How to Remove Cake Icing Stains From Clothes and Carpet

How to Remove Cake Icing Stains From Clothes

The Spruce / Hilary Allison

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins - 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

It's easy to say that the icing is the sweetest part of the cake—until it lands on your lap. Cake icing is often full of delicious ingredients like cream cheese or butter, and bright food coloring may also be part of the mix, so the resulting stain contains oily fat and artificial pigment. Although the combination may sound challenging to remove, it's not impossible.

For best results, treat stains on clothing and carpets as soon as possible. The steps below will make removing cake icing stains a snap.

Stain Type  Dye and oil-based
Detergent Type Liquid laundry 
Water Temperature  Cool
Cycle Type  Normal 

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Clothing

  • Dull knife, spoon, or credit card
  • White cloth or paper towel
  • Soft-bristled brush (optional)

Carpet

  • Sponge, white cloth, or soft-bristled brush
  • Vacuum

Materials

Clothing

  • Stain remover or liquid laundry detergent
  • Oxygen bleach

Carpet

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Instructions

Removing Cake Icing Stains From Clothes

  1. Remove Globs of Icing

    Remove any globs of icing from the surface of the fabric using a dull-edged knife or the edge of a credit card. Do not rub the area with a napkin because that only pushes the stain deeper into the fabric fibers.

    using a dull knife to scrape off cake icing
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  2. Flush the Stain With Cold Water

    Flush the stained area by holding the back side of the fabric under running cold water. This will force the stain out of the fibers.

    If you cannot flush under a faucet, dip a white cloth or paper towel in plain cold water and blot the stain.

    Flushing the stain under cold water

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Apply a Stain Remover

    Treat the stained area with a prewash stain remover or a bit of heavy-duty liquid detergent (Tide and Persil contain the necessary enzymes to remove the stains).

    Work the cleaner into the stain with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before washing the fabric as recommended on the care label.

    Applying stain remover to a cake icing stain

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Check for Remaining Stains

    Check the stained area carefully for remaining traces of discoloration before tossing the garment in the dryer. High heat may set the stain permanently and make it difficult to remove.

    Washing the garment as usual

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Try Oxygen Bleach

    • If any color remains, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach and cool water.
    • Submerge the entire garment. Allow it to soak for at least four hours (or overnight) and then launder as usual.
    • This method is safe for all white and colorfast washable fabrics (avoid using oxygen bleach on silk, wool, and anything trimmed with leather).
    Soaking the garment in oxygen bleach

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Removing Cake Icing Stains From Carpet

  1. Remove the Icing

    Remove any icing solids with a dull knife or spoon to prevent the stain from getting spread deeper into the fibers.

    Using a dull knife to remove cake icing from carpet

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Blot With Water

    Blot the area with a white cloth or paper towel dipped in plain water. Work from the outside edge toward the center to prevent the stain from getting larger. 

    Blotting the carpet with water

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Rub With Dishwashing Liquid

    • Mix a solution of 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and 2 cups of cool water.
    • Dip a sponge, white cloth, or soft-bristled brush in the solution and work from the outside edge of the stain, rubbing the cleaning solution into the stained area.
    • Blot with a clean white cloth or paper towel to transfer the stain out of the carpet. Keep moving to a clean, dry area of the cloth until no more stain is transferred.
    Sponging the stained area

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Blot With Water to Rinse

    Dip a clean white cloth into some plain water to rinse the area. It is particularly important to rinse away any cleaning solution that can attract soil to the area over time.

    Blot until no more soapy residue remains.

    Blotting the area with a paper towel to rinse

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Try Hydrogen Peroxide

    Mix a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide to one part water to treat any remaining discoloration.

    Blot the area with the solution and allow it to dry. (Do not use hydrogen peroxide on dark colored carpet because it can cause bleaching that cannot be reversed.)

    using peroxide on a stained rug
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  6. Air Dry and Vacuum

    Allow the carpet to air dry away from direct sunlight and heat. Vacuum to lift carpet fibers.

    Vacuuming the carpet to lift the fibers

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Additional Tips for Handling Cake Icing Stains

The same cleaning techniques recommended for carpets can be used to remove cake icing stains from upholstery. Take extra care to not over-wet the fabric which will leave moisture in the cushions and may encourage mildew.

When to Call a Professional

  • If the garment is labeled as dry clean only, immediately remove as much of the icing as possible using a dull knife, spoon, or credit card edge.
  • Sponge the area with a cloth dipped in plain, cold water and then blot to dry. When you take the item to your professional cleaner, point out and identify the stain.
  • If the upholstery is silk or vintage consult a professional upholstery cleaner for more stain removal tips.