Whether it is your favorite cream cheese smear or another soft cheese like cottage cheese, goat cheese, or Brie, the steps for removing the stains are just the same. Soft cheeses are delicious but unfortunately, not all of them land in our mouths and end up on our clothes, carpet, and upholstery.
How to Remove Cream Cheese and Soft Cheeses from Washable Clothes
Cheeses are a combination stain of protein and fats. First, use a dull knife or spoon or the edge of a credit card to lift off any excess solids from the fabric. If the cheese has dried, scrape it away gently with a soft bristled brush. Do not rub with a cloth because that will push the food deeper into the fabric making it much harder to remove..
Treat the stained area with a solvent-based stain remover spray or gel like Zout, Shout, or Spray 'n Wash. If you don't have a stain remover, use a bit of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent (Tide or Persil) to treat the stain. These detergents contain enough enzymes to break down the oil and protein components of the cheese. Less expensive brands may not work as well.
Allow the stain remover to sit on the fabric at least fifteen minutes to begin dissolving the protein and oily stain. Next, wash the garment or table linen as recommended for the fabric on the care label. Check the stained area before drying. If the stain is not gone, repeat the process. Drying the item on high heat if it is still stained will make the oil even harder to remove especially on synthetic fabrics like polyester and acrylics.
How to Remove Cream Cheese and Soft Cheeses from Dry Clean Only Clothes
If the garment is labeled as dry clean only, the first step is to lift away as much of the cheese as possible with a dull knife or spoon. Do not rub because it will push the stain deeper into the fibers. You can spot clean with a dry cleaning solvent. Always test the solvent on an inside seam to be sure it will not fade the fabric and follow product directions.
The best choice for most dry clean only garments is to point out and identify the stain to your professional cleaner as soon as possible. If you are using a home dry cleaning kit, be sure to treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.
How to Remove Cream Cheese and Soft Cheeses from Carpet
If your open-faced bagel lands cream cheese side down on the carpet, the first step is to move as quickly as possible. Again, use a dull knife or the edge of a spoon to lift away as much of the solids as possible. Never wipe or rub the area with a paper towel because that will push the cheese in the fibers more deeply.
After you have removed as much of the soft cheese as possible, mix a solution of two cups warm water, one tablespoon liquid dish washing detergent and two tablespoons distilled white vinegar. Dip a clean white cloth, paper towel, or sponge in the solution and wring out excess moisture. Working from the outside edge of the stain toward the center, wipe the stain. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is lifted from the carpet.
To rinse, use another clean cloth dipped in plain water to wipe down the stain. It is important to do this step because if you leave soapy residue in the carpet it will actually attract soil.
Allow the area to air dry with no direct heat. Vacuum to lift and restore carpet fibers.
How to Remove Cream Cheese and Soft Cheeses from Upholstery
The same cleaning solution that you use for carpet can be used to remove soft cheeses from upholstery. Be particularly careful not to oversaturate the fabric. Rinse with a cloth dipped in plain water and allow to air dry away from direct heat and sunlight.
If the upholstery is silk or vintage, consult a professional upholstery cleaner.