Willow Sidhe is a nature enthusiast and has experience understanding natural dyes, "tannins," and methods to remove staining.
Lipstick is essentially a dye in an oily base, which makes stain removal difficult without the proper techniques. Luckily, a few home remedies exist to help you kiss those lipstick stains goodbye, mostly consisting of household products you probably already have on hand. As with all stains, haste is of the utmost importance. The longer the lipstick remains on the fabric, the more difficult it becomes to remove. Immediate response can range from throwing the garment into the washing machine to dabbing at the stain with a damp paper towel in the bathroom. Whatever situation you find yourself in, make sure to start working on that lipstick stain quickly or you may have trouble explaining your evening!
Ways to Remove Lipstick Stains
- Peanut Butter
- Shaving Cream
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
- Hair Spray
- Paint Thinner
1. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a common household item that is surprisingly adept at removing lipstick stains. This may have originated from an amorous man who decided to hide his lipstick stain behind a wad of peanut butter. How happy he must have been to discover that the stain was mostly gone when the peanut butter was removed!
- Spread a small amount of peanut butter over the lipstick stain.
- Allow it to stand until the peanut butter is almost dry, about 30 minutes, and then wash the garment in warm water with dishwashing liquid. The stain should be completely gone or almost totally faded when dried.
- Repeat the steps as many times as necessary.
2. Shaving Cream
Shaving cream is a common household item useful for lipstick stain removal. Shaving cream works like a pre-wash, after being rubbed into the stain, it should be left to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, a typical laundering and the stain should be completely gone. If the stain remains, repeat the shaving cream application and launder again until it's gone for good.
Ammonia is a common and inexpensive household item, typically used for cleaning. The chemical's compounds quickly break down lipstick stains as soon as contact is made.
- Blot up as much of the lipstick as possible with a damp towel.
- Dip a cotton swab into the ammonia and dab it over the lipstick stain until it begins to fade.
- Once the stain is mostly gone, launder it as usual and the stain should be completely gone.
Salt is ideal for fresh lipstick stains on dishes, walls, floors and toys. Salt should only be used on fresh stains, as it's proven ineffective on established lipstick stains.
- Form a paste made of one part salt and one part vinegar.
- Rub the paste onto the stain, wherever it is, and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Wipe away the salt paste with a damp cloth, and the stain should be gone.
- If it remains, re-apply the salt and wait 20 minutes before wiping clean.
5. Baking Powder
Baking powder is an effective tool to remove lipstick stains, and it's found in almost every household. The acidic content of the powder breaks down the components of the stain and prepares it for a washing that should eliminate the stain altogether.
- Form a paste made of one part baking powder and one part water.
- Rub the paste into the lipstick stain, and allow it to stand for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the garment into the washing machine, and add about 1/4 cup baking soda with your regular detergent.
- Wash the garment as usual, and when it emerges, allow it to dry in a sunny location. The lipstick stain should be completely gone when the clothing finishes drying.
6. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Baking soda and lemon juice, two common household items, are a tag team that can knock out fresh or established lipstick stains. The acidity of the lemon juice breaks up the lipstick, making it easy to remove from the fabric.
- Form a paste by mixing one part baking soda with one part lemon juice.
- Apply the paste directly to the lipstick stain and allow to stand for about 30 minutes.
- Without removing the paste, put the clothing into the washing machine and launder as usual.
- Allow to sun dry and the lipstick stain should be completely gone.
7. Hair Spray
Hair spray is a common lipstick remover, as it's both inexpensive and widely available in most households. Using hairspray is also one of the most effective and fastest ways to remove these stains.
- Spray directly onto the offending stain.
- Wait at least 15 minutes for the hair spray to take effect, and then wipe up what remains with a clean, damp cloth.
- If the stain has only partially faded, re-apply the hairspray and hand wash with a mild dish washing detergent.
Rubbing alcohol is an extremely effective lipstick stain remover for fabric and surfaces that can't be machine washed, such as upholstery or furniture. Apply some rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and use it to wipe away the lipstick stain. Rinse with cold water afterward to remove any residue. This method is not recommended for clothing, as rubbing alcohol can damage some of the more delicate fabrics.
9. Paint Thinner
Paint thinner serves as a last resort option to remove lipstick stains, partially because of the toxic fumes it emits. The chemical, however, is extremely effective at breaking down the lipstick and removing it. ALWAYS wear a particle mask when working with paint thinner (These can be found in the automotive section of your local department store) to avoid inhaling the fumes. Apply a very small amount of the paint thinner directly to the lipstick stain and wait several minutes. Add some dish soap to the stain and then launder using hot water in the washing machine.
Another effective method that should be saved for a last resort is petrol. This method should be reserved for lipstick stains that have lasted through all of the above treatments. Using clean petrol is necessary, and the easiest way to obtain this is by breaking open a lighter. Break off the top of the lighter, and collect some of the petrol that comes out. Rub the petrol directly onto the lipstick stain, and it should dissipate quickly. Launder the garment thoroughly after cleaning to ensure no petrol remains.
Use this method with extreme caution. In most cases, you'd probably want to throw out a stained item rather than treat it with petrol, but for the sake of entirety, I'm adding it here.
Clothing & Fabric Lipstick Stain Removal
In the following video, stain removal expert Susan Gorns demonstrates how to properly remove a lipstick stain from a garment using rubbing (denatured) alcohol.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
LaZeric Freeman from Hammond on January 24, 2014:
Peanut butter? Really? Interesting.