How can one inch of Temptation Red cause so much potential tragedy? From an off-kilter kiss that smears across a shirt collar to a clumsy drop of the tube, lipstick stains look fierce, but there’s a good chance they’ll come out in the wash — if you pretreat the stain properly.
Almost all lipstick stains are solvent-based, made with waxes, oils, and dyes, which are all challenging substances when it comes to getting them out of fabric without using harsh chemicals like bleach.
An Internet search will net you plenty of different methods for getting lipstick stains out of clothes — in fact, we found so many that we decided to try out the three we saw most frequently (aside from stain removal sprays): dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and vinegar.
So, what works? Read on, and find out.
First, a couple of considerations for removing lipstick stains
No matter what method or products you use to remove lipstick from your clothes, the first step is to carefully scrape off excess lipstick with a butter knife. Chances are, you’ll only have to perform this step if you sat on an open tube of lipstick or your kid got ahold of your ‘stick and smeared it with a heavy hand, as kids are wont to do.
Before you start the stain-removal process, check the garment’s care label, and wash it in the hottest water recommended — which will usually be a cold water wash, on account of new technologies in laundry detergents and washing machines that make hot water unnecessary most of the time.
(The exceptions are towels, items that have been in contact with someone who’s sick, and bedding that’s rife with dust mites or bed bugs.)