It's fun, it's inexpensive and it's one of those tiny toys that tend to be forgotten. Silly putty is a popular plaything for children of all ages. When a toddler or young child gets so wrapped up in playing with silly putty, he can often forget to put it back in its case before nodding off to sleepy town. Getting silly putty out of fabric can seem like a less than worthwhile endeavor. Before you give up and throw the item away or toss it in the washer and hope for the best outcome, there are a few tried and true tricks to attempt to eradicate that slimy substance from sheets, shirts and such.
An Arsenal of Materials
Before you panic, gather a good amount of tools to pull the gummy substance away from the material. A dull butter knife or metal spoon can help you get under the glob. Ice cubes can harden the gelatinous goo and keep it from spreading. They also make it easier to separate from the material, as the silly putty shrinks just a bit with the application of the cold cubes. Liquid dish soap can lift stains, and cotton balls are good for dabbing and digging at the stain on the fabric. Rubbing alcohol works well for the final process of getting the goop out of the tiny fibers after all that hard work of releasing the large chunks of silly putty.
Get Busy on the Goo
The first step in getting silly putty out of fabric is to remove any globs or large areas that are stuck to the material. A butter knife or the side of a metal spoon can pull the sticky stuff away from the material without harming the pattern or fabric. Once you have scraped off as much of the slimy substance as possible, it's time to get serious in your cleaning efforts. Use ice to further attempt to pull the silly putty gently away from the fabric. The ice will cause the structure of the silly putty to shrink just a little and harden. This may allow you to pull off a big chunk of silly putty that has meshed deeply into the fibers. Be careful not to pull too hard because this can cause a rip in the fabric.
Final Steps to Getting Silly Putty out of Fabric
After all of that hard work, the delicate job of removing the oil stain comes into play when cleaning up this popular children's toy. Clean up the subsequent stain of the goo that has gotten on the sheets or other fiber item with a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. This shouldn't hurt the material, but test it in a small, unseen area before applying it. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate quickly. The dabbing of the rubbing alcohol with the cotton ball will pull dyes and oils from the material and transfer them to the cotton ball. Finally, spot clean the area with some dish soap and a small amount of water. Oil from the silly putty formula can be left behind and not seen until soil and dust are attracted to it after multiple uses. The dish soap is a final procedure to ensure that the item will remain clean for years to come, provided that the silly putty is safely put away after each use.