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Remove Caramel Stains

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Remove Caramel Stains Photo Credit: Dana Hoff / Getty Images
A delicious ice cream sundae would not be complete without its caramel topping. But why does some of that topping always seem to find its way onto our clothes? And why does it always seem to dry and harden into a mess that won't go away? Find out how to remove dried caramel stains from your laundry.
Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: 45 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of water with 3 tablespoons of Borax and spread it onto the stain liberally. Borax is a great stain fighter and has the strength to penetrate the caramel stain. Be careful handling Borax. It can be an eye, skin, and lung irritant to some people.
  2. Let the garment sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. This will give you a good idea of how much of the stain, if any is left.
  3. Rub liquid detergent into the dried caramel stain. Use enough liquid detergent to cover the caramel stain. Using your thumb and fingers, rub it in gently. The goal is to saturate the stained area.
  4. Let the caramel stain stand for at least 5 minutes before rinsing hot water through the back of the stain over the sink. Making the water as hot as you can will force the stain out. Be sure to read the directions for your fabric type. Some fabrics cannot tolerate hot water, in which case, you'll need to use warm.
  5. Apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray, and wash regularly with liquid detergent. Be sure to check the clothing after it comes out of the washer and before it goes into the dryer. Drying the caramel stain is a sure-fire way to make sure it never comes out.
  6. If the stain remains and the garment is white, or you have tested it for colorfastness, use a mild bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar. You can also use lemon juice. Use a sponge to apply. Rinse thoroughly. Allowing the item to dry in the sun can increase the bleaching effect, but be warned, this will bleach away color, designs, etc. Use these methods only on white clothing.
  7. Apply stain remover stick, gel, or spray again and rewash with liquid detergent.

What You Need

  • Borax
  • Hot water
  • Stain remover stick, gel, or spray
  • Hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, or lemon juice (for white clothing only)
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