When it comes to lipstick, it’s all fun and games until you forget it in your pocket…
and subsequently wash a pair of pants or other garment holding the ill-fated tube. Before you chalk the stained items up to lost causes and move on, there may be hope! especially if you’ve washed, but not yet dried, the affected items.
If you’ve just removed the items from the wash and discovered the lipstick faux pas, immediately proceed to place the stained garments, stained side facing down, onto dry paper towels. Using a pre-treating stain remover—in this case Grab Green’s Power Degreaser or Bleach Alternative work wonders—spray the stained areas generously.
At this point it might also help to throw a little prayer up to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes (it can’t hurt, right?) The degreaser sometimes works because lipstick is composed of oils, and removing those oils may draw out the pigment of the lipstick too. Watch as some of the stain drips through, off your garment and onto the paper towels. Replace the paper towels as necessary until as much of the stain as possible is gone. Rinse the garment under running water.
If the stain still remains, create a paste using Grab Green powdered laundry detergent and water (it has built-in stain removers), and gently rub the paste into the stain. Wash the clothing in the washer as normal.
When the wash cycle ends, inspect the stain again, and repeat the process of using the stain remover over paper towels, rinsing, and rubbing more detergent into the garment. After a couple more washes, you’ll likely see successful results.
Some home remedies for this all-too-common problem may also be effective. Some people swear by the following methods:
- pour rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and dab the stain for a few minutes to lift the lipstick
- spritz hairspray onto the stain, let it sit for around 15 minutes, and then dab it with a wet cloth
- treat the stain with oxygen bleach, vinegar, or diluted ammonia
Now for the bad news. If you already dried the lipstick-stained item, you are likely out of luck. The heat from the dryer sets the stain, and removing it is improbable.
Either way, be sure to clean the washer’s interior after you realize your mistake. This ensures that no residual lipstick remains to ruin future loads of laundry.
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