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How to Remove Silly Putty from Carpet

Ah, Silly Putty! Great for rolling into a ball and bouncing it off of your little brother's head. Fun on Sunday afternoons for pressing it against the Sunday newspaper comics and transferring the images to other paper (or your bedroom walls). Great fun to form bubbles and make loud snapping noises when you burst them.

Not so great when you're the parent and you have to get it out of Junior's bedroom carpet.

Originally created as a potential substitute for rubber in the United States during World War II, Silly Putty was first named Nutty Putty and is made of silicone polymers. Apollo astronauts used it to secure their tools in zero-gravity, and generations of children—and adults—find it fun to play with.

But because of its great adhesive properties and its unusual flow characteristics, the stuff is difficult to get out of carpeting, but not impossible. Follow these guidelines to rid your carpeting of Silly Putty and put it back into the egg where it belongs:

  • With a butter knife and your fingernails, scrape away all of the Silly Putty that you can from the carpeting.
  • Apply Goo Gone or WD-40 liberally to the affected area and allow it to sit for about five minutes.
  • With a wet rag, rub the area over and over again until the putty dissolves.
  • Apply more Goo Gone or WD-40 if you still see putty or a stain, and then rub again with a clean, wet rag.

The Silly Putty should completely dissolve away, leaving no trace that it got stuck in the carpet. According to the manufacturers of the product, alcohol also dissolves Silly Putty, so you could try that if you don't have any Goo Gone or WD-40 in the house. Another good remedy is to freeze the putty until it cracks and breaks. Set an ice pack onto the affected carpet and let it sit there a good few hours, and then crack the frozen putty out of the carpet.

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