Silly Putty is such a fun little toy but there’s a decent chance it will get stuck in fabric at some point. It sounds like a nightmare but there’s a quick and easy trick to removing the sticky stuff from clothes with little effort.
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The Best Way to Get Silly Putty Out of Clothes
Silly Putty, or Thinking Putty as it’s also called, is such a neat little toy for kids. Since products like slime and kinetic sand are super popular right now, Silly Putty has been growing in popularity again too. It’s a great little Christmas stocking stuffer which is how my son got his last year.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that he got it stuck in fabric for the first time. Almost an entire year went by so that’s not too bad. He was getting ready for school and I noticed a pink blob on his bum. Yep, he sat in it. Luckily, it didn’t get on the couch.
I buy most of his clothes at the thrift store so I wasn’t super annoyed. I thought about tossing the pants instead of dealing with the stuck on putty. The pants had just been bought the day before so my son was a bit sad about ruining them so I told him I’d try to get the putty out.
Remedies For Getting Silly Putty Out of Fabric
I had a couple of remedies come to mind that are supposed to help get rid of sticky gunk.
- Sticking ice on the gunk which makes the putty hard and therefore easier to scrape off.
- WD-40 – the oil from the WD-40 is supposed to help release that sticky bond the silly putty has. The problem is, WD-40 stains so then you need more products to get the oil stain out.
- Rubbing alcohol will get the putty out by breaking it down but you can waste a lot of product. The liquid form makes it absorb quickly into fabric so you have to keep applying it to get the putty out.
- I also had flashbacks of using peanut butter to get gum out of hair and thought that could work too but is so messy.
All of these remedies will get silly putty out of clothes but it’s quite the process. I wanted quick and easy so I turned to hand sanitizer.
Why use Hand Sanitizer for stuck on Silly Putty?
Hand Sanitizer is 62-65 percent ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. That’s not as much as rubbing alcohol which has about 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Even though there’s less alcohol in the hand sanitizer, the ethyl alcohol is more dehydrating so it’s better at drying out the silly putty, making it easier to scrub away.
Rubbing alcohol is thinner than hand sanitizer so it messier to use for stuck on thinking putty. You’ll end up using way more rubbing alcohol than hand sanitizer. If you would still rather use it then soak a cotton ball or two in rubbing alcohol and set it on the silly putty so it stays in place.
The Easiest Way to Remove Stuck on Silly Putty
The winner for easiest silly putty removal is definitely hand sanitizer. But you have to do it the right way because it can stain fabric if left to sit for too long.
You only need to squirt a little amount on the stuck on silly putty. Because it’s thick it stays right on the stain. It quickly dehydrates the silly putty making it super simple to scrub away.
It doesn’t take long to work it’s magic so start scraping pretty quickly after applying. Make sure you wash the whole garment right after the putty comes off. If the putty was stuck on carpet or a couch that you can’t throw in the wash then you’ll need to do a light rinse with some water and a drop or two of soap.
How to Remove Silly Putty From Fabric – the full steps
This should work on any fabric that silly putty can get stuck in/on. Carpets or rugs might take a bit more elbow grease but will still work.
- Start by scraping as much of the silly putty off of the clothes as possible. You can pick it off with your fingers but I found scraping with a butter knife worked best.
2. Next, squirt the hand sanitizer on the stain, making sure to cover all of it. You can see how it sits on top of the putty instead of quickly soaking in to the surrounding fabric. This helps the alcohol stay focused on the putty which helps dry it out faster.
3. Then with the knife or a washcloth (I used my finger nails) just rub/scrape back and forth on the stain until all the putty comes off. It really doesn’t take much scrubbing at all.
4. If there was a large amount of silly putty stuck to the fabric then you might need to repeat steps 2 and 3 until it’s all gone.
5. Wash the fabric right away by throwing it in the wash or doing a light hand wash to get the hand sanitizer out of the fabric. In the picture you can see the slightest ring where the sanitizer has been absorbed by the fabric. This went away once the pants were washed.