Sidewalk chalk is fun, but it can be messy.

Removing Sidewalk Chalk From Clothes

by Eliza Martinez

As a mom, few things are more frustrating than finding yet another stain on your child's clothing. Not only are clothes expensive, but you'd like them to stay presentable for at least a couple of months. In general, sidewalk chalk washes out easily. However, if there's a mark left behind, proper care can help remove it while preserving your child's wardrobe.

1. Immediately

Since you probably supervise sidewalk chalk use, you'll know right away whether your child has soiled her clothing with it. It might feel natural to try to wash it off with water right away, but this can set the stain. As soon as your child is done with the chalk, brush or shake her clothing to remove as much of it as possible from the surface of her clothing. This is easier if your child removes the garment first. If chalk remains, additional steps are necessary to get rid of it.

2. Pre-Treating

Before stuffing your child's clothes in the washing machine, a quick pre-treatment of the sidewalk-chalk-stained area can help remove it during a wash cycle. "Real Simple" magazine suggests placing the item chalk-side down on a stack of paper towels and blotting the stain with a rag dipped in rubbing alcohol. Then rub a bit of dish liquid into the stain and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. To prevent damaging the garment, do a pre-treatment test on an inconspicuous area of the clothing first, such as an inside hem that can't be seen from the outside.

3. Washing

After several minutes have elapsed, place the stained garment in the washing machine on the hottest water recommended on the care tag. Before washing, rinse the clothing with warm water. It's fine to add the soiled item to a regular load of laundry, but placing it in with towels can help prevent the sidewalk chalk from transferring to any other items of clothing. Remove the garment promptly to ensure that the stain has washed out.

4. Drying

If you grab a sidewalk-chalk-stained item straight from the washer and stick it directly in the dryer, the stain might never come out. It's important to first check the stain to make sure it's washed out completely. You may have to air dry the garment to make absolute certain that no sidewalk chalk remains on the clothing. Hang the item and let it dry for a day or so and examine it in bright lighting so you can see any lingering chalk. If the stain remains, repeat the pre-treatment and washing process until it's gone.

Photo Credits

  • Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images