Thinking Putty

I place my tray of tea on my side desk in my home office. All three kids are off to school on time (which is no easy feat). All parents deserve a reward for surviving the morning chaos (I mean routine). I sit down and tuck my rubber-ducky-slipper-feet under my desk. As I adjust my footing, my slipper sticks to my carpet. I pull and free my foot, but my slipper is glued to the carpet.

Ugh. Found it!

I have found my 7-year-old son’s Crazy Aarons Thinking Putty. It bounced into my office the day before.

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I thought he had already bounced it back out. I also thought that the putty wouldn’t end up being played with before falling asleep, but our strict “putty at the kitchen table only” rule was ignored.

This thinking putty has thought its way onto my pillowcase, it has thought its way through two sheet sets and two bedspreads. It has thought its sparkly blue way onto numerous articles of clothing, into hair, and now onto carpet. I am about ready for it to think its way right out of our house.

It’s called thinking putty because it is marketed to act as a fidgeting toy to help you think. It can help people focus and help people with anxiety. However, I think in my son’s case, it should be called “sleeping putty” as he has fallen asleep numerous times while playing with it.

I could handle the slime. My oldest daughter is the queen of making slime and even getting it out of fabric and carpet with contact solution or ice cubes. I can handle the kids making messes. We bake buns from scratch and we play with oobleck (cornstarch and water). However, this putty is different. It seems to embed itself and bond forever with our clothing and bedding.

To figure out how to remove the putty, I visited the website. The solution: Isopropyl Alcohol 99%. It is poisonous and flammable and the instructions indicate that you “Apply full strength to affected areas and rub in.” The label suggests that it will provide temporary relief of muscle aches. In our age of natural oils and using the least harmful substances, there is no way I would rub a poisonous and flammable substance on my skin. So I put on my rubber gloves and I placed all the putty stained items in to the tub.

I poured the rubbing alcohol on and then I used a butter knife to scrape the putty. The fumes were worse than cleaning up vomit. I think a facemask and a well-ventilated area should be required too. I aired out the house and turned on all our fans. Next, I soaked and rinsed the items in water numerous times.

After the putty and alcohol smell dissipated, I used some stain remover to try to remove the evidence of where the slime was. Next, I placed them in the wash with an extra rinse cycle. I air dried the items for a few hours and then I used a low setting on the dryer, while I crossed my fingers that the dryer and our house would not blow up.

The clothing and all our appliances remained intact. I think the type of fabric and how long the putty sits on it influences the stain removal. Some items may need another round of stain removal and a wash yet. I think my white linen pillow will always have the putty outline. However, my office carpet only has a few sparkles left to lint roller off.

Perhaps, the Easter bunny or Santa can bring us more putty after all. When the putty goes astray again, I’ll be prepared to remove it from unwanted surfaces.

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Serena Beck
Serena Beck works full-time as a Technical Writer. She loves to write, travel, and swim at the beach with family and friends.
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