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Homemade Playdough without Salt, no cooking required!

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5 from 15 votes

No-cook homemade playdough without salt is easy to make with basics pantry ingredients for hours of kids’ play. This is the best playdough recipe if you’re running out of salt!

Playdough no cook

How to make homemade playdough without salt?

Yes, you can make playdough without salt! Salt is used in playdough to make it last longer and create an ultra-soft texture. However, this super-soft playdough also requires heat or boiling water to dissolve the salt, and they are a little longer to make.

So another option to make a quick batch of playdough at home is this easy recipe without salt. It’s a simple recipe made with only pantry ingredients and ready in 10 minutes.

Playdough without salt or cream of tartar

Ingredients to make the best playdough recipe without salt

To start, measure all your ingredients on the kitchen counter, into small bowls. You will need:

  • All-purpose flour – not self-raising flour, just wheat flour as you would use to make bread or pancakes. You can probably use gluten-free all-purpose flour too for this recipe, but I didn’t try this option.
  • Lukewarm water – it means tap water that is not burning nor boiling water. Simply water that has the same temperature as your kids’ bath temperature 98F/37C.
  • Liquid food coloring – to add color to your playdough.
  • Oil – it can be any oil, like canola oil or vegetable oil, you have at home.
  • Cream of tartar – this is optional, and yes, you can make the recipe without this ingredient, but the dough won’t soften as well, and it won’t last more than few days.

First, combine the 1/3 cup of water and drops of food coloring in a small bowl. For pastel food color, add only 1/4 teaspoon of food coloring, increase to 1/2 teaspoon for bright colors.

Set aside. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and cream of tartar until well combined.

Finally, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the colored water and oil.

Stir and knead 2 minutes

First, stir the dough with a spoon to bring the ingredients together. The dough will be very sticky, and that’s normal.

Then, lightly oil your hands and starts kneading the dough to bring all the ingredients together.

The dough will dry as you go coming together into a tough ball. If it’s too dry, add an extra teaspoon of water. If it’s too liquid, add more flour, 1/2 tablespoon at a time.

Then, knead the play dough on your benchtop for a few minutes. It will be hard and not soft but don’t worry. This salt-free play dough gets all its texture later.

Rest 10 minutes

As mentioned before, no-cook playdough without salt gets softer after time.

They need time for the gluten to work its magic because no heat has been added to the recipe or salt.

So the key to making the best playdough recipe without salt is to knead the dough for 2 minutes and rest the dough for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Playdough without salt

How to store playdough without salt recipe?

This uncooked playdough recipe without salt lasts for up to 1 month in an air-tight container at room temperature. In fact, the cream of tartar is a great stabilizer, and even if the dough is salt-free, it will help it last longer.

no cook playdough without salt

How to make homemade playdough without salt and cream tartar?

Use this recipe and skip the cream of tartar. But watch out, the dough texture will be tougher, and your playdough will only last few days. It will start to mold or smell bad after a few days, and you can’t play with it anymore.

How is the texture?

The texture of playdough without salt is not as soft as the playdough recipe with salt. It means that this salt-free playdough is much more elastic, and it tends to shrink back to its original shape quickly.

Homemade playdough without salt

So it’s easy to shape things with this dough, it’s fun to squeeze, roll and tear apart, but if you are looking for a dough to use with your playdoh sets and create playdoh ice-creams, cake or animals, rather use my playdough recipe with salt.


To reuse this playdough days after days, read my tutorial on how to fix dry playdough

More kids homemade playdough recipes

Kids love playing with dough of any sort, play dough, salt dough and slime, The importance of sensory play is unlimited and dough reinforce toddlers fine motor skills:

Have you made this homemade playdough without salt? Leave me a comment or review below. I love to hear your thoughts on my kids’ sensory activities!

Have fun, Carine

Playdough no cook

Playdough Recipe Without Salt

An easy playdough recipe without salt made with 5 basic staple ingredients.
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Yield: 1 batch
Author: Carine


  • cup Lukewarm Water kid's bath temperature 98f/37c
  • ¼ teaspoon Food Coloring
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Liquid Food Coloring
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour + a few tablespoons to knead
  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil or any oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar optional- but the dough last longer and become ultra soft with it


  • In a small bowl, combine lukewarm water and food coloring. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add flour and cream of tartar. Whisk to combine evenly, then make a well in the center and pour the colored water and oil.
  • Stir with a spoon at first, then, when it starts to be difficult to stir, use your hand to knead the playdough. The dough is sticky at first and dry as you go. If too sticky, add 1/2 tablespoon extra flour at a time.
  • This dough is not soft at first. It's normal if it looks tough and hard to knead. Keep kneading the dough for 2 minutes, pressing down, squeezing, and stretching until the color and flour are evenly distributed.
  • Set aside for 10 minutes at room temperature to relax the dough. The gluten will release from the flour, and the dough will soften with time.


  • Store the dough in an airtight box at room temperature for up to 1 month or a few days only if you didn't add the cream of tartar.
No-cook Homemade Playdough recipe without salt


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