Millions of people use ChapStick to keep their lips properly lubricated during the dry season. As the winter months approach, the weather usually begins to turn bleak, and most people start carrying ChapSticks in their pockets.
Whenever their lips feel dry, they take out the lip balm and apply it. Not only does the lip balm taste and smell good, but it also prevents your lips from chapping.
But, remembering where you kept the ChapStick is not as easy as you might think. Most people completely forget the ChapStick is in their pockets, and put their clothes in the washing machine without thinking twice.
Imagine opening the dryer and getting the clothes out, only to find a large stain on your favorite shirt caused by a melted ChapStick!
It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, but something that happens more often than you might think. ChapStick is made from a combination of different materials, such as wax, dye, and oil.
As you can understand, removing these stains from any kind of fabric is not going to be easy. If you allow the stains to settle in over a longer period of time, it’s going to be virtually impossible for you to remove them on your own.
However, the key to successful stain removal is to make sure that you get the stains out as quickly as possible. It’s not going to be easy, but the chances of success are considerably higher if you get started right away.
There are a few key ingredients that you can use to get the stains of melted ChapStick out of your clothes.
Before You Start
Remember, you need to first test any kind of cleaning solution or detergent in a corner or an inconspicuous section of the cloth to determine whether the solution is working properly or not. If you notice any kind of discoloration on the fabric, stop using that method at once.
You should know that older stains are not going to be easy to remove, and you might have to repeat the cleaning process at least a couple of times before you can get the desired results.
The ChapStick might melt due to a variety of reasons. You might forget it in your pocket and leave it in a hot area of the house. Or, in most cases, the heat from your body might cause the ChapStick to melt as well.
Removing the stains caused by lip balm isn’t easy at all, but it’s doable. Now that you know the basics, it’s time to get started with the cleaning process.
The Professional Approach
If you don’t want to go through the pains of cleaning the stains on your own, the best thing to do is to take it to a professional cleaner.
If the stained garment had a label on it stating that it’s only for dry cleaning, you should just visit your local dry cleaner. Give the garment to them and show them the stain. Let them know what caused the stain, and they will do the rest.
If you are going to use a home dry cleaning kit, you might want to first treat the stain with the special stain remover that comes in the kit before you decide to place the garment in the dry cleaning bag.
Start by Scraping the Residue
The first step is to inspect the stain carefully. You might notice some semi-solid wax on the upper surface of the fabric. Pick up a spoon or a dull knife, and scrape off any residue that might be stuck to the surface.
Scraping the wax is vitally important, as it will help prevent the wax residue from being embedded further into the fabric.
Getting these stains out is not a simple process. To maximize your chances of removing the stains, you need to first pretreat the fabric.
You can buy an enzyme based fabric cleaner from the local store, and then treat each stain individually. If you can’t find one in your area, using a powerful laundry detergent is a wise idea.
These detergents contain enzymes that are able to clear out the oily residue from the stains, and separate it from the fibers. Use your fingers to properly work the stain remover into the fabric.
You can also use a brush, though make sure that it has only soft bristles. Then, let the stain remover sit for at least a half hour. This is important, because it will help loosen the oily stains from the fibers and make it easy for you to remove them completely.
Wash the Garment
Once the stain remover has had enough time to rest, you should consider rewashing it. It’s best to use hot water (check the tag on the garment to determine the hottest temperature allowed for washing the fabric), as it’s much more effective in getting rid of the stains. You can then get the stains out of the garment by repeating the process.
The Brown Bag Strategy
This is another proven method that you can use to get rid of stains from your clothes. The first thing to do is inspect the clothing to determine all major stains.
Make sure you look closely and identify all spots where the stains might exist. You will want to make sure that there isn’t more than one area that’s covered in stains.
The next step is to scrape away all of the wax that might have collected on top of the fabric. Wipe it on a paper towel and then get rid of it properly to prevent the waxy residue from getting on other articles of clothing that you might be washing on the side.
Now, you need to take a brown paper bag and tear it in the middle, thus creating a flat sheet of paper. If you can’t find a brown paper bag, using a thick plain piece of paper is also a great alternative.
Place the paper underneath, and then put your stained garment on top. Make sure that the wax stain is facing upward. Then, take another piece of paper and place it on top of the stain, thus covering it on both sides.
The next step is to take an iron, and set it to medium heat. Make sure that you keep the steam turned off. Once the iron is warm enough, you just need to place it on top of the paper and use it. Make sure you do not leave the iron in one place, otherwise, it’s going to cause the garment to burn.
Keep moving it around and wait for the wax to transfer to the paper. When that happens, you will notice an oily spot appearing on the paper. This is a sign that you need to replace the paper. Keep the iron on the side and change the paper from underneath and from the top, and then repeat the process.
You can stop when no more wax appears on the paper. Don’t forget to unplug your iron too! Take the cloth out, and pour a bit of laundry detergent on the stained area.
Fold the fabric in two and rub the laundry detergent on the fibers carefully. Let the article sit for at least a few minutes before you put it in the washing machine.
Like before, you need to check the tag to determine the hottest temperature allowed for washing the cloth, and set your washing machine’s settings accordingly. Once the spin cycles are over, you need to air dry the clothing properly. The stain might be completely gone.
If neither of the methods work, there’s one other option available to you: color-safe bleaching.
Bleaching isn’t advised because it usually causes discoloration on the fabric, and it could also significantly reduce the life span of the fabric used. However, if you want to get the stain out, using chlorine bleach or even color-safe bleach is a great idea.
Chlorine bleach is usually suitable for white colored fabrics, while color-safe bleach is ideal for colored garments. You need to be very careful when dealing with bleach, as it could burn your fingers.
Use appropriate safety measures while washing the clothes, and don’t leave the bleach on for too long.
When you remove the bleach, you can then put the clothes in a washing machine and wash them at a high temperature. These are just some of the methods that you can use to get rid of ChapStick from your clothes. These stains are quite difficult to get rid of, and it primarily depends on the timing.
If the stain has settled for several days, it might be next to impossible for you to remove. Therefore, the importance of acting in a timely manner cannot be understated.
As soon as you notice a melted ChapStick stain on your clothes, you need to get to work. Don’t let it settle in!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.