How to Remove Chapstick from Clothing


Pete asked: I washed a load of laundry with a tube of cherry chapstick and now I’ve got grease spots all over my shirts. How do I get it out? I’ve tried everything…baby powder, Dawn dish detergent, Goo Gone, but the stain remains. Is it hopeless?

Chapstick in the dryer quickly produces a laundry disaster. As it melts, it spreads over everything in the laundry – very frustrating to say the least. These chapstick stains are similar to wax/oil stains and can be treated as such. If there is a coloring in the chapstick, the second task is to remove the coloring. Follow these steps to make this laundry disaster a distant memory.

You Will Need:

  • Spoon or dull knife
  • Un-Do Candle Wax Remover (available with laundry products at most grocery stores)
  • Pretreatment aerosol stain remover
  • Laundry detergent
  • Chlorine bleach or color-safe bleach
  • Dry cleaning fluid
  • Spray bottle (optional)
  • Paper towels or soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Stains:

*Always test a small hidden section first to ensure the cleaner will not cause any adverse effects to the surface texture or color of the fabric.

  1. Remove as much of the chapstick as possible by gently scraping the surface of the stain with a spoon.
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using Un-Do Candle Wax Remover and apply a small amount to the stain.
  3. Allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Wash as normal on the warmest water temperature that the garment can safely tolerate.
  5. If you can’t find the Candle Remover or prefer to use other cleaners in your home, try one of the methods below.
  6. Spray the stain spots with a good amount of pretreatment aerosol stain remover.
  7. Allow several minutes for this to soak in and penetrate the stain.
  8. Next, apply a good laundry detergent to the area and scrub it gently with a soft cloth or even a soft scrub brush.
  9. Wash it as normal immediately in the washing machine.
  10. Allow the piece to air dry. Do not dry it in the dryer until you are sure all of the stain is removed.
  11. If the stain still remains, lay the front side of the stained area on top of a small stack of white paper towels or a white cloth.
  12. Pour a small amount of dry cleaning fluid directly on the back side of the stained area and allow it to dry.
  13. Launder as normal, but allow the piece to air dry again.
  14. Repeat either of the previous treatments until the stain is removed.
  15. If the coloring in the chapstick has left a stain, wash the garment with either bleach (if it’s white) or color-safe bleach to remove.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Use caution when working with dry cleaning fluid. Read the label thoroughly for instructions for use and warning labels.
  • Zout is a commercial cleanser that can be applied to the stains and scrubbed with a soft brush (an old toothbrush works great) and then wash as normal.

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