A combination of accident, engineering and entrepreneurship produced one of the most successful toys ever made. In 1943, James Wright was working for General Electric under a government contract to create a substitute for synthetic rubber. By accident, Wright dropped boric acid into silicone oil, and noticed a goo that could stretch and bounce further than rubber. He also found that it would copy a newspaper print that it touched. Wright named the goo, "nutty putty." However no practical use was found for this new product, and it certainly wasn't a substitute for rubber. In 1949, an unemployed advertising agent named Hodgson attended a party where "nutty putty" was used as entertainment. Hodgson thought nutty putty would make a great toy. He bought the production rights from GE and renamed it "Silly Putty." And the rest is history [source: MIT].

Now let's find out how to get silly putty out of clothes.

Materials needed:

  • Blunt knife
  • Liquid dish soap
  • WD-40
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
  • Soft cloth

Here's what to do:

  1. Scrape off as much putty as possible with the knife.
  2. Spray WD-40 on any remaining putty and let it stand for a few minutes.
  3. Scrape off any excess Silly Putty with the knife.
  4. Spray the area again with WD-40.
  5. Wipe off the stain with a cotton swab.
  6. Saturate a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and blot it on any remaining stain. Rinse off the alcohol.
  7. Pour some dish washing liquid on a damp cloth and wipe away any residue or remaining stain [source: Crayola].