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Does Unopened Play-Doh Go Bad/Expire? (How Long Will It Last?)

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We all know that the more we play with Play-Doh the quicker it dries out. What if we do not open the container? 

If we leave the container sealed and never open it, will it still be good several years later?

While Play-Doh does not have an official expiration date, in a few years (typically) it will begin to dry out and harden even if unopened. That process will happen faster if it is kept in direct sunlight or if it’s stored somewhere hot. 

It is important to keep Play-Doh stored properly not only to keep it from hardening, but to also keep it from going bad or even potentially molding. 

According to their site, if it is the real brand, Play-Doh that is kept in a climate-controlled environment and left unopened should remain fresh for quite a long time.

Play-Doh will typically last a long time when it has been stored appropriately, but as with all things, when it is not correctly stored bacteria, mold or even fungus could take over and start to grow on it. 

Mold typically grows in dark spaces with a lot of moisture, so make sure to keep the lid firmly in place when the Play-Doh is not in use.

How do you know if your Play-Doh has been affected by mold? 

If there is something on your Play-Doh that looks fuzzy or soft and has other colors on it, congratulations, you have likely grown some type of mold. Grey, yellow, green, and pink growths are typically more characteristic of a fungus. 

If you suspect anything out of the ordinary you should properly dispose of your Play-Doh immediately and replace it with a new container.

​What Is The Best Way To Store Play-Doh So It Doesn’t Go Bad?

​As a child, I always loved playing with Play-Doh and now that I have children, I get to enjoy them playing with Play-Doh too. The one downfall I have found though, is keeping it from becoming rock hard and falling apart. 

It seems like after playing with it just a few times the Play-Doh always starts to dry out causing it to become hard and less pliable, or it starts cracking every time I try to do something more than making a simple rope out of it which ultimately makes it a challenge to play with.

​If at all possible, the Play-Doh should be returned to its original container for storage. After placing it in the container you should push the Play-Doh down into the container, packing it tightly, to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible and then press the lid down firmly to ensure that it has sealed completely so that there is a limited amount of exposure to the air.

​So, what is it that causes the air to dry out the Play-Doh in the first place? 


Play-Doh is made of flour and water with some salt added in which makes it a dough. When the dough is exposed to the air for an extended amount of time it allows for the water to evaporate leaving a hard crunchy mess of flour behind. This is why it is important to keep it from being exposed to as much air as possible when it is not actually being used.

Keeping everything in order is hard enough in day-to-day life, but once you have children it can become an even bigger task. 

My youngest child is all about throwing everything she can get her hands on away right now. 

Phone? Trash. 

Tablet? Trash. 

The list goes on and on. What happens if she throws away the storage container for the Play-Doh? 

Play-Doh can be stored in any air-tight space you can think of. Tupperware containers, Ziplock bags, and cling wrap are among the most popular storage solutions that I have found.

​Is It Safe To Eat Play-Doh? 

​Kids, especially younger kids, will put anything they can possibly fit in their mouths in there. It doesn’t matter what it is or where it came from, if it fits- and even sometimes when it doesn’t, they will try and put it in their mouths. 

It is just the way kids explore and learn.

​Play-Doh is something that kids of all ages can play with. It is great for sparking creativity, exploring new things and textures, and introducing young kids to imaginative play. 

But what happens if your kid does what kids do and actually eats the Play-Doh?

​Despite Play-Doh not being meant for consumption, most versions of it are nontoxic and should not be harmful to humans in small quantities.

​When deciding which version of Play-Doh to use, or when making your own, it is important to read labels, so you know what is in it. 

When making your own dough, make sure you know what the ingredients you are using are and if they are safe to mix together.

​Most commercial brands of Play-Doh are listed as nontoxic. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission does not define the term nontoxic, but they do allow manufactures to list their products as nontoxic if the product has been tested and is shown to not pose any chronic health hazards to humans if consumed.

​If you choose to make your own Play-Doh at home, chances are you have all of the ingredients you will need on hand. Most recipes call for flour, water, salt, and baking soda. 

All of these ingredients are obviously safe for consumption and safe to be mixed together. 

In all likelihood, if your child takes a bite out of the Play-Doh, they will spit it out because of the amount of salt in it. If they were to swallow some of it, it shouldn’t cause any long-term issues. It might lead to an upset stomach and generally not feeling well, but it isn’t a toxic substance. 

In the event that your child does happen to swallow some, you should monitor them for the following symptoms to be safe:

1. Abdominal cramping

2. Diarrhea

3. Lethargy

4. Twitching

5. Vomiting

6. Weakness

If you have any concerns at all, you should contact your health care provider or another physician and check with them.

Matthew R

Hi, My name is Matt and I am all about toys! When trying to find accurate information online about toys I was finding it difficult so I decided to make this site.

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