Remove Lipstick Stains

by Amy Gordon
(last updated October 31, 2016)

Lipstick is supposed to stay on lips, isn't it? So why does it seem to like to wander onto collars (yours and your partner's), the inside of your sweater, or other odd and unlikely places? Lipstick stains happen quickly and easily, and unfortunately it's not nearly as quick or as easy to get them out.

If you're out and about when you notice the stain, there isn't much you can do about it. You need to deal with the mark as soon as you get home—lipstick marks and stains from other cosmetics rarely ruin clothes, but the sooner you deal with them, the easier they are to get rid of. Without going home, the only thing you can do to help is to lightly dab at the mark with some water and a paper towel. This should remove some of the lipstick. Be careful not to smear the makeup even more by rubbing. (In other words, don't rub the stain).

Once you are at home, if your shirt is machine washable, an easy solution is to pre-treat the stain with a stain remover stick or spray, following the directions for the spray or stick, and rinse, continuing to dab at the shirt with the stain remover. Add more stain remover and wash your shirt in the washing machine. Do not dry the garment until you've checked that all the lipstick is gone, and there is no oily residue.

If the shirt is colorfast, you might also try blotting at the stain first with a bit of rubbing alcohol, and next with some dish detergent. The dish detergent should break down the oils in the lipstick, and you should be able to rinse most of the lipstick away. Rinse the stained area well, and repeat if necessary. Once you've removed as much lipstick as you possibly can, apply a stain remover or a paste of dry laundry detergent and water, and let your shirt sit for 5—10 minutes. Then, if the shirt is machine washable, put into the wash. Again, do not put the shirt in the dryer if the stain is still there.

Another solution, which also works for ink and wine stains, is to spray the lipstick mark with hairspray. A quick saturation of the stain, followed by running water through the stain, will usually cause the stain to disappear. This even works when you are out, if you or a friend happen to have hairspray with you.

If the shirt is not machine washable, you probably regularly dry clean it. Just take the shirt to your drycleaner, show them the stain, and let them deal with getting rid of it.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

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