How to remove ice cream stains

Ice cream is notorious for dripping all over your clothes and hands! Read on for a step-by-step guide with simple tips & tricks for removing ice cream stains.

Updated 5 April 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Key steps

  1. 1

    Always read your garment care tags first before you treat a stained garment.

  2. 2

    Act quickly, once the stain has happened. The longer you wait to treat the stain, the harder it will be to remove.

  3. 3

    An ice cream stain is a protein stain, so you should always use cool water to pre-treat the stain. Hot water can cause the stain to set further.

  4. 4

    When treating a stain, place a clean cloth underneath it so that it doesn’t spread onto the fabric underneath.

  5. 5

    Adjust your method based on the flavour and colour of the ice cream as some stains will be more noticeable than others. Try our article on removing chocolate ice cream stains for help with dark varieties.

Hot summer days mean ice cream on the beach, around the pool, or in the garden. But a dripping ice cream cone will inevitably lead to ice cream stains, which need to be cleaned! Read on and learn how to remove ice cream stains from your clothes and household surfaces.

When dealing with stains like ice cream, it’s essential that you act fast – start cleaning the fabric as soon as you notice the problem, ideally before it has a chance to sink in or dry.

Removing ice cream stains from clothes

If the ice cream stain is fresh, it will be easy to remove. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. 1

    Scoop away any excess ice cream from the stain before you treat the fabric.

  2. 2

    Flush the back of the stained fabric with cold running water or club soda. Ideally, hold the reverse of the fabric under the tap or – if that’s impossible – saturate the stain with cold water or club soda using a cloth.

  3. 3

    Rub laundry detergent or a commercial stain remover into the stain. You can use an everyday quality laundry liquid like Persil Non-Bio, and even a dishwashing liquid can work if no laundry products are nearby. Do this thoroughly (but not too roughly) and make sure the detergent saturates the fabric. Regardless of the product you choose, be sure to check the label before using it, and to test on a small, unnoticeable area of your garment if you’ve not used it before.

  4. 4

    Soak the garment in cold water for 15 minutes, and rub at the stain every 3-5 minutes or so. Keep on rubbing and rinsing until the stain is gone. Repeat if necessary.

  5. 5

    Launder as usual in the washing machine. The stain should be gone! The garment care tags will indicate the correct water temperature and wash setting for the fabric. Be sure to check the stain is completely gone before you tumble-dry or iron the garment, as heat can set the stain further.

If the above method isn’t applicable, you might find these options useful:

  • For dried ice cream stains, soak the garment in cold water for up to 30 minutes first, to soften the stain. You may need to repeat the above steps several times in order to remove the stain.

  • For stains on carpet and upholstery, mix a solution of cold water and laundry liquid, and use a clean cloth or sponge to dab at the stain repeatedly until it’s gone. Afterwards, rinse the area with clean water, blot, and air-dry.

Next time there’s a dripping ice cream cone at hand, never fear. Our how-to makes stain removal simple and stress-free, so you and your family can continue eating ice cream all summer long, without having to worry about those inevitable ice cream stains. Got other stains to tackle this summer holiday? Browse Cleanipedia for more helpful advice.

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