Many things can cause chapstick to get on your clothes. Two of the most common are washing clothes with chapstick in your pocket or the chapstick melting onto your clothes. The good news is that chapstick can be removed from clothes as long as you treat it early and use the right products.
Chapstick can be removed using products that you probably already have at home. Things you can use to get chapstick out of clothes include:
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Goo Gone
- Stain pre-treatment
- Liquid laundry detergent
Some of these products may work well by themselves, but some you may have to use in conjunction with each other for them to be most effective. Remember that you want to treat the stain as soon as possible. Once chapstick dries, it can be hard to remove. In this article, I’ll tell you how to get chapstick out of clothes using each one of these products.
Does Chapstick Stain Clothes?
First of all, what happens if you don’t get chapstick out of your clothes? Can it leave behind a stain? Absolutely. Chapstick can stain clothes, especially if it melts onto them. Chapstick can leave behind an oily stain that will be more noticeable on lighter-colored clothing.
The reason why chapstick leaves behind an oily stain is that it is made from oily substances. Two of the main ingredients used to make chapstick are petrolatum (petroleum jelly) and lanolin, both of which are oil-based.
Oil-based stains are generally harder to remove than other types of stains. This is because oil can be absorbed by fabrics more, especially with fabrics designed to be moisture-wicking. Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to repel water, but oil is hydrophobic, meaning that it does not mix with water. Therefore, fabrics are ineffective at keeping oil from being absorbed. This is the same reason why oily stains are hard to remove with just soap and water.
Will Chapstick Stains Come Out of Clothes?
Even though oily stains are harder to remove, you can get chapstick stains out of clothes as long as you treat the stain while still wet. If the clothing was put into the dryer before removing the stain, it would be almost impossible to remove it because the chapstick would have melted into the fibers even more.
Even if the chapstick-stained clothing wasn’t put into the dryer but the stain was allowed to air dry, it can still be difficult to remove. If oil stains are allowed to dry, more oil is absorbed by the fabric. You might be able to get chapstick off of the surface of clothes, but the oily stain is likely to remain behind. Treating a chapstick stain before it has had time to dry is the best way to ensure that the stain comes out completely.
How to Get Chapstick Out of Clothes in 8 Easy Ways
Whether chapstick has gotten on your clothes before or after the clothing went through the washing machine, you can probably get it out as long as you don’t put the clothing in the dryer. Before washing the clothing or putting it into the dryer (whichever applies to your situation), use these methods to remove the chapstick.
1. Scrape Away As Much Chapstick As Possible
Chapstick is waxy and the stain will likely leave behind a waxy residue on your clothes. The first thing you’ll want to do is scrape as much chapstick as possible off the surface of the fabric. To do this, use a plastic knife or spoon or a credit card that you no longer use to gently scrape off the wax. After each scrape, be sure to wipe the wax off of the utensil you’re using.
2. Iron Over the Stain
Next, you’ll want to iron over the stain to melt the chapstick. But you don’t want to melt the chapstick further into the fabric, so you’ll want to cut open a brown paper bag or use brown craft paper to soak up the melted wax. Place one piece of brown paper on top of the ironing board, put the clothing on top of the bag, then place another piece of brown paper over the chapstick stain.
Set the iron to medium heat, then plug it in and give it time to warm up. Iron the paper over the stain. The heat from the iron should cause the chapstick to melt and stick to the paper. You may want to place a new piece of paper on top of the stain while ironing so that you can see if the chapstick is still being transferred. Once no more chapstick is transferred to the paper, you can stop ironing.
3. Baking SodaIroning is an effective way to remove most of the waxy material, but an oil stain may still be left behind. Immediately after ironing, you’ll want to apply baking soda on top of the stain while it is still melted. Then use a toothbrush to scrub the baking soda into the stain. The powder will start to clump together, which indicates that some of the oil is being absorbed.
Dust off the baking soda clumps and apply new baking soda. Scrub again until clumps start to form.
Repeat this process until no more clumps form, which means that the baking soda has absorbed as much oil as it can. You’ll likely still see an oily stain, but this is normal. Just proceed to the next step.
4. VinegarVinegar is very effective at removing tough oil-based stains because of its acidic properties. Dilute the vinegar with water in equal parts.
You’ll first want to test it on an inconspicuous spot on the fabric to make sure that the vinegar doesn’t cause any discoloration.
Then, just pour a small amount of vinegar directly onto the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. The acid in the vinegar will help to break down the stain.
5. Dish SoapYou can also use dish soap instead of vinegar to break down the stain. Dish soap can get oily stains off of your dishes, and it works well on clothing as well.
Apply a few drops directly onto the stain, then use a toothbrush to scrub it into the stain.
Allow the dish soap to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off.
6. Goo GoneIf all of the above products fail, try a cleaner such as Goo Gone specifically designed to remove sticky substances.
Either spray the product directly onto the stain or dab it onto the stain with a rag.
Rub the product into the fabric and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wash the clothing as you normally would.
7. Stain Pre-Treatment
Before washing the clothing, you can apply a stain pre-treatment after trying the above products. You just want to try to get as much of the chapstick off the surface of the clothing first. That way, the stain remover can penetrate deeper into the fibers and remove the rest of the stain. Apply the stain remover, then let it sit on the fabric for the amount of time recommended on the packaging.
8. Liquid Laundry DetergentAfter trying everything else, the last thing you’ll want to do is pour liquid laundry detergent directly onto the chapstick stain. Rub the detergent into the stain and let it sit on the fabric for several minutes.
Finally, wash the clothing using the hottest water that the fabric can handle (check the care tag). Avoid putting the clothing into the dryer until you’re sure that the chapstick has been removed. If any stain remains, treat it again with the products above.
How to Get Chapstick Out of Clothes After Drying
Getting chapstick out of clothes after it has dried, especially in the dryer, is a bit more challenging. The heat can cause the stain to melt further into the fibers and then harden and set.
If this happens, the best thing to do is try to scrape as much of the chapstick off the surface as possible. Then, use Goo Gone or a similar product to remove the rest of the stain. It’s best to apply the product, then rub it into the stain. Wash the clothing in the hottest water that the clothing can handle.
Check to make sure that the stain has been removed before putting the clothing into the dryer. You may have to repeat the process several times to remove the stain completely. But in some cases, the stain may not come out at all.
Does Chapstick in the Dryer Ruin Clothes?
If chapstick gets in the dryer or is on clothes when put in the dryer, it can stain more than one piece of clothing. Remember that once the stain dries, it will be very hard to remove because heat can melt the stain further into the fibers.
You’ll want to thoroughly inspect every piece of clothing for chapstick stains. The stains are likely to be more noticeable on light-colored clothing than dark. And, smaller stains may be easier to remove than larger stains.
If chapstick does get on more than one piece of clothing in the dryer, Goo Gone is the best product to use. But it still may not remove the entire stain. You can try any of the other methods above as well. Then wash the clothing again and repeat the stain removal process if necessary.
Before you put the clothing back into the dryer, you will want to check the dryer to make sure you remove all of the chapstick. Otherwise, it can stain the clothing again or get on clothing in future loads.
How to Remove Chapstick from the Washer and Dryer
Sometimes chapstick can remain in the washer or dryer and can stain your other clothes. You will want to check the washer and dryer and thoroughly clean to prevent this from happening.
Cleaning the Washer
When cleaning chapstick out of the washer, you’ll first want to take a rag and wet it with hot water. Squeeze out the excess water so that the rag is damp, then apply some detergent to the dampened area.
Use the rag to scrub the walls of the washer where you see chapstick residue. The detergent will break down the greasy and waxy texture. You may then wish to run a wash cycle without any clothes in it to help wash the residue away.
Cleaning the Dryer
When cleaning the dryer, there are two things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll need to wet some old rags or towels and dry them on the highest heat cycle. This will melt the chapstick, but you’ll want to use old rags in case some of the chapstick sticks to them.
Next, dampen a rag with some vinegar. Wipe down the dryer with the rag to remove any excess chapstick. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell. It will go away the next time you run the dryer and won’t leave the smell behind on your clothing.
How to Get Melted Chapstick Out of Clothes
Getting melted chapstick out of clothes shouldn’t be a problem if you treat the stain quickly. You’ll first want to scrape as much chapstick as you can off the clothing using the method above. If that doesn’t work, try ironing over the stain by following the steps mentioned above.
Then, apply a pre-stain treatment or dish soap with disease-fighting power to the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes. Finally, wash the clothing using the hottest water that the clothing can handle. Avoid putting the clothing into the dryer until the stain is gone.
Although chapstick is an oil-based stain, it shouldn’t be difficult to remove as long as you treat the stain as soon as possible. You can use many products to do this, but you want to make sure that you don’t put the clothing in the dryer until the stain is removed.
Check the washer and dryer as well to make sure there is no chapstick residue in them. Clean them if necessary.