Make some rainbow clean mud

Make some rainbow clean mud

What you need:

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Water
  • Food colouring

Number of players:


Mud, glorious mud, there’s nothing quite like it … or is there? Fact is, mud is the kind of substance that’s wonderful to play in but not so wonderful to launder. It gets stuck in every fibre of every little thing and just knowing that I’ve got to clean the kids’ clothes at the end of a day of play is enough to turn me into a huge killjoy. But then we discovered clean mud. It’s mud, but it’s clean. How cool is that? You can make clean mud in lots of different ways – there are some complicated recipes out there involving grating soap and adding it to toilet paper … or something – but this recipe gives you all the texture and variety of mud without any fuss whatsoever. It uses just two ingredients (colour is optional) and washes away to nothing … you can even wash in it! Read on!



Put about a cup of bicarb into a bowl (it doesn’t really matter how much bicarb you use – you can make more or less). Add water very slowly – just enough so that the bicarb comes together into a dense paste that will hold a shape. Test this by cupping it in your hands and releasing – when the bicarb stays together easily you will know you’ve added just the right amount of water.


Next, add a couple of drops of food colouring and squish and squeeze the clean mud to distribute the colour right through. This is all part of the fun, so let the kids do this bit!


Once the colour is evenly distributed, form it into a ball and set aside so you can repeat the process for the other colours of your rainbow.


When you’ve got all your colours ready, it’s time for some fun.

  • Mix the colours together to create new colours.
  • Half-mix some colours together to create interesting patterns and textures.
  • Make different shapes.
  • Build houses and tunnels in the mud.
  • Use your play dough tools to shape, cut, roll and sort the rainbow mud.

Once your play is done, a rainbow clean mud ball is perfect to drop into the bath. It colours the bathwater and makes your skin feel soft and clean – great for mums too!

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