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Laundry Help for Sticky Candy Left in Pockets

Patti Richards

Sometimes kids leave sticky candy in their pockets and it goes through the wash. When the candy-filled pockets come out of the dryer, the melted sticky mess is tough to get out. If you or your child's pockets are gummed up with candy, use these handy tips to get them clean and fresh again.

Candy melts and fuses to pocket fabric when it goes through the dryer.

Heat Up the Fabric

When candy melts in the dryer, it adheres to the fabric. This is especially challenging when the candy is melted in a pocket. The candy gets stuck down in the pocket seam and is a challenge to remove. Heating up the candy with a blow dryer will help melt away a portion of the sticky mess from the seam and pocket. Start by turning the pocket inside out and scraping away any excess melted candy from the area. Hold the blow dryer over the remaining candy until it begins to liquefy and use a butter knife to scrape it away.

Ice for Melted Gum

Unlike hard candies, the more gum and gummy candy are heated the harder they are to remove. This is because gum and gummy candy get more elastic when they are warm. For this type of candy stuck in a pocket, ice is the better answer. Begin by turning the pocket inside out and removing any gum you can with your fingers or tweezers. Hold an ice cube on the gummy candy that remains stuck to the fabric until it begins to harden. Scrape away the hardened gum with a butter knife. Repeat this process until all of the gum is removed.

Warm Water Soak

Use a warm water soak for melted candy on pockets that is sugar-based. Sugar melts easily in warm water, even after it has been melted once and hardened again. Turn the pocket inside out and pull away any candy you can with your fingers, then crumple the pocket fabric in your hand to break up any more candy that is on the surface and wipe away. Fill a small container with warm water and a little soap or laundry booster, like Oxyclean, and soak the pocket for a few minutes. Rinse with clean warm water.

Cold Water for Candy Stains

Candy with red or other colored food dyes or milk-based candy, such as chocolate, tend to get worse when treated with warm water. For these pocket candy problems, turn the pocket inside out and rub a little bit of laundry detergent into the candy stain on the pocket fabric and rinse with cold water. Then spray the area with a laundry pre-treatment spray and put the garment through the regular wash cycle in cold water with the pocket still pulled out.