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Tricks for Treating Halloween Stains: Tips to Help Remove Marks and Blemishes From Clothes and Costumes

Published by Florinda Blackmon

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Halloween costumes and clothing seem to be stain magnets for chocolate, gum and candy. Some candy stains are more difficult to remove than others. A lot depends on the type of material, the type of stain and the length of time the stain has set. Certain types of candy, gum and makeup need different techniques to remove the stain.


If the gum is freshly stuck or stained, apply ice to harden the soft gum and then remove the hardened gum by scraping it off. Rub the stain with a heavy duty liquid detergent and rinse in hot water. Repeat until the gum is gone. This may take several tries to remove the gum completely.


Chocolate and caramel are probably the two most common Halloween candy stains.

Gently remove all chocolate residue. If possible, rinse the area with club soda.

Soak the garment in cold water and pre-treat with a pre-wash stain remover. Then wash in the coolest temperature possible. Rinse and check to see if the stain is gone; if not, resoak, retreat and repeat laundering.

If pretreating with a stain remover does not work, try mixing equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water together and dabbing on to the stained area. Rinse and repeat.

Make-up and Face Paint

If make up is oil or waxed base, remove any excess with the back of a spoon, blunt knife or spatula. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover. Then rub heavy duty liquid detergent into the stain and scrub with the warmest water that is safe for the material. Using a detergent with a bleach alternative works well for make up and face paint stains.

For oily stains, you can also make a paste of sugar and water. Rub it into the stain and let it set half an hour before washing.

For non-oily stains: Mix a cup of lukewarm water with one teaspoon heavy duty liquid detergent and one teaspoon of white vinegar and apply to the stain until the stain in small batches until the stain is gone. Rinse with cool, clear water.

Fruit Juice Stains

Remove any pieces of fruit and run cold water over the stain. Rub with a heavy duty laundry detergent and wash as soon as possible, these stains are more likely to come out if they are treated immediately.

You can also try making a paste of lemon juice and salt; rub the paste into the stain and let it set for half an hour. Rinse well, repeat if necessary.

Remember, read garment labels for care and fiber content before treating stains. Not all materials and costumes are machine washable, so double-check before washing them.

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