How to Remove Ice Cream and Yogurt Stains from Clothes and Carpet

Ice cream yogurt stains
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Ice cream, yogurt, and puddings are all delicious milk-based products that most of us enjoy with relish. But in our excitement, drips and blobs somehow manage to land on our shirts, upholstery, and carpets. Removing the stains is pretty simple if you handle them correctly.

How to Remove Ice Cream, Yogurt, and Pudding Stains from Washable Fabrics

Fresh milk-based stains can usually be removed by flushing the stained area first with cold water before washing. These stains contain other ingredients but the protein in the milk needs treatment first. Never use hot water first because it cooks the protein making the stain hard to remove.

Start by using a dull knife or the edge of a spoon to life any blobs off the fabric surface. If the stain is dried or old, scape or brush away any crusted matter with a soft bristled brush. Don't rub fresh stains or you will push the stain deeper into the fabric. Next, flood the stained area with cold water or place the entire garment in a sink of cold water. After soaking for at least 30 minutes, scrub the stained area with a soft bristled brush or rub the fabric together to loosen the stain even more. 

Next wash as usual in cold or warm (not hot) water with detergent.

This treatment will work quite well unless the ice cream or pudding contains lots of berries or chocolate or is filled with artificial dyes (think neon colors and sprinkles). If you have chosen a treat that has left a colorful stain, after the first flush with cold water add another step. A cool water soak with an oxygen bleach added will remove both the natural and artificial dyes that have worked their way into the fabric.

Fill the sink with cool water and add the recommended amount of oxygen bleach (follow package directions).Brand names are: OxiClean, Nellie's All Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite. Completely submerge the entire garment or table linen and allow to soak at least 30 minutes. Check the stain and if it remains, let the item soak one or two hours longer. Then, wash as usual. This treatment is safe for all fabrics except silk, wool, or anything with leather trim.

How To Remove Ice Cream, Yogurt, and Pudding Stains from Dry Clean Only Fabrics

If the garment is dry clean only, take the item to the dry cleaner as soon as possible and point out and identify the stain to your professional cleaner. 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 Ice Cream, Yogurt, and Pudding Stains from Carpet and Upholstery

If that bowl of goodness ends up on the carpet, act quickly. Use a spoon to scoop up as much of the ice cream, yogurt, or pudding as possible. Start at the outside of the spill and work toward the center to prevent spreading it even larger. Don't rub with a cloth or you will push the goo deeper into the carpet fibers.

While the stain is fresh, dip a clean white cloth or sponge in cool water and blot the stained area from the outside edges toward the center. Try not to oversaturate the fibers and move to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred. As each section is cleaned, blot excess moisture with a clean dry white cloth or paper towel.

If the stain is not coming out, mix a solution of oxygen bleach and cool water. Saturate the stained area with the solution and allow it to remain on the stain for at least 30 minutes. Then blot up the solution and "rinse" with plain water by sponging the area. Finally, blot with a clean dry cloth until all moisture is gone.  Allow to air dry away from direct heat.

If the stain is older, try sponging with a mixture of two teaspoons of non-sudsing household ammonia mixed in one cup water. If the carpet or upholstery is dark, test the mixture in a hidden spot before treating the stain as it might cause colors to fade. Again, blot with the solution, then rinse with plain water, and blot with a dry cloth to remove moisture. Allow to air dry.

The same cleaning solution and techniques recommended for carpet can be used to remove ice cream stains from upholstery. Take extra care not to over saturate the fabric because excess moisture can cause problems in the cushions.

Allow the cleaned and rinsed area to air dry away from sunlight and direct heat. If the upholstery is vintage or expensive silk, remove the solids and contact a professional upholstery cleaner.