Pro Tips on How to Get Clay Out of Clothes

Showing off your creative skills with clay is fun until it leaves stains on the fabrics, and you sit down and Google –how to get clay out of clothes. And, we understand how annoying it can get from there on. There cannot be any other way to handle clay; it will be sticky and messy. 

Sometimes, getting around with the mess is fun, but the problem arises when a clay stain damages your favorite piece of clothing. Perhaps you use clay for a hobby, to play with your children, or you could be a potter; either way, knowing how to get rid of clay stains will come to your aid. 

In this guide, we have listed some of the most efficient techniques you can use to remove clay stains from clothes. Continue reading to find out the secret tips and tricks for getting rid of stubborn clay stains.


How effectively you can remove clay stains depends on the brand and the method you are using. Again it also depends on how hard or sticky the clay is. It is best to complete all the pre-requisite steps before trying to wash off your clothes. You may also need to try two methods together for best results rather than one for stubborn marks. 

Different types of clay behave differently when exposed to fabrics. Thus, different methods can be used to get rid of the stains. One thing you must keep in mind is –using mild detergent, as harsh detergents can completely damage your clothes. 

Common Types of Clay Stain

There are several types of clay stains and different methods to remove them. Here, we have listed the common few:

1-Modeling clay

Common Types of Clay

Modeling clay is generally used by professionals, hobbyists, children, and even art students for building and sculpting. As fun as it seems to work with modeling clay, your creativity needs attention to remove clay stains from fabrics. 

Firstly, remove as much dried clay as possible by scraping it off the fabric. Then use some ice cubes to chill the remaining portion of clay stuck to the cloth. Use a cotton pad or ball, take some rubbing alcohol, and apply it to the stained area to get rid of the stubborn spots.

Read Also: How to Make Model Magic Dry Faster

2-Pottery clay

Pottery clay

Potters often use ceramic clay; therefore, this type is commonly known as pottery clay. The clay consists of several materials, including –organic products and metal oxides. Therefore, one must be extra cautious while working with pottery clay –as the stain caused by them can be severely stubborn to get rid of. 

The best way to get rid of pottery clay stain from light-colored or white clothes is by using table salt and vinegar. Have a look at the methods to clean clay stains section in this article below to get a better idea of how to get rid of pottery clay stains.

3-Red clay

Red clay

Red clay stains look quite stubborn and give us the impression that they would never come off the fabric (especially from the light-colored ones) no matter how hard we tried. But, let me give you good news –that isn’t true. Before tossing out your favorite piece of clothing, let the clay sit on the fabric and let it dry off first. 

Once the red clay stain area is dried, scrape off the extra clays from the fabric. Then use our pre-treatment methods to prepare the fabric for washing. As the stains from red clay are a little more stubborn than usual, it might take more than just one wash to get rid of the red clay stains.

So try the cleaning methods more than once to restore the fabric to its original condition and remove clay.

Can Clay be Washed Out of Clothes?

Removing clay stains by washing the clothes can be done, but there are certain mistakes that you need to avoid in order not to damage your fabrics. Here are some of the cleaning tips to remember:

  • Do not use your hands to brush off the clay from the clothes; if it isn’t a significant chunk, you might risk depositing the clay particles into the deeper layer of the fabric.
  • When the clay is still wet, avoid washing the garments immediately –clay is water soluble and could seep inside the layers of cloth, damaging the entire piece. So before you begin washing, let the clay dry off.  
  • Make sure to know the type of fabric you use so that you can apply the best method for removing clay stains, and make sure that the hottest wash temperature should be 130°F
  • Below, we have noted the details of pre-treating your fabric before washing off the stain; make sure to go through it before taking further steps. 
  • When washing off the stains from the clothes, do not use any strong detergent as a soaking solution; it would be best if you opted for mild liquid fabric detergent. 
  • Generally, washing off clay stains should be done using cold water to rinse off your clothes. Hot water enables the clay particles to settle on the cloth. 
  • Also, once you have rinsed off the fabric, check whether the clay stain has been removed or not; if some stain persists still, repeat the wash cycle and do not directly dry off the fabric. Drying off the fabric without removing the clay stain completely can cause permanent damage.

Easy Ways to Get Clay Out of Clothes

 Once you have followed all the guidelines mentioned above and taken the pre-treatment measures to prepare the clay-stained spot, you can use a washing machine to clean off your cloth normally. With stubborn stains, it is best to pour some liquid detergent directly onto the spot and then put it up for washing. 

Taking these small precautions increases the chances of getting the stain completely off of your clothes, as detergent will attack the mildly stubborn spots. Why use harsh chemicals or hard detergent on your favorite fabrics and ruin them?

Always Pre-Treat the Stain

Before you get ahead with the washing process, there are certain steps that you need to take care of first. Here are some steps you must take to pre-treat your clay-stained clothes. 

Your fabric can get damaged completely if you directly expose the clay-stained spot to water without pre-treating it. As clay particles are soluble in water, you will be at a crossroad if you do not take these pre-treatment steps:

Step-1: Before attempting this step, ensure the stain is completely dry. Then take a soft bristle brush to scrape off the dried material, so the cleaning process gets easier. 

Step-2: Take some mild liquid detergent in a bucket filled with water, and then soak the stained cloth for about 30-45 minutes. You can also directly pour the mild detergent on the stained spot and let it sit for about five minutes. 

Step-3: Take a clean fabric brush to rub off the stained spot softly to remove all the clay, and your pre-treatment stain step is ready. 

*NOTE: If you find the stain on the fabric too stubborn, soak it overnight, but do not pour the detergent directly on the spot and leave it for too long, it will completely damage and fade off the color of the fabric from the stained spot.

Methods You Should Try to Remove clay

How to Get Clay Out of Clothes

Some fabric materials are different than others; stain removal is subjective when it comes to the cloth’s color. So, if you think washing off your clothes cannot get rid of the stubborn stains, here are some of the additional things that you can use:

Method 1: White Vinegar and Salt

Mix 3 tablespoons of table salt with a cup of White Vinegar, spread it over the stained spot, and leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then use cold water to rinse the paste from the fabric, then use normal water and wash your cloth as you normally would. 

Method 2: Liquid Dishwashing Soap and Warm Water

Using liquid dishwashing soap with warm water is an unpopular method of removing the stain from light-colored clothes. This method works best for the removal of red clay from white clothes. The liquid dishwasher breaks down the clay molecules and gently removes the stain from the fabric. 

*NOTE: Dishwashing soap shouldn’t be used on the entire close; target the stained spot and apply it. Leave it for some time, and then wash it off the fabric. 

Method 3: Washing Powder and Ammonia

 Prepare a thick paste of ammonia and washing powder and apply it to the stained part. Let the paste sit for not more than 15 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water for effective stain removal. 

Method 4: Use Rubbing Alcohol

Pour some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and gently rub it on the stained spot. Make sure to use soft motions from the center of the stained area, slowly moving towards the edge. Once you have done it, soak the piece of cloth in warm water and add a tablespoon of enzyme pre-soaking products.

Then wash it off with normal water. This method works especially for removing pottery clay and modeling clay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How to Remove Clay Stains from Carpet?

To get rid of the carpet’s clay stains, use a hard bristle brush to scrape off as much clay as possible from the fabric.

Then, use a vacuum cleaner to suck in the remaining dust, and then add the salt and vinegar solution to clean the stain.

Q: What will Dissolve Modeling Clay?

Ice cubes and rubbing alcohol can be the best solution to dissolve modeling clay from any fabric. The article above has written down the proper way to use rubbing alcohol. Don’t forget to refer to it.

Q: How do You Remove Sticky Clay?

Use the dishwashing soap and warm water technique to remove sticky clay from your fabric. Read the entire procedure of clay stain cleaning before proceeding ahead. Sticky clay such as playdoh can easily be removed from your carpet.

Q: How Do You Remove Hardened Clay?

The best way to get rid of hardened clay is by letting it dry off first and then using a hard bristle brush to scrape it off from the fabric.

Wrap UP

Now with all the tricks in your arsenal to get rid of clay stains, you can easily showcase your creativity in sculpting and building. These are some tried and tested ways to get rid of clay stains. However, make sure to follow every step properly to avoid causing any damage to your favorite pair of fabric.

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Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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