You're taking a load of clothes out of the dryer, feeling pleased to have this chore almost done, when you see it: a blotchy oil stain. Your stomach sinks as you realize that a ChapStick® was forgotten in a pocket and melted onto a favorite pair of jeans or brand-new hoodie.
Don't toss that piece of clothing in the rag bag just yet—it is possible to get ChapStick® out of clothing! It might take a little bit of work, but you'll be so relieved to have saved your favorite dress, or that cute outfit your little guy only wore once, that it will be worth it.
If you've just found a ChapStick® stain on your clothes (maybe after a hot day out in the sun with a tube in your pocket), but you haven't put the item through the wash yet, that's good: it is easier to remove ChapStick® stains that haven't been through the laundry yet. The steps will be similar, but you probably won't have to repeat the treatment as many times.
Here's how to get ChapStick® out of clothing: you'll need to address the oil. Most ChapStick® formulas include petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin and other ingredients designed to help provide lasting moisture to your lips. However, these oily substances are your biggest staining concern.
First, gently scrape off any remaining wax or solid stuff with a spoon or butter knife. Don't scrub at this step: you don't want to work the stain further into the fibers.
Next, apply a powder, like baking soda or baby powder (chalk can work too, if you have any), to the stain. Using an old toothbrush or a scrubber, gently work the powder into the stain. Dust off the powder and repeat this step until the powder no longer clumps into little balls: this means that it has absorbed all the oil it can. You will still see the stain, but that's normal at this step. If you've been working the powder into the stain but don't see little balls forming, don't worry, it's still absorbing oil.
Finally, apply your favorite stain pre-treatment to the stain. If you don't have a store-bought stain treatment, don't worry, you can create one with items you probably have on hand. A mix of equal parts water and white vinegar would work (you'll only need a few tablespoons), or mix a little dish soap with some water. Apply your pre-treatment to the stain and let it sit for at least half an hour, and as long as overnight if you want.
You can add the stained item to a load of laundry and it should come out looking good-as-new!
If you've spotted some ChapStick® on the inside of your washer or dryer, it should be fairly easy to remove this residue. Simply scrub at the spots with hot water and a little laundry detergent. Some vinegar might help you remove waxy residue, as well.
If the ChapStick® that stained your clothes had dye in it, like our Classic Cherry ChapStick®, use a little oxygen-based bleach mixed with warm water as your pre-treat. Submerge the entire garment and allow it to soak for several hours, preferably overnight. This will help remove the dye from the stain.