It never fails that lipstick will get on the wrong place at the wrong time. Ever since it was invented, lipstick stains have presented a problem whenever they appear anyplace except on a woman’s pretty lips.
Lipstick on collars used to be telltale signs of a cheating boyfriend or husband—primarily because it didn’t match the shade of the girlfriend or wife. Unfortunately for the philanderer, it was almost impossible to get those greasy stains out of his shirts.
The poor guy was doomed!
When my three daughters were little, they just loved to imitate momma wearing my “ki-ki’s” (high heels) and experimenting with my make-up. Although they were not triplets, they were close enough in age that they looked like they were and I had a lot of fun dressing them alike.
They had the cutest little outfits, light blue gathered skirts with suspenders and white blouses with puffed sleeves and “Peter Pan” collars. We’d been invited to my husband’s parents’ home for Sunday dinner, so I got them all ready first. Then, I dashed into the bedroom to change my clothes. Although I took only a few moments, when I was ready, the house was ominously quiet—I found the little darlings in the laundry room WITH MY LIPSTICK! They’d applied lipstick to themselves, then to each other, and used their skirts to wipe it off. I was aghast!
Needless to say, they were in big trouble but most important at the time was dealing with their outfits which I was sure were ruined. Since they were already in the laundry room, I immediately started the washer filling it with hot water. I didn’t use detergents then, one of the girls had contact allergies so I used Lux soap flakes. I had the girls take their skirts and blouses off and immediately dropped them (the clothes, not the kids) into the washer. Today, I might not have taken that course but at the time, it seemed expedient to dissolve the lipstick and wash it out, if possible.
I quickly dressed the girls in clean outfits and we went on to their grandparents’ house. When we got home, the washer had done its job and LUCKILY all of the lipstick stain had come out. With today’s fancy formulas for cosmetics, I would not expect a simple cycle of the washer to remove the stain. I’m not saying it won’t work and if the fabric is washable, it might. But examine it carefully after washing and make sure the stain is completely removed before putting the garment in the dryer.
Lipstick Stains On Washable Fabric:
Here are some tips for treating and removing lipstick stains on fabrics:
The guy with the lipstick on his collar should have had a can of hairspray handy. If you find a lipstick smudge on your white shirt or blouse, try spraying it with hairspray. Allow the spray to set for a minute or two, then wipe it with a clean white washcloth. The lipstick should come off.
Here’s another tip for removing lipstick stains from washable fabrics. Grab a tube of extra whitening toothpaste—not the gel variety, but the old fashioned, original white paste. Massage a dab into the stain and rub it gently between your fingers. Rinse with cool water. Stain gone? Hopefully, but if not, just try it again. Toothpaste is often a kinder, gentler stain remover.
Removing Lipstick On Non-Washable Fabric:
Today’s fabrics are made of many different blends of fibers, including nylon, cotton, polyester, silk, wool, etc. Not all of these materials can be cleaned with water, whether hand-washed or in a washing machine.
Be sure to check the label on the garment. If it says dry clean only—don’t try to get the lipstick out yourself. Take it to your local drycleaners and be sure to point out the stain. Tell them it is lipstick. It might help to tell them the brand because there are many different blends of lipstick—some are stains, some are wax based and some are blends of oil, wax and color pigments.
Masking Tape or Scotch Tape:
Here’s one for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and is effective and a very clever (if I do say so myself) way to remove lipstick from non-washable fabric. If you get a lipstick smudge on your silk scarf or the sleeve of your silk blouse, place of piece of tape over the stain, smooth it down lightly, then jerk it off.
The lipstick should adhere to the sticky adhesive surface of the tape and separate from the delicate fabric provided it hasn’t already been absorbed. If there is still some stain left, shake a little talcum powder on the stain and gently tap with your fingertip. Shake the powder off and the stain should fly off as well. You may have to try this a couple of times.
Lipstick Stains On Skin:
As was the case with my little daughters, sometimes you get lipstick on hands, arms or faces that will just not come off no matter how hard you scrub. I’ve found that baby oil or Vaseline (petroleum jelly) works 100% of the time.
Just moisten a tissue with baby oil or Vaseline and lightly rub over the lips or stained skin. No need to scrub hard, as it usually comes right off. I use a waterproof, long lasting lipstick that is brushed on. You allow it to dry on your lips then apply a gloss. It does last all day and it will last all night, too, if not removed. I keep a little bottle of baby oil handy to remove the lip stain and foundation makeup.