Squishy, Soapy, Clean Mud

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By In The Playroom

Clean mud aka ghost mud is a sensory play material that we hadn’t got around to making until recently, but R had so much fun with it I feel like I should have made it earlier.

We made it as part of the 12 months of sensory dough series, which is a great series to follow along with if you’re looking for ideas beyond the typical playdough.

Clean mud is a really simple play dough recipe for sensory play. It’s super easy to put together, so much so that R pretty much made it himself – and he is only 3!

Squishy soapy clean mud. Only 2 ingredients to make and lots of fun for sensory play

Clean mud is sometimes also referred to as ghost mud, and there are lots of variations on how to make it but this is the method we tried.

Ingredients for Clean Mud / Ghost Mud

All you need to make your own clean mud is these two ingredients (plus warm water)

  • Toilet paper
  • Bar of soap

We also used a clear tray from ikea as our surface to make, play and contain the mess of the activity, and you will need a grater to grate your soap.


I’ve read some methods that require “ivory soap” only but ours was a different brand and it came out totally fine.

We don’t normally use bar soap, so I just bought the one that was available in our corner shop for about 39p.

How to Make Clean Mud or Ghost Mud

First, take the toilet paper and rip into small pieces. If a toddler is helping to make this dough, this is a good job for them.

ripping toilet paper to make clean mud

Next, grate up your bar of soap. We used about 1/4 of the bar, and under 1/4 of the roll of toilet paper which was enough to make plenty of the clean mud for one child to play with.

The quantities don’t need to be exact, you can adjust to get the consistency that  you want.

To grate, we used a handle grater (this one) so that R could grate the soap himself more easily. This way little hands are not near to any blades or sharp bits.

grating soap for Clean mud recipe

You will end up with a pile of ripped toilet paper and grated soap like this

grated soap and toilet paper roll

Pour over a cup of warm water and the whole thing mushes together into a squishy dough

sensory play with clean mud

You can compact it together in your hands to form a round ball and build from it

clean mud in a ball

But when you squash it and squeeze it, it becomes more liquid-ish again with a kind of soapy foam.

ghost mud sensory play

R and I had lots of fun making balls and then dropping them onto the tray from a height and watching them splat. We also rolled our clean mud balls across the tray to have a race, and spent lots of time just squishing and squooshing it all to explore the texture of the material.

This is a sensory play material that is pretty wet and is a little sticky and gloopy, so it’s best for those who don’t mind getting their hands messy.

R is very comfortable with messy things so we even buried our hands in it. It feels heavy like when you bury your hands or feet under wet sand at the beach.


Since this was our first try with clean mud, I just kept it really simple and left the colour plain white and explored the clean mud without any additional toys, or theme, or any other materials at all.

The clean mud on it’s own was plenty of fun for R and kept him busy for a long time. When I suggested putting it away and moving on to something else, he asked to keep going with it.

I will experiment with colouring it and scenting it in different ways in future though, and share some of those ideas with you.

This plain basic clean mud does have a really soapy clean scent, which I guess can easily be varied by using different soaps.

Make Rainbow Clean Mud by adding pipettes of liquid water colours.

Use the create card below to print out this recipe

How to make clean mud for sensory play (aka ghost mud or soap mud)
Yield: 1

How to make clean mud for sensory play (aka ghost mud or soap mud)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

How to make Ghost Mud Clean Mud, a super simple 2 Ingredient sensory play recipe for toddlers and preschoolers


  • Toilet paper
  • Bar Soap
  • Warm water


  • Grater


  1. Rip the toilet paper roll into small pieces
  2. Grate the soap
  3. Add warm water
  4. Mix and squish until happy with the consistency


See more on intheplayroom.co.uk

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

More Ways to Make Ghost Mud

If you want to see more variety on how this sensory play material can be used, check out these fun ideas from other bloggers participating in this months 12 Months of Sensory Dough Clean Mud challenge.

12 months of sensory dough

The Science Behind Clean Mud | Lemon Lime Adventures

How to Make Clean Mud Recipe (Taste Safe) | Powerful Mothering

Clean Mud and Flowers| Peakle Pie

Clean Mud Bubble Dough | Bare Feet on the Dashboard

Lego Clean Mud | Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail

Gone Mudding! Clean Mud Sensory Dough Play | Stir the Wonder

Clean Mud Fine Motor Gem Dig | Still Playing School

Soapless Clean Mud | Squiggles and Bubbles

How to make Edible Mud for Play | Wildflower Ramblings

How to Make Stovetop Clean Mud| The OT Tool Box

Clean Mud Princess Garden | It’s A Long Story


Don’t forget to pin this easy 2 ingredient play recipe so that you can come back to it. 

How to make clean mud for sensory play. Only 2 ingredients, and really easy to make!
Website | + posts

Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

6 thoughts on “Squishy, Soapy, Clean Mud”

  1. This was a great fine motor/sensory activity for the younger learner. The “anticipatory set” for the learners engaging with the materials and getting ready to report on what the clean mud looked like and felt like was fun to listen to/watch!
    The hands-on process of taking and seeing how the dry material went to wet to semi-dry was fun to experience with each little learner. This was a great and non-intrusive activity for addressing tactile defensiveness issues some young learners have.


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