How To Make Playdough Without Cream Of Tartar

We live in a small town in Spain and cream of tartar is not readily available in the local grocery stores. From what I’ve seen online, this is true to a lot of other places in the world.

I have made playdough at home without cream of tartar in the past and they have never come out right.

The consistency and texture of the dough weren’t very smooth and after a couple of weeks, it became  watery.

So when I came across this playdough recipe without cream of tartar, I knew I just had to try it.

The magic ingredient? White wine vinegar!

Note: I haven’t tried this recipe with other kinds of vinegar. But since cream of tartar is a byproduct of winemaking, I should think that other kinds of vinegar wouldn’t work as well. But of course, you are free to prove me wrong.

The Verdict:

This playdough without cream of tartar is easy to make and comes out very soft, smooth and very pliable. It’s not exactly like commercial playdoh, but I love it just as well and is one of my favourite playdough recipes.

Also, I’ve had it for 3 months now and it’s still as soft.

Sidenote: I tried this exact recipe substituting the white wine vinegar with red wine, but that didn’t work as well. It did have a nice lovely texture after cooking, but after 2 weeks, it got watery and at 2 months started to get moldy.

Ready for this fun activity to do with kids? Here goes.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp white wine vinegar
  • optional: food colouring of your choice (we used pink, black/greyish)


  1.  Optional: Mix the food colouring into your water before you start cooking. Otherwise, proceed to step 2.
  2. Put a pot or pan on top of a stove at medium heat.
  3. Pour all the dry ingredients: The flour and salt
  4. Add in the wet ingredients: Oil, white wine vinegar and water. **At this point, you will have a very watery substance** picture below.
  5. Stir mixture. Stirring is important here. So you will have to stand there and stir. Everything happens very quickly from this point onward, so don’t leave it.
  6. After a couple of minutes, the water will be absorbed by the flour. Keep stirring.
  7. Eventually, the flour will form into a ball. When it does, take it out of the pot and leave it to cool down on the kitchen counter for 5 -15 minutes
  8. When it’s cool enough to handle, knead the dough.

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