 2 to 102. It is also an amazingly versatile media if you want something not too serious to play around with.

If you have wondered how to rehydrate Play-Doh and make it useable again, you have found the right article to read. Here, we will look at two different methods you can use to rehydrate Play-Doh and make it usable again.

These are methods that we have used ourselves and can vouch for. In the end, we will also answer a few related questions that we often hear. The one issue is that Play-Doh does tend to dry out rather quickly.

How to Rehydrate Play-Doh

If you have Plah-Doh that has gotten dry and flaky, don’t automatically throw it away. Here are two methods we have found that can often be used to rehydrate Play-Doh and make it usable again.

Wet Towel Technique

What You Will Need

  • Play-Doh
  • Smooth cloth or towel
  • Airtight container of some type

Step 1: Dampen a towel

squeezing wet fabric

The first thing you are going to need is a damp towel. It shouldn’t be sopping wet or wrung out to dry. Just wet it and give it a few gentle squeezes to remove the excess water.

Also, be aware that terrycloth isn’t the best material to use. The rough texture tends to bind with the Play-Doh making it difficult to remove. Sackcloths, old t-shirts, or even paper towels or napkins work well.

Step 2: Ball Your Clay

Once your rag is ready, roll your Play-Doh into a ball. If it is too dry to ball up, this isn’t a good sign, but you can still press it together as best you can.

Step 3: Wrap Your Play-Doh

air tight lid container

Now, place your wrapped Play-Doh in an air dry container. This could be its original plastic can, a zip-lock bag, or a bowl with a snap-on lid.

Step 4: Set Your Play-Doh Aside

Set your sealed container containing the Play-Doh in an out-of-the-way place. Avoid setting it in the sun, close to any heat source, or in a location that might cause it to freeze. Your refrigerator would be an ideal location.

Step5: Wait

This is the hard step. You need to leave your Play-Doh undisturbed for a day or two. The idea is to create a high humidity atmosphere inside the container. Play-Doh is mainly made of flour, salt, and water. Denied air exchange, and in a high moister atmosphere, it will slowly absorb water and rehydrate.

If you don’t succeed in returning your Play-Doh to its normal condition, try this method a few more times. It can be a slow process but is highly effective.

Water Bag Process

If your Play-Doh has reached the point where it is extremely dry and crumple, we have only found one technique that works with any degree of success. That is the water bag method of rehydrating Play-Doh.

What you will need

  • Play-Doh
  • Water
  • Sealable bag

Step 1: Crumble Play-Doh

cutting play doh to pieces

The first thing you need to do is grumble up your Play-Doy. You want it to be in pieces the size of a dime or smaller. The small the chunks, the more surface area that will be exposed to absorb water.

Step 2: Place in a Bag

Take your crumpled-up Play-Doh and place it in a zip-lock bag.

Step 3: Add Water

The amount of water will depend on the amount of Play-Doh you are using. This is one of those situations where less is more. It is best to start with too little water than too much. So, start with just a tiny bit and work your way up as needed.

Step 4: Seal the bag and Knead

Now, Seal the bag and gently knead the water and Play-Doh together. This can be difficult at first but be persistent. If you see the color starting to bleed from the Play-Doh, you have too much water. Remove some and start over.

Step 5: Set Aside and Waite

When you feel the Play-Doh has started to soften, place the bag in your refrigerator and let it sit overnight. In the morning, most if not all of the water should have been absorbed.

woman beside the opened refrigerator

Step 6: Repeat if Needed

The next day, check the consistency of your Play-Doh. If satisfied, enjoy sculpting with it. If it is still too stiff, repeat the entire process.


Can you revive dried-out Play-Doh?

Dried out Play-Doh can be revived using one of the methods described in this article. If the dough is just crusty on the outside but still pliable, you can try massaging a few drops of water into it until its elasticity has returned.

How do you soften Play-Doh?

Stiff Play-Doh can be softened by kneading a few drops of water into it until it reaches the desired consistency. Go slow and just use a few drops of water at a time.

How do you dry overly wet Play-Doh?

There are two methods you can use to help dry out overly wet Play-Doh. The simplest method is to allow it to air-dry, kneading it every few hours until it is sufficiently dehydrated. A faster method is to dust the Play-Doh with plain flour and then massage it into the dough. Flour is the primary ingredient in Play-Doh and should stiffen it fairly quickly.