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How to Get Caramel Out of Clothes

How to Get Caramel Out of Clothes

Spilling caramel can be a sticky stain situation. Our guide to how to get caramel out of clothes has got you covered!

Whether you have a caramel apple or a generous drizzle of caramel on your ice cream sundae, this sweet topping is hard to beat. Caramel is a perfect treat—but what do you do when you notice the dreaded caramel stain color on your clothes? Read on to learn how to get caramel out of clothes!

What Causes Caramel Stains?

Caramel is a great sweet treat–but a sticky, gooey mess in your clothes is anything but! Caramel is made from heating sugar and other ingredients until they reach a certain temperature and color. When caramel lands on your clothes, it's not just the sugar that's causing the problem. The other ingredients in caramel commonly include butter and food coloring, which makes this stain a multi-faceted problem. Caramel stains are typically sticky and greasy. Add artificial dyes, and caramel will do its best to seep into the fibers of your clothing and form a stubborn stain.

Not to worry though–not all hope is lost if you’ve had a spill! We have the ultimate solution for how to remove caramel from clothes.

How to Get Caramel Out of Clothes

What you’ll need: Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Hydrogen Peroxide or White Vinegar, Oxi Booster Pods

Step 1: Remove Remains

If the stain has just occurred, allow the caramel to dry before removing it. Not sure how to get dried caramel out of clothes? It’s easy! Gently scrape off any dried caramel that might be lingering on your garment. You may want to use a butter knife or the edge of a credit card. Be careful not to try removal when the caramel is warm and liquid–you don’t want to rub it into the fabric, which could both spread and set the stain!

Scraping caramel off a shirt with the dull side of a butter knife

Step 2: Rinse

Run cold water through the back of the stain to wet the stain in preparation for pretreatment and to help push the caramel out of the fibers.

Rinsing stain in sink

Step 3: Pre-treat the stain

Pretreat the stain with a laundry detergent that contains enzymes. You can apply a liquid detergent, like our Ultra Concentrated Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent, directly to the stain, or you can dissolve a laundry pod in warm water and soak the garment. The enzymes in the detergent will break down the sugars and oils in the stain and allow them to be lifted away. Allow the detergent to sit, gently rubbing at the stain every 3-5 minutes, and then rinse in cold water. Repeat this process if needed until the stain is gone.

Adding a laundry pod to the sink for pretreating a stain

Step 4: Wash 

Once the stain is lifted, wash the item as normally recommended by the care label. Consider adding an Oxi Booster Pod for extra stain removal power and brightening!

Adding a white shirt to the laundry machine

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about how to get caramel out of clothes? We’re here to help.

Does caramel come out of white clothes?

Removing caramel from white clothes can be tricky, but not impossible. Try to act as soon as possible to avoid any dyes settling to the fibers of your clothing; if needed, you can speed up the caramel drying process using an ice cube! After using an enzyme-based cleaning product to remove the stain, wash the item using a Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pod and an Oxi Booster Pod. The enzymes in the detergent will break down any remaining sugars and oils in the stain, while our Oxi Booster will lighten, brighten, and remove any traces of leftover food dye.

How do you clean dried caramel?

Having trouble removing dried caramel without damaging the fabric it’s stuck to? Here’s an unconventional trick: use ice! Hold ice to the dried caramel to help it harden further and become brittle. It should then be easier to break off or remove!

How do you remove sticky candy?

Sticky candy like caramel, gum, or peppermints can be hard to remove! The most important thing is to make sure that you don’t damage the fabric of the item while attempting to remove the candy. Harden the candy using an ice cube as soon as possible, then gently pry it off the fabric. If you notice any ripping or loose fibers, stop and use the ice cube again. It is better to be slow and have your garments intact than to work too quickly and end up with a rip!

How do you get melted caramel out of carpet?

First allow the melted caramel to dry–you can help it along with an ice cube if you’re short on time (or worried about pets or children making it into a bigger mess). Remove as much dried caramel from the carpet as possible using a butter knife, spoon, or the side of a credit card. Once the caramel is removed, add one pump of Ultra Concentrated Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent to the stain. Let the detergent sit for 5-10 minutes, then blot with a damp towel or Swedish Dish Cloth. The stain should be lifted away with the detergent!