How To Get Playdough Out Of Clothes
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How To Get Playdough Out Of Clothes

Many parents wonder how to get playdough out of clothes, and they often throw away some clay-stained shirts. However, removing clay from clothes is not as difficult as you think if you follow the instructions below.

Dough clay has a sticky nature, so if you are impatient to get it out, it can make the stain harder to remove. So, first, stay calm, read the step-by-step guide to achieve the perfect effect.

Dough Clay
Rushing to remove the dough clay can cause you to fail to get them out of your clothes

An Overview Of How To Get Playdough Out Of Clothes

The process of cleaning dough clay from clothes will have two main stages. Each stage will have detailed implementation steps, and you should do it step by step to achieve the best result. The two main stages include:

  • Stage 1: The process of getting dough clay out of clothes
  • Stage 2: The process of cleaning stain from dough clay

In order not to waste your time, take action immediately with the instruction below.

What Is Playdough?

What is Playdough
Playdough was initially produced for getting residue out of wallpaper

Playdough was originally produced not as mere entertainment but as a material for removing residue from wallpaper (1). When people used coal for heating, many families struggled to find a way to clean their coal-stained wallpaper – dough clay was the most miraculous savior.

Thanks to this “savior,” the business of dough clay flourished. However, it quickly died out due to the decline of braziers and the introduction of vinyl wallpaper. Later, it was used in art projects and widely used in schools. Since then, dough clay has been widely produced and has become the most favorite toy of children.

In addition, people also use playdough to clean objects in the house. That’s right, you’re not mistaken, and playdough makes you forget about the hassle of stains. Let’s see how playdough can help you:

  • Pick up glitter with playdough: Cleaning up glitter will become more straightforward if you use playdough. Round the playdough and roll it over glitter; you don’t have to mess around with glitter any more.
  • Clean car with playdough: Cleaning up debris in the small slots on the dashboard, the stitches on the seats is no longer complicated. By simply kneading the playdough into small balls, it will be easier to clean the dust on your car.

What Is Inside The Playdough?

Inside the Playdough
Playdough is made of starch-based binders

At first, the clay is usually quite dry, and then the company has added a formula to the compound, giving it more elasticity. Through the process of formation and development, the dough clay compound currently consists of water, starch-based binders, salts, some humectants, preservatives, hardeners, fragrances, and colorants.

The combination of these ingredients has created a soft clay with good adhesion and elasticity. Based on its composition, you can also see why they stick to clothes and cannot be removed in the usual way.

You will know how to make the playdough.

Watch this video: How to Make Play Dough - Easy No Cook Recipe

In-Depth Instruction On How To Remove Playdough From Clothes

Do you feel uncomfortable because of the persistent stickiness of the clay and spend a lot of time removing it little by little? Trust me. The ways below will surprise you with their effectiveness.

Get Playdough Out
Easily get playdough out of clothes with three simple stages

Stage 1: Remove The Playdough

First, please do not hurry to remove the playdough from the clothes when you find them. As mentioned above, their natures are sticky, so removing them while still wet can make them worse.

Once again, I have to remind you, take a deep breath and set the playdough-stained clothes aside. Please wait for it to dry.

Letting the clay dry before proceeding with the removal process is a wise decision. You can choose to let the fabric dry naturally or to speed up the removal process; ice cubes or freezers are just what you need.

Materials And Tools

Below is a summary list of some primary household cleaning supplies needed to remove dough clay from clothes. You can prepare material in advance to make the playdough removal process more convenient.

  • Toothbrush
  • Credit card
  • Plastic ruler
  • Dull knife or butter knife
  • Spoon
  • Ice cube
Ice Cubes
Remove the dough clay from clothes thanks to ice cubes and freezer


Step 1: Freeze The Clothing

If you want the dough clay to dry faster, you can use ice cubes or put them in the freezer.

  • In the case of using ice cubes, you can place them directly on the dough clay spot.
  • If placed in the freezer, the clothes should be placed directly in the freezer without putting them in a plastic bag or container to allow cold air to reach easily.

Check the dough clay to see if it is dry. Usually, you should check after 20-30 minutes. If it is no longer pliable, take it out of the freezer or some ice cubes, ready for the next step.

Step 2: Scrape The Playdough

Once the dough clay is dry, you can scrape it away. You can use a spoon or a dull knife to scrape; avoid using a too sharp blade because it can tear and damage the fabric during the scraping process.

When scraping, you should gently separate into individual patches and thoroughly rub the dough clay stuck on the clothes. Clean and tidy scraping of the dough clay will make it more convenient for you to wash later; the residue will not stick to other shirt areas.

Step 3: Soak The Fabric

The soaking process will make the clay softer, making it easier than ever to remove them altogether. Soak the cloth in warm water for at least 20 minutes to give the spare dough time to wash away. Be careful not to let the water get hotter than 100°F (38°C)

Step 4: Brush Off Any Playdough Remnants

In addition, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush away any remaining playdough. Avoid using a too stiff toothbrush, which can damage some fabrics, and perform gentle brushing.

Stage 2: Pretreat The Playdough Stain

After removing the clay from the clothes, they will leave some color stains on the fabric. So, to thoroughly wash the clay stains, you should pay attention to these steps. Don’t worry that these stains are too difficult to deal with because everything is available in your home. Let’s start an action.

Pretreat Playdough Stain
Pretreat The Playdough Stain

What You Need:

  • Alcohol
  • Dish detergent
  • Laundry detergent
  • Cornstarch
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Pinesol
  • Stain remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Clean cloth


Step 1: Check The Care Label Instructions

Before starting the washing process, you should carefully check the care labeling for clothing and textiles (2) to avoid damaging the clothes. The care labeling will tell you whether the fabric you are using is machine washable, suitable for bleaching, or some hazard warning. Therefore, be careful before following the steps below.

You will know all the clothing care symbols mean.

Watch this video: Decoding The Care Label - How To Read The Clothing Care Symbols

Step 2: Treat The Stains

Option 1: Using Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most popular and always appreciated cleaners for removing stains, and playdough stains are no exception. However, it would help if you used alcohol with care as it will damage some fabrics and be harmful over time. Therefore, do not pour large amounts of alcohol directly on the clothes.

Use a clean cloth or cotton ball and dab some alcohol. Apply alcohol to the playdough stain. Gently sponge the stain until it is no longer visible.

Option 2: Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Besides alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide is also an effective stain remover that you should consider using. However, when using hydrogen peroxide, do not use it with any bleach if you do not want them to produce a toxic chemical reaction.

Create a mixture of hydrogen peroxide with warm water, apply the mixture directly to the stain for maximum effect. Leave the mixture on the fabric for a few minutes and re-absorb the stain-affected area with a wet cloth. Repeat the process to remove stains thoroughly.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is pretty powerful to remove playdough stains

Option 3: Using Dish Detergent

Don’t be surprised when I mention dishwashing liquid in cleaning clothes. Dishwashing liquid is an excellent cleaning solution, especially at removing stains. Besides removing grease stains, dishwashing liquid can also remove stains from playdough.

You have 2 options: to use dishwashing liquid directly or mix it with warm water. Place the solution directly on the stain, rubbing gently with a soft cloth or light sponge. Repeat the operation several times until the stain is completely removed.

The other option is to soak a fabric with playdough stains in a few dishwashing detergent solutions. Soak the cloth for about 15 minutes to remove all stains.

Dish Detergent
Besides washing dishes, dish detergent can remove stains quite effectively

Option 4: Using Pine-Sol

Pine-sol is considered a powerful cleaner that can remove stains from dirt and grease, including playdough stains. It is regarded as a cheap and non-toxic detergent that you can apply to clothes without any harm.

You can apply pine-sol directly on the stain. Pour some pine-sol on the fabric, rub it gently on the stain, then throw your clothes into washing machines.

Option 5: Using Cornstarch

Using powdered powder (clay also has ingredients from flour) must have surprised many people. It’s not wrong; you can use cornstarch to remove stains from playdough effectively. This method will be suitable for fabrics that require dry cleaning or limit the use of bleaches such as wool, silk, or satin.

All you need to do is place a generous amount of powder directly on the stain, covering the entire affected area. Let the dough rest on the fabric for about an hour, dust it off and repeat the process if necessary. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can also use baby powder in this case.

Can Use Cornstarch
You can use cornstarch for stain removal from playdough

Option 6: Using Laundry Detergent

Similar to dishwashing liquid, you can use laundry detergent as a stain remover. Use detergent directly on the fabric surface, knead the amount of detergent. Rub until the stain is gone.

You can also choose to soak the fabric with laundry detergent. Soak the material in the solution for about 5 minutes to remove stains.

Laundry Detergent's Effects
You don’t need to worry about laundry detergent’s effects

Option 7: Using Stain Remover

Besides the above stain removers, you can also use spray cleaners on the market today, such as Shout Spray and Wash Advanced Action, Oxiclean Max Force Foam, or Shout Laundry Trigger Spray, etc.

You can spray these stain cleaners directly onto the stains. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. You can then use a clean cloth or cotton ball to soak the solution. Continue until the stain is gone.

Stage 3: Rinse And Wash Your Clothes

After finishing treating your clothes, let’s move to the last stage. If you are lucky, you can wear a like-new shirt. If not, don’t worry, I’m sure that the result will satisfy you.

What You Need:

  • Clean water
  • Washing machine (optional)


Step 1: Rinse With Clean Water.

After applying the cleaning solution, you should rinse it with cold water. Leaving alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar in place for a long time can damage the fabric, affecting its texture. Therefore, you should rinse the cloth with cold water.

Step 2: Wash The Clothes.

Once again, I have to remind you to check the care label so that washing clothes with dough clay stains goes well. Therefore, you can proceed with hand washing or machine washing with the suitable detergent for each type of fabric.

Washing Process
Checking care label instruction should be a prerequisite before starting the pretreat process

If stains aren’t too bad and the fabric is machine washable, feel free to put them in the washing machine on a normal cycle. If you are concerned that the washing machine cannot remove the stain as desired, wash it by hand in the usual way.

You can spend about 15 minutes soaking the fabric during the washing process to increase the stain removal effect. After soaking, you continue the washing process and rinse again with water. Complete the washing process.

Step 3: Check The Stain Again

After completing the washing process, you should check the stain on the fabric again. If you skip this step, you will regret finding ways to remove the stain later. Make sure the stain is gone because if you dry the shirt with the stain, it could stay on the fabric forever.

  • Case 1: If the stain is gone, dry it as usual
  • Case 2: If the stain remains, repeat the treatment as needed


This section will cover the most frequently asked questions about cleaning clay from clothes. Do not miss it.

How Do You Get Playdough Putty Out Of Fabric?

Similar to playdough, you can also remove putty by drying them with ice cubes. Then, scrape off all the putty on the surface of the fabric. Use a cotton ball to soak a little alcohol and apply it directly to the stain. When stains are gone, wash and dry them as usual.

Is Playdough Washable?

You forgot the playdough in your pocket and washed them? Don’t worry, because they can slip off the clothes without leaving a mark.

Can I Mix Bleach Solution And Laundry Detergent?

When you mix bleach solution with ammonia, you will create toxic gas, but it is fine if mixed with laundry detergent. A bleaching solution combined with a laundry solution can help you increase the bleaching ability, removing stubborn stains.

What Happens To Playdough In Water?

Playdough, when exposed to water, will be moist and flexible again. If you add too much water, the playdough will have a color bleed.

Can I Mix Hydrogen Peroxide And Pine-Sol For Removing Stain?

It’s still acceptable to mix hydrogen peroxide and pine-sol. However, if combined incorrectly, they create dangerous chemicals. In addition, the mixture is also as ineffective as using the two separately.

Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

Many people fail to get the clay out of their clothes because they are impatient to remove them before drying. Therefore, it is a prerequisite to let them dry before applying the recommended methods as above.

Do not arbitrarily use a bleach solution for colored clothes or harsh solvents for soft texture fabrics such as silk and satin. You don’t want to have a headache trying to fix your damaged shirts.

Depending on how well the clay sticks to different fabrics, some methods may not help you thoroughly get the clay out of your clothes. Do not worry too much; experiment.” with other solutions and find the one that works best.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you perfectly handle the trouble that playdough brings to your clothes. If you have any questions or suggestions for the article, do not hesitate to share your opinion in the comment section below.

How To Get Playdough Out Of Clothes

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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