3 Ingredient DIY Play Doh Soap for Bath Time (Copycat Recipe)

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This easy to make DIY play doh soap recipe makes bath time so much fun! Fun, moldable bubble dough for sensory play. Non-toxic & so fun!

A stack of pink, orange, yellow, blue, green and purple play doh soap on a marble surface

Although my daughter loves bath time once she’s in the bath, getting her into the tub can be a struggle.

Sometimes, she’s simply too busy doing something, and doesn’t want to stop for bath time.

Other times, however, she knows we’re going to have to wash her hair (and then condition and detangle it). In these cases, she avoids bath time because she knows something not fun is coming up.

In these cases as parents, our move is to make bath time so much fun, she simply can’t resist.

DIY Play Dough Soap For the Win

How do you make bath time irresistibly fun, you ask? Pretty much the same as making “dry land” irresistibly fun – with cool DIYS, such as fluffy slime, that allow sensory, messy play that’s still low stress.

While bubble bath is pretty fun, we have a much higher “get in the bath” success rate when we offer up using our homemade bath paints or this DIY play dough soap.

It’s moldable like play dough, but once it hits the water it gets bubbly and sudsy, too!

a woman's hand holds a multicolored ball of play doh-soap over a bubbly sink of water

Happily, it’s easy to make, it’s non toxic and safe for kids, as well as being a ton of fun.

What is Play Doh Soap?

Play doh soap (also known as bubble dough, soap dough, foam playdough, or play dough soap) is a cross between play dough and soap.

It’s soft, silky and moldable like DIY play dough is, and a ton of fun to play with during bath time.

But it can also help get your kids clean, since it’s made of bubble bath or body wash (depending on which bubble dough soap recipe you use).

Why Use a DIY Play Dough Soap Recipe vs Store Bought?

We first came across play dough soap in our local supermarket in the kids bath and body wash section.

We brought it home, plunked it in the tub, and had a great time molding it, dropping it in the tub and fishing it out with a slotted spoon, holding it under running water to make bubbles, and using it as soap.

When I looked at the ingredients, however, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted my daughter using it on her skin again, and decided to make my own using non-toxic ingredients.

Why I Love this DIY Play Dough Soap

Kids Love this Bubble Dough for Fun Sensory Play

Any time my toddler can get dirty and make a mess, she’s happy. And this DIY play dough bath soap recipe is perfect for a squishy, bubbly sensory activity.

While it’s meant to be used in the bathtub, by all means it doesn’t have to be limited to the tub.

This activity can be fun for playing at the kitchen sink or at a sensory tabled filled with water. You could even take it out to your mud kitchen for “cooking.”

We keep our sensory table outside on our patio, which lets our kid be creative and messy to her heart’s content, without much worry about clean up.

This Play Dough Soap is Easy to Make

This soap play dough recipe is super easy to make. Within 15 to 20 minutes, I can have 3 or 4 colors of play dough soap ready to go for bath time, with no additional prep time and little clean up required.

Rainbow colors of homemade bubble dough are arranged in containers on a letter board sign that says Bath Time Fun

My DIY Play Dough Soap is Non Toxic, Tear Free and Safe for Skin

I try my best to control the ingredients in products my daughter uses, since it’s important to me to minimize her exposure to products containing VOCs, Phthalates, and other chemicals linked to human health concerns.

I like making my own things where possible, as it means I can control for safe ingredients.

For this bubble dough, I made a point of using an EWG Verified bubble bath. EWG’s Verified label means a product and its component ingredients is safe, and doesn’t come with hidden health concerns. While the bubble bath I used has a lavender scent, you could just as easily use a fragrance free brand if you or your kid is sensitive to fragrance.

In addition to non-toxic and tear free bubble bath, this recipe uses corn starch, coconut oil, and natural food coloring.

All things I feel good about!

Ingredients needed for a DIY play dough soap recipe includes coconut oil, food coloring, bubble bath and corn starch

It’s a Great Bath Time Distraction for Kids

This bubble dough makes bath time so much fun, it helps distract my daughter when the time comes to wash her hair, and brush and detangle it.

I just wait until she’s in the creative play zone or flow state, and then I’m usually able to get a fair amount of detangling done without too much protest.

Best of all? She’s still having fun!

Play Dough Soap Doubles as a Moisturizing Body Wash

I find bubble bath can sometimes be a bit drying, but found this play dough bath soap recipe is fairly moisturizing, due to the addition of coconut oil! Whenever I make it, it leaves my hands softer than when I started, even after all the kneading, and getting it all over my skin. No need for lotion after!

The Price is Right for this DIY Bath Play Dough!

In addition to being easy to make, it’s fairly affordable, especially compared to buying play doh soap at the store or online.

While not free, the ingredients are things I tend to have in my house anyway, meaning it doesn’t come with a lot of extra expense above and beyond my normal shopping list.

Bubble Bath Dough Recipe

If you’re ready to amp up the bath time fun, keep reading for my soap play dough recipe. This bubble dough will make bath time for your kid an absolute blast!

Ingredients for my DIY Bath Soap Dough Recipe

Ingredients needed for a DIY play dough soap recipe includes coconut oil, food coloring, bubble bath and corn starch in front of a sign that says bath time fun

Materials and Tools Needed for this DIY Play Dough for the Bath

  • Small and medium mixing bowls
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Sifter or colander
  • Spoons for mixing and adding ingredients
  • Cutting board or silicone mat for kneading
  • Air tight containers for storage

Instructions: How to Make Soap Dough for Kids

Before You Begin

Before beginning, note that the quantities and ratios above are for a small batch of this DIY play dough bath soap – enough to make 2 medium balls or 3 small balls of the finished play dough soap. If you want to make more, double the recipe, and split the liquid up evenly into small bowls before adding the coloring.

Step-by-Step Instructions

If your coconut oil is solid, start by microwaving 1 teaspoon coconut oil for around 30 seconds, until it’s liquid.

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup bubble bath with the melted coconut oil, and whisk with a fork.

If you want to make multiple colors, divide the liquid evenly between two to three bowls, and then add food coloring to each. You can also add a bit of corn starch to thicken, and then divide it.

Red food coloring after it's been added to a bowl containing bubble bath and coconut oil as part of a DIY bubble dough recipe to make homemade play dough bath soap

Sift 3/4 cup corn starch into a bowl, so there are no lumps.

Sifted corn starch in a bowl

Slowly add corn starch to each batch of bubble bath and coconut oil liquid, stirring as you go. I typically add about 1 to 3 teaspoons of corn starch at a time, and then thoroughly mix it.

Spoons in a bowl of red liquid mixed with corn starch next to a bowl of corn starch. This shows a step in making homemade play dough soap
Two bowls with pink and purple liquid in them show a stage in making DIY bubble dough or play doh soap

As you add corn starch, the dough will transform from liquid to a sticky solid dough.

A spoon in a bowl of play dough soap being made, with the colorful pink dough being mixed with corn starch prior to the kneading stage of the recipe

Continue adding corn starch until it becomes difficult to stir, and then pull it out with your hands and knead with your hands, adding a bit more corn starch as you go and working on a cutting board or silimat.

Purple DIY play dough soap on a kitchen cutting board after it has been kneaded

Keep working until it’s similar in consistency and texture to normal play dough.

Use immediately, keeping any the play doh soap that’s not in use dry and offering about 1 tbsp per bath to your kid.

Keep dry DIY play dough bath soap in a clean, dry air tight container. It should last a few weeks.

A close up of 6 balls of DIY bath soap play dough on a white marble board

Tips for Making this Bubble Dough Recipe

  • Sift the corn starch before mixing it into the bubble bath and coconut oil mixture. Corn starch can be quite lumpy, and once you start adding a significant volume of corn starch into the mixture, you’re going to get lumps and it will become more and more difficult to crush the lump.
  • Feel free to split a batch across a few bowls and use different colors to get a bit of a rainbow happening. For a 1/4 cup bubble bath, 1 tsp coconut oil, and 3/4 cups corn starch, you can split them into two or three bowls before adding color, and you’ll get a few more options.
  • Use natural food coloring. For both my bath paint and this soap play dough recipe, I use the Watkins, and so far it hasn’t stained my kitchen counter, table, cutting board or bath tub! Conventional food coloring, however, is a stainer!
  • It’s worth knowing the natural colors are a bit wonky compared to “conventional” coloring. My pink was made with drops of red dye, my blue was made with green dye, and my green was made with yellow and green dye. It make require a bit of experimentation to get the colors right!

Tips for Using This Play Dough Soap

This is such a fun activity, and with any luck you’ll be able to use the same batch over several bath times. Here are my best tips for using bubble dough.

  • Over time (even within a few hours), the texture will get a bit dryer and crumblier. Don’t worry too much, as you can get it back together simply by holding it and kneading it between warm hands. Once you add it to the water, it will get quite slimy!
  • Use small balls in the bath. Don’t just dump the whole bath dough ball into the tub. Offer about 1 tablespoon of dough per bath, split between colors if you want.
  • Each bit of play dough soap can be used until it gets wet. Once it gets wet, it’s done, and can’t be stored for future baths.
  • When not in use, store in an air tight container. I use separate air tight containers for each color, as they do get super sticky and the colors blend if you have them next to each other and touching. They should last a few weeks.

Play Dough Soap Safety

Because there are some food ingredients in the bath play dough (the corn starch and the coconut oil), you’ll need to make sure everything gets cleaned up after the bath, especially if you’re using bath toys.

When done, drain the water and clean the bath toys thoroughly, and let them dry in the sun if possible. Give the tub a good rinse and scrub, too.

It’s also worth noting that the bubble dough can make your tub more slippery than usual, so make sure your kid doesn’t get too silly trying to stand up, etc, and be sure to supervise at all times.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have as much fun with this play dough soap as we do. If so, please share this post with other parents and families!

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