I didn’t think I’d post so much about laundry but when you feel like you conquered the Mount Everest of stains, you have to share in hopes of helping someone else. I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a stain person – I just don’t get messy. But when you’re married to a preschool teacher, stains happen. Thank goodness for Crayola washable markers but sometimes a kid gets ahold of a pen. A couple years ago I mastered how to remove pen ink from clothes that have been washed and dried. So when a tube of cherry chapstick decided to stain some whites in the dryer, I used my same method but with a boost.
How do you get chapstick out of clothes? Well for starters, check your pockets before placing anything in the hamper (tip for my husband). And this is not all his fault, I usually check pockets before throwing anything into the wash. The one time I don’t and well, we had two shorts, a polo, and a couple t-shirts get marked with the stuff Katy Perry sang about to put her on the map. And all of this was found fully dried, fresh out of the dryer.
Like I said before, I have gotten pen ink out of a lot of clothes before. Obviously chapstick isn’t the same as ink but I thought it might work to do the ink method combined with my method for oils/food. For ink, all you need is hairspray, paper towels, and a lot of blotting patience. For food and oils (like the time my homemade salad dressing drenched my shirt), I use a little blue Dawn dish soap, water, and a toothbrush. (Note: I have noticed if you don’t wash the Dawn soap out right away, it can fade colored fabrics ever so slightly.)
Using Hairspray for Stain Removal
Since I had so many items to practice on with the chapstick, I first took to the hairspray method. Place a paper towel underneath the stain so the unwanted intruder bleeds onto that and not the backside of the clothing. Then spray with an aerosol hairspray. Let it soak in for a minute and blot. Repeat, repeat, repeat. This is so much more satisfying with ink because you can actually see it lightening. With the chapstick, I had to keep taking pictures to compare and it felt like it took a lot more work.
Using Dawn Dish Soap for Stain Removal
After I felt like it was lightened the best I could do, I switched to using Dawn dish soap. I applied a tiny bit of Dawn to a toothbrush, put it under the tap to get it wet, and scrubbed a bit more. Yes, it will make the fabric look blue, especially if you use less water with more soap but it will wash out in the wash.
After a lot of blotting, a little scrubbing, I threw it all back in the wash with fingers crossed that it would come out okay. And it did!
Now, I did try just the hairspray method, just the Dawn soap method, and even tried Dawn soap then hairspray. I felt like the hairspray then Dawn was the best order to lift the stain out. Something with the alcohol in the hairspray helped break some barriers. The Dawn cut through the greasy-ness of the chapstick to finish it off.
Since I have this wonderful new stain removal method in my back-pocket that I’ll never have a need for again, (?)
I thought I’d pass it on to help someone. Good luck stain-fighters! We’ve got each other’s backs. ?