It happens all the time. You’re in a hurry as you put on lipstick while looking at your compact mirror in your car. Maybe you are rushing to go to a meeting. You know that the stakes are high and there’s a lot that can happen in that meeting.
In your hustle, you end up getting some of your lipstick where it doesn’t need to go. Usually, this means that you dropped some of your liquid lipstick on your blouse or any other article of clothing. Even if nobody notices it, it’s bound to cause you a lot of stress, thinking of having to take this stain out at the end of the day, and, unfortunately, a lot of women find themselves in this all too common situation.
Make no mistake, lipstick looks good on our lips, but it can look downright nasty on our clothes. In fact, most stains can really be burdensome to get out if you don’t know what you’re doing. Still, accidents do happen and don’t be surprised if you have to deal with this problem more often than you care to. That’s why they’re called accidents, we don’t want them to happen, but they do. The only way to approach this is to accept and to prepare for it.
Sometimes, by just suddenly wiping your mouth with your shirt, some of your lipstick might come off. A lot of women forget that they’re wearing lipstick and they instinctively give their mouths a little sweep and they end up having to deal with a stain.
However way you get the stain, it can be a challenge to take off. You must have a plan coming in. It doesn’t have to be an impossible situation, though. There’s no such thing as a hopeless stain if you know what to do.
Here are some basic steps on how to deal with the inevitable. These steps will help you quickly and efficiently get rid of lipstick stains that end up on your clothes.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the stain is. You can’t leave it on your clothes; it’ll just get bigger and bigger. Also, keep in mind that most commercial lipstick products have all sorts of chemical additives to them. Those chemicals are not good for the fibers of your clothing.
Step #1: Physically scrape off the lipstick
As much as possible, scrape off what you can physically lift from the affected surface. There may be chunks that have been transferred to your clothes; these may appear as thick clusters. Scrape these to lift them to some sort of flat surface.
Whatever you do, don’t rub these because when you rub the stain, you’re just pushing it deeper and deeper inside the fiber. You are trying to do the opposite. You are trying to get the stain off the fiber. But if you rub it, you’re just actually pushing it down, making things harder on yourself.
Step #2: Dampen the stained part with alcohol
There are many different types of alcohol you could use. The most common, of course, is basic rubbing alcohol that you can get from any corner drugstore. Use the alcohol to soak or dampen the stained part of your clothing.
What if you don’t have access to general hand rubbing alcohol?
Well, you can use vodka if you have access to that type of alcohol. If it has a strong alcohol content, that’s good enough. Dampen that area and then rinse it under cold, running water. Once it’s adequately rinsed off, go to the next step.
Step #3: Apply a commercial stain remover
There are all sorts of stain removers on the market. Pick one, it doesn’t really matter. Just check the care instructions on the tab of the clothing that you are working on. Look for any kind of warning.
Sometimes certain materials don’t work well with stain removers. There might be discoloration, or it might dissolve or otherwise harm the fibers. Be on the lookout for that kind of warning.
But, if you have a cotton blouse that you stained with lipstick, it shouldn’t be a problem applying stain remover on it.
Step #4: Wash the affected area with liquid detergent
You can do spot washing and deal only with the affected area. You can soak that part of the clothing in diluted liquid detergent. Give it enough time to break down the oils in the lipstick.
On the other hand, you can soak the whole piece of clothing in warm water with liquid detergent. Don’t put a lot. Just put enough so that the water bubbles a little bit. Let it soak for a time then gently massage the stained area. You are going to be hand washing your clothes.
Don’t be in a hurry. Gently massage the stain. With enough repetition, you should see a lot of it coming off.
Once you’ve dried out your clothing and it still has a little bit of residue on it, you can try to apply hairspray on the stain. Spray it from a couple of inches away and then wait for about 10-15 minutes. After it has dried up a little bit, gently blot out the area.
Do this if everything else fails
If none of the options above are working for you, do this as a last resort.
Bring the stained piece of clothing to a nearby professional dry cleaner. A lot of dry-cleaning outlets have a special service where they deal with hard-to-remove stains.
Now, you must ask them the right questions because sometimes, dry cleaning may cause more problems than it solves. Ask them if there is a possibility of the dry-cleaning chemicals leaving stains in your clothing or possibly weakening its fibers. If you have clothing that’s made up of special fiber, bring it to their attention so you avoid any of those headaches.
Now, whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to ask for professional dry-cleaning help if all the options above fail you. Some lipstick products are intended to be durable, so they really are quite stubborn to get rid of.