The Easiest Way To Get Messy Play-Doh Stains Out Of Clothing

Play-Doh is a staple in households with kids, offering hours of creative fun and imaginary play. However, all that fun play can get messy, leading to colorful marks. Removing Play-Doh stains from clothing might seem challenging, but with the right approach, it can be done with some basic household cleaning supplies that keep your children's clothes, and maybe yours too, looking clean and fresh.

The modeling compound Play-Doh is primarily made from water, salt, and flour, with colorants added for those vibrant hues. The texture is soft, pliable, and slightly moist but not sticky, and many can attest that it has that pleasant nostalgic fragrance. While it's designed to be non-toxic and easy to clean, its doughy consistency can make it tricky to remove once it dries and sets into fabrics.

The sooner you deal with the stain, the easier it will be to clean. All you'll need is a scraping tool (like a spoon or dull knife), a cleaning brush, soap (laundry detergent, stain remover, or dish soap, it's your choice), some cool water, and a tub for soaking. Before applying any stain remover or detergent, test it on an inconspicuous area of the garment to ensure it doesn't affect the color, especially if you've never used it before. Try to avoid harsh chemicals or bleaches; it's generally best to stick to gentle stain removers and detergents, especially for children's clothing or sensitive skin.

A step-by-step guide to Play-Doh stains

The first step might seem counterintuitive, but it's easier to remove Play-Doh from clothes once it's dry — so wait a while. Attempting to clean it while it's wet can push it deeper into the fabric. Once the Play-Doh is dry, use a dull knife or a spoon to gently scrape off as much as possible. After scraping, shake off the garment to dislodge any loose particles of Play-Doh.

Apply your choice of soap directly onto the stain and gently scrub it with a soft brush. Next, fill a tub with some cool water and a splash of that same detergent and soak the clothing for 20 to 30 minutes to help dissolve the dough. Afterward, rinse out the fabric, dab a bit more of that detergent on the stain, and wash the garment as per the care label instructions. Use a normal cycle and the warmest water setting that's safe for the fabric, and if the stain is especially severe, select a pre-soak option on your machine. 

After washing, check the stained area. If the stain is gone, let the clothes air dry. Avoid using a dryer until you are sure the stain is completely removed, as heat can set the stain. Always check the garment's care label before treating and washing, as certain fabrics may require special care. With these simple steps, you can effectively remove Play-Doh stains from clothing, ensuring that your children's creative playtime doesn't leave a lasting mark on their wardrobe.