Lipstick Stain Removal

Jodie Michalak
Kiss lipstick stains goodbye!

By far one of the hardest stains to treat, lipstick stain removal requires immediate attention if you intend to kiss it goodbye.

Lipstick Stain Removal Guide

There is nothing worse than slipping on your favorite silk dress or cashmere sweater and discovering lipstick.

Like a scene out of Macbeth, you may find yourself harrowing over your stained fabric with wet towel and detergent in hand while screaming oddities and escalating panic. Despite popular myths, lipstick stain removal can be easy with simple elbow grease and patience. Take a breath, pull yourself together and head straight to the medicine cabinet.

As soon as you discover the stain, grab a cotton swab saturated in alcohol. Dab applicator onto fabric and saturate the stain. Next, rub cold water in a circular motion over the stain, working from the outside of the stain in. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat until stain is removed and allow to air dry. Tip: Never apply heat to a stain. Avoid hot water and avoid heated drying until you are sure the stain has been removed.

Preventing Stains

Preventing lipstick stains is the easiest way to treat them. However, for those days when we're rushed or engaged in a passionate lip lock with our significant others, a lipstick stain is often more likely to occur.

When dressing, reserve the same rule as you would for a strand of pearls and save the lipstick for last. If you've already applied your lips and need to change shirts, close your lips (lock them tight) and pull your shirt around your head with careful attention to your lips. In passionate moments, lipstick stains can occur, so tell your partner as soon as you see the spot and treat it as quickly as possible.

Finally, when trying on clothing in stores, be courteous of the next buyer and observe the same techniques above to prevent lipstick marks on apparel. Discovering a bargain while shopping is always a disappointment when the garment is saturated with stains. On the flipside, if you're an interested buyer considering a garment that has been stained with cosmetics, speak to the store manager prior to purchase. Often you'll be able to negotiate a discounted price to offset the labor or expense of dry-cleaning the goods.

Late Night Lip Stains

If you're out on the town when a a lipstick spot occurs it can be quite humiliating. Keep your cool, whether it be at the nightclub or a fancy restaurant. Ask your waiter or server to bring you a shot of tonic water. Treat the stain in a circular motion and hope for the best. If you carry a shawl or shrug on hand, throw it on to distract from the stain and run for the detergent as soon as you get home.

Stains Don't Lie

Often a telltale sign of cheating, red lipstick kisses on your partner's collar can be a shocking and an unwanted discovery. If you discern a stain in a shade that doesn't match your own lips, it may be time to sit down and discuss the brutal reality of infidelity. Keep the shirt for evidence, and seek the support of family and friends.

Other Stain Removing Tips

If you have no alcohol on hand, these unconventional stain removing methods may be worth a shot:

  • Tape: On silk or satin fabrics, slap a piece of transparent tape on the stain and rip off. Treat the remaining stain with talcum powder.
  • Hairspray: Spray directly on stain and let sit for a few minutes. Wipe of hairspray with damp towel, stain should be removed.
  • Salt: Treat stemware and fabrics with salt prior to washing to remove unwanted lipstick smudges.
  • Petroleum Jelly: Best for treating cotton fabrics, rub petroleum jelly into fabric and launder as usual. Remember, as always, cool water wash and allow to air dry.
Lipstick Stain Removal