Silly Putty – Friend or Foe?
I now have a love hate relationship with silly putty. Until a couple weeks ago I thought it was a miracle toy. I keep an “egg” of it in my purse and occasionally I give it to J when we’re at a restaurant. It costs $1 at Target and it keeps her occupied the WHOLE ENTIRE MEAL. I do not lie. Amazing, right?
I even gave it to her when we went to Italy and she was just over three years old. We’ve never had an issue with it getting stuck in her hair, the stroller, toys or other really important things such as, um, clothes. Well, bad luck would have it, not only did the silly putty stick to her clothes, it stuck to the butt of my pants – my black pants. I discovered this pink blob on my ass when I got home from dinner. At least I didn’t walk around all day with it stuck to me.
Instructions from Crayola and other sources on the internet suggest scraping off the excess, then spray with WD-40 to miraculously rub off the remaining silly putty. Then use rubbing alcohol if any is left.
I tried this on J’s pants first since they were $5 at Target. Two big blobs on the back of her pants. This was my trial run so I didn’t take any pictures except the before and after. As you can see, no silly putty remains, just two giant oily looking stains. I sprayed the WD-40 directly onto the silly putty and then watched in horror as the oily substance spread to a size twice as big as the silly putty. Dammit.
Before and After using WD-40 to remove Silly Putty. Luckily these are J’s pants that cost $5 at Target. Yes, she will wear them again. Yes, I am the parent who dresses their child in stained clothes. No, I have no qualms about it.
I don’t have anything stuck to me, do I?
Well, that’s not good. But, my pants are black and now I know NOT to spray the WD-40 directly onto the silly putty. So here’s attempt number two of operation “don’t ruin your pants more than they are already ruined.”
First, I scraped off the excess silly putty with my fingernail. I didn’t want to use a knife because I think that stretches the fabric even more than my nail. And I could be more precise in my removal. Be careful not to squish the scraped bits of silly putty into the clothes again!
On the left is the original blob of silly putty. On the right is how it looked after I scraped it with my nail.
IMPORTANT! Before using the WD-40, I put a towel in the leg of my pants underneath the silly putty. You don’t want WD-40 to seep into the front of your clothes! Then I sprayed WD-40 into my bathroom sink. I dipped my finger into it and gently dabbed it onto the silly putty. I was very careful not to use too much. It’s oily and it spreads quickly. I let it sit for about a minute, then I scraped it with my fingernail. I got quite a bit of silly putty off using this method. It’s difficult to tell from the photo.
The left blob has WD-40 on it. The right photo was taken after I scraped it with my fingernail.
Getting better but still needs work. I repeated the above step (WD-40, sit for a minute, scrape). Still not good enough. I turned my pants inside out and saw that the silly putty was visible all the way through the material. Again, dab WD-40, let it sit, scrape if off (on the inside of the pants). I turned the pants right-side-out again and it looked even better. As a last step I decided to use rubbing alcohol. I poured it on and scraped away the last bits of silly putty. Here are the results.
You can barely see the silly putty stain. You can really see where I’ve stretched, scraped and abused my pants. Hopefully washing will help.
My pants are rayon, nylon and spandex. I tossed them into the wash. Unfortunately, they are “lay flat to dry”, so I had to wait overnight to see if my pants were salvaged or if I really bought a $44 dollar egg of silly putty.
Boo!! There is a stain from the WD-40 and a shadow of silly putty is visible. Pants are now in the donation pile. I will now be very careful when I give J silly putty. I definitely won’t do it when she is sitting in a booth next to me, where silly putty can roll under my tush.