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How to Remove Melted Decal from Clothes

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By Debbie

My Laundry Question

My daughter washed a load of laundry without sorting. She had jeans, socks, t-shirts, and a windbreaker jacket that had decals on it. The decals dissolved and stuck to the clothes. When she removed her clothes to put in the dryer, everything was coated with a white, clumpy mess that looked like a paper towel had been left in with the clothes, but it was from the jacket. How can we remove it? I told her to run it through another rinse cycle and to put white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Is that the right thing to do?

Share a Little Background Info

A jacket with decals was washed in with a load of clothes containing jeans, socks, t-shirts and other items that had not been sorted. My daughter had left the jacket in the car and in the hot sun which must have been what caused the decals to come off.

Lessons Learned

  • We tried to run the clothes back through a rinse cycle with white vinegar.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

windbreaker with decals was washed in with a load of clothes containing jeans, socks, and t-shirts.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

You haven't done any harm by running the clothes through a vinegar rinse. It probably won't take care of the problem. Just DO NOT put the clothes in the dryer until this is resolved.

If the decals were paper, follow these tips. If the decal was plastic like the letters on an athletic jersey, you will need to use acetone (fingernail polish remover). This will work on most types of fabrics except acetate. Always test on the inside of a hem to make sure the fabric won't fade.

If can also try Goo-Gone if stickiness remains.

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