Is Play-Doh just plain flour dough?

My friend and I were talking about Play-Doh and he mentioned that it was just plain four dough. This kind of caught me by suprise; I figured it was some kind of chemical or something- one time I took a bite into a lump of it by accident and it tasted HORRIBLE (the smell is nothing to brag about either)

I would figure that flour dough would attract ants and all kinds of other pests (…and not taste quite so bad!) Is it really flour dough? Could I toss some yeast in there and bake me a neon green loaf of bread? :confused:

Well, first off, you forgot about the coloring. And then something to keep bacteria from forming and kids from eating it. It’s probably a very secret process, like keeping Cracker Jacks from sticking together. :wink:

But the damn things DO stick together! You ever open up a box that was more than a month old??? often enough you’ll be dropping a block of solid caramel coated popcorn and peanuts on your lap.

BTW I think Cracker Jacks are DELICIOUS! :smiley:

[list]:wink: [sup]Maybe it is the humidity where you live.[/sup]

Well if I ever get tired of them I can use them as firelogs

“You can tell by the blue flame that this was a particularly sweet donut”

Homer’s Remedial Science 101 teacher

More or less. Just not a very nice tasting dough. Here are a couple of recipes:

There’s another recipe here for a substitute called “Play-Dough”, which suggests strongly that it’s a flour-salt dough with a dash of alum and borax to inhibit bacterial growth. There are details about the Play-Doh patent at the end.

See William Poundstone’s book Big Secrets. He gives the recipe, which is available from the Pal-Doh patent (Play-Doh is patented!). It’s basically flour dough with kerosene (of all things) added, along with coloring, anti-mold agents, something to help it harden (although I’d think dough would harden pretty well on its own) and a little fragrance.

Ah, here it is. On Usenet’s sci.materials, Steve Worley gives the details:

“Patent 3,167,440 is by the inventor of Play-doh, Noah McVickers. In summary …
96% finely ground wheat flour
1% deodorized kerosene (to keep the material pliable)
0.8% alum (as a binder)
0.5% Borax (mostly as a preservative)
2% salt
Add water to get desired consistency. Food coloring can be added to the (white) dough.”

I believe that the high salt content is to ensure that it tastes too awful to be eaten in large quantities.


The kerosene content probably explains what’s wrong with me. I ate a lot of Play-doh as a child.

I should sue someone. :wink: