Play dough soap

Just in time for the school  holidays, I bring you PLAY DOUGH SOAP! I’ve been asked so many times about this, and so here it is.

There are quite a lot of recipes out there, most of them consisting of corn starch, liquid soap and a colourant, but I found many of them either didn’t have a nice consistency or they didn’t keep. I wanted to make a play dough soap that would keep and kids would love to play with.

The recipe will make about an orange sized amount of play dough. Just make several lots and colour each a different colour, like I did.


ONE: Measure out 1/2 cup of corn starch or wheat starch. I’m using wheat starch here, but corn starch will work as well. I didn’t add any tapioca starch, as some recipes have, because to in order for it to make the play dough consistency smooth, you’d have to dissolve it in water, and then you’d need to use a preservative. Adding it straight to the mix, without dissolving it first, would have given the consistency a sandy texture. So to keep it smooth, no tapioca starch.


TWO: Add 2 tablespoons of liquid bubble bath base, which I purchased from Pure Nature. I wanted to use something that would produce a bubbly lather, and I found that using normal liquid soap only produced few bubbles. The bubble bath base is unscented and uncoloured, so you can use it to make a whole rainbow of different coloured and scented bubble bath with it!

THREE: Add 1 teaspoon of a light weight vegetable oil, such as sweet almond oil or rice bran oil. I used sunflower oil here. Any vegetable oil will do.

FOUR: Add 1 teaspoon of glycerin. I’m using glycerin for two reasons. The first is because glycerin is a humectant, which means it draws moisture. This will help prevent it drying out too quickly. Secondly, glycerin also helps with the consistency of the play dough. Though, using too much of it, will make it sticky!

FIVE: Add your fragrance. Use no more than 2-3 ml of fragrance or essential oil. For kids I like using fresh and fruity scents such as watermelon fragrance, pink grapefruit or sweet orange essential oils, or you can use calming lavender essential oil. A favourite combination of mine is lavender and mandarin essential oil.


SIX: Knead all your ingredients together. At the beginning, you’ll find it will be very sticky, but as you continue to knead, the consistency will become smoother and more like play dough.


SEVEN: To colour the soap, I used mica, which will also add a little sparkle to the soap. The micas I used are Silken Violet, Coral Reef, Juicy Pink, and Shimmer Green from Pure Nature. I added about 1/8 of a teaspoon of mica to get the colour in the picture.

EIGHT: Carefully knead the colour into the dough, and continue kneading until the dough is evenly coloured.


NINE: At this stage, I found that the dough would often become a bit crumbly, so I added another teaspoon of glycerin and kneaded some more. The extra glycerin also helped keep the dough smooth and pliable after storing.

TEN: Store the play dough soap in a plastic bag or container to avoid drying out. You’ll find that after a while of  not being used, the play dough might be a bit crumbly. Try kneading it first, because I found that helped get it to the pliable consistency again. If it is still too dry, add a little glycerin to it. Btw did you know that you can use glycerin to revive old (store bought) Play Doh as well? Just a little tip!

If you haven’t used any preservative, make sure you store the play dough soap in the fridge. And instead of giving the kids the whole lot to play at once, just take a bit from each colour and leave the remainder in the fridge until next time!


Play dough soap

  • Difficulty: beginners
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup corn starch or wheat starch
  • 2 tablespoons liquid bubble bath base
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, such as sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons glycerin
  • fragrance
  • mica colourants
  • preservative (optional)


  1. Add 1/2 cup of corn starch or wheat starch into a bowl.
  2. Measure out and add all the wet ingredients (liquid bubble bath base, vegetable oil, glycerin, fragrance and preservative if using).
  3. Knead the mixture into a smooth play dough consistency.
  4. Add approximately 1/8 teaspoon of mica and keep kneading until the colour is evenly mixed through the play dough.
  5. Add another teaspoon of glycerin and mix it into the dough.
  6. Place in a plastic bag or container, to prevent it drying out.
  7. If you haven’t used preservative, store the play dough soap in the fridge.


  1. What preservative would work best with this recipe and how much should I use ? Also will Castile soap give nice bubbles too?

    • I use Germall it Microcare DB, because I’ve got these in the house. I prefer Microcare because it’s a natural preservative. But really any broad spectrum preservative will work. Usage rate is according to manufacturers. Castile doesn’t give as much bubbles but would work too.

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