We’ve been making a few fun bath products for grown-ups recently, like our Coffee Sugar Scrub, so I thought it would be only fair to make something fun for the kids. We’ve already experimented with homemade fizzy bath bombs so this time we tried making Play Dough Soap – a bath time play dough that actually helps kids get clean!
Play Dough Soap Recipe
I don’t know why, but for an aspiring mermaid my daughter really tries to avoid taking a bath!
I don’t think she’s ever asked to take a bath, and when I tell her it’s time to get ready for a bath, about half the time she tries to argue that she just had a bath. (“But Mom, I had a bath just last week…” I kid, I kid. The longest I’d let her go is maybe three days. They’re cute but boy, can these kids get smelly!)
Recently, I’ve started putting more attention into making bath time fun for her. Reading stories in the bathroom as she has a bath, adding a few waterproof toys and plastic cups, and recently – with this awesome play dough soap!
My daughter thought I had lost my mind when I surprised her with these three play dough soaps for a recent bath – but she wasn’t about to correct me that play dough does not go in the bath tub! She was so excited to play with it that she completely forgot her ritual protest!
This recipe makes an incredibly soft, squishy (but not messy) play dough that when wet suds up a bit and actually cleans, while being gentle for sensitive skin.
It doesn’t leave residue on the bath and washes completely clean – don’t worry about the food dye, it will only dye your hands when you’re making the soap! (It washes off within a couple hand washings but if that would bother you, plastic disposable gloves are a great solution – or feel free to leave the dye out completely.)
Play Dough Soap is a great gift to make for a child who needs a bit of convincing to agree to a bath – or some distraction to survive hair washing! I love it as an alternative to bath toys which just add clutter to our tiny bathroom. It would also make an awesome DIY party favour, especially if the kids get sent home a little bit messy or sweaty.
I did a bit of research before sharing this recipe, and you can purchase play dough soap from specialty bath stores like Lush (or online here) that appears to be more soap-like than play dough-like, which ours is. I personally wanted something I could make with what I already had in the house and I don’t want to be experimenting with recipes involving lye or strong chemicals in the house. This recipe is mostly meant for some bath time sensory play that adds a bit of sudsy cleansing action to the bath. It’s not going to be as soapy or cleansing as a bar of soap, though it will get your kids clean!
I actually really enjoy this play dough soap for helping clean under finger nails which it is surprisingly good at.
Ingredients to Make Play Dough Soap
First, gather your ingredients:
- 1-2 cups Castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s)
- 3 cups + flour
- 1 1/2 cups salt
- 2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 2 cups water
- Food dye, optional
- Mason jar or plastic container, for storing
How to Make Play Dough Soap
Start off by boiling your water.
Stir 3 cups of flour, salt, and cream of tartar together. Set aside.
Measure 2 cups of boiling water and add the oil to it. If you are only adding one colour of food dye, you can add it now.
Add 1 cup of the soap. I used lavender Castile soap because it is a pure soap and for the calming effects of lavender during a night time bath. If you try this recipe with a non-castille soap, please let me know how it turns out!
Mix the water-oil and flour mixtures until fully incorporated.
Once the dough has cooled enough for safe handling, start kneading it, adding in more flour to reduce stickiness. Once you get a good texture going, add a couple squirts of castille soap and keep kneading. Add more soap to get a soft dough but stop short of letting it get sticky again. I added just over 1 1/2 cups of soap and probably could have added more (or you can add an extra squirt of soap while your child is playing with it in the bathtub for more sudsy play).
This recipe made a giant batch of play dough soap – enough for over a month’s worth of baths! It completely dissolves in the bath and can be washed away, so I don’t worry about how big of a handful Miss G grabs before climbing in the bath.
Are you planning on giving this Play Dough Soap a try? Be sure to pin it to make your bath times a bit more fun!
Check out these other play dough recipes made with soap from my fellow mom bloggers:
Super Squishy DIY Soap Dough | Natural Beach Living
Easy Soap Dough Play Recipe | Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail
Dish Soap Play Dough Recipe | Sugar Aunts