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Removing Silly Putty from Fabric

A couple of weeks ago I was doing some research about how to remove silly putty. On another web site somewhere I read about a boy who had fallen asleep with his silly putty and it had melted on him. I laughed to myself and wondered how that could happen.

Well, guess what!? My 7-year-old son was playing with a treasured gob of silly putty when he fell asleep in bed last night and guess what happened. That's right, when he woke up this morning there was a big melted mess of silly putty all over his flannel pajamas. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but the good news is that now it is gone!

silly putty

I used some of the tips that readers had submitted for removing silly putty from carpet. The key is to get to it BEFORE you put it in the washing machine (oh, that happened recently too. My two-year-old left a wad of silly putty in his pants pocket!).

Anyway, if you are lucky enough to catch it before you wash it, stick the fabric in the freezer for a couple of hours. This will harden it enough that you will be able to pick and/or scrape a lot of the silly putty off.

To get off the last bits, soak the fabric in a bowl of undiluted rubbing alcohol. This stuff is magic. It only costs about $1 a bottle at Walmart (near the first aid supplies), and it will completely dissolve the silly putty. I only soaked it for a couple of minutes then scrubbed the area with a stiff cleaning brush. I then rinsed in cold water, and it was GONE! Not even a stain remained.

I wasn't so lucky with the jeans that went through the wash. I was able to get most of the silly putty off, but after you wash the fabric you may end up with a stain. The rubbing alcohol worked great to dissolve the remaining silly putty residue, but a light pink stain remained (luckily it was the inside of his pocket, AND it didn't spread to the rest of the laundry!).

You might be asking yourself why I bought my boys silly putty. I gave it to them in their Easter baskets and they absolutely loved it. So why did I give it to them? It's fun, of course!

Copyright 2012, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.

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Rachel Paxton
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