Play-doh; Play dough

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer

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Is Play dough\Play-doh Chametz?

Many varieties of play dough are made of actual Chametz.[1] The company brand Play-Doh, which is the main manufacturer of the item, makes the compound from flour, water, and food coloring.[2] It must be destroyed before Pesach or sold to a gentile.[3] If one did not do so, then he is to destroy it on Pesach as soon as he remembers, if he did not sell his Chametz to a gentile.[4] Nevertheless, a blessing is not recited upon destroying it.[5] If one sold his Chametz, then the play dough is to be placed in the area sold to the gentile.

Giving children Play-Doh [Barbatzek in Hebrew] within thirty days before Pesach:

In compliance with the previous law of avoiding Chametz that is difficult to remove, it is suggested that children not be given Play-Doh starting from Purim and onwards, unless they are properly supervised. It goes without saying that Pesach arts and crafts should not be made using Play-Doh. There are alternative brands of play dough that do not contain Chametz, and thus would not pose a problem to use for Pesach arts and crafts.

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[1] The ingredients of playdough: Playdough can be made in a variety of ways. Most play doughs on the market, consist of flour and water. Home-made recipes will include salt, flour or corn starch, a vegetable, canola, or olive oil and cream of tartar. Nevertheless, there are some companies that make it from other non-chametz ingredients. Non-Chametz based play doughs are commonly called Plasticine [Plastalina in Hebrew] or silly putty. If one desires to have play dough over Pesach, he is to verify the brand that is being used, and the ingredients they use to make their dough. Most play doughs using real flour, will feel softer than regular silly putty or Plastelina and can hence be told apart.

[2] Ingredients provided by the Play-Doh company “Hasbro”: The compound is primarily a mixture of water, salt, and flour.

[3] Play-doh is consumable and does not contain any poisons or dangerous material for a human. It thus must be destroyed just like a piece of actual dough. It does not follow the allowance of owning Chametz that is not food, which is brought in 422:22, as there it is referring to Taaruvos Chametz while here it is Chametz Beiyn. Nevertheless, perhaps it should be viewed as Chametz Nuksha being that it is not meant to be eaten and is hence exactly similar to the dough made by the Sofrim, mentioned in 442:20, which is Chametz Nuksha. Thus, although it must be destroyed or sold to the gentile before Pesach, if one did not do so and found play-doh on Pesach, it is be destroyed without a blessing as is the law by Chametz Nuksha in 442:20.

[4] Admur 442:20

[5] Admur ibid

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