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.
- Remove as much of the chapstick as possible by gently scraping the surface of the stain with a spoon.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using Un-Do Candle Wax Remover and apply a small amount to the stain.
- Allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Wash as normal on the warmest water temperature that the garment can safely tolerate.
- If you can’t find the Candle Remover or prefer to use other cleaners in your home, try one of the methods below.
- Spray the stain spots with a good amount of pretreatment aerosol stain remover.
- Allow several minutes for this to soak in and penetrate the stain.
- Next, apply a good laundry detergent to the area and scrub it gently with a soft cloth or even a soft scrub brush.
- Wash it as normal immediately in the washing machine.
- Allow the piece to air dry. Do not dry it in the dryer until you are sure all of the stain is removed.
- 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.
- Pour a small amount of dry cleaning fluid directly on the back side of the stained area and allow it to dry.
- Launder as normal, but allow the piece to air dry again.
- Repeat either of the previous treatments until the stain is removed.
- 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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