Easy Slow Cooker Playdough Without Cream of Tartar

Most homemade playdoughs require cream of tartar. However, sometimes you just don’t have that ingredient, but you have everything else. Learn how to make these super-easy slow cooker playdough without cream of tartar. It is honestly one of the easiest things we have done recently! 

red, green, yellow homemade playdough made in slower cooker on white marble with shiplap background.

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I remember trying to make homemade playdough on the stovetop and totally burning the flour when I was younger. Let’s just say it was not a great smell.

Don’t worry, this do-it-yourself playdough is so easy that even my 8 year-old self would be happy. When I realized you can make homemade playdough in your slow cooker I knew I had found a playdough idea for me (and you, too).

I was honestly shocked at how awesome this turned out. 

easiest homemade playdough in your slow cooker with stacks of playdough

What is cream of tartar?

Cream of Tartar is an acidic powder that is created by fermented grapes. Some people think it is like baking soda or baking powder, but it is not. It is generally used in cooking, especially when beating egg whites. If you are big into baking or cooking, you may want to check out this article about the purpose of cream of tartar.

Why do a lot of homemade playdough recipes use cream of tartar?

Just like how cream of tartar can help a baker make meringue, the cream of tartar helps the homemade playdough keep its stiffness and not collapse on itself.

However, the good news other acidic ingredients can be used as substitutes for cream of tartar. Cream of tartar may also act as a preservative in homemade playdoughs. 

Some craft bloggers say that their homemade playdough lasts longer using cream of tartar. However, you will see that it is really worth a trip to the store if you have what we used instead.

What can be substituted instead of cream of tartar?

You can substitute lemon juice or vinegar for the cream of tartar in homemade playdough recipes. Cream of tartar isn’t always something everyone has in their pantry so it makes sense that you might want to try to make playdough without it.

hand picking up homemade playdough from Crock pot

Homemade Playdough Tips

  • Save old store-bought playdough containers to store new playdough in or you can also purchase small air-tight containers to use. In a pinch, a good Ziploc bag should do the trick for a little.
  • Use a baggie for easy coloring
  • It is simpler to just make one color. Add food coloring in with wet ingredients.
  • Make sure you don’t burn the playdough (check it every 20 minutes while in the slow cooker)

Homemade Slow Cooker Playdough Without Cream Of Tartar Recipe

supplies needed to make homemade playdough, slow cooker, flour, salt, cornstarch, vinegar, food coloring and vegetable oil

Supplies

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch

Optional: Food coloring. If you want to have your children enjoy in the color mixing fun, place a ball of playdough in a bag with a few drops of coloring. Let the air out of the bag and close it. Let your kiddos play and smush the color into the homemade playdough without getting a complete food coloring mess on their hands.

How To Make Slow Cooker Playdough

Step 1: Add dry ingredients to the slower cooker.

dry ingredients in slow cooker to make playdough

Step 2: Add wet ingredients (vinegar, oil and water). Completely mix together.

wet ingredients being whisked together in slow cooker

Step 3: Cook on high for around an hour stirring every 20 minutes.

homemade playdough in crock pot being stirred
Notice that after the first 20 minutes the mixture will start to become more solid.

Step 4: Take out the Crock-Pot. Be careful as the playdough will be hot. However, my adult hands were able to mold it together pretty quickly. Don’t let your children just reach into the crockpot.

homemade playdough in crock pot

Step 5: Optional: Use food coloring to create different “balls” of colors. 

adding food coloring to balls of homemade playdough

Step 6: Play and have fun with your DIY playdough and store in airtight containers when not in use. 

homemade playdough in green, red and yellow with playdough tools

Easy playdough recipe without cream of tartar and vinegar

While we think the vinegar substitute works the best, you can also replace the easy homemade playdough recipe with lemon juice. 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch

Repeat the how-to instructions above (or from the printable card below).

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This no cream of tartar, slow cooker playdough was a hit with our preschooler!

piles of homemade playdough

Easy Slow Cooker Playdough

Learn how to make homemade playdough in your Crock Pot without using cream of tartar.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Arts and Crafts For Kids
Keyword: easy slower cooker playdough, playdough in slow cooker. no cream of tartar Playdough, slow cooker playdough
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cost: Less than $5

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker
  • Measuring Spoons or Cups

Materials

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Food Coloring Gel Food Coloring or Regular

Instructions

  • Add dry ingredients to the slower cooker.
  • Add wet ingredients (vinegar, oil and water).
  • Completely mix together.
  • Cook on high for around an hour stirring every 20 minutes.
  • Take out the Crock Pot. Be careful as the playdough will be hot. However, my adult hands were able to mold it together pretty quickly. Don’t let your children just reach in to the crock pot.
  • Optional: Use food coloring to create different “balls” of colors.
    Store in airtight containers.

Video

Notes

  • Save old store-bought playdough containers to store new playdough in or you can also purchase small air-tight containers to use. In a pinch, a good Ziploc bag should do the trick for a little.
  • Use a baggie for easy coloring
  • It is simpler to just make one color. Add food coloring with wet ingredients.
  • Make sure you don’t burn the playdough (check it every 20 minutes while in the slow cooker)

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8 Comments

  1. I’ve learned so much about cream of tartar today! I didn’t know it was an acid or that acid was a key ingredient and now I’m a bit tempted to experiment with other acids. Very interesting article.

    1. Hi Lyssa. My kiddos had a complete blast with this homemade playdough recipe. I honestly couldn’t get over how great it turned out.

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