July is prime summertime and with it comes the best of summer activities for the whole family. That means vacations, watersports, lots of cookouts, and of course no summer would be complete without indulging on frozen treats in the sizzling heat. Although this dynamic duo complement each other, the summer heat and an icy treat can easily result in a melty mess. There’s nothing like a big chocolate splatter or bright cherry colored stain to put a damper on your summer fun. Luckily for you, in this post we’ll go over the most common frozen treats, the types of stains they can create, and how to remove them.  


Ice cream  

Ice creams, custards, or frozen yogurts are typically made up of proteins so it’s crucial to not use hot water to clean up the excess cream. Why? These proteins derive from dairy products that are made with sources of whey, isolated, or other proteins that are found in cow milk. It’s important to note that hot water can further set protein stains (and the other stains on this list) in the fabric. Instead use cool or cold water from a low pressure stream from your faucet or pouring spout. Make sure to saturate the area with a soap or liquid detergent that contains enzymes. Enzymes will help to break down these kinds of proteins found in traditional dairy ice cream. After a few minutes, wash the clothes with cool water. 


Popsicles and snow cones  

Vivid and bold, popsicles and snow cones are largely made with bright food coloring and dyed syrups. This is what makes these stains the most difficult to remove on the frozen treat list. If you find yourself in the position of having to deal with a freshly splattered colorful stain on your garments, don’t panic. Using cold or icy water if available, lightly soak the stained area. You can even use a melting ice cube but be careful not to use pressure or force against the stain. The stain may largen in diameter, but it will lighten. Once you see the stain begin to become lighter, quickly soak the affected area in white vinegar for a few minutes. Rinse out the vinegar with cold water. You may wash clothes as usual. 


Sorbet and frozen fruit treats 

Fruit infused frozen treats are similar to popsicles as they do contain food coloring. However, these treats don’t typically have the same volumes or potency of artificial dye but they can still leave stains that prove to be difficult to remove. Frozen fruit contains more natural dyes and because of this you have to fight fruit with, well, more fruit. We’re talking about lemon juice. The acidity of lemon juice mixed with equal parts vinegar and water will make a solution that’s tough on fruit stains but gentle on fabrics. Douse fabrics in the solution and watch as the sorbet stain begins to fade. Once you see the stain is almost gone (if not completely gone) rinse out the solution with cool water.  


Chocolate shells, fudge, or morsels 

Chocolate coated ice cream bars, fudge syrup, or any other thicker or hardened chocolate substance is what we’re talking about in this category. If you have a light and plain chocolate flavored ice cream stain without solid chocolate pieces, refer to the ice cream category above. Chocolate stains will typically consist of proteins as well as oils. Yet another tough stain, the oils in chocolate come from cocoa butter and added fats. These fats can be difficult to break down when stuck to fabrics. A generous amount of saturated liquid dish soap is best to loosen this type of stain since dish soap is made to break down oils. Once you remove any excess hard chocolate pieces, saturate the stain in dish soap for a few minutes, rinse with cool water, and repeat to the underside. Wash with cool water using a generous amount of detergent.