Chalk can be a fun outdoor activity for children during the spring and summer months. But boy, does it seems to get everywhere. Add small children to the mix, and you may end up with clothes that seem like they are more chalk than fabric. And because chalk tends to spread to whatever it touches, it can be a dangerous stain for fabric, carpet, upholstery, and more. White chalk is one thing, but the bright buckets of multicolored chalk is another disaster in the making.
Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to give your clothes the best shot at being chalk free.
Solutions to Remove Chalk Stains
1. Shake chalk out. One of the first things to do after clothing becomes stained with chalk, is to shake it out, preferably outside. Shaking the chalk inside could cause it to spread to other surfaces that may come into contact with fabric or carpet. If the clothing is not delicate, you can hit the clothing against something to try to get all of the chalk out. For delicate clothing, gently shaking should do
2. Wash Normally. For most clothes, if no chalk is visible, you can now try washing on a normal cycle. Before drying make sure to double check to make sure all of the chalk has truly been removed.
3. Tough Stains Need Rubbing Alcohol. If the chalk stain still remains after shaking it out, or after washing you may want to try rubbing alcohol. Be aware that you'll want to use caution when you use rubbing alcohol, The smell is bothersome for many.
It can irritate your skin. You should avoid contact with your eyes. And the rubbing alcohol can actually remove color from colored clothing. You might want to test a tiny spot of rubbing alcohol on an interior seam of the clothing to make sure the item is colorfast. To use the rubbing alcohol, you'll want to lay the clothing on a clean white towel and blot with another clean with towel dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Keep applying and blotting until no more color comes away. Rinse clothing thoroughly.
4. Add Laundry Detergent. If any hint of the stain remains, or even if it doesn't you'll want to apply liquid laundry detergent to the stains. Rub liquid laundry detergent into the stain and wash according to the directions on the label. For an added boost, you can use a stain remover. Try a gel stain remover or thoroughly apply a liquid stain remover to really penetrate through the chalk stain. Wait at least fifteen minutes before moving on to the next step.
5. Wash Normally. Follow the washing instruction for your fabric type. I tend to wash more on the warmest setting that my fabric will tolerate. Before you put the clothing in the dryer, double check that the stain has been fully removed. If it hasn't, repeat the steps above until it is gone or you give up.
6. Dry Clothing. If you want to be extra careful to make sure the chalk is completely removed, allow the clothing to air dry. If after air drying, you still see a stain, repeat the steps above. Drying in the dryer may set the stain and make it permanent or extremely difficult to remove. If you are sure the stain is gone, you can dry normally in the dryer.