How to remove theraputty from clothes

Theraputty, also known as therapy putty or exercise putty, is a popular tool used in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and hand rehabilitation exercises. It’s a malleable, non-toxic, and reusable material that comes in various resistance levels, allowing users to strengthen their grip and improve dexterity. However, as convenient as it is, theraputty can be a nightmare when it gets stuck on clothing, leaving unsightly stains and potentially ruining your favorite garments.

If you’ve found yourself in this sticky situation, don’t panic! This comprehensive guide will walk you through several effective methods to remove theraputty from clothes, ensuring your garments look as good as new. Whether you’re dealing with fresh stains or set-in ones, we’ve got you covered.

remove theraputty from clothes

Theraputty and Its Staining Properties

Before we dive into the removal techniques, it’s essential to understand what you’re up against. Theraputty is primarily made from silicone polymers, which give it its unique texture and pliability. While theraputty itself is non-staining, the dyes used to color it can leave stubborn marks on fabrics, especially if the stain is allowed to set.

Additionally, the putty’s sticky nature makes it prone to attracting lint, dust, and other particles, further exacerbating the staining issue. The longer the theraputty remains on the fabric, the more difficult it becomes to remove, so act quickly!

Method 1: Freezing and Scraping

One of the simplest and most effective ways to remove fresh theraputty stains is by freezing and scraping the putty off the fabric. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the stained garment in the freezer for at least an hour or until the theraputty becomes solidified.
  2. Remove the garment from the freezer and use a dull knife, spoon, or plastic scraper to gently lift and scrape off the solidified theraputty from the fabric.
  3. Be careful not to press too hard or scrape aggressively, as this may damage the fibers or spread the stain further.
  4. Once you’ve removed as much of the putty as possible, treat any remaining stains with one of the methods outlined below.

Pro Tip: For stubborn, set-in stains, you may need to repeat the freezing and scraping process a few times to remove as much of the theraputty as possible before moving on to other removal methods.

Method 2: Using Dish Soap and Warm Water

Dish soap can be a powerful ally in removing theraputty stains, thanks to its grease-cutting abilities. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  1. Fill a sink or bucket with warm water and add a few squirts of dish soap. Opt for a mild, grease-cutting soap without added fragrances or dyes.
  2. Submerge the stained area of the garment in the soapy water and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. This will help break down the theraputty and loosen its grip on the fabric.
  3. After soaking, gently rub the stained area with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush to help dislodge any remaining putty particles.
  4. Rinse the garment thoroughly with clean, warm water to remove any soap residue.
  5. If the stain persists, repeat the process or move on to one of the other methods.

Note: For delicate fabrics or garments with intricate details, it’s best to hand-wash them using this method to avoid potential damage from machine washing.

Method 3: Using Rubbing Alcohol or Hairspray

Rubbing alcohol and hairspray can be effective solvents for breaking down theraputty stains. However, it’s important to spot-test these solutions on an inconspicuous area of the garment first to ensure they don’t cause discoloration or damage.

For Rubbing Alcohol:

  1. Dip a clean cloth or cotton ball into rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol).
  2. Gently dab and rub the stained area with the alcohol-soaked cloth or cotton ball, working from the outside of the stain toward the center.
  3. Allow the alcohol to sit on the stain for a few minutes to help dissolve the theraputty.
  4. Rinse the area with warm water and launder the garment as usual.

For Hairspray:

  1. Spray a light, even coating of hairspray directly onto the theraputty stain.
  2. Let the hairspray sit for a few minutes to help break down the putty.
  3. Using a clean, dry cloth or paper towel, gently blot and rub the stained area to lift the theraputty.
  4. Rinse the area with warm water and launder the garment as usual.

Caution: Rubbing alcohol and hairspray can be harsh on certain fabrics, especially delicate ones like silk or wool. Always spot-test first and use these methods with caution.

Method 4: Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

The dynamic duo of baking soda and vinegar can work wonders on stubborn theraputty stains. This method combines their abrasive and acidic properties to help break down and lift the putty from the fabric.

  1. Make a paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Using a clean cloth or soft-bristled brush, gently rub the paste into the stained area, working in circular motions.
  3. Let the paste sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the ingredients to work their magic.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining paste and putty residue.
  5. Launder the garment as usual.

Tip: For extra stubborn stains, you can let the baking soda and vinegar paste sit on the stain for up to an hour before rinsing and laundering.

Method 5: Using Specialized Stain Removers

If the above methods fail to remove the theraputty stain completely, you may need to resort to specialized stain removers. Look for products that are specifically formulated for grease, oil, or silicone-based stains, as these are more likely to be effective against theraputty.

Some recommended stain removers for theraputty include:

  1. Follow the instructions on the stain remover product carefully, paying attention to any specific application methods or precautions.
  2. Apply the stain remover directly to the theraputty stain and let it sit for the recommended amount of time.
  3. Gently rub or scrub the stained area with a soft-bristled brush or clean cloth to help dislodge the putty.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water and launder the garment as usual.

Warning: Some specialized stain removers may contain harsh chemicals that could potentially damage or discolor certain fabrics. Always spot-test in an inconspicuous area first and follow the product instructions carefully.

Dealing with Set-in Theraputty Stains

If you’ve let a theraputty stain sit for too long, it can become set-in and even more challenging to remove. In these cases, you may need to enlist the help of professional dry cleaners or consider using more aggressive stain removal methods, such as applying a small amount of nail polish remover (acetone) to the stain before laundering.

However, it’s crucial to exercise caution when using harsh chemicals, as they can potentially damage or discolor certain fabrics. Always spot-test in an inconspicuous area first and follow the product instructions carefully.

Prevention is Key

While the methods outlined in this guide can help you tackle theraputty stains effectively, the best approach is to prevent stains from occurring in the first place. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Wear old or designated clothing when using theraputty to minimize the risk of staining your everyday garments.
  2. Keep theraputty away from clothing by using a barrier, such as a towel or tarp, when working with it.
  3. Clean up any spills or smudges immediately, as fresh stains are easier to remove than set-in ones.
  4. Store theraputty properly in an airtight container when not in use to prevent it from drying out and becoming more prone to sticking.

By following these preventive measures and acting quickly when theraputty does make its way onto your clothes, you can minimize the hassle and keep your garments looking their best.

In Conclusion

Theraputty can be an invaluable tool for improving hand strength and dexterity, but its staining properties can be a nuisance. With the techniques outlined in this guide, you now have a range of effective methods to remove theraputty stains from your clothes, whether they’re fresh or set-in.

Remember, the key is to act quickly, be patient, and persist with different methods until the stain is completely removed. And, of course, prevention is always the best approach – take precautions to avoid theraputty stains in the first place.

By keeping these tips and techniques in mind, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of theraputty without sacrificing the pristine condition of your favorite garments.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.

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