Play-Doh stays soft and pliable for quite some time -- as long as you put it back in its airtight container after using it. If the dough loses some of its softness, you can revive it with a little water; just remember to put the dough away when you're done playing.
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Just like homemade play "clay" made from flour and water, Play-Doh dries out if it's not kept in an airtight container.
- Always put the Play-Doh back in its original container and press the lid down firmly to ensure it seals completely; otherwise, the dough may begin to dry out.
- If you've lost the original container, store the dough in a zippered sandwich bag or a clean plastic container with a lid, such as a takeout-deli container.
Reviving Semi-Hard Play-Doh
If you've left the Play-Doh out too long or didn't completely seal its container, it may not be as as soft as it was when new.
For Mildly Hardened Doh:
To revive the dough, add one or two drops of water to a clump of the dough,
Moderately Hardened Doh:
If the entire hunk of dough seems a little hard, wrap it in a damp paper towel and put it -- and the paper towel -- into an airtight container, sealing the container. The dough should be soft within a few hours or by the next day; work it between your hands to restore its pliability.
If the Play-Doh is so dry that it is cracked throughout, it may be too hard to revive with moisture.
Follow this same method for flour-based homemade play doughs.