If You Ever Spill While Cooking, You Should Stash Some Chalk in Your Kitchen

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You know how weightlifters and gymnasts use chalk powder to keep their sweaty hands dry? The same principle carries over with all kinds of grease (dry shampoo, anyone?). Next time you find yourself with an oil splatter or greasy stain on your favorite top, trade in your stain stick and try pre-treating with a little chalk instead. Like baby powder, chalk is ultra-absorbent, making it a must-have to keep on hand for bacon grease splatters and lipstick marks alike.

Before you stock up, a few things to keep in mind about chalk and stains: Since many varieties of chalk contain wax or coloring — which, in the case of keeping your clothes clean, would work against you — it’s best to use plain, old white blackboard chalk rather than, say, sidewalk chalk.

Also, remember that chalk will do its best work on oily spots immediately after the stain occurs, so keep it near where you cook and eat. That means you can deal with the stain within the window of opportunity (think kitchen pantry or dining room rather than laundry room). Are you especially splatter prone? Then take a few pieces of chalk along with you in your bag when you eat out.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to treat an oily stain with chalk:

After the stain occurs, remove any excess food and oil from the garment with a clean paper towel. Then cover the entire spot with chalk, allowing a few minutes for the oil to completely absorb. Like any other stain, you will want to wash the soiled item as soon as possible — but don’t sweat it if you can’t get to it until after dinner (chances are, no one will notice).

Before you toss your oil-stained item in the laundry, rub the spot with a little stain remover or laundry detergent like you would normally. Then run a load of laundry set to hot, and voila! Your oily spot should be gone.

Check out more cleaning hacks from Apartment Therapy.

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)