How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing

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How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing
How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing (Image: Mark May)

Silly Putty, which hit store shelves in 1950, is still one of the most popular children's toys today. While Silly Putty is fun, it can create a headache for parents who have to get this gooey gunk out of clothing. From a mom who sits on Silly Putty left on a chair, to a little boy who tries to copy the tractor image from his pajama pants, Silly Putty is bound to end up on clothing at some time. Luckily, removing Silly Putty from clothing is a process that has been perfected over the decades.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball or swab
  • Butter knife

Step 1

How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing
How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing (Image: Mark May)

Lay the piece of clothing with the Silly Putty on it onto a flat surface and stretch the material until it is taut. It is important to have the material taut as it makes the process of removing the Silly Putty much easier.

Step 2

How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing
How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing (Image: Mark May)

Depending on the size of the Silly Putty that is adhered to the clothing, soak a cotton ball or the tip of a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Once you have the cotton soaked with the alcohol, press it into the Silly Putty to transfer as much of the alcohol into the putty as possible. If necessary, repeat this step several times until the Silly Putty is thoroughly covered with rubbing alcohol.

Step 3

How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing
How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing (Image: Mark May)

While ensuring that the material is still taut, gently scrape at the Silly Putty with a butter knife. The majority of the Silly Putty should come off the first time. You may need to reapply more rubbing alcohol and then repeat this step.

Step 4

How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing
How to Remove Silly Putty From Clothing (Image: Mark May)

Once the Silly Putty has been removed completely from the clothing, launder the clothing item as usual.

Tip

  • For tricky Silly Putty problems, a butter knife with a bit of a serrated edge may work better than a standard butter knife. If applying the rubbing alcohol directly to the Silly Putty isn't working well, turn the clothing inside out and apply the alcohol to that side of the Silly Putty.

Warning

  • Many websites will suggest using WD-40 to remove Silly Putty from clothing. While this works as well as rubbing alcohol, WD-40 is a much harsher product and can damage some material. For delicate fabrics, you may want to put a little rubbing alcohol on a hidden portion of the clothing item to ensure that it does not ruin the fabric.

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