Chapstick may be good for your lips, but its stains might leave you on the search for an effective laundry stains removal method. Unfortunately, this is a common problem especially if you become oblivious or absent minded when handling Chapstick around your clothes.
One common mistake is to throw clothes in the washer with Chapstick in the pocket. Of course this subjects the entire load to multiple greasy stains. Another regular mistake is forgetting to tighten the balm’s top. In most cases, the contents end up melting in your pocket or bag and leave tough stains behind.
In either of the circumstances, the aftermath leaves you looking for how to get Chapstick out of clothes.
What is Chapstick?
Chapstick is a lips products brand that prides itself in producing naturally sourced lip balms, oils, butter and more. With the primary goal of keeping lips looking healthy and moisturized, the processing brings together and array of oils and greasy ingredients.
Most of these can leave tough stains after the products come into contact with your favorite clothes. Worse of, you might end up with both greasy and dye stains if your lip product of choice has color as well.
How to Get Chapstick out of Clothes
Get Chapstick out of clothes by using a blunt knife or spoon to get rid of the bulk, then pretreat the stain and finish up by washing the clothes as instructed in the care label.
Before getting Chapstick out of clothes, the first thing is to understand that you are dealing with greasy mess. As such, you have to be careful when lifting the residue out of your garment to avoid pushing it further into the fabric fibers.
Another concern is cleaning with the stain as soon as possible. Oil stains are harder to deal with compared to other common stains. They penetrate deeper into the fibers as time goes by. This rules out the possibility of removing them with regular detergent. Ideally, try to clean them as soon as they occur but first use a degreaser.
Lastly, you have to know that all fabrics are not the same. Removing greasy stains from versatile fabrics is comparatively easy. To begin with, you can safely apply harsh cleaners such as bleach and aerosol sprays. You can also test multiple methods without ruining the garment.
On the other hand, delicate fabrics are just that. You can easily ruin them with harsh cleaners, not to mention, the stains might fail to clear.
Step 1: Get Rid of Excess Chapstick
Whether you are trying to get wet or dried Chapstick out of your clothes, the first step is to get rid of the bulk. If dealing with a dry stain, use a butter knife or spoon to flake off the excess.
You can use a soft brush for sturdy fabric. Rub the stain gently and repeatedly until all the Chapstick flakes off. Be careful to avoid cutting or pulling threads from the fabric. This step can easily ruin some light and weak fabrics especially when using a brush.
Use an absorbent material if the stain is wet. A sponge or white microfiber cloth are the best as far as clearing stains goes. You can use a colored cloth or paper towel but you have to be sure that the option you choose is not colorfast.
Remove the balm carefully without rubbing it into the fabric. Rubbing only worsens the stain by pushing it further into the fabric fibers or spreading it more.
Follow up by using an absorbent powder to collect more of the balm residue. You can use products such as cornstarch, chalk, baby powder or talc. If you have none of these, try your luck with baking powder.
Spread the powder generously on the stain and use a toothbrush to work it so that it can absorb the stain as much as possible. Finish up by brushing off the powdery balls from the fabric.
Step 2: Pretreat the Stain
This is an interesting step when it comes to Chapstick stains. Literally anything that cuts through greasy stains goes. Starting from regular household or pantry basket ingredients to common cleaners and commercial stain treatment products, the list is endless.
A good basis that you can use for decision making is your garment’s fabric, and the pretreatment products that are readily available to you.
You could just use something like diluted bleach solution to treat stains on your garment but since you are addressing grease stains, that approach does little to help. Instead, go for dishwashing detergent. The liquid version does a great job for that matter.
Ideally, one of the purposes of dish detergent is to degrease dishes. This logic makes sense with clothes as well. Depending on the fabric, dish soap can be very thorough at eliminating stains. Preferably, try Dawn dish soap because it is the ultimate degreaser.
Simply rub a drop of dawn on the stain. You can use a white microfiber cloth or your finger to do this. Apply several drops if the stain is large and work the detergent into the fabric fibers. Repeat the step with each stain if the stains are many or on multiple garments. Let the garment sit for a few minutes.
Dawn and Baking Soda
While dawn already comes highly recommended in our method #1, sometimes it can use a little help. Mix a few drops of the detergent with baking soda to form a thick paste for tougher Chapstick stains. Apply the paste on the stain and use a toothbrush to work it into the fabric fibers. Set the garment aside before proceeding to the next step.
White Vinegar Solution
Pure distilled white vinegar or a solution of water and the same removes grease from clothes and a wide range of surfaces. To pretreat a Chapstick stain, begin by mixing water and vinegar in equal parts. Next, dip a white microfiber cloth or sponge into the solution, wring it slightly, and use it to rub the stain in circular motion.
Let the stain soak with the solution and set the garment aside for a few minutes. You might need to repeat this step severally depending on how heavy the stain is, and the type of fabric.
Hydrogen peroxide is a good stain remover because it has bleaching properties. But because stains vary significantly, it is best for removing protein stains. That said, you can mix it with dish soap and baking soda to clear Chapstick and other greasy stains.
To form the stain removal mixture, begin by combining equal portions of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. Then add enough baking soda to form a thick paste. Use a toothbrush to apply and work the paste into the stain. Set the garment aside for a few minutes.
There is no doubt that bleach is great at removing a wide range of stains. Regardless, you should not make it a priority when removing grease stains. It does not cut through them as effectively as most of the products that feature in this section.
But what do you do if bleach is all you have?
First of, determine whether your garment is bleach washable. Some garments have clear instructions on the care tag that indicate “do not bleach”. With others, you can only use oxygen bleach because it is gentler.
Generally, if your garment is white and bleach washable, you can comfortably treat stains with any kind of bleach. As for colored garments, you have to strictly use oxygen bleach. If by any chance they happen to come into contact with regular bleach, you are likely to end up with permanent bleach stains.
Since bleach is harsh, do not apply it directly on your garment. Dilute it with water first in the recommended ratio. Next, use a white microfiber cloth or a cotton wool ball to apply the solution on the stain. Dip the cloth into the solution, wring out excess and use the cloth to rub the stain in circular motion. Let the garment sit for about 15 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
Spray ‘n Wash
Spray ‘n Wash is a tried and tested stain remover that works for all the common stains including Chapstick. It is also friendly to most fabrics except for super sensitive ones like silk. Keep off the spray if you also intend to remove Chapstick stains from khaki or fluorescent pieces of clothing.
Remove stains by spraying Spray ‘n Wash directly on the stained areas. Let the solution soak into the fabric fibers for up to 5 minutes. You can speed up the soaking process by rubbing the spray into the stain then proceed with washing.
Although Pine-Sol may seem like a farfetched idea for Chapstick stains, its cleaning powers go way beyond sealed floors and other non-porous surfaces. It works for a myriad of tough stains but you have to use it in full strength and rinse immediately.
Ideally, apply one or two drops of Pine-Sol on a Chapstick stain. Rub spot well so that the solution can penetrate the stain then rinse immediately.
Another product that you can try your luck with is Windex. Primarily meant for cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces, you can still use it to remove some types of stains from laundry to a give level of success.
Spray the solution directly into the stain, rub the stain to soak it properly and rinse.
Step 3: Wash the Clothes as Usual
After pretreating the stain with any of the above products, proceed to wash the garment as usual. If you are cleaning a white bleachable garment, you can begin by presoaking it for a few minutes. This makes it appear whiter and brighter uniformly.
A good trick that I have learnt is to soak white clothes in chlorine bleach first, then soak them for a few more minutes in oxygen bleach. This prolongs their original sparkle.
You can as well presoak colored clothes that allow you to use oxygen bleach. This additional step makes them appear brighter and as good as new.
The next thing is wash your clothes as you normally do. You can do this by hands or in the washing machine. Re-inspect the stain to ensure that your garment is completely clean. If not, you can repeat the pretreating step with the product you originally used or try a different one. Finish up by drying in the dryer or on a clothesline (Important note: Make sure that you do not dry the garment before the stain is completely gone).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Chapstick stain clothes?
If you happen to intentionally leave or forget Chapstick in your pocket and it melts, it will definitely stain the garment. If you throw a piece of clothing with Chapstick in the pocket into the laundry, the entire load will be marred with stains. The situation might even turn out worse if you move the clothes to the dryer without noticing the damage.
Chapstick stains clothes with grease like stains. Further, colored Chapstick also stains clothes with dye. The closest comparison for Chapstick stains is lipstick.
Are Chapstick stains permanent?
Although you can mostly remove Chapstick stains, they can also be permanent depending on the fabric of your garment, how long it takes before you treat them and the products you use to treat them. One more thing, if you dry clothes with Chapstick or any other kind of grease stains in the dryer, the stains can become permanent.
First of, some fabrics are delicate to wash and care for. Once they get stained, it becomes very difficult to get rid of the stain. In some instances, you might be fortunate enough and clear the stain. But on the other hand, the fabric section that was previously stained changes permanently. For example, it might appear lighter or duller compared to the rest of the garment.
It is best to treat Chapstick stains promptly, and this is the reality for all kinds of stains. New stains are easier to remove and the results are always better compared to older stains. Failure to treat stains as soon as possible can allow them time to set in permanently.
The choice of product that you make when removing Chapstick stains determines whether the process will be successful or not. Different stain removers work for different kinds of stains. Generally, stain removers meant for water insoluble stains work best for Chapstick stains.
How do you get lipstick or Chapstick out of clothes that have been washed and dried?
If you wash clothes and dry them the dryer before a stain clears, then you are basically setting it in permanently. It becomes very difficult to remove thereafter and the chance is high you garment could end up in the bin. But before it gets here, try to treat the stain with the good ol’ Dawn dish soap or Spray ‘n’ Wash. These are two of best degreasers out there.