Of all the parenting debates out there, perhaps there is none greater than whether or not you’re team slime. This gooey, sticky, questionable substance—while undeniably messy—also has its benefits… namely, occupying toddlers and kids for more than just a few minutes. Plus, there’s no activity quite as exciting to little ones as making homemade slime. For these reasons, I find myself coming back to slime again and again even after swearing it off in our home.
But if the sight of slime makes you feel anxious about the inevitable mess you’re certainly not alone—and with good reason: there’s nothing that sticks to clothes quite like good old slime. Not to mention, the thought of attempting to get slime out of a carpet or white t-shirt is enough to keep us up at night. The fact is, even the most meticulous of kids are bound to get some of it stuck in their shirtsleeves. Or, in my preschooler’s case, all over the front of his shirt, sleeves, and pants.
If there’s one thing we can all benefit from, it’s life hacks that make our day-to-day tasks easier. Over the years, other parents have learned tried-and-true ways of doing things like how to get urine stains out of a mattress after nighttime accidents, effective stain-removing tactics for toddler clothes, and the plethora of helpful hydrogen peroxide cleaning hacks (IYKYK). After slime was introduced into the kid-favorite activity scene, it was only a matter of time before we needed a hack to remove slime from clothes, too.
Good news: it’s actually really easy to get slime out of clothes with materials you likely already have around your house. When the inevitable happens, here’s what to do:
How to Get Slime Out of Clothes
1. Pull as much of the excess slime off of the clothes as possible.
To start, we’re going to want to make sure the big clumps of slime are removed. That way, we’re working only with the stain and smaller pieces. Use a spoon or butter knife to peel away as much of the slime as possible.
2. Pour vinegar over the slime stains and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
White vinegar is going to be the main player in removing the smile stain from clothing. Give it a chance to sit and work its magic. Optional: if the slime has set for a while or the stain seems particularly troublesome, mix the vinegar with a little bit of hot water and baking soda before pouring it on the clothing item.
3. Use a scrub brush (an old toothbrush works too) to scrape the slime off and watch as it magically comes free.
Once the vinegar has set, we’ll be able to take brush and gently scrub off the remaining particles of slime. Then pat the area with dry paper towel.
4. Rinse the item of clothing with warm water.
Thoroughly rinse the piece of clothing with warm water to get off any remaining slime residue. This step is important before throwing the clothing item in the washing machine for an additional rinse.
5. Wash like normal.
Throw the item through a regular cycle in the washing machine with your laundry detergent of choice. Wash and dry, and watch it come out good as new!
How to Remove Slime From Clothing Without Vinegar
For one reason or another, using vinegar may not be everyone’s first choice as a stain remover. We get it—it can be difficult to handle the smell in the moment, and we’re often left with a lingering scent long after use. While vinegar is known for it’s effective cleaning capabilities (and may be the simplest way of removing slime from clothing), there are other ways to accomplish the same goal without using the harsh solution. Here are other effective options for getting slime out of clothes:
Squirt a generous amount of dish soap onto the slime before rubbing the cloth together under running water. Keep doing this until the slime is gone and then wash as usual.
Rubbing alcohol can be an effective substitute for vinegar. It’s best to be used only on white clothing, as it has the potential to fade coloring. Going this route, begin by scraping off the excess slime. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the slime-stained area. Let the alcohol sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the area with a small brush. Rinse the item with warm water before running it through the washing machine as normal.