Are you out of cream of tartar and still want to make playdough? Don’t worry! It’s not a requirement. I’m sharing 2 of my favorite playdough recipes without cream of tartar.
What is cream of tartar?
Cream of tartar is potassium bitartrate is an acid. It is typically used in baking to stabilize things like egg whites and whipped cream. It is also used as a leveling agent in baking and household cleaning.
What does cream of tartar do in playdough?
Because cream of tartar is an acid it stabilizes the playdough giving it a soft texture that holds together and doesn’t crumble. It also helps preserve the playdough so it lasts longer.
What is a cream of tartar substitute for playdough?
Cream of tartar is an acid therefore we need an acid to replace it. Both vinegar and lemon juice are great substitutes for cream of tartar.
Benefits of playing with playdough
Playdough helps to develop muscle control, hand-eye coordination, and strengthens the muscles in children’s fingers, hands and wrists. These developments are the foundations of writing.
No Cream of Tartar Recipe
- Flour– Any kind of flour but I use all-purpose
- Oil-keeps your hands from drying out
- Boiling water-I like this method more than cooking it on the stove. It is so much faster.
- Lemon juice or Vinegar-Stabilizes the playdough to make it super soft.
- Food Coloring-If you want to dye your playdough a few colors you can knead in each color. Otherwise, add your food coloring to your boiling water.
Tips for the recipe
- You can use any oil but I prefer a neutral oil like vegetable oil or coconut oil. Olive oil will go rancid.
- If you would like 1 color playdough the easiest way to add color is to add it to the boiling water instead of kneading it in.
- If your dough comes out sticky make sure it is completely cooled before adding more flour.
Our Favorite Playdough Accessories
Playdough Extruders– We love these playdough extruders along with decorative wheel cutters
Easy to Grip Stampers– These rounded stampers are easy to use for small hands because they have a ball handle that is rocked back and forth to place the pattern.
Triangle Grip Stampers– These triangle grip stampers are easy to use for small hands. These single stamps are a lot of fun and inspire creativity.
Palm Rubber Stampers– These palm stampers slip onto small hands and can be used to make fun geometric patterns.
Mini Rolling Pin– Mini rolling pins are a must-have for little hands
How to fix sticky playdough
If your playdough came out really sticky first make sure it is completely cooled. It takes time for the glutens in flour to stick together. If it is completely cooled just keep adding small amounts of flour. I like putting a light dusting of flour on the counter and a light dusting on top of the playdough and kneading it in. I will keep adding flour until it is no longer sticky.
How to fix dried-out playdough
I can’t tell you how many times my son has left playdough out and I come back to it all crusty and dried on the outside. The 2 tips I have to fix dried-out playdough are first to take a wrung-out wet paper towel and place it inside an air-tight container with the playdough overnight. The play will adsorb the water from the paper towel. You have to do this a few times depending on how dry your playdough is.
My second method which is much faster is to add small amounts (1/2 teaspoon at a time) of water and knead it into the playdough. Be careful with this method though because if you add too much water your playdough will now be too sticky and you will have to add more flour.
How to store playdough
Playdough should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool place. It should last 2-3 months if not longer. I have never had playdough “go bad”. Ours generally just gets gross from being dropped on the floor or left out too long so, we decide to throw it away and start fresh.