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How to remove Silly Putty from carpets, clothes and fabric

This sticky goo may be fun for your kids to play with, but getting it off your carpets, furniture upholstery and clothing is tricky.
There’s also Silly Putty on your pants? Of course there is.
There’s also Silly Putty on your pants? Of course there is.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images / Shutterstock

Silly Putty is an integral, albeit very messy, part of childhood. And for good reason: Kids can squish it and press it and throw it and mold it — and do it over and over again. But note the aforementioned “messy” descriptor: The stuff is sticky, and you should fully expect to find it everywhere it’s not supposed to be, like your carpet, couch and coat.

How to remove Silly Putty from carpets

The folks at Crayola, the brand that bought Silly Putty in 1977, have some easy pro tips on getting the gunk good and gone from your carpets.

  1. Scrape off as much of the putty as you possibly can.
  2. The stuff that’s obstinate and won’t come off? Grab ice cubes, use the cubes to chill the putty, and it comes off much easier.
  3. Then, saturate a cotton bail in nail polish remover (yes, regular old nail polish remover) and blot the stained area.
  4. Repeat as needed until it’s gone.

How to remove Silly Putty from fabric on furniture

Of course, the magic of Silly Putty is that it sticks to everything. And that includes fabric couches. Thankfully, the cleaning service has some pretty failsafe ways of getting it out.

  1. Get a butter knife and use it remove any excess Silly Putty from your couch or easy chair.
  2. Put ice on the remaining Putty to freeze it; this makes it shrink and peel away from the fabric fibers. Once the chunk of Silly Putty is gone, you’ll see a greasy stain. Do not panic.
  3. Mix dishwashing soap and water and use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe away the oily remains.

But wait. There’s also Silly Putty on your pants? Of course there is.

How to remove Silly Putty from clothes

Chances are, after this pandemic, you’re stocked up on hand sanitizer. Make sure it contains 65% ethanol, which is strong enough to break down the Silly Putty that's stuck on your clothing. Essentially, it dissolves it. Brilliant.

  1. Do a patch test first to make sure the sanitizer won’t stain your clothes.
  2. If you get the all clear, pour exactly enough sanitizer to cover the Silly Putty.
  3. The alcohol in the sanitizer will break it down, so scrape it off immediately. Do not let it sit.
  4. Wash your clothes as you would normally do.