How to remove chalk stains from clothing


Working with sidewalk chalk can be an enjoyable activity but it can leave behind marks on almost any object or surface. The addition of small children will result in a colorful mess. Since chalk is likely to spread to anything it comes in contact with, it can lead to stains on fabric, upholstery, and carpet. Luckily, there are simple ways to get rid of chalk, even the colored variants. 

Remember to ensure that the stain is completely removed before placing the washed clothes in the dryer. The heat from the dryer can set in the chalk stains and make them harder to remove. Additionally, resist the urge to blot a new chalk stain with water since this can cause it to smear. Read further to learn ways on how to remove chalk stains from clothing properly.

Steps on how to remove chalk stains from clothing

When your favorite shirt ends up with a chalk stain, shake it or gently brush off the loose chalk powder, ideally outside. For most clothes, if chalk is no longer visible, wash the garment on a normal cycle. Before drying, always double-check to ensure that all of the chalk has been removed. Let’s now proceed to the steps on how to remove chalk stains from clothing.

  • Position the garment on a clean white towel. Soak another clean white towel or rag in rubbing alcohol and blot the stain. Continue blotting until no more color transfers. Rinse thoroughly. Remember that rubbing alcohol can remove the color from fabrics. Test rubbing alcohol first on a concealed spot to ensure that it is colorfast.
  • If a trace of the stain lingers, dab liquid laundry soap, dishwashing soap, or stain remover directly on the site. You can try using a liquid or gel stain remover to fully penetrate the chalk stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes before washing the garment.
  • Wash the garment in the hottest temperature based on the fabric care label. 
  • Air-dry the garment until you are sure that the stain is gone. Remember that placing it in the dryer can set the stain and make it permanent or extremely hard to remove. If a trace of the stain is present after air-drying, repeat the steps above. Once you are sure that the stain is gone, you can place it in the dryer the next time you wash it.

How to get rid of chalk stains from upholstery and carpet

When sidewalk chalk ends up on your couch or carpet, you must act right away so that it will not spread or deeply embed into the fabric or carpet fibers.

  • Use the brush attachment on a regular vacuum cleaner to pick up as much of the chalk powder on the surface.
  • Prepare a solution by mixing a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid together with 2 cups of cold water. Use a clean cloth or sponge to soak the stain with the solution. Blot using a dry cloth or towel until the liquid is soaked up. Repeat this process as needed to lighten the stain.
  • If a trace of the chalk stain lingers, use a dry-cleaning solvent on the site. Carefully follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Blot the site again with cold water and let it dry. If there is a stain on your carpet, position layers of white paper towel over the site. Weigh it down using a ceramic object and allow it to sit overnight. Vacuum the carpet the following day to bring back its texture. 

In case a trace of the stain lingers after several attempts on carpet or upholstery, it is best to hire professional cleaning services.

Will rubbing alcohol remove chalk stains?

If you have children around the house who loves to play with chalk, expect chalk marks on clothes, carpet, and other surfaces. Remember that chalk leaves behind a powdery residue but any stains can be removed. It is important to get rid of the chalk stains right away before washing.

  • Brush off any chalk residue using a dry cloth.
  • Fold several paper towels in half and position on an even surface. Lay the stained garment on top of the paper towels with the stain facing down.
  • Moisten a cloth or towel with rubbing alcohol. Tap on the back part of the stain several times using the soaked cloth.
  • Rinse out the site thoroughly with a clean moist cloth.
  • Prepare a foamy solution by mixing a tablespoon of mild dishwashing liquid in 2 cups of cool water.
  • Moisten a clean cloth with this solution. Rub on the stain until the stain vanishes. 
  • Wash the garment as usual.

Does hair chalk come out of clothes?

For those who are using hair chalk, it can add a touch of color to the hair but sadly, it can leave a mark on your clothes if not careful with the application. You can try out these steps in removing a hair chalk mark from your clothes. 

  • Shake or gently brush off any hair chalk residue from the fabric.
  • Pre-treat the stained area with a laundry pre-wash stain remover. 
  • Wash the garment under the hottest water based on the fabric care label. Chlorine bleach can be used if it is safe or color bleach if not. Make sure that you will check again if the stain is completely removed before placing the garment in a dryer. 
  • If a trace of the stain lingers, dab the site with rubbing alcohol and wash the garment again. 

How do I remove sidewalk chalk from clothes?

When you accidentally brushed up against a chalkboard, you are likely to end up with chalk marks or dust on your clothes. Simply follow the steps below to remove the chalk. 

  • Shake the garment outside or use a vacuum to pick up any leftover chalk dust. For a delicate fabric, wrap a thin piece of fabric over the vacuum attachment. 
  • Place the stained area down on a cloth or paper towels. 
  • Moisten another cloth or paper towel with rubbing alcohol and blot the site from the back.
  • Continue blotting and change the cloth or paper towel as needed.
  • If the fabric is padded or thick where you cannot wash the stain from the back, tap the rubbing alcohol straight on the stained area. 
  • Rinse and continue until the stain is gone.
  • Dab liquid soap into the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Wash the garment as usual based on the fabric care label.

For colored chalk stains on your clothes, you can try using a small amount of vodka. Check first in a concealed area. Swab the stain with vodka and wash it based on the fabric care label.

Final thoughts

Depending on where you got the chalk stains, it is important to remove them right away, especially on clothing, upholstery, or carpet. Proper removal must be observed to prevent the stain from smearing or setting in. With the methods described on how to remove chalk stains from clothing and other surfaces, you can remove them properly and restore the stain-free appearance of your clothes, upholstery, and carpet.

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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